Directions concerning burnt - offerings:
A bullock, ver. 1 - 9.
A sheep, goat, lamb, or kid, ver. 10 - 13.
A turtle dove, or young pigeon, ver. 14 - 17.
1: Moses - Stood without, (Ex 40:35), waiting for God's call.
The tabernacle - From the mercy - seat in the tabernacle.
2: There are divers kinds of sacrifices here prescribed, some by way of
acknowledgment to God for mercies either desired or received; others by was
of satisfaction to God for men's sins; others were mere exercises of
devotion. And the reason why there were so many kinds of them was, partly a
respect to the childish state of the Jews, who by the custom of nations,
and their own natural inclinations were much addicted to outward rites and
ceremonies, that they might have full employment of that kind in Gods's
service, and thereby be kept from temptations to idolatry; and partly to
represent as well the several perfections of Christ, the true sacrifice, and
the various benefits of his death, as the several duties which men owe to
their Creator and Redeemer, all which could not be so well expressed by one
sort of sacrifice. Of the flock - Or, Of the sheep; though the Hebrew
word contains both the sheep and goats.
Now God chose these creatures for his sacrifices, either,
In opposition to the Egyptian idolatry, to which divers of the
Israelites had been used, and were still in danger of revolting
to again, that the frequent destruction of these creatures might
bring such silly deities into contempt. Or,
Because these are the fittest representations both of Christ and of
true Christians, as being gentle, and harmless, and patient, and
useful to men. Or,
As the best and most profitable creatures, with which it is fit God
should be served, and which we should be ready to part with, when God
requires us to do so. Or,
As things most common, that men might never want a sacrifice when
they needed, or God required it.
3: A burnt sacrifice - Strictly so called, such as was to be all
burnt, the skin excepted. For every sacrifice was burnt, more or less. The
sacrifices signified that the whole man, in whose stead the sacrifice was
offered, was to be entirely offered or devoted to God's service; and that
the whole man did deserve to be utterly consumed, if God should deal
severely with him; and directed us to serve the Lord with all singleness of
heart, and to be ready to offer to God even such sacrifices or services
wherein we ourselves should have no part or benefit. A male - As being
more perfect than the female, (Mal 1:14), and more truly representing
Christ. Without blemish - To signify,
That God should he served with the best of every kind.
That man, represented by these sacrifices, should aim at all perfection
of heart and life, and that Christians should one day attain to it,(Eph 5:27).
The spotless and compleat holiness of Christ. Of his own will
- According to this translation, the place speaks only of free - will
offerings, or such as were not prescribed by God to be offered in course,
but were offered by the voluntary devotion of any person, either by way of
supplication for any mercy, or by way of thanksgiving for any blessing
received. But it may seem improper to restrain the rules here given to
free - will offerings, which were to be observed in other offerings also.
At the door - In the court near the door, where the altar stood,(Le 1:5). For here it was to be sacrificed, and here the people might
behold the oblation of it. And this farther signified, that men could have
no entrance, neither into the earthly tabernacle, the church, nor into the
heavenly tabernacle of glory, but by Christ, who is the door,(Joh 10:7,9), by whom alone we have access to God.
That he judged himself worthy of that death which it suffered in his
stead; and that he laid his sins upon it with an eye to him upon whom God
would lay the iniquity of us all, (Isa 53:6), and that together with
it he did freely offer up himself to God. To make atonement
- Sacramentally; as directing his faith and thoughts to that true
propitiatory sacrifice which in time was to be offered up for him. And
although burnt - offerings were commonly offered by way of thanksgiving; yet
they were sometimes offered by way of atonement for sin, that is, for sins
in general, as appears from (Job 1:5), but for particular sins there
were special sacrifices.
the offerer, who is said to do it, namely, by the priest; for men are
commonly said to do what they cause others to do, as (Joh 4:1,2).
the priest, as it follows, or the Levite, whose office this was.
Shall sprinkle the blood - Which was done in a considerable quantity, and
whereby was signified,
That the offerer deserved to have his blood spilt in that manner.
That the blood of Christ should be poured forth for sinners, and that
this was the only mean of their reconciliation to God, and acceptance with
6: Pieces - Namely, the head, and fat, and inwards, and legs,(Le 1:8,9).
7: Put fire - Or, dispose the fire, that is, blow it up, and put
it together, so as it might be fit for the present work. For the fire there
used and allowed came down from heaven, (Le 9:24), and was to be
carefully preserved there, and all other fire was forbidden, (Le 10:1),
8: The fat - All the fat was to be separated from the flesh, and to
be put together, to increase the flame, and to consume the other parts of
the sacrifice more speedily.
9: But the inwards shall he wash - To signify the universal and
perfect purity both of the inwards, or the heart, and of the legs, or ways
or actions, which was in Christ, and which should be in all Christians.
And he washed not only the parts now mentioned, but all the rest, the trunk
of the body, and the shoulders. A sweet savour - Not in itself, for so it
rather caused a stink, but as it represented Christ's offering up himself to
God as a sweet smelling savour.
11: North - ward - Here this and other kinds of sacrifices were killed,(Le 6:25,7:2), because here seems to have been the
largest and most convenient place for that work, the altar being probably
near the middle of the east - end of the building, and the entrance being on
the south - side. Besides this might design the place of Christ's death both
more generally, in Jerusalem, which was in the sides of the north,(Ps 48:2), and more specially,
on mount Calvary, which was on the north - west side of Jerusalem.
14: Turtle - doves - These birds were appointed for the poor who could
not bring better. And these birds are preferred before others, partly
because they were easily gotten, and partly because they are fit
representations of Christ's chastity, and meekness, and gentleness, for
which these birds are remarkable. The pigeons must be young, because then
they are best; but the turtle - doves are better when they are grown up, and
therefore they are not confined to that age.
15: His head - From the rest of the body; as sufficiently appears,
because this was to be burnt by itself, and the body afterwards,(Le 1:17).
And whereas it is said (Le 5:8).
He shall - wring his head from his neck, but shall not divide it
asunder, that is spoken not of the burnt - offering as here, but of the
sin - offering.
16: With its feathers - Or, with its dung or filth, contained in
the crop and in the guts. On the east - Of the Tabernacle. Here the
filth was cast, because this was the remotest place from the holy of holies,
which was in the west - end; to teach us, that impure things and persons
should not presume to approach to God, and that they should be banished from
his presence. The place of the ashes - Where the ashes fell down and lay,
whence they were afterwards removed without the camp.
17: He shall cleave the bird through the whole length, yet so as not to
separate the one side from the other. A sweet savour unto the Lord - Yet
after all, to love God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbour as
ourselves, is better than all burnt - offerings and sacrifices.