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Directions concerning sin - offerings; which were intended for sins
committed thro' ignorance, either by
the priest himself, ver. 1 - 12.
or by the whole congregation, ver. 13 - 21.
or by a ruler, ver. 22 - 26.
or by a private person, ver. 27 - 35.
1: The Lord spake unto Moses - The laws contained in the three first
chapters, seem to have been delivered to Moses at one time. Here begin
the laws of another day, which God delivered from between the Cherubim.
2: If a soul sin - This must necessarily be understood of more than
common daily infirmities; for if every such sin had required an offering, it
had not been possible either for most sinners to bear such a charge, or for
the altar to receive so many sacrifices, or for the priests to manage so
infinite a work. And for ordinary sins, they were ceremonially expiated by
the daily offering, and by that on the great day of atonement,(Le 16:30).
Through ignorance - Or, error, either not knowing his act to be sinful, as
appears by comparing (Le 4:13,14), or not considering it, but falling
into sin thro' the power of some sudden passion or temptation, as the
Hebrew word signifies, (Ps 119:67).
Things which ought not to be done - The words may be rendered, in or
about every, or any of the commandments of the Lord which should not
be done; or, which concern things that should not be done,
namely, in any negative commands. (And there is great reason why a
sacrifice should be more necessary for these, than for other sins, because
affirmative precepts do not so strictly and constantly bind men as the
negative do.) Then he shall offer according to his quality, which is here
to be understood out of the following verses.
3: If the priest - That is, the high - priest, who only was anointed
after the first time. His anointing is mentioned, because he was not
compleat high - priest 'till he was anointed. Do sin - Either in doctrine
or practice, which it is here supposed he may do. And this is noted as a
character of imperfection in the priesthood of the law, whereby the
Israelites were directed to expect another and better high - priest, even
one who is holy, harmless, and separate from sinners, (Heb 7:26).
According to the sin of the people - In the same manner as any of the
people do; which implies that God expected more circumspection from him,
than from the people. But the words may be rendered, to the sin or
guilt of the people, which may be mentioned as an aggrevation of his
sin, that by it he commonly brings sin, and guilt, and punishment upon the
people, who are infected or scandalized by his example. A young bullock
- The same sacrifice which was offered for all the people, to shew how much
his sin was aggravated by his quality. Sin - offering - Heb. sin, which
word is oft taken in that sense.
4: On the head - To testify both his acknowledgment of his sin, and
faith in God's promise for the expiation of his sins through Christ, whom
that sacrifice typified. Kill the bullock - By one of the priests, whom
he should cause to do it.
5: To the tabernacle - Into the tabernacle; which was not required
nor allowed in any other sacrifice, possibly to shew the greatness of the
high - priest's sin, which needed more than ordinary diligence in him, and
favour from God to expiate it.
6: Seven times - A number much used in scripture, as a number of
perfection; and here prescribed, either to shew that his sins needed more
then ordinary purgation, and more exercise of his faith and repentance,
both which graces he was obliged to join with that ceremonial rite.
Before the veil - The second veil dividing between the holy of holies,
which is generally called the veil of the sanctuary.
7: All the blood - All the rest; for part was disposed elsewhere.
12: The whole bullock - So no part of this was to be eaten by the
priests, as it was in other sin - offerings. The reason is plain, because
the offerer might not eat of his own sin - offering, and the priest was the
offerer in this case, as also in the sin - offering for the whole congregation
below, of which the priest himself was a member. Shall be carried forth
- Not himself, which would have defiled him, but by another whom he shall
appoint for that work. Without the camp - To signify either,
Where the ashes are - For the ashes, though at first they were thrown down
near the altar, (Le 1:16), yet afterwards they, together with the filth
of the sacrifices, were carried into a certain place without the camp.
- The abominable nature of sin, especially in high and holy persons, or
when it overspreads a whole people. Or,
- The removing of the guilt or punishment of that sin from the people. Or,
- That Christ should suffer without the camp or gate.
13: The whole congregation - The body of the people, or the greater
part of them, their rulers concurring with them.
14: A bullock - But if the sin of the congregation was only the
omission of some ceremonial duty, a kid of the goats was to be offered,(Nu 15:24).
15: The elders - Who here acted in the name of all the people, who
could not possibly perform this act in their own persons.
17: And sprinkle it - It was not to be poured out there, but
sprinkled only; for the cleansing virtue of the blood of Christ was
sufficiently represented by sprinkling. It was sprinkled seven times:
seven is a number of perfection; because God made the world in six days,
and rested the seventh. This signified the perfect satisfaction Christ
made, and the compleat cleansing of our souls thereby.
18: The altar - Of incense: Which is before the Lord - That is,
before the holy of holies, where the Lord was in a more special manner
20: For a sin - offering - That is, for the priest's sin - offering,
called the first bullock, (Le 4:21).
24: The burnt - offering - So called by way of eminency, to wit, the
daily burnt - offering. It is a sin - offering - And therefore to be killed
where the burnt - offering is killed; whereby it is distinguished from the
peace - offering, which were killed elsewhere.
26: It shall be forgiven - Both judicially, as to all ecclesiastical
censures or civil punishment; and really, upon condition of repentance and
faith in the Messiah to come.
28: A female - Which here was sufficient, because the sin of one of
those was less than the sin of the ruler, for whom a male was required.
33: He shall slay it - Not by himself, but by the hands of
35: Burn them - The fat; but he useth the plural number, because the
fat was of several kinds, as we saw (Le 4:8,9),
Heb. upon the offerings, together with them, or after them; because the
burnt - offerings were to have the first place.