LEVITICUS


Chapter 1 Chapter 6 Chapter 11 Chapter 16 Chapter 21
Chapter 2 Chapter 7 Chapter 12 Chapter 17 Chapter 22
Chapter 3 Chapter 8 Chapter 13 Chapter 18 Chapter 23
Chapter 4 Chapter 9 Chapter 14 Chapter 19 Chapter 24
Chapter 5 Chapter 10 Chapter 15 Chapter 20 Chapter 25

The name of this book is LEVITICUS, so named because the tribe of Levi is the tribe of which were the priests of the LORD in Israel; and this book deals primarily with the laws of God which He gave to Israel by Moses regarding the sacrifices and offerings that Israel was to offer to the LORD, and the various laws concerning all things that the Israelites were to practice in their service to the LORD and in their daily lives. The very first subject with which it deals is voluntary offerings that would be made unto the LORD.

 

Chapter 1

(Verses 1 through 9) And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If 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. 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 congregation before the LORD. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 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. And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces. And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire. 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: 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 LORD.

 

This seems to be very plain instructions concerning the manner of this offering. Therefore so far as what is to be done in making this offering, there is little need for comment. So, we shall instead concentrate our remarks on the offering itself. There were many offerings that the LORD required of the children of Israel; but the one here set forth is not one of those that were required. Instead it was to be a voluntary offering; for, in verse 3, we are told, “He shall offer it of his own voluntary will.” Yet the order of events, as well as the kind of offering it must be, are very meticulously spelled out. It cannot be just anything that may come to hand, but must be, first of all, either of the flock or the herd. That is, it must be either of the bovine family, or of the sheep, or of the goats. These were the animals the LORD had earlier declared clean, as opposed to the hog, the donkey, the camel, and many others, which He had declared unclean. In addition it must be a male without blemish. All of this signifies that, even though we are not under the ceremonial law as were the Israelites, and so do not offer burnt sacrifices as did they, whatever we may give in the service of the LORD today should be only that which is acceptable to Him. And we should just as carefully examine what we do, or give, in His service as did they when they made an offering to Him. The remainder of this text has to do with where and how this offering shall be made. When it is thus properly selected and properly offered, it is “a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.” All of the instructions given here are for the offering of a bullock. Following this He will give instructions for the offering of a sheep or a goat. And then He will follow with instructions for the offering of fowls.

 

(Verses 10 through 13) 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 without blemish. 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. 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 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.

 

Notice should be taken that just as the offering selected from among the cattle was to be a male without blemish, so it was required concerning that taken from the sheep or the goats. Nothing inferior was ever to be offered to the LORD. All had to be without blemish. Also there was to be very little variation between the manner of making the offering of the bullock, and that of the sheep or the goat. And when properly accomplished, each was “a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.”

 

(Verses 14 through 17) And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of the fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons. And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar: 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 ashes: 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 LORD.

 

In addition to the offerings made of cattle, sheep, and goats, the children of Israel were allowed to make offerings of fowls. (Actually, the only fowls mentioned as used in offerings are turtledoves and pigeons.) This chapter has covered the offering of all these, when used as voluntary offerings. As will be noticed, no part of any of these offerings was ever given to the priest. They were to be completely burned on the altar. We shall find that of some offerings only certain parts were to be burned, and the remainder was given to the priest. Thus the priests were supported by the offerings of the people. But some offerings were to be completely consumed by the fire.



Chapter 2

(Verses 1 through 3) 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: 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 shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD: 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.

 

Perhaps everyone is already aware of this fact; but when the phrase, “meat offering,” is used in the scriptures it commonly refers to what we would more naturally think of as a bread offering. It usually consists of either finely ground flour, or some sort of cakes made of flour, together with, perhaps, oil and frankincense, or, sometimes, just with oil. Of course the oil was always to be olive oil. In the present text, “his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon.” Then we are told that only a certain portion of the flour and the oil, and all the frankincense, shall be taken out by the priest, and burned upon the altar, “to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. The remainder of this offering was to be given to Aaron and his sons. Of course this manner of the offering was to be continued through the generations of the children of Israel, being thus given unto the high priest and the other priests after Aaron and his sons were carried away by the hand of death.

 

(Verses 4 through 11) And if thou shalt 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. And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in a pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil. Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is a meat offering. And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in the frying pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. 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. 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. And that which is left 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. 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.

 

This covers the offering of a “meat offering” that consists of something that has been baked, whether it be something that has been baked in the oven, something that has been baked in a pan, or something that has been baked in a frying pan. In either case it shall be unleavened, and made of fine flour, and it shall also be either mingled with oil, or anointed with oil. It appears that the oil represents the Spirit of the LORD. So whatever we, even today, do, or give in the service of the LORD must be accompanied by His Spirit. Otherwise it is not acceptable to Him. as our Lord Jesus said, (John 4:23) “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.” Of each of these offerings only a portion was actually to be burned upon the altar as a memorial, while the remainder was to be given to the priest. In verse 11, the LORD gives a very strong commandment to Israel, “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.”

 

(Verses 12 through 16) As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the LORD: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour. 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. And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears. And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a meat offering. And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, part of the beaten corn thereof, with all the frankincense thereof: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

 

Here we come to the offering of the firstfruits. This is an offering that was to be made when the grain had matured, but was not yet ripened. It is actually representative of our Lord Jesus, as He arose from the dead. He is often mentioned in The New Testament as “the firstfruits of them that slept,” or simply as “the firstfruits.” Just as the offering of the firstfruits under the law was proof that the grain was matured, and that there would be a harvest, His resurrection from the dead is a proof that there will be a resurrection of the dead. Thus we rejoice in His resurrection, knowing that just as the Father raised Him up from the dead, so shall He also raise us up, and gather us unto Himself. If this offering was to be made a “meat offering,” it was to be beaten out of fully matured heads of grain that were still green. That is, they had not ripened to the extent that they were ready for the harvest. This answers to what the Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 15:21-28, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection from the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith, ‘All things are put under Him,’ it is manifest that He is excepted, Which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that did put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” The remainder of this text is only the instructions as to how it shall be offered. As in all other sacrifices in which oil and frankincense are used, only a part of it is to be burned as a memorial of the offering, “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 LORD.”


 

Chapter 3


(Verses 1 through 5) 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. 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. And he shall offer 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 away. 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.

 

In Chapter 1 we found the “voluntary offerings;” and they were to be of the cattle, the sheep, or the goats. Also it was provided that one might, instead of these animals, offer turtledoves or young pigeons. If that offering was to be of the cattle, the sheep, or the goats, the first requirement was that it should be a male. As we take up the “peace offerings,” of the present chapter, we find that they may be either male or female: but they also must be without blemish, just as were the voluntary offerings. Also in those offerings we found that the whole animal was to be burned as a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD, while in these only specified parts were to be burned. The present text gives all the necessary instructions for offering a sacrifice from the cattle. In verses 6 through 11, we are given the instructions for offering a sheep, and in verses 12 through 16, the procedure is described for offering a goat. As will be noticed there is very little, if any, difference in these from that of offering the one from among the cattle. In verse 16 we find this statement, “all the fat is the LORD’S.” Then verse 17 declares, “It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.” The LORD had already commanded Noah that man should not eat blood. (Genesis 9:3-5) “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof shall ye not eat. And surely your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.” Here He tells the children of Israel that they shall not eat the fat or the blood.


Chapter 4

(Verses 1 through 12) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: 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. And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock’s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation: and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, even before the vail of the sanctuary. 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. And he shall take off 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 off from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering. And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head, and 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.

 

Notice that in verse 2 we are told, “If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD_______.” This, of course, tells us that what is going to be said will cover any soul who does this. Then we recognize, as he continues on, that this is the general scope of this whole message, but it is broken so that different sections of it apply to different ones of the social structure of Israel. The first section of this commandment applies to the priest. Since he is the one who is the mediator between the LORD and Israel, he is the first to be considered. His offering must be “a young bullock without blemish,” which he must bring to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lay his hand upon its head, and kill it “before the LORD.” Then “the priest that is anointed,” which seems to be, not the one for whom the offering is being made, but the one who is officiating in this offering, (and, probably, the high priest.) Very explicit instructions are given as to the exact steps that are to be followed in making this offering. It will be noticed that only certain parts of the animal are to be burned on the altar, and all the remainder of the bullock was to be taken out of the camp, and burned there instead of on the altar. Thus this offering becomes a type of the Christ. He was crucified outside of the camp, that is, outside of the city of Jerusalem. And we are told by the writer of the Hebrew letter, (Hebrews 13: 11-13) “For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.”

 

(Verses 13 through 21) And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty; when the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation. 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. 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 that is before the LORD, that is in the tabernacle of the congregation, 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 atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. 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.

 

When a sin offering was to be made for an individual, that one was to bring the bullock before the tabernacle of the congregation, and the man for whom he was offered had to place his hand on the head of the bullock, and kill him before the LORD. And when the offering was for the whole congregation, “the elders,” the representatives of the people were to lay their hands upon its head, and it was to be killed before the LORD. Then the remainder of the process was to be the same as had been for the bullock of the other sin offering. Only certain parts were to be burned on the altar, and the remainder was to be taken outside the camp to a clean place, and there burned. Thus atonement was made for the whole congregation, and their sin was forgiven.

 

(Verses 22 through 26) 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 hath sinned, come to his knowledge, he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish. 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. And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of the peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.

 

Notice will be taken that there are some differences between this sin offering for a ruler, and that of a priest, or that of the whole congregation. The first difference noted is that, for each of those a young bullock was required, while for this “a kid of the goats, a male without blemish.” The ritual is also changed. In the former, “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 congregation.” In this, “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.” The “altar which is before the LORD, that is in the tabernacle of the congregation,” is not used in any manner in this offering. (The altar of burnt offering is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, but on the outside.) In all these offerings all the fat of the sacrifice is to be burned on the altar of burnt offering. But in the former all the remains of the sacrifice was to be carried outside the camp to a clean place, and there burned; but in this offering, nothing is said about the disposal of the body of the animal. Apparently, it was to be disposed of in the same manner as the previous sin offerings.

 

(Verses 27 through 31) And if anyone of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then shall he bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin wherewith he hath sinned. 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 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 offerings; 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.

 

We notice that a difference was made between the sin offering for a ruler, and that for one of the common people. The offering for the ruler was to be “a kid of the goats, a male without blemish,” while that for one of the common people was “a kid of the goats, a female without blemish.” Yet the ritual was the same in both offerings. Otherwise the offerings were the same. Then it was also provided that the common man could offer a sheep instead of a goat, as we shall see in the following text.

 

(Verses 32 through 35) 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 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 the 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 of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; 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 ritual for offering the lamb is, in all essentials, the same as that for offering the kid. So, further comment thereon seems unnecessary.


Chapter 5

(Verses 1 through 6) 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. Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty. Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness 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. 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 if it be hid from him, when he knoweth of it, he shall be guilty in one of these. And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, he shall confess that he hath 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.

 

This commandment covers several different things. First, if one hears the voice of someone swearing, and is called to bear witness of whether he has seen or known of it, if he will not bear witness of it, he has committed a sin, and is accountable for it. There also are many things which God’s commandments declare to be unclean; and if a man touches one of them he shall also be unclean, and therefore guilty of sin. And this applies, even if he does not know that he has touched it. That is, when he shall be made aware of it, he shall be guilty. Also, if at any time, one says that he either will, or will not, do something, whether what he has said he will do is good or evil, and uses an oath in his saying it, even though he may not realize that he has used an oath, when he realizes it, or someone calls his attention to the fact that he has done so, he shall be considered guilty, and he must confess that he has sinned in so doing, And he shall then bring his trespass offering, unto the LORD. That offering is to be a “female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.

 

(Verses 7 through 10) And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off his head from his neck, but 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 altar: it is a sin offering. And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for the sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him.

 

Thus provision is made for, not only those who are wealthy enough to provide for their offering a lamb or a kid, as previously commanded, but also for the poorer people among them. And in the next part of this commandment further provision is made for one not even able to offer the doves or pigeons.

 

(Verses 11 through 13) But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering. Then he shall 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.

 

Thus the LORD gives instructions that cover all these sins enumerated in verses 1 through 5, whether the one committing the sin be the whole congregation, a priest, a ruler, or a commoner, whether rich or poor. By this we see that God has made provision for all his people, regardless of their social or financial status.

 

(Verses 14 through 16) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 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: and he shall make amends for the harm he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it to the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.

 

All the trespass offerings previously mentioned, contained no indication of what we would call a fine. So, apparently, none of them was considered as being of any material damage to anything. But in this one we have, “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: and he shall make amends for the harm he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto.” Of course the ram was to be offered as a trespass offering according to previous instructions, and by it the priest would make an atonement for him, and he would be forgiven. But the offering of money was to be according to Moses’ (and later, the priest’s) estimation of the damage done to the holy thing. And the actual fine to be paid was to be according to the estimation of Moses (or the priest) with a fifth part added thereto.

 

(Verses 17 through 19) 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 he is guilty, and shall bear his iniquity. 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 concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him. It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.

 

This seems to reach back, and cover all the trespass offerings that have so far been mentioned in this chapter. Although they may have been done ignorantly without intent, and even without knowledge by the one who committed them, the perpetrator is still guilty, and must bring the offering as required by the commandment. If actual damage has been done, the damage shall be estimated by the priest, and one fifth of the estimate added to it: and all shall be paid by the one bringing the offering.



Chapter 6

(Verses 1 through 7) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbor 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 have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein; 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 delivered 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 thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. 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 forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.

 

All the law of Chapter 5 concerns trespasses that a man might commit unintentionally. But this one has regard to deliberate wrongdoing. However, the general course of making an atonement for all is very similar. In this case the value of the object involved, together with an additional one fifth of its value must be restored to the one to whom it belonged. Then the trespass offering must be brought, and given to the priest who would then make the offering, and thus make atonement for him who had committed the trespass.

 

(Verses 8 through 13) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: 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. 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. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; 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. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.

 

This gives the daily ritual of the priest as he takes care of the fire of the altar, and as he disposes of the ashes from it, and keeps the fire always burning. The fire was to be kept ever burning, and never permitted to go out. Thus it signified that the LORD is eternal, and is never asleep.

 

(Verses 14 through18) And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar. And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it unto the LORD. 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. 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 is the trespass offering. And the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statue for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the LORD made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy.

 

There were differences among the various offerings that were to be made unto the LORD, as we have seen in the previous instructions concerning them. And this is the law of the meat offerings. It tells us what part of the meat offering is to be burned upon the altar, what portion is to be given to the priest, and who shall eat of the priest’s portion. In the light of Haggai 2:11-14 we would have to conclude that the statement in verse 18, “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,” must mean ,not that touching them will make one holy, but that none may touch them except one who is holy.

 

(Verses 19 through 23) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, This is the offering of Aaron and his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night. In the pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the LORD. 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.

 

This gives the instructions for the meat offering of the priest. The chief difference between it and the one of the common people is that instead of only a portion of it being burned for a memorial, this whole offering is to be burned on the altar. No part of it is to be eaten.

 

(Verses 24 through 30) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto 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. 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 congregation. 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. 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 is most holy.

 

This should clarify the disposal of the bodies of all the animals heretofore called for as sin offerings, but were not made the subject of clear instructions for their disposal. If any of their blood has been brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to make reconciliation, they cannot be eaten, but as has been said of some earlier, they are to be burned outside the camp. This also gives instructions for the cleansing of vessels in which any of the flesh of the sin offering has been sodden.

 

Chapter 7

(Verses through 8) 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 around about the altar. 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. For every male that is among the priests shall eat thereof: it shall be eaten in the holy place: it is most holy. As the sin offering is, so is the trespass offering: the priest that maketh the atonement therewith shall have it. 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.

 

Thus we are given the instructions that may have been lacking in the earlier instructions, concerning the trespass offering, that is, any trespass offering. Not only are we told how the priest shall offer it, but also what parts thereof shall be burned upon the altar, as well as who shall eat of the flesh of the offering, and what is to be done with the skin thereof.

 

(Verses 9 and 10) And all the meat offering that is baken in the oven, and all that is dressed in the fryingpan, 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 the other.

 

As we have previously seen, only a part of any meat offering was to be burned upon the altar, and the remainder was to be given to the priest. This text tells us what was to be given to the priest who was actually officiating, and what would be given to all the priests collectively.

 

(Verses 11 through 15) And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD. 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. 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 oblation for an heave offering unto the LORD, and it shall be the priest’s that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings. And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.

 

This peace offering, or thanksgiving offering, seems to be a little different from the other offerings already discussed, in several ways. First, it is to be accompanied by a meat offering, which is not specifically required with other offerings already described. And since no description of the ritual of making this offering is given, one would assume that it would be offered in the same manner that is given for the peace offering described in Chapter 3. Then we are given the description of the contents of the meat offering that is to accompany it. This offering differs from those previously mentioned in that a part of it is to be of leavened bread, which cannot be burned on the altar, as declared in Leviticus 2:11. So, in this offering we are introduced to the “heave offering,” or “wave offering,” as it is sometimes called. In this, the item so offered is picked up, and waved before the LORD, and it is then given to the priest who has performed the ritual. The flesh of this peace offering, which has not been burned, is given to the priest making the offering. And it must be eaten the same day that it is offered: it cannot be left until the next morning.

 

(Verses 16 through 18) 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. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings 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 iniquity.

 

Apparently, there is a difference between a peace offering and a thanksgiving offering; not in the manner in which they are offered, but in what is to be done in the disposal of the flesh of them. According to verse 15, the flesh of the thanksgiving offering had to be eaten on the same day in which it was offered, while, according to verse 16, if this offering is for a vow, or is a voluntary offering, which is also called, in verse 18, a peace offering, may be eaten on both the day in which it was offered, and the next day. However, if any of it were eaten on the third day, it would not be acceptable for the one who made the offering, and would be an abomination to the one who ate it. Thus the violator would then be guilty, and would have to bear his iniquity.

 

(Verses 19 through 21) And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire: and as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof. But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any uncleanness of beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.

 

This text very clearly tells us that, although the flesh of these sacrifices is to be given to the priests, anyone who might be ceremonially unclean can not eat of them. And if for any reason any part of this flesh should touch anything that is ceremonially unclean, the flesh itself is thus made unclean, and cannot be accepted as a sacrifice. Thus they are to be extremely careful, both of their handling of these sacrifices and their judging of themselves before eating of them. A very heavy penalty is ordered against an unclean person who might eat of them.

 

(Verses 22 through 27) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat. And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn by beasts, may be used in any other use: but ye shall in no wise eat of it. For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people. Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.

 

Here the LORD gives commandments that require the Israelites to refrain from eating any fat. Apparently the significance of this commandment is that since the fat of the animals that are to be sacrificed by fire unto Him is the part that is always to be burned upon the altar, it is to be considered sacred, and man should not eat it. Since He specifies, in verse 25, that it is the fat of animals, “of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD,” that is under restriction, one might wonder if it applied also to other “clean” animals. Of course He had already forbidden their eating unclean animals anyway, so we are not even considering them. Also He commands them to not eat the fat of any animal that has died of itself, or has been killed by any beast of prey. Further, they are to eat no blood of any sort. And anyone who does violate either of these commandments shall be cut off from his people. We might add that this commandment to refrain from eating blood is, unquestionably universal, and not just to the children of Israel; for God gave it to Noah in Genesis 9:4-6. Since all the human family is descended from him, this commandment applies to all.

 

(Verses 28 through 34) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, He that offereth the sacrifice of his peace offerings unto the LORD shall bring his oblation unto the LORD of the sacrifice of his peace offerings. His own hands shall bring the offerings of the LORD made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the LORD. And the priest shall burn the fat upon the altar: but the breast shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings. He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part. For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and given them unto Aaron the priest and his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel.


Here the LORD sets aside a certain portion of the sacrifice of the peace offerings that it may be given to the priest who shall be officiating in the making of the sacrifice. He declares that this statute shall be for ever. That is, they shall not change it

(Verses 35 through 38) This is the portion of the anointing of Aaron, and of the anointing of his sons, out of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister unto the LORD in the priest’s office; which the LORD commanded to be given them of the children of Israel, in the day that he anointed them, by a statute for ever throughout their generations. This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meat offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings; which the LORD commanded Moses in mount Sinai, in the day that He commanded the children of Israel to offer their oblations unto the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai.

 

This is simply a summary of what the LORD has been telling Moses to pass on to the children of Israel concerning the various offerings He has covered with these commandments. The LORD gave all of this to Moses in mount Sinai.



Chapter 8

 

(Verses 1 through 5) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread; and gather thou all the congregation unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done.

 

In this text the LORD calls upon Moses to gather the children of Israel together at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. At the same time He had Moses bring Aaron and his sons with the special garments that had been made for them to wear as they ministered unto the LORD in the office of priests. Also they were to bring the animals and the unleavened bread for making the necessary sacrifices for establishing them in their offices. Then Moses announced to them that they were about to do that which the LORD had commanded them in Exodus 40:12-15.

 

(Verses 6 through 13) And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water. And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith. And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim. And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses. And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them. And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and anointed him to sanctify him. And Moses brought Aaron’s sons, and put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets upon them; as the LORD commanded Moses.

 

Thus Moses brought Aaron and his sons to the tabernacle of the congregation, washed them, and dressed Aaron as he had been commanded of the LORD. He also anointed the tabernacle and all therein, as well as the altar and all the vessels thereof, including also the laver and the foot thereof. Then he poured the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and sanctified him. Then he dressed Aaron’s sons as he had been commanded. Thus all things were prepared for the next step in this work.

 

(Verses 14 through 16) And he brought the bullock for the sin offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin offering. And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it. And he took all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and Moses burned it upon the altar. But the bullock, and his hide, and his flesh, and his dung, he burnt without the camp; as the LORD commanded Moses.

 

This is the account of the offering of the sin offering for Aaron and his sons. And since it follows the same order that we previously considered in Exodus 29:10-14, there seems to be no necessity for further comment thereon.

 

(Verses 18 through 21) And he brought the ram for the burnt offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. And he killed it; and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about. And he cut the ram into pieces; and Moses burnt the head, and the pieces, and the fat. And he washed the inwards and the legs in water; and Moses burnt the whole ram upon the altar: it was a burnt sacrifice for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses.

 

Here Moses brings forth the ram for the burnt offering. And since no priest has yet been consecrated for the work, he offers the ram according to the commandment the LORD had given him, as recorded in Exodus 29:15-18.

 

(Verses 22 through 28) And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron’s right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot. And he brought Aaron’s sons, and Moses put the blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet: and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about. And he took the fat, and the rump, and all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and the right shoulder: and out of the basket of unleavened bread, that was before the LORD, he took one unleavened cake, and a cake of oiled bread, and one wafer, and put them on the fat, and upon the right shoulder: and he put all upon Aaron’s hands, and upon his sons’ hands, and waved them for a wave offering before the LORD. And Moses took them from off their hands, and burnt them on the altar upon the burnt offering: they were consecrations for a sweet savour: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

 

Thus Moses offered the ram of consecration according to the instructions the LORD had given him, as recorded in Exodus 29:19-25.

 

(Verse 29 and 30) And Moses took the breast, and waved it for a wave offering before the LORD; for of the ram of consecration it was Moses’ part; as the LORD commanded Moses. And Moses took of the anointing oil, and blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons’ garments with him.

 

Moses took the portion of the sacrifice that the LORD had allotted him, and, evidently, set it temporarily aside, while he performed the final act of this service, the sprinkling of Aaron and his sons, and their garments, with the oil and the blood. We can find in this whole ceremony a very beautiful picture of our Lord, Christ Jesus, as he cleanses us from our sins. Inasmuch as Isaiah tells us, Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand”, we consider Moses as the type, in this case, of the Father; for he was the one who offered this bullock: and the bullock for the sin offering represents Christ Jesus our Lord. Christ Jesus also is the one represented by the ram for the burnt offering, and the ram for the consecration, while in both, Moses is the figure of the Father. Jesus was in all things that he did, a sweet savour unto the Father. It is by the Father that we are sprinkled with the blood of our Lord, and with His holy Spirit, Which is represented by the anointing oil. So this whole event gives us a picture of our salvation, as wrought out by our Lord Jesus. He is in every facet of it. Remember the song of the four beasts and the four and twenty elders in Revelation 5:9-10. “And they sung a new song, saying, ‘Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to GOD by Thy blood out of every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our GOD kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth’”. And since this event is the consecrating of priests to their office, it certainly should be a good type of the work of Jesus in making us priests unto our GOD.

 

(Verses 31 through 36) And Moses said unto Aaron and to his sons, Boil the flesh at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and there eat it with the bread that is in the basket of consecrations, as I commanded, saying, Aaron and his sons shall eat it. And that which remaineth of the flesh and of the bread shall ye burn with fire. And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall He consecrate you. As He hath done this day, so the LORD hath commanded to do, to make an atonement for you. Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD, that ye die not: for so I am commanded. So Aaron and his sons did all things which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.

 

After all the offerings and the consecration had been completed, Moses passed on to Aaron and his sons the commandment of the LORD that they should boil the flesh of the offering of consecration and eat it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And then they must remain in the tabernacle of the congregation for seven days before making any effort to come out. The penalty for disobedience would be death. So they obeyed all the commandments of the LORD concerning this.


Chapter 9


(Verses 1 through 4) And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel; and he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD. And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for burnt a offering; also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD; and a meat offering mingled with oil: for today the LORD will appear unto you.

 

After Aaron and his sons had completed their time of separation from the remainder of the Israelites for their consecration, Moses called them and the elders of Israel, and commanded them to bring forth animals for sacrifice; a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering for Aaron and his sons, and for the children of Israel, a kid of the goats for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, for a burnt offering. In addition to these they were to bring a bullock and a ram for peace offerings. And, of course with the peace offerings they were to offer a meat offering mingled with oil. Moses then told them that the LORD would appear to them that day.

 

(Verses 5 through 7) And they brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD. And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you. And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the LORD commanded.

 

Thus Moses instructed Aaron to make his first use of the office of priest, in the presence of all the people. This offering was for a sin offering for Aaron himself, and for all the people. Of course it was to be broken into segments. First he was to offer those things that were for himself and his sons, and then those that were for the people, thereby making an atonement for both himself and them.

 

(Verses 8 through 14) Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar: but the fat and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin offering, he burnt upon the altar; as the LORD commanded Moses. And the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp. And he slew the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar. And they presented the burnt offering unto him, with the pieces thereof, and the head: and he burnt them upon the altar. And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar.

 

Notice is to be taken that in both of these offerings Aaron followed the exact order that God had earlier given to Moses. Nothing was omitted, and nothing was added thereunto. Although this was the first time Aaron had ever performed such offerings, Moses had already demonstrated how it was to be done, as he made the offerings described in Chapter 8, and had also told him the LORD’S commandments concerning them; all of which Aaron followed implicitly. These offerings were for Aaron and his sons.

 

(Verses 15 through 21) And he brought the people’s offering, and took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin, as the first. And he brought the burnt offering, and offered it according to the manner. And he brought the meat offering, and took an handful thereof, and burnt it upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice of the morning. He slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people: and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled upon the altar round about. And the fat of the bullock and of the ram, the rump, and that which covereth the inwards, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver: And they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burnt the fat upon the altar: and the breasts and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave offering before the LORD; as Moses commanded.

 

These offerings were for the people. And Aaron just as meticulously followed the commandments of the LORD in offering them as he had for those that were for him and his sons. All things were done just as had been commanded by the LORD.

 

(Verses 22 through 24) And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted and fell on their faces.

 

Having finished offering the sacrifices that were ordered, Aaron held up his hand, probably to signify that this work was finished, and came down to the people, and blessed them. Then he and Moses went into the tabernacle of the congregation. It is to be remembered that the altar of burnt offerings was not in the tabernacle, but outside, and by the door thereof. Then both Moses and Aaron came out of the tabernacle, and blessed the people. When they did this, the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people, thus signifying His approval of their offerings. Also there came a fire out from the LORD and consumed all that was upon the altar of burnt offering. At this point all the people shouted and fell upon their faces, no doubt, both in fear and reverence to the LORD.

 

Chapter 10

 

(Verses 5 through 7) And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh unto Me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. And Moses called Mishael and Elizaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said. And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel , bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled. And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses.

 

People may sometimes look upon this incident in many ways. Some may even think that it just could not have taken place as it is recorded, for that is totally foreign to their idea of God. They think that He is such a loving and gentle being that He would never do such as is here declared. They focus on only one aspect of God, such as “God is love,” and forget “Our God is a consuming fire”. Both are equally true. What we have here is the manner God dealt with two men who tried to introduce something into the service of the LORD that He did not authorize. Nowadays we hear much said by some of our brethren about the bringing in of musical instruments into the worship service of our God: but nothing is said about the celebration of two pagan holidays in the church, to wit, “Christmas” and “Easter”. Just a little study of history will show anyone that even the year of the birth of Jesus cannot be certainly established, to say nothing of the month or the day. The Roman Catholic pope who decreed December 25 as “Christ Mass,” or “Christmas,” as it is now called, openly declared that his reason for choosing that day was that it was the pagan celebration of “Saturnalia,” the day dedicated to the sun god Saturn and the wine god Bacchus. And his purpose of so doing was to bring more of the pagans into the church. Although the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus did take place at the time of the Passover, the name “Easter” is taken from “Astarte” the pagan goddess of spring and fertility, and was celebrated at the time that is now called “Easter.” And all the various items of the celebration, such as the rabbits, the chicks, and the eggs, are taken from the pagan festival, as is also the “sunrise service” that is so popular at that time. Just a quick glance at what the Bible says concerning the great event of our Lord’s resurrection will show that He had already arisen before sunrise. But almost everyone will tell us that even though these celebrations are not authorized by the scriptures, we need to maintain them to honor God. Possibly Nadab and Abihu thought they, by voluntarily doing “more than the LORD had commanded”, were honoring Him. But since He had not commanded it, He cut them off in anger. Are we better than they? I think not. After the LORD had cut them off by fire, Moses had some of their kinsmen, who were not priests, to carry their bodies away from the tabernacle of the congregation. Then he commanded Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar to show no signs of mourning for the men who were killed, and to not even go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, on pain of death. This somewhat resembles what our Lord Jesus told a man who wanted to go and bury his father before he could follow our lord. “Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead.” (Matt. 8:22)

 

(Verses 8 through 11) And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations; and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.

 

Notice that here the LORD speaks directly to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, instead of having Moses speak to them. Whether or not that makes the commandment he gives them any more binding, may be debated by some. But at any rate, He forbids them, under penalty of death, to drink wine or any other strong drink when in the tabernacle of the congregation. They are to observe this forever throughout their generations. And they are to teach the children of Israel, by both word and example, that there is a difference between holy and unholy, and between clean and unclean. They are also to teach them all the statutes that the LORD has commanded by Moses. That is to be their only occupation.

 

(Verses 12 through 15) And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside the altar: for it is most holy: and ye shall eat it in the holy place, because it is thy due, of the sacrifices of the LORD made by fire: for so I am commanded. And the wave breast and the heave shoulder shall ye eat in a clean place; thou, and thy sons, and thy daughters with thee: for they be thy due, and thy sons’ due, which are given out of the sacrifices of peace offerings of the children of Israel. The heave shoulder and the wave breast shall they bring with the offerings made by fire of the fat, to wave it before the LORD; and it shall be thine, and thy sons’ with thee, by a statute for ever; as the LORD hath commanded.

 

Here Moses gives Aaron and his sons some instructions concerning the eating of certain items that the LORD had given them of the offerings of the children of Israel. Certain items were to be eaten by Aaron and his sons only, while others were to be eaten by their whole family. And these instructions were to remain in force, not only for them, but also for succeeding generations.

 

(Verses 16 through 19) And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burnt: and he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron which were left alive, saying, Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make an atonement for them before the LORD? Behold, the blood of it was not brought in within the holy place: ye should indeed have eaten it in the holy place, as I commanded. And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD; and such things have befallen me: and if I had eaten the sin offering today, should it have been accepted in the sight of the LORD? And when Moses heard that, he was content.

 

This text seems clear enough without further comment. Aaron’s fear that the offering would not have been acceptable to the LORD if he had eaten it after having such a terrible experience as the loss of his two sons was what motivated him to refrain from eating the sacrifice. And Moses was content with this explanation.


Chapter 11


(Verses 1 through 8) And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them. Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are upon the earth. Whatever parteth the hoof, and is cloven footed, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that ye shall eat. Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or divide the hoof: as the camel, because it cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud: Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

 

In this chapter the LORD sets forth some dietary laws. That is, laws that declare which animals and creeping things may be eaten, and which may not. Those that He designates as “clean” may be eaten; but those that he designates as “unclean” are not to be eaten. And it will be found that if one touches one of those that are designated as unclean he will thereby be defiled, or made ceremonially unclean. And if he touches the dead carcase of even a “clean” one, he shall be unclean. He names some of the animals that are clean, and some that are not clean; and he also gives, as a rule of thumb, this qualification: to be clean an animal must meet two criteria. They are; it must be cloven footed, and must chew the cud. If it does one, but does not do the other, it is still unclean.

 

(Verses 9 through 12) These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters; whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any thing that is in the waters, and of any  living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: they shall even be an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

 

This concerns what we might term “seafood”. There are two conditions that govern whether or not any creature in the waters is clean. They are: it must have fins and scales. If it doesn’t measure up in both these qualifications, it is unclean.

 

(Verses 13 through 20) And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey, and the vulture, and the kite after his kind; every raven after his kind; and the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, and the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.

 

In this text nothing is said about which fowls may be eaten, but only those that may not. It is to be noted that in this are included bats, which, actually are not fowls, but mammals. Nevertheless since they do fly, they are also here included. All that are here mentioned are to be considered an abomination to the Israelites.

 

(Verses 21 through 25) Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. And for these ye may be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even. And whosoever beareth aught of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.

 

This gives us the distinction between what are “clean,” and “unclean,” insects. If one should be touched by any one of these unclean insects, or happens to carry any part of the carcase of one of them, he must wash his clothes, and still he will be unclean all the remainder of the day, “until the even.”

 

(Verses 26 through 28) The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you” every one that toucheth them shall be unclean. And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even. And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you.

 

This further defines some of the animals that are to be considered unclean, and repeats the instructions concerning the defilement of one who handles any part of their carcase.

 

(Verses 29 through 32) These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, and the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even. And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so shall it be cleansed.

 

Here we have further instructions concerning which animals were not to be eaten, and how to cleanse that which has been defiled by their dead carcases.

 

(Verses 33 through 38) And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it. Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you. Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean, And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you.

 

These instructions seem clear enough as written without comment, except that we are to remember that “meat” as used inverse 34, is not to be restricted to flesh of any kind, but is to be considered as any “food.”

 

(Verses 39 through 45) And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that toucheth the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even. And he that eateth of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them shall ye not eat; for they are an abomination. Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. For I am the LORD thy God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

 

This text is further instructions as to what the children of Israel are to do to maintain cleanliness before the LORD, as well as mention of a few more things that will defile them. They are commanded to maintain their ceremonial cleanness because God is the LORD Who brought them forth from the land of Egypt, And He is holy. Therefore they are to keep themselves holy.

 

(Verses 46 and 47) This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

 

This law seems to be clearly enough set forth that there should be no misunderstandings about what the LORD has said is clean and that which He has called unclean.


Chapter 12

 

(Verses 1 through 5) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of her separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.

 

This is the law that is to be observed when a woman has born a child. It will be noticed that her time of separation for her purification is twice as long for a girl baby as for a boy. Otherwise the ritual is the same. Also if the baby is a boy, he is to be circumcised on the eighth day.

 

(Verses 6 through 8) And when the days of her purification are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath borne a male or a female. And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, (turtledoves) or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

 

This establishes the offering that a woman who has born a child, whether a son, or a daughter, must bring unto the LORD at the end of her time of separation, as was stated above. After this offering she shall be clean.

 

Chapter 13

 

(Verses 1 through 8) And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: and the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of his flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. If the bright spot be white in the skin of his flesh, and in sight be not deeper than the skin, and the hair thereof be not turned white; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days: and the priest shall look on him on the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay, and the plague spread not in the skin; the priest shall shut him up seven days more: and the priest shall look on him again the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague be somewhat dark, and the plague spread not in his skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean: it is but a scab: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean. But if the scab spread abroad in his skin, after that he hath seen the priest for his cleansing, he shall be seen of the priest again: and if the priest see that, behold, the scab spreadeth in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is leprosy.

 

Leprosy has not yet been eradicated, but it is not quite so prevalent as it was in the days of Moses, and even from that time down to times not so long ago. Also it was a disease that was considered a defilement, as well as a disease. Even while our Lord Jesus was on earth, He was seldom said to cure one who was a leper, but instead He was said to “cleanse” the lepers. Here instructions are given for diagnosing leprosy. Certain symptoms are given, that if they are found, the priest is to pronounce the man a leper immediately. But if at the first examination, there is doubt as to whether or not the patient has leprosy, he is to be placed under quarantine for seven days, and re-examined on the seventh day. If there is still doubt, he is to be kept in quarantine for another seven days. This time he is to be examined again: and if there is no indication that his spot has spread, and it appears that there may have been some improvement, “the priest shall pronounce him clean: it is but a scab: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean. But if, after being pronounced clean, the symptoms grow worse, the one having the malady is to be again brought before the priest who shall again examine him. Then, if it appears to the priest that the scab has spread in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him unclean. There is no further doubt that it is leprosy.

 

(Verses 9 through 17) When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he shall be brought unto the priest: and the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the rising be white in the skin, and it have turned the hair white, and there be quick raw flesh in the rising; it is an old leprosy in the skin of his flesh, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean, and shall not shut him up: for he is unclean. And if a leprosy break out abroad in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of him that hath the plague from his head even to his foot, wheresoever the priest looketh; then the priest shall consider: and, behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: it is all turned white: he is clean. But when raw flesh appeareth in him, he shall be unclean. And the priest shall see the raw flesh, and pronounce him to be unclean: for the raw flesh is unclean: it is a leprosy. Or if the raw flesh turn again, and be changed unto white, he shall come unto the priest; ; and the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the plague be turned into white; then the priest shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: he is clean.

 

The principal thing in this text that concerns all the people is the instruction given in verse 11, that whenever the plague of leprosy is in a man, he shall be brought before the priest to be examined. The remainder of the text has to do with the action of the priest. He is to examine the man, and if the symptoms warrant, he is to pronounce him unclean, for he is a leper. Then there are several symptoms given that are to govern the priest in his diagnosis of the case. But they are all for the guidance of the priest in making the diagnosis. According to what he finds he is to pronounce the patient clean, or unclean.

 

(Verses 18 through 23) The flesh also, in which, even in the skin thereof, was a boil, and is healed, and the place of the boil there be a white rising, or a bright spot, white, and somewhat reddish, and it be shewed to the priest; and if, when the priest seeth it, behold, it be in sight lower than the skin, and the hair thereof be turned white; the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague of leprosy broken out of the boil. But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hairs therein, and if it be no lower than the shin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days: and if it spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague. But if the bright spot stay in his place, and spread not, it is a burning boil; and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

 

This concerns another manner of Leprosy breaking out. It could start in a spot where there has been a boil that is now healed. The instructions are given to guide the priest in his determination of whether or not this spot is leprosy. In all these cases the priest is the one who has the responsibility for making the diagnosis. And he is given the symptoms to guide him in these cases.

 

(Verses 24 through 28) Or if there be any flesh, in the skin whereof there is a hot burning, and the quick flesh that burneth have a white bright spot, somewhat reddish, or white; then the priest shall look upon it: and, behold, if the hair in the bright spot be turned white, and it be in sight deeper than the skin, it is a leprosy broken out of the burning: wherefore the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy. But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hair in the bright spot, and it be no lower than the other skin, but be somewhat dark; then the priest shall shut him up seven days: and the priest shall look upon him the seventh day: and if it be spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy. And if the bright spot stay in his place, and spread not in the skin, but be somewhat dark; it is a rising of the burning, and the priest shall pronounce him clean: for it is an inflammation of the burning.

 

Here we have another potential case of leprosy discussed. It could come forth from any spot where there is a hot burning sensation. As in other cases, the priest is the one who shall make the diagnosis: and sufficient symptoms are given that he can be confident in his diagnosis of the case.

 

(Verses 29 through 37) If a man or woman have a plague upon the head or the beard; then the priest shall see the plague: and, behold, if it be in sight deeper than the skin; and there be in it a yellow thin hair; then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a dry scall, even a leprosy of the head or the beard. And if the priest look on the plague of the scall, and, behold, it be not in sight deeper than the skin, and there be no black hair in it; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague of the scall seven days: and on the seventh day the priest shall look on the plague: and, behold, if the scall spread not, and there be in it no yellow hair, and the scall be not in sight deeper than the skin; he shall be shaven, but the scall shall he not shave; and the priest shall shut up him that hath the scall seven days more: and in the seventh day the priest shall look on the scall: and, behold, if the scall be not spread in the skin, nor be in sight deeper than the skin; then the priest shall pronounce him clean: and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean. But if the scall spread much in his skin after his cleansing; then the priest shall look on him: and, behold, if the scall be spread in his skin, the priest shall not seek for yellow hair; he is unclean. But if the scall be in his sight at a stay, and there is black hair grown up therein; the scall is healed, he is clean: and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

 

All the former instances of potential leprosy have been on the body, or the limbs of the person troubled with it. But this concerns possible leprosy beginning on the head or face. And the details for the examination and diagnosis are just as meticulously set forth as for the preceding cases. This shows what a fear the people of that place and time had of leprosy. So full details are given to guide the priest in making a proper diagnosis. It was just as important to clear the one who did not have the disease as it was to diagnose the one who did have it: for there was no cure for this disease, and, as we shall see a little later, one who was diagnosed as a leper was condemned to a miserable life until he died, or was cleansed. And until the ministry of our Lord Jesus there were comparatively few that were ever cleansed.

 

(Verses 38 through 46) If a man also or a woman have in the skin of their flesh bright spots, even white bright spots; then the priest shall look: and, behold, if the bright spots in the skin of their flesh be darkish white; it is a freckled spot that growth in the skin; he is clean. And the man whose hair is fallen off his head, he is bald; yet is he clean. And he that hath his hair fallen off from the part of his head toward his face, he is forehead bald: yet is he clean. And if there be in the bald head, or the bald forehead, a white reddish sore; it is a leprosy sprung up in his bald head, or his bald forehead. Then the priest shall look upon it: and, behold, if the rising of the sore be white reddish in his bald head, or in his bald forehead, as the leprosy appeareth in the skin of his flesh; he is a leprous man, he is unclean: the priest shall pronounce him utterly unclean; his plague is in his head. And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.

 

Verses 38 through 44 tell us about the leprosy when it shall be in the head of the individual. But verses 45 and 46 are applicable to all lepers. And as can readily be seen, the life of a leper was a very miserable one indeed. He was not even permitted to come into the camp, but had to live alone outside the camp, or the city, after they established cities. He was considered a complete outcast. He could not even have any close contact with his own family.

 

The remainder of this chapter has to do with the plague of leprosy in a garment. As can easily be seen, there was little hope that a garment that had the plague could ever be of any value to anyone, although this gives a very well detailed set of instructions for trying to get rid of the plague from a garment. In most instances the final result was that such a garment would be burned in the fire.

 


Chapter 14


(Verses 1 through 7) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest: and the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: and the priest shall command that one of the living birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water: as for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: and he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.

 

Here the LORD begins to tell Moses the law of the cleansing of one who has had leprosy, but in whom the leprosy is now cured. This is only the first step in the process of the offering that is required. Remember that when our Lord Jesus cleansed lepers, He told them to go to the priest, and offer those things that were required by the law of Moses. All the offerings we have previously considered were to be made at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. But for this part of the offerings for the cleansing of leprosy, the priest must go outside the camp to meet the one that is to be cleansed, and the bird that was to be killed for this part of the offering was to be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. And, of course, this was outside the camp. Then the priest was to take the living bird, the cedar wood, the scarlet, and the hyssop, dip them in the blood of the dead bird, sprinkle the blood of the dead bird seven times upon him that was to be cleansed, and release the living bird into the open field. So this entire portion of the offering was to be done outside the camp.

 

(Verses 8 through 10) And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave of all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days. But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean. And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil.

 

After having brought to the priest the offering previously described, and having him offer it according to the commandment, the man that is to be cleansed must wash his clothes, shave of all his hair, including both the hair of his head and his beard, as well as, his eyebrows, as mentioned in the shaving he will have to do seven days later. Then he must take a bath himself, after which he will be clean. Then he may come into the camp, but he cannot go into his tent, but must remain outside it for seven days, at which time he must shave again as before, take another bath, and wash his clothes again, and he shall be clean. On the eighth day he shall bring two he lambs, and one ewe lamb, all of the first year, and without blemish, and three tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, and one log of oil. These items are all required for offerings that the priest will make for him.

 

(Verses 11 through 20) And the priest that maketh him clean shall present the man that is to be made clean, and those things, before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: and he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering is the priest’s, so is the trespass offering: it is most holy: and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand: and the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD: and of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering: and the remnant of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD. And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering: and the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

 

This sets forth the order in which the priest is to offer the offerings brought by the man who is to be cleansed from the defilement of the leprosy. When he does this, he will make an atonement for him, and the man shall be clean.

(Verses 21 through 23) And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil; and two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering. And he shall bring them to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the LORD.

Thus the LORD makes provision for the one who is so poor that he cannot obtain the items required for the offering previously described. These items are somewhat less expensive than the others. But in the case of one too poor to get the others, the LORD will accept these.

 

(Verses 24 through 32) The priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: and he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: and the priest shall pour of the oil in the palm of his own left hand: and the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the LORD: and the priest shall put of the oil that is in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering: and the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD. And he shall offer one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get; even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD. This is the law of him in whom is the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not to able get that which pertaineth to his cleansing.

 

Just as the items of this offering were slightly different from the “standard” offering for one who was being cleansed from his leprosy, slightly different action of the priest was required in making the offering. Therefore the LORD gave specific instructions to cover it. So this is the law of the offering for the one who was too poor to get those things required in the standard offering.

 

(Verses 33 through 42) And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession; and he that owneth the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, It seemeth to me there is as it were a plague in the house; then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest go into it to see the plague, that all that is in the house be not made unclean: and afterward the priest shall go into the house: and he shall look on the plague, and, behold, if the plague be in the walls of the house with hollow strakes, greenish or reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall; Then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days: and the priest shall come again the seventh day, and shall look, and, behold, if the plague be spread in the walls of the house; then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which the plague is, and they shall cast them into an unclean place without the city: and he shall cause the house to be scraped within round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off without the city into an unclean place: and they shall take other stones, and put them in the place of those stones; and he shall take other mortar, and shall plaster the house.

 

Not only was it possible for the disease of leprosy to attack a person, but it could even attack a house. So the LORD gave to Moses and Aaron instructions for examining a house which was suspected of having leprosy. This text gives only the first step to be followed in making such a diagnosis. It seems clear enough without further comment.

 

(Verses 43 through 47) And if the plague come again, and break out in the house, after that he hath taken away the stones, and after he hath scraped the house, and after it is plastered; then the priest shall come and look, and, behold, if the plague be spread in the house, it is a fretting leprosy in the house: it is unclean. And he shall break down the stones of it, and the timber thereof, and all the mortar of the house; and he shall carry them forth out of the city into an unclean place. Moreover he that goeth into the house all the while that it is shut up shall be unclean until the even. And he that lieth in the house shall wash his clothes; and he that eateth in the house shall wash his clothes.

 

Thus if the plague of the leprosy continues in the house after it has been treated as previously described, there is nothing left to do with it but to completely tear it down, and remove all the material of it to an unclean place outside the city. Not only so, but anyone who goes into the house while it is shut up will be unclean until the evening, the end of the day. And anyone who lies down in the house, or eats in the house must wash his clothes before he can be clean.

 

(Verses 48 through 53) And if the priest shall come in, and look upon it, and, behold, the plague hath not spread in the house, after the house was plastered: then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the plague is healed. And he shall take to cleanse the house, two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: and he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water: and he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times: and he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and the scarlet: but he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be clean.

 

If the house wherein has been the plague of leprosy, has after being treated as has been commanded does not show any more sign of the plague, it is to be pronounced clean, because the plague has been healed. Then the priest is to make the offering as described for it, thus making an atonement for it, and it shall be clean.

 

(Verses 54 through 57) This is the law for all manner of plague of  leprosy, and scall, and for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house, and for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot: to teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy.

 

The LORD declares that what He has, in this chapter, told Moses and Aaron is the law for all manner of leprosy, whether in a person, a garment, or a house. And the instructions He has given are to show whether what is suspected as leprosy is indeed such, and therefore unclean, or whether it is not the plague, and is therefore clean. So the children of Israel do not have to remain in suspense about any of these things they may discover. This law will take care of all.

 

 


Chapter 15

 

(Verses 1 through 12) And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he shall be unclean. And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it is his uncleanness. Every bed, whereon he lieth that hath the issue, is unclean: and every thing, whereon he sitteth shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And he that toucheth the flesh of him that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And if he that hath the issue spit upon him that is clean; he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And what saddle soever he rideth upon that hath the issue shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth any thing that was under him shall be unclean until the even: and he that beareth any of those things shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And the vessel of earth, that he toucheth which hath the issue, shall be broken: and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.

 

The only thing in this that might need any comment or explanation is that, in verses 1 and 2, where the expression, “ his flesh, “ is used, it means, “his privy member.” All the remainder of this text seems clear enough without any further explanation. It is one of the texts upon which the Pharisees based part of their great fear of touching anyone when walking along the streets; for they did not know what manner of ailment someone they brushed against might have.

 

(Verses 13 through 15) And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean. And on the eighth day he shall take to him two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, and come before the LORD unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and give them unto the priest: and the priest shall offer them, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD for his issue.

 

When a man has been cured from the infirmity described above, he must count seven days, to make sure that he is free from it; then he must wash his clothes and bathe himself. And on the eighth day bring the offerings here called for, and give them to the priest who will offer them for him and make an atonement for him.

 

(Verses 16 through 18) And if any man’s seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh with water, and be unclean until the even. And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even. The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they must both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until even.

 

This seems to mean that after any sexual activity both parties to it must bathe themselves in water and be considered as unclean until the evening. And also any garment soiled by such action must be washed, and shall also be unclean until the evening.

 

(Verses 19 through 27) And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bath himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And if it be on her bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even. And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean. And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean. Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation. And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until even.

 

This also seems to be clear enough without any comment. It was established of the LORD to promote cleanliness among the people.

 

(Verses 28 through 31) But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. And on the eighth day she shall take two turtles, (turtledoves) or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness. Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile My tabernacle that is among them.

 

This covers the offering a woman must make after having been set apart for her issue of blood. And the LORD said that such laws as this were for the purpose of teaching the children of Israel to not come into His tabernacle which was among them in their uncleanness. No man nor woman who was ceremonially unclean was to be permitted to come unto the tabernacle.

 

(Verses 32 and 33) This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him whose seed goeth from him, and is defiled therewith; and of her that is sick of her flowers, and of him that hath an issue, of man, and of woman, and of him that lieth with her that is unclean.

 

Thus the LORD declares that this law is for both man and woman in their uncleanness. They are not to come before Him at His sanctuary in their uncleanness. And when they have been properly separated from such uncleanness, they are to bring the appropriate offerings for an atonement to be made for them.

Chapter 16

 

(Verses 1 through 10) And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died; and the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on. And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be a scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

 

This is the general order of the times and manners of Aaron’s coming before the Lord in the holy place. As we continue we shall find a more detailed account of what he shall do, and how he shall do it.

 

(Verses 11 through 14) And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: and he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil: and he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: and he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.

 

Thus is given the order for the offering of the bullock for the sin offering of Aaron and his house, or family. Notice that this is only a description of the first portion of the offering of this sin offering. All the steps for this offering are not here given, for instructions have already been given earlier for making a sin offering, and they will cover whatever is here omitted. This only covers the special things that are to be done for this offering.

 

(Verses 15 through 19) Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: and he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness: and there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

 

This text gives explicit instructions as to the killing of the goat of the sin offering, and what Aaron is to do with the blood thereof to make an atonement for the holy place, not because of its uncleanness, but because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, since the tabernacle of the congregation remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. While Aaron makes the atonement for the holy place, and for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel there shall be no other man in the tabernacle of the congregation. After making atonement for these, he shall go out to “the altar that is before the LORD,” and make an atonement for it by following exactly the instructions given in verses 18 and 19. Note that this is to “cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.”

 

(Verses 20 through 28) And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there. And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people. And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar. And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung. And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.

 

We notice that after the activities described in verses 15 through 19, there is a break in the ritual of offering the bullock and the goat of the sin offerings, while the offering of the scapegoat is properly taken care of. Then the offering of the sin offerings, and the disposal of their remains are properly attended. It was required that every step of this entire matter be followed exactly as commanded. Certainly all the instructions are clearly enough set forth to be easily understood. Some things that we might mention of what was done with the scapegoat, are that the act of laying on of the hands of Aaron upon his head, signified that, as Aaron was the representative of the people unto GOD, he was laying upon the goat the responsibility of all the sins of the people, the taking the goat to an uninhabited place, and letting him go in the wilderness signified the taking of the sins of the people into “the land of forgetfulness,” that they should be no more counted against the people.

 

(Verses 29 through 34) And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: for on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. And the priest whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

 

Notice that everything in this chapter has been concerning the offerings that were to be made annually, on the day of atonement, the only time in which the high priest was to go into the holy place inside the veil. He was not permitted to go into that holy place at all times. On this day, he only went in with the blood that he was to sprinkle “upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat.” And no one else could even be in the tabernacle of the congregation while he was doing this. This entire sacrifice was to be done once each year, on the tenth day of the seventh month. This day was a most holy day to Israel, and was to be observed throughout all generations of the Israelites. It is the Day of Atonement.

 

Chapter 17

 

(Verses 1 through 7) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them; This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, saying, What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp, and bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people: to the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest, and offer them for peace offerings unto the LORD. And the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and burn the fat for a sweet savor unto the LORD. And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a-whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.

 

This is the law concerning the killing of any animal of a species that is used for making an offering unto the LORD. It seems a little unclear as to whether he who kills it is intending to use it as a sacrifice, or he is intending to use it as food.. In verses 3 and 4 it seems to cover the killing of any of these animals by the children of Israel, whether in the camp, or out of the camp, and for whatever purpose. And all such animals were to be “brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,” and made an offering unto the LORD. This would certainly be appropriate for any animal that was intended as a sacrifice. But if it were intended for food for the one killing it, the original purpose of it would be completely nullified. And as the nation of Israel grew, and spread out, particularly after they were settled in the land of Canaan, it would be extremely difficult for one who might live in a part of Israel that was remote from the place of the tabernacle. As we continue through verses 5 through 7, it seems evident that this law concerns only the sacrifices of the children of Israel, and designates the tabernacle of the congregation, and later, of course, the temple, as the only place to make their sacrifices. And verse 7 specifically says, “And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a-whoring. This shall be a statute for ever for them throughout their generations.” The heathen, who were living around the children of Israel, as they worshipped their idols, would make their sacrifices wherever they might be: but the LORD required the Israelites to bring their sacrifices to the place He had designated. This, even in itself, made a distinction between Israel and the heathen living in the area.

 

(Verses 8 and 9) And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there shall be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice, and bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the LORD; even that man shall be cut off from among his people.

 

This seems to clinch the matter that this primarily concerns the offering of sacrifices and offerings to the LORD. They are not to be offered anywhere except where the LORD has specified, lest the people fall into the practice of making their offerings to devils; for that is what all these idol gods of the heathen are. And any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, who is guilty of making an offering, or a sacrifice at any place other than that designated by the LORD, shall be cut off from his people.

 

(Verses 10 through 12) And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood: I will even set My face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.

 

This is a law that GOD gave to Noah in Genesis 8:3-6: and it by hundreds of years antedates the law to Israel. Not only so, but it is a law to all mankind, and not only to Israel. Here He tells Israel that He has given the blood unto them upon the altar. That is, the only use for it is that it make an atonement for their souls. That is why that even we are to keep in mind what the writer of the Hebrew letter has told us: (Heb.9:11-15) “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to GOD, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living GOD? And for this cause He is the Mediator of the new testament, and by means of death , for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

 

(Verses 13 and 14) And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.

 

Thus we see that GOD insists that that law declaring that no man shall eat blood is still in force, just as he originally gave it to Noah: and He now repeats it to the children of Israel. And, in Acts 15:29, the apostles gave this commandment to the Gentile churches.

 

(Verses 15 and 16)And every soul that eateth that which dieth of itself, or that which was torn of beasts, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even: then shall he be clean. But if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh; then he shall bear his iniquity.

 

Thus the LORD gives another commandment concerning uncleanness. It seems clear enough with no further comment.

Chapter 18


(Verses 1 through 5)And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. Ye shall do My judgments, and keep Mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall therefore keep My statutes, and My judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

 

This might be considered the preamble to the remainder of this chapter. The LORD is here commanding the children of Israel to beware of the practices of the Egyptians, and those of the people of the land of Canaan, the land to which the LORD has promised to bring them. They are to walk in His statutes, and keep His commandments only. He declares to them that His commandments are such that if a man does them, he shall live in them. And the reason for this is that He is the LORD.

 

(Verses 6 through 20) None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD. The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness. The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover. The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or thy daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness. The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister: she is thy father’s near kinswoman. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister: for she is thy mother’s near kinswoman. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness. Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time. Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put away for her uncleanness. Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbor’s wife, to defile thyself with her.

 

This is a list of commandments the LORD gave to Israel, that by keeping them they might be kept free from abominable practices that were prevalent among the Egyptians, and the heathen in the land of Canaan. The expression, “uncover the nakedness of,” means to “have sex with.” Thus it also serves to show that marriage is not to be allowed between certain parties. It was very common among the Egyptians, and especially among their ruling class, to have marriage between brother and sister, mother and son, father and daughter, and many other couples that are here forbidden. The expression, “uncover the nakedness of,” does not prohibit the taking care of a sick person or an invalid that may have to have services done for him, or her, that would require complete disrobing, but it does have to do with looking upon one for sex gratification. All of these commandments are given in such a manner that they apply to both male and female, without, for each person saying, “A man cannot look upon this one,” and “A woman cannot look upon that one.” “Same sex marriages” were never mentioned in the word of GOD; and were never sanctioned by the LORD.

 

(Verses 21 through 30) And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in  any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: and the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you{ (for all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) that the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out  the nations that were before you. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep Mine ordinance, that ye commit not any of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.

 

It was a common practice of many of the nations in the land of Canaan to sacrifice children to Molech by burning them alive as sacrifices to him. Also in many of the fertility cults it was sometimes a part of their worship service to do the things mentioned in verse 23. And , as we have already pointed out those things mentioned in verses 6 through 20 were common practices among the heathen in Canaan, as well as in Egypt. But the LORD commands His people to abstain from all these abominations, and do His commandments. He tells them that if they defile themselves as did the nations before them the land will also spue them out as it did its former inhabitants.

 

Chapter 19

 

(Verses 1 through 4) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep My sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.

 

This chapter has several commandments in it: some are a repetition of laws already given, while others are either laws that have not been previously given, or they are clarifications of existing ones. The present text is a call for the children of Israel to be holy, to keep the commandments of GOD, and to not turn aside to idols. The reason the LORD gives them for so doing is, “Ye shall be holy: for I your GOD am  holy, “ and “I am the LORD your God.” For us, as well as for them, this should be all the reason needed. Yet how sad it is that with all the wonderful blessings He has given us in addition to this, we still, just as they, often turn aside, and do the things of the world.

 

(Verses 5 through 8) And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will. It shall be eaten on the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if aught of it remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire. And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted. Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

 

This is a simple commandment concerning the peace offering. It can be eaten on the day in which it is offered, and on the next day: but none of it is to be eaten on the third day. If this commandment is broken, the offering will not be accepted by the LORD. And anyone who shall eat it will be guilty of profaning the hallowed thing of the LORD. The penalty of such is that person shall “be cut off from among his people.” This might, by some, be considered as his being banished from among the children of Israel. But it seems more likely that this is, in reality, a death sentence. We often find it mentioned concerning those who have transgressed the commandments of GOD. But so far I have found no explanation given of it that would lead me to believe that it has anything to do with banishment.

 

(Verses 9 and 10) And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

 

Many times the LORD told the Israelites that they were to take special care of the stranger, the poor, the widows, and the fatherless. And this commandment was given for their sakes. When the reapers went through a field, they were not to reap all the corners, nor were they to go back and glean the field. Whatever was left was to be for the poor and the strangers. Of course, widows and the fatherless, though not specifically mentioned here, were included in “the poor.” So all were provided for by this law. The vineyard was to be treated in the same manner as the field, and for the same purpose. Again the LORD gives as the reason the children of Israel are to obey this commandment is, “I am the LORD your GOD.” They, then are to try to be like Him, in that He takes care of all, including those He has named as being the ones for whom the gleaning is to be left.

 

(Verses 11 through 19) Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. And ye shall not swear by My name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning. Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale bearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear a grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee.

 

This is a group of miscellaneous laws that, for the greater part, teach the children of Israel how to live peacefully with their neighbors. All of their dealings, one with another, are to be built upon a foundation of absolute honesty, with no stealing, lying, defrauding, or other evils involved. They were not even to favor a poor man in judgment, just because he is poor, any more than to honor the mighty because he is mighty. “But in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.” We today might think it strange, but if they hired a neighbour to do anything, he was to be paid each day for that day’s work. They could not hold his wages until the end of the week, or until the end of the job, as is usually the case today. Another set of commandments that seem strange to the people of today, is found in verse 19. Today we have mules, which are a cross between the donkey and the horse. We have cattle that are a cross between the Bison and the common cow. And the list goes on and on, among livestock. And the number of hybrid plants in the fields would be extremely hard to count. The LORD commanded the Israelites to let none of these things take place. Also they were commanded not to wear a garment of mixed kinds of cloth, such as linen and wool.

 

(Verses 20 through 22) And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to a husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.

 

The ordinary penalty for adultery or fornication, was in most instances, death. But in this case it is not quite so severe. In fact, except for the man’s being required to bring a sin offering and have the priest offer it for him, there was no penalty pronounced against him. But the woman was to be scourged for her part in the matter, since she was a bondmaid, and not a free woman.

 

(Verses 23 through 25) And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of. But the fourth year all the fruit shall be holy to praise the LORD withal. And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.

 

This is the LORD’S commandment concerning their planting of fruit trees, and eating the fruits thereof, after they come into the land of Canaan. Although they spent forty years in their journey through the wilderness, they were never in a permanent location long enough to be concerned about this commandment. But when they came into the land of Canaan, that was to be their home. So this practice was to be established there.

 

(Verses 26 through 28) Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times. Te shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

 

The LORD here repeats to the Israelites a law He originally gave to Moses, and has already given to the Israelites. He forbids them to eat blood, or anything from which the blood has not been properly drained. They are not to make special cuts in their hair and beard, and neither are they to make cuts in their flesh for the dead. This was a practice very common among the heathen in the land of Canaan. Also they were forbidden to print any marks upon themselves, such as tattoos, or other marks which were very often used by the heathen. They were to remember that they belonged to the LORD, and were to be different from other people.

 

(Verses 29 through 32) Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredoms, and the land become full of wickedness. Ye shall keep My sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD. Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God. Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.

 

Although we have grouped these verses together, one does not depend upon another in this group. Each will stand upon itself. Among the heathen in the land of Canaan prostitution was not considered the evil that the LORD has always told us it is. They, in some of their fertility cults, even considered it a part of their worship of their idols. But the LORD commands The Israelites to avoid such. Because that very thing is a strong source of wickedness in the land. Then He commands them to keep His sabbaths. This is something that set the children of Israel apart from all other nations of the day. They were also to hold very high regard for His sanctuary, and always remember that He is the LORD. Another thing that was very common among the heathen was the practice of some of claiming to “have familiar spirits,” that is, they were necromancers, (those who can talk with the dead,) soothsayers, wizards, and others who claimed to be magicians of one kind or another. The LORD commands Israel to have nothing to do with such, because by them they would be defiled. And since He is the LORD, His people are to guard against becoming defiled. Then He commands them to honor age, by rising up before the hoary head and the face of an old man. And in all things they are to fear the LORD.

 

(Verses 33 and 34) And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

 

Here the LORD reminds the Israelites that they were strangers in the land of Egypt, and they are therefore to love any stranger that dwells among them as themselves. They know how it feels to be a stranger in a strange land. This is also a lesson that we should keep in mind. No doubt, the evils that men, who have not been quickened with our Lord, may do will annoy us. But we must remember that had not the LORD reached down to us in His mercy, we would be just as are they.

 

(Verses 35 through 37) Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin , shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, Which brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore shall ye observe all My statutes, and all My judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.

 

This is a general commandment calling upon the children of Israel to be righteous and just in all their dealings, and to keep all the commandments of the LORD. And, as he has often said before, the greatest reason for their doing so is that He is the LORD their God.

Chapter 20

 

(Verses 1 through 6) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, again, thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones, and I will set My face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile My sanctuary, and to profane My holy name. And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: then will I set My face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a-whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people. And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a-whoring after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

 

Molech seems to have been one of the most popular idols of the people of that region, which. Probably accounts for his being singled out in this commandment, although it also applies to all who practice idolatry. Part of the ritual of worshipping him was that his image would be heated to a very high degree, and then, a baby would be placed alive in the arms of the image, and burned to death as an offering to him. So the LORD pronounces the death sentence upon any one, whether an Israelite, or a stranger who dwells among them, who makes such an offering to Molech. And if the people will not execute the penalty upon such an one, He will bring the penalty upon, not only that man, but also upon all who refuse to execute the penalty. He will also bring destruction upon every one that follows “after such as have familiar spirits,” (fortune tellers or necromancers,) “and after wizards,” (magicians.)

 

(Verses 7 through 9) Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep My statutes, and do them: I am the LORD Which sanctify you. For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

 

This is the commandment which the Jews had, before the first advent of our LORD, set aside by their “traditions of the elders.” They had made a ruling that all a man had to do was to bring his father or his mother before witnesses, and declare that whatever he had had with which he could help them was already devoted as a sacrifice to the LORD, and he was free, and had no more responsibility toward his father or his mother. And no provision was even made for proving this declaration to be true. We have almost that same provision in our court system today. A child can divorce himself from his parents, or have himself declared emancipated from them, and he has no more obligations toward them. It is to be noticed that the LORD did not approve such.

 

(Verses 10 through 12) And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.

 

This seems clear enough. It should be noted that a man’s father’s wife might not be the man’s mother, since polygamy was a very common practice. But whether or not she was his mother made no difference, they were both to be put to death when found guilty of such an act. Any crime of adultery called for the death of both parties involved. Three different situations are mentioned here, and all receive the same penalty, death for both parties thereto.

 

(Verses 13 and 14) If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.

 

Homosexuality was not to be allowed: it was to be punished by death to both parties. Although polygamy was permitted among the Israelites, a man could not take both a woman and her mother as wives, nor could he have sexual intercourse with both a woman and her mother. If such was done, he and both of the women were to be burned to death. Thus were the people discouraged from practicing the wickedness that some of the heathen did.

 

(Verses 15 and 16) And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. And if a woman shall approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

 

Bestiality was not to be tolerated at all by either man or woman. Death was the only sentence for it.

 

(Verses 17 through 21) And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity. And if a man lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people. And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity. And if a man lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall die childless.

 

All of this seems clear enough. There is one thing that should be mentioned concerning verse 21. That is that the law made one provision under which a man not only might marry his brother’s wife, but was by the law obligated to marry her. That is the case when his brother dies, and leaves no child to be his heir. Otherwise he is not to marry her, nor have any sexual contact with her.

 

(Verses 22 through 26) Ye shall therefore keep all My statutes, and all My judgments, and do them: that the land whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.  And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, Which have separated you from other people. Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. And ye shall be holy unto Me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be Mine.

 

This is a general commandment to the children of Israel that they keep all the laws and commandments of the LORD, and be a separate people from all the other nations of the world, and that that separation be manifested by their keeping themselves clean from all wickedness by observing His statutes. This is all summed up in verse 26. “And ye shall be holy unto Me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be Mine.”

 

(Verse 27) A man also or a woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

 

This is repetition of a commandment given earlier. The fact that it is repeated shows its great importance. The children of Israel are to allow no magicians, soothsayers, fortune tellers, necromancers, or such, to even live among them, and neither are they to follow after them. 

Chapter 21

 

(Verses 1 through 8) And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people. But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her he may be defiled. But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself. They shall not make any baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corners of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy. They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God. Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy.

 

These are special rules and requirements for the priests. The entire text seems to be clear enough without any further explanations. But it can be readily seen that the rules for a priest were to be more strict than those for the common people. And if one will examine the qualifications given by the Apostle Paul for the bishops (ministers) of the gospel church, he will find them more strict than for the ordinary members. In both cases, this is because of the office to which these are ordained, and not because they are of themselves any greater than the remainder of the people. But, inasmuch as they are set in special service unto the LORD, their lives are to reflect the holiness of God to the greatest extent possible.

 

(Verses 9 through 15) And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. And he that is high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes; neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother; neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD. And he shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife. Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the LORD do sanctify him.

 

Verse 9 pronounces the penalty for any daughter of a priest who becomes a prostitute. She shall be burned with fire. The remainder of this text gives some special regulations for the life of the ones who become high priests. They are even more restrictive than those for the other priests. The LORD declares again that the fact that He is the LORD Who sanctifies the high priest is the reason for these restrictions. They are to be holy because He is holy. This ought to be reason enough for any servant of the LORD to strive to be holy.

 

(Verses 16 through 24) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his GOD. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, or crookbacked, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; no man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. He shall eat the bread of his GOD, both of the most holy, and the holy. Only he shall not go in unto the veil, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not My sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them. And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.

 

Here we see that no man could serve as priest if he had any blemish whatsoever. Any descendant of Aaron was permitted to eat of the holy, and the most holy things of the offerings. But one who had any blemish of any sort was barred from approaching to the veil or the altar.

Chapter 22

 

(Verses 1 through 9) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not My holy name in those things which they hallow unto Me: I am the LORD. Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from My Presence: I am the LORD. What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him; or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath; the soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water. And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food. That which dieth of itself, or is torn by beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith: I am the LORD. They shall therefore keep Mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the LORD do sanctify them.

 

These are laws and commandments that were given to prevent the priests and their families from defiling the offerings and the sanctuary of the LORD by touching any of the holy things while ceremonially unclean. All seem to be clearly enough set forth that there should be no misunderstanding concerning them.

 

(Verses 10 through 13) There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or a hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house; they shall eat of his meat. If the priest’s daughter also be married unto a stranger, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things. But if the priest’s daughter be widowed, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father’s house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father’s meat: but there shall no stranger eat thereof.

 

These instructions cover who may, and who may not, eat of the holy things given to the priest of the offerings he offers. And they seem to completely clarify the matter. When a servant is bought, he becomes a part of his master’s household; but a visitor (sojourner) is not.

 

(Verse 14 through 16) And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then shall he put the fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give it to the priest with the holy thing. And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the LORD; or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the LORD do sanctify them.

 

This is another commandment given to cause the children of Israel, and especially their priests to be more careful concerning those things that were offered unto the LORD. Just as in other places, the LORD tells them to do this because it is He, the LORD, Who sanctifies them.

 

(Verses 17 through 25) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they shall offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering;; ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats. But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it will not be acceptable for you. And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or in sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD. Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted. Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land. Neither from a stranger’s hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these; because their corruption is in them, and blemishes be in them: they shall not be accepted for you.

 

These commandments declare that nothing less than perfection is to be allowed in the offerings unto the LORD. There is one exception made, as set forth in verse 23. This exception had to do only with freewill offerings, but was not allowable in offerings for vows, or for any other offering beside the one named. The priests were forbidden to accept any offering that did not properly measure up to the requirements set forth, whoever might bring such to them to be offered, whether an Israelite, or a stranger dwelling among them.

 

(Verses 26 through 33) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And whether it be a cow or ewe, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day. And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will. On the same day it shall be eaten up: ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the LORD. Therefore shall ye keep My commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. Neither shall ye profane My holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD Which hallow you, that brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.

 

All these commandments, not only those in this text, but throughout this chapter have been given for one purpose, which purpose is expressed in verses 31 through 33,.“Therefore shall ye keep My commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. Neither shall ye profane My holy name, but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD Which hallow you, that brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.” Since the LORD has hallowed the Israelites by choosing them for His own people, and bringing them out of the land of Egypt, they are, in their turn, to hallow Him  by obeying His commandments, and not to profane His name by trying to do as they might please. In like manner this applies to us today: for He has hallowed us by making choice of us, and quickening us together with His son Christ Jesus. We then are to depart from evil, that we profane not His name.  

 

Chapter 23

 

(Verses 1 through 3) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.

 

This chapter concerns the days the LORD has appointed to be days of rest, holy convocations, and feasts unto the LORD. The Jewish calendar has more special days than are noted herein, but these are the ones He commanded them by Moses. As we would naturally expect, the Sabbath is the first one to be mentioned, since it relates to, and is in honor of the fact, that the LORD finished the creation in six days, and rested on the seventh day, and hallowed it, No work is to be done in any dwelling of the Israelites on the Sabbath: and it is also a day of holy convocation. It may be that all did not come together at the tabernacle on the Sabbath, since, as we shall later find, a restriction was placed upon the distance one could travel on the Sabbath. But, at least, individual families would gather together, and worship the LORD, laying aside thoughts of the mundane things of everyday living, and discussing the word of the LORD.

 

(Verses 4 through 8) These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days; in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

 

These are the commandments concerning the observance of the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread accompanying it. Since all instructions for the eating of the Passover are given in Exodus 12, we refer the reader to that text for all necessary details of this. Included in the feast of unleavened bread are  two days of holy convocation, in which the children of Israel were forbidden to do any manner of “servile work,” that is, any sort of manual labor.

 

(Verses 9 through 14) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

 

All of this seems clear enough; but it seems from other places where the offering of the firstfruits is mentioned, that it, according to them, was to be offered when the grain was matured, but not ripe enough to be harvested. And even verse 14 here seems to indicate that this might be the intent, since the children of Israel were not to eat anything  that pertained to the harvest until they had offered the offering of the firstfruits. They were not even to eat the “green ears,” until after an offering of the firstfruits was made. Leviticus 2:14 says, “And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears,” thus signifying that this was to be done before the grain was ripe enough for the harvest. Thus the offering of the firstfruits is a type of the resurrection of our Lord. Since He has arisen, and become the “firstfruits of them that slept,” we have full assurance that there will be a resurrection of our bodies also.

 

(Verses 15 through 21) And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are firstfruits unto the LORD. And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

 

So all the celebration of the firstfruits shall cover a period of fifty days, at the end of which there shall be a great sacrifice unto the LORD. it is all spelled out so clearly that it needs no further explanation.

 

(Verse 22) And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleanings of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

 

This commandment is several times repeated by the LORD to the children of Israel. Perhaps, it means no more than what it says. But I have long considered that it also sets forth the pattern of the resurrection of the righteous. Thus, just as the harvest of the fields is divided into three stages, the firstfruits, the harvest, and the gleaning, the resurrection of the righteous is divided into three divisions, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, the general resurrection of the righteous at the return of our Lord, and the resurrection of the martyrs of the tribulation period which is only the gleaning. One should carefully read I Corinthians 15:21-28, I Thessalonians 4:13-17, and Revelation 20:1-6.

 

(Verses 23 through 25) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

 

One might wonder about the fact that the LORD calls for this day to be on “the first day of the month,” and declares it a sabbath. In our calendar this would sometimes be the addition of an extra sabbath in a week. And might come at a different time of the week in different months. But the Jewish calendar was a lunar calendar instead of a solar one. So the first day of the month, being the first day of the week, would always be on what we call Sunday, thus only making the extra sabbath always amount to only a doubling of a sabbath, but not interrupting the week at irregular times. On this day everyone was to refrain from doing any servile work, there was to be a holy convocation, and the people were to make a special offering unto the LORD.

 

(Verses 26 through 32) And the LORD spake to Moses, saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls; in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

 

Now, this is another sabbath that is added. It is to be on the tenth day (Wednesday) of the same month as the one declared above. It is the Day of Atonement, a day in which all Israel must cease from any manner of work, afflict their souls, and make another burnt offering to the LORD, to make an atonement for them before the LORD. Since the Jewish day begins at evening, (about six o’clock PM) this day is to be from the end of the ninth day, until the end of the tenth day. Anyone who fails to participate in it shall be cut off from among his people. This day is to be observed throughout the generations of the Israelites

 

(Verses 33 through 44) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, the fifteenth day of the seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD. Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

 

It will be noticed that the seventh month of the year is almost a continuous feast. On the first day of the seventh month, the LORD declared an extra sabbath, and another, the Day of Atonement, on the tenth day of that same month. Then there was to be a seven day feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, to begin on the fifteenth day of the month, and last for seven days. It seems that verses 39 through 42 are simply additional information concerning the Feast of Tabernacles set forth in verses 34 through 36. Verses 37 and 38 inform us that ,”These are the feasts of the LORD which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.” That is, these are to be added to all those that have already been commanded. And Moses declared them all to the children of Israel.

 

Chapter 24

 

(Verses 1 through 4) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. Without the veil of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from evening unto morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations. He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually.

 

Here the LORD gives instructions for the keeping of the light in the tabernacle of the congregation, before the veil of the testimony. Since He only names Aaron as the one who is to take care of the lamp, it would seem that this duty is laid only upon the high priest, unless something further is given later. It seems that the lamp is to be lighted every evening, and left to burn until the next morning. The children of Israel are to furnish the fuel for it, which is to be olive oil, beaten, not pressed. This order of keeping the lamp is to be a statute for ever throughout the generations of the children of Israel.

 

(Verses 5 through 9) And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shalt set them in two rows, six in a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.

 

This describes what we might call the Sabbath Day offering. Not only does it tell how the offering is to be made, but also tells us that the part that is left after the memorial thereof is burnt upon the altar is to be eaten by the priests in the holy place. This is to be done each Sabbath throughout the generations of the children of Israel.

 

(Verses 19 through 16) And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp; and the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:) and they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.

 

Here we have the case of an incident that had not been previously covered by the laws of God, insofar as the penalty for such a sin is concerned. The law given to Moses on Mt. Sinai said, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD in vain,” and might therefore be considered as covering the case in a general manner. But the penalty for its violation was not “spelled out.” Therefore the one guilty of this violation was held by those in authority until the LORD pronounced sentence upon him. In this case, the LORD commanded that they bring him outside of the camp, and everyone who heard the man when he cursed was to lay his hands upon the man’s head. Then the whole congregation was to stone him to death with stones, The LORD also declared that this is the penalty for all, whether a stranger, or one born in the land, who blasphemes the name of the LORD. Such must be put to death.

 

(Verses 17 through 22) And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death. And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast. And if any man cause a blemish in his neighbour: as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death. Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: I am the LORD your God.

 

The only comment I would make concerning this is that, when the phrase, “he that killeth a man,” is used, it is to be understood as, “he that murders a man,” for the law also provides cities of refuge to which one may go when he has killed a man in some other manner than murdering him. The law was not to deal any more harshly, nor leniently with a stranger than with an Israelite. Both were under the same commandments.

 

(Verse 23) And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.

 

After the LORD finished giving these laws to Moses, He commanded him to have the children of Israel bring forth outside the camp the man who had cursed, and execute him as commanded: and this they did.

Chapter 25

 

And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. Six years shalt thou sow thy field, and six years shalt thou prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field nor prune thy vineyard. That which growth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee, and for thy cattle, and for the beasts that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.

 

Here the LORD declares a sabbath for the land of Israel, when the Israelites have been settled in the land the LORD gives them. They are to plant and cultivate their land for six years, and gathering their harvest each year, but the seventh year they are to let all their land lie idle, and rest. Neither are they to harvest any crop that might grow of itself in their fields. They are to neither dress nor harvest their vineyards in this seventh year. All this is that the land may rest. It seems that, according to this law, they were permitted to eat of the volunteer increase of the fields and vineyards, but not to harvest it, as they usually did. It was to be for food for them, their servants, their maids, and the strangers that dwelt among them, as well as for their cattle, and the beasts of the field, but not to be stored away as was their usual harvest.

 

(Verses 8 through 12) And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of jubilee  to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the Day of Atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a Jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A Jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which growth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. For it is the Jubilee, it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.

 

Thus the LORD establishes unto the children of Israel the Year of Jubilee, which is a sabbath that lasts for a full year, instead of just one day. One will surely notice that the whole system of counting concerning the days of the week, the number of years from one Sabbath Year to the next, and from one Year of Jubilee to the next, is based upon seven. Some have thought that this might also be extended to cover man’s tenure on earth, with six thousand years being the time from the creation of man to the Millennium Reign of our LORD and his people. However, there is no such statement made in the scriptures. The LORD says that in the Jubilee “Ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.” As we continue with this study we shall find that He elaborates somewhat upon this provision.

 

(Verses 13 through 17) In the Year of Jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession. And if thou sell aught unto thy neighbor, or buyest aught from thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress one another: according to the number of years after the Jubilee shalt thou buy of thy neighbour, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee. According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it: for according to the number of the years of the fruits doth he sell it unto thee. Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.

 

Inasmuch as nothing was to be sold in perpetuity, except as will be spelled out later, the number of years remaining until Jubilee were to be the basis upon which the price of any part of one’s possession was to be based. No one was to disregard this rule.

 

(Verses 18 through 22) Wherefore ye shall do My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase; then will I command My blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of the old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store.

 

In verse 18, when He says, “Wherefore ye shall keep My statutes, and My judgments, and do them, and ye shall dwell in the land in safety,” the wherefore primarily refers to the LORD’S declaration in verse 17, “For I am the LORD your God.” That is, they need no other reason for obeying Him; and neither do we. They were not to fear that they would not have food for the sabbath year, in which they could neither cultivate their fields, nor reap the harvest of them, The LORD would cause their fields, vineyards, and orchards, to yield enough to feed them until the crops of the eighth year were ready to harvest.

 

(Verses 23 and 24) The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with Me. And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land.

 

Verse 23 calls our attention to something that we should put forth great effort to keep in mind even today. The land of Israel belongs to the LORD. Someone will surely say, “Yes, but so does the land of the whole world.” While it is indeed true that the whole universe belongs to Him, He has laid special claim to the land of Israel. And He has declared that when any part of it is sold, it must be sold with a provision for redeeming it. That is why the present policy of Israel in “giving land for peace” cannot be successful. They are selling it with no provision for a redemption. And the LORD declares that a redemption must be granted for any land that is sold.

 

(Verses 25 through 31) If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it; then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession. But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that bought it until the Year of Jubilee: and in the year of Jubilee it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession. And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it. And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the Jubilee. But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the Jubilee.

 

This gives us more information concerning the buying and selling of property, and both what will, and what will not, be affected by the Year of Jubilee. The entire text seems clear enough that none should have any trouble understanding it.

 

(Verses 32 through 34) Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, and the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time. And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the Year of Jubilee: for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. But fields of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession.

 

The LORD declares that the Levites have no limitation of time in which they may redeem a house of theirs that is in the city, and has been sold. And their fields, which are in the suburbs of their cities, cannot be sold at all.

 

(Verses 35 through 38) And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. I am the LORD your God, Which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.

 

Here are some instructions for the Israelites to follow in dealing with each other. If they make a loan of either money or food to a fellow Israelite, or even a stranger who is living among them, they are to take no usury for their money, and no increase of the food when it is paid back. The LORD reminds them that He is their God Who brought them up out of the land of Egypt. Therefore they are to obey His commandments.

 

(Verses 39 through 46) And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: but as a hired servant, and a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the Year of Jubilee: and then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. For they are My servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shall fear thy God. Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

 

Let it be known to begin with, that I am not in favor of slavery. But, having said that, I will immediately declare that the LORD did not condemn slavery; but He even gave laws to regulate it. He established two classes of servants, the hired servant and the bond servant. He permitted an Israelite, who had become so poor that he could not continue to support himself and his family, to sell himself to his neighbor as a hired servant. But in the Year of Jubilee he was to be set free without a ransom. And his master was not permitted to lay upon him as hard service as was put upon a bondservant during his time of service. On the other hand, a bond servant, or a bondmaid, could be bought from the heathen round about, and even from the strangers that sojourned among Israel, These were to be considered as property that could even be inherited by the descendants of those who owned them. Nothing is really said about how hard the service of these bond slaves could be made, but the LORD specifically says, “But over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule with rigour.”

 

(Verses 47 through 55) And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family: after that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: either his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him, or if he be able, he may redeem himself. And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the Year of Jubilee: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him. If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for. And if there remain but few years unto the Year of Jubilee, then shall he count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his redemption. And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigour over him in thy sight. And if he be not redeemed in these years, then shall he go out in the Year of .Jubilee, both he, and his children with him. For unto Me the children of Israel are servants; they are My servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD tour God.

 

Just as an Israelite could not sell himself to another of the children of Israel as a bondservant, neither could a stranger buy one of them as a bondservant, but only as a hired servant. Provision was made for the one thus sold to be redeemed: and if he was not redeemed before then, he must be set free in the Year of Jubilee. The LORD declares that all of Israel are His servants, whom He brought forth from the land of Egypt. And therefore they cannot be bought as bondservants by another. And a stranger who buys one of them as a hired servant is not permitted to “rule over him with rigour.” He seals this with His usual declaration, “I am the LORD your God.”


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