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the congregation' (ch. i. 3 ; iii. 8, 13, etc.). The Israelites are always described as a congregation, iv. 13 sq., under the command of the elders of the congregation,' iv. 15; or of a ruler,' iv, 23. Everything has reference to life in a camp, and that camp under the command of Moses, iv.-xii. 21; vi. 1l ; xiv. 8; xvi. 26, 28. A later writer could scarcely have placed himself so entirely in the times, or have so completely adopted the ideas and modes of thinking of the age of Moses ; and this is especially true if, as has been asserted, these laws gradually sprung from the usages of the people, and were written down at a later period, and then set forth under the sanction of the venerable name of Moses. But these laws so entirely suit the age in which Moses lived, that in order to adapt them to the requirements of a later period they must have undergone considerable modification, accommodation, and a peculiar mode of interpretation. This inconvenience would have been avoided by a person who intended to forge and antedate laws in favour of the later modes of Levitical worship. One having this object in view would have striven to identify the past as much as possible with the present.
Among other passages which bear out this statement the following may be briefly inspected. The writers to whom we have referred have ventured to characterise the section comprised in ch. viii.-x. as having a mythical colouring—the object of this insinuation being to get rid of the miracle in ix. 24; and if we ask what object any one could have to invent such a fiction, we are told that a sufficient motive is supplied by the desire of the priests to support the pretensions of the hierarchy by the solemn ceremony of Aaron's consecration. But to any such intention the account of the crime committed by Nadab and Abihu is strikingly opposed. Even Aaron himself appears to have been somewhat remiss in the observance of the law (comp. x. 16, sq. with iv. 22, sq.). The tendency would, therefore, appear rather to have been anti-hierarchical, and if a forgery, it is without a motive, and even runs counter to the interests of those by whom it is said to have been promulgated. The law in xvii. 3-6, which forbids the slaughter of any beast except at the tabernacle, could only be observed in the wilderness, and therefore some modifications were necessary in Palestine, which are accordingly made in the later law of Deut. xii. 21. A more striking indication of the time at which the law in Leviticus was delivered could not well be found than is implied in this circumstance, for the invention of which as a fiction no possible motive can be assigned. The law of xvii. 3–6 is also admirably adapted to a people emigrating from Egypt, being intended to guard the people from imitating the rites and sacrifices connected with the worship of he-goats in that country. The laws concerning purifications and distinctions of meat, appear, in like manner, especially important in connection with the recent emigration of the people from Egypt. The fundamental principle of these laws is undoubtedly Mosaical, but in the individual application of them there is much which strongly reminds us of Egypt, as will appear in the course of our notes. This is also the case in ch. xviii., where the lawgiver has avowedly in view the two opposites, Egypt and Canaan (v. 3); and that the lawgiver was intimately acquainted with the former country is shewn by the caution against marriages with sisters a custom peculiar to Egypt, and contrary to the moral sentiment of even heathen antiquity.
But the book of Leviticus has also a prophetical character. This especially appears in xxv. xxvi., where the predictions of the law embrace the whole futurity of the nation. It is impossible to say that these were predictions after the events without asserting that the book was written at the very close of the Israelitish history; and to have then persuaded a nation, after the lapse of so many ages, covering a period the history of which was well known, to receive it with the sanction of Moses, would have been as great a miracle as any which the Scripture itself records. We must rather grant that passages like these form the real basis on which the authority of the later prophets chiefly rested : and such passages also most strikingly prove that the views of the lawgiver were not merely external, but had a deeper purpose, which was clearly understood by Moses himself. That purpose was to regulate the national life in all its bearings, and to consecrate the whole nation to God. "See especially xxv. 18, sq. Yet not the less is the external character of these laws impressed upon and evinced by the history of the nation; and all the perverted ingenuity and learning which has been brought to bear on the subject have utterly failed to shew how, for instance, the laws concerning the Sabbath and the year of Jubilee could possibly have been promulgated at any period later than the time of Moses. That the Levitical law had, moreover, a covert and mysterious signification, beyond that which these considerations develope, is admitted by most commentators. It seems, indeed, impossible for any one who receives the Epistle to the Hebrews as part of the inspired Word of God, to doubt that the whole service had a spiritual meaning; and that its institutions, ordinances, and appointments were unquestionably prefigurative of Gospel appointments. Thus its sacrifices and oblations, which, if performed in faith and obedience, were to conciliate forgiveness of sins (Ezek. xx. 11; Rom. x. 5; Gal. ïï. 12), have been justly regarded as significant of the atonement to be made by Christ; and the requisite qualities of these sacrifices were emblematical of his immaculate character. The whole service,' says Bishop Marsh, like the veil of Moses, concealed a spiritual radiance under an outward covering; and the internal import bearing a precise and indisputable reference to future circumstances and events, is stamped with the indelible proofs of Divine contrivance.'
The book of Leviticus is usually considered to embrace the history of a single month, being the first month of the second year after the departure from Egypt. But some maintain that its historical period does not exceed eight days, being the time occupied in the consecration of Aaron and his sons. As the book affords no data for the chronological arrangement of its facts, the point is one which cannot be very positively determined. It contains the further statement and development of the Sinaitic legislation, the beginnings of which are described in Genesis. It exhibits the historical progress of that legislation, and we are therefore not to expect to find the laws detailed in a systematic form.
There is, nevertheless, a certain order observed, which arose from the nature of the subject, and of which the plan may be easily perceived. The whole is intimately connected with the contents of Exodus. That book concludes with a description of the sanctuary with which all external worship was connected ; and this commences with describing the worship itself. It contains the chief laws which relate to the offerings, the feasts, and the priests, as well as to the ordinances of sacred discipline. It contains only a little of historical information, and that relates to the priests, describing the consecration of Aaron and his sons, and the deaths of Nadab and Abihu, viii.-x.
A large number of books on the subjects of Leviticus have been written; but the commentaries on it are involved in the general commentaries on the whole Bible, or of the whole Pentateuch. The only separate commentary we are acquainted with is that of Professor Bush, under the title of Notes on the Book of Leviticus, New York, 1843, in which the author has, with handsome acknowledgment, transcribed most of the notes on the book which were contained in the first edition of the Pictorial Bible. [There is also a very good commentary by Rev. A. Bonar. London : 1846. 3d Edition, 1852.]
On the general subject of this Introduction, see the works referred to at the end of the introduction to Genesis, and in particular Jahn's Einleitung ; Hengstenberg's Authentie des Pentateuches ; Havernick's Handbuch der historisch-kritischen Einleitung in das A. Test., 1839, and his Art. LEVITICUS in the Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature; Glaire's Introduction historique et critique aux Livres de l'Ancien et du N. Test., 1839; Calmet's Préface sur le Lévitique; Horne's Introduction ; Gray's Key to the Old Testament.
1 5 And he shall kill the bullock before the 1 The burnt offerings. 3 Of the herd, 10 of the flocks,
| LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall
bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round 14 of the fowls.
about upon the altar that is by the door of the ND the tabernacle of the congregation. LORD called | 6 And he shall flay the burnt offering, and unto Moses, cut it into his pieces. and spake 7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall unto him out put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in of the taber order upon the fire. nacle of the 8 And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay congrega- the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon tion, saying, | the wood that is on
the wood that is on the fire which is upon the 2 Speak altar. unto the | 9 But his inwards and his legs shall he children of wash in water : and the priest shall burn all
Israel, and on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering say unto them, If any man of you bring an made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your LORD. offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of 10 | And if his offering be of the flocks, the flock.
namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a 3 If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male withherd, let him offer a male without blemish : out blemish. he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at 11 And he shall kill it on the side of the the door of the tabernacle of the congregation altar northward before the LORD: and the before the LORD.
priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood 4. 'And he shall put his hand upon the round about upon the altar. head of the burnt offering; and it shall be 12 And he shall cut it into his pieces, with accepted for him to make atonement for him. I his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay
1 Exod. 29. 10,
wrung cow and theft his head
them in order on the wood that is on the fire altar, and 'wring off his head, and burn it on which is upon the altar.
the altar; and the blood thereof shall be 13 But he shall wash the inwards and the wrung out at the side of the altar. legs with water : and the priest shall bring it 16 And he shall pluck away his crop with all, and burn it upon the altar : it is a burnt Phis feathers, and cast it beside the altar on sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet the east part, by the place of the ashes. savour unto the LORD.
17 And he shall cleave it with the wings 14 | And if the burnt sacrifice for his thereof, but shall not divide it asunder: and offering to the LORD be of fowls, then he the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of the wood that is upon the fire : it is a burnt young pigeons.
sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet 15 And the priest shall bring it unto the savour unto the LORD.
2 Or, pinch of the head with the nail. 3 Or, the filth thereof.
Verse 4. "The burnt offering. —This chapter relates to li. 21; comp. Judg. XX. 40). And this designation is proburnt offerings, a general statement concerning which may perly enough represented by the word Sokaútwua (whence suitably introduce the notes which illustrate the separate the Latin holocaustum), entire burnt offering,' which the details. Such offerings occupied the first and most con Septuagint employs. Originally all offerings from the spicuous place in the Hebrew system of ritual worship, on animal kingdom seem to have passed under the name of which account, doubtless, it is that the present book, which Olah, since a portion at least of every sacrifice, of whatis devoted to the description of the ritual service, begins ever kind--and in particular that portion which constiwith them. They were also of all others the most ancient : tuted the offering to God, was consumed by fire upon the for of this kind was assuredly the sacrifice of Abel; and altar. In process of time, however, when the sacrifices the worship which Noah and the patriarchal fathers ren became divided into numerous classes, a more limited dered to God, included burnt offerings as an essential ele sense was given to the term olah ; in its being then solely ment. Indeed the directions respecting such offerings applied to those sacrifices in which the priests did not which the present chapter contains, are introduced in such share, and which were designed to propitiate the anger of a way as to shew that the legislator was not introducing a Jehovah, incurred by sin generally, or by particular transnew practice, but regulating one that already existed and gressions. Only oxen, male sheep or goats, or turtle doves was well understood. It does not enact that such offerings and young pigeons, all without blemish, were fit for burnt shall be made, but directs the course that shall be taken offerings. The offerer in person was obliged to take his when they are made. The earliest records of heathen offering first of all into the fore-court, as far as the gate of antiquity shew moreover that such sacrifices were in use the tabernacle, where the animal was examined by the among nearly all ancient nations, and were distinguished by officiating priest to ascertain that it was without blemish. accompanying rites and ceremonies, very similar to those The offerer then laid his hand upon the victim, confessing which are here described ; and this clearly indicates that his sins, and by this act dedicated it as his sacrifice to pro they derived their origin from one common source, which pitiate the Almighty. The animal was then killed, towards can bave been no other than the primitive practice brought the north of the altar; and the priest having received the over from the old world by Noah, the second father of blood, proceeded to sprinkle it around the altar, that is upon mankind, and transmitted by him to the subsequent gene the lower part of the altar, not immediately upon the altar, rations of men, who took it with them into all the coun lest the fire should be extinguished (ch. iii. 2; Deut. xü. tries of their dispersion. There can be no mistake in 27; 2 Chron. xxix. 22). They then proceeded to flay or drawing this conclusion with respect to any custom which skin the animal, and to cut it in pieces, acts which as well is known to have existed before the Deluge, and which we as the slaying might, it seems, be performed by the offerer afterwards find kept up, with due solemnity, by the only himself (v. 6); but which he was not bound to do, and persons who survived that desolating event. The origin which in later times seems to have been usually done by of such sacrifices is not stated in Scripture; and many the Levites. The entrails and legs were then washed in writers hesitate to express an opinion on the subject. But water, and the priest having meanwhile disposed the wood when we consider that the practice is nearly as old as the in a proper manner upon the altar, received the separated creation, as shewn by the sacrifice of Abel; and when we parts of the victim and took them to the rise of the altar, reflect that the slaughter and burning of an inoffensive where he sprinkled them with salt; after which he proanimal was not a process very obvious in the first exercises ceeded to lay them on the wood as nearly as possible in of natural reason, as a means of averting the divine dis the shape of the slain animal. We must not omit to nopleasure, there will seem no great difficulty in concluding tice that peculiar feature of the law, by which the offering that it was in its origin a Divine institution, framed for was allowed to be varied according to the circumstances of the purpose of instilling into mankind an idea of vicarious the offerer. While the rich man brought his bullock, the punishments, in preparation for the vast result which was considerate and benignant spirit of the law made provision destined to be eventually connected with it, and teaching for the poor man also, who, as his means might permit, that sin might thus be acknowledged, and the Divine wrath might bring a lamb or even a turtle dove or a young incurred by it appeased.
pigeon, these birds being very common and cheap in PaThe Hebrew word for these offerings is my olah, from
lestine. With regard to these, nothing is said about sex,
whether they were to be males or females. The mode of oy alah, “ to ascend,' which they derived from the cir
killing them was it seems by nipping off the head with the cumstance that the whole of the offering was to be con thumb Dail, which with the other particulars described in sumed by fire upon the altar, and to rise, as it were, in
v. 11-17, are stated by the Jewish writers as forming the
| most nice and difficult portion of the priestly duties. smoke towards heaven. Hence also the adverb Soso
The present chapter has respect only to voluntary or chalil,' whole,' or complete,' which is sometimes applied spontaneous burnt offerings : but there were others, which to such offerings (Deut. xxxii. 10; 1 Sam. vii. 9; Ps. I will hereafter come under our notice, such as the standing burnt offerings, being then offered every morning and sealing among the Israelites, who could not be unacevening on behalf of the whole people (Num. Xxviii. 3; quainted with the sacrificial usages of the Egyptians. Exod. xxix. 38), and at the three great festivals (Lev. * 5. He shall kill the bullock. This is regarded as an xxiii. 37; Num. xxviii. 11-27; xxix. 22; Lev. xvi. 3; instance of a usage very common in the Hebrew, of a comp. 2 Chron. xxxv. 12-16). Also the prescribed burnt verb employed in a kind of impersonal sense, equivalent offerings, being such as the law itself required from indi to the on dit • one says,' of the French, or the man sagt of viduals on particular occasions, such as those brought by the Germans; both of which answer to our . it is said.' women rising from childbed (ch. xii. 6); by persons cured The expression therefore does not here seem to denote any of leprosy (ch. xiv. 19—32); by persons cleansed from one in particular as the slayer of the victim. In conforissue (ch. xv. 14, seq.); and by the Nazarites, when ren- mity with this, the Sept. has ooátovou, they shall slay,' dered unclean by contact with a dead body (Num. vi. 9), and modern translators wisely render by one shall kill or after the days of their separation were accomplished the bullock,' or, still better, the bullock shall be killed.' (Num. vi. 14). As voluntary offerings we find in the The practice seems to have been that the priests and Lesequel, that these sacrifices were offered on almost all im vites were not obliged to slay any of the victims, but such portant occasions, events, and solemnities, whether private as were offered for the whole of the people. Those brought or public, and often in very large numbers (see Judg. xx. by private persons were, at first, usually slain by them26; 1 Sam. vii. 9; 2 Chron. xxxi. 2; 1 Kings iii. 4; 1 selves, but the office gradually devolved more and more Chron. xxix. 21; 2 Chron. xxix. 21; Ezra vi. 17; viii. upon the Levites, and was at length almost entirely dis35). There is nothing said in the law to prevent the hea. charged by them. The victim was slain immediately on then from presenting such offerings if they felt inclined to the spot where the hands had been placed upon it, which testify such respect to the God of Israel; and in fact we was on the north side of the altar. The Jewish writers find that they were not excluded from this privilege in state that the victim to be slain was bound, his fore legs and those later times when the law was more stringently con. hind legs together, and was laid thus bound with his head strued than at its institution ; for we find in Josephus | towards the south, and his face towards the west, and he several instances of heathen kings ordering sacrifices to be that killed him stood on the east side of him with his face offered on their behalf in the temple. Augustus in par: westward, and then cut through the throat and windpipe ticular ordered a sacrifice of two sheep and one ox to be at one stroke. It is also stated that a person stood ready offered for him every day in the temple.
with a basin to receive the blood, which he stirred to pre2. · Bring your offering of the catile, even of the herd, vent it from coagulating before it was sprinkled. This and of the flock.'_That is to say, that only such animals | most curiously agrees with the mode in which the Egypas formed part of their herds and flocks, and were tians slaughtered their oxen, as represented in the annexed used for food, should be offered for sacrifice. This ex. engraving; and this is the more remarkable, as the mode cluded camels and asses, although of the herd, and also all of proceeding among other ancient nations was very dif. wild beasts, as well as many animals the use of which for ferent, and had more resemblance to that of our own food was allowed. In fact, we never read that other qua slaughterers, who first strike the animal down, and then drupeds than oxen, sheep, and goats were sacrificed to cut its throat. Jehovah, either before or after the delivery of the Law. This formed one important distinction between the sacrifices of the Hebrews and those of other ancient nations ; for although the latter sacrificed oxen, sheep, and goats, they also offered many other animals, clean and unclean, wild and tame. Thus, horses were sacrificed to the sun, hogs to Ceres and (in Egypt) to Bacchus, dogs to Hecate and others, and wolves to Mars. In Arabia camels were anciently sacrificed, as is still done occasionally. No fish were ever brought to the altar. The dove seems to be the only bird directed to be offered; but it appears from chap. xiv. 4-7, that any clean bird was in particular cases an eligible offering; but, in practice, it seems doubtful whether any other than doves were ever actually
SLAYING THE BULLOCK. offered.
3. Without blemish.'—It is carefully provided that what - Sprinkle the blood.' —— This sprinkling of the blood, ever was offered to Jehovah as a sacrifice or oblation which the Hebrews regarded as eminently the seat of life, should be the most perfect of its kind. The particular was the most important and solemn part of the ceremony disqualifying blemishes are enumerated in ch. xxii. 20-24. in all sacrifices; for by this sprinkling the atonement No directions are there given as to the colours of the selected was made; for the blood was the life of the heart, avd it beast; perhaps because such restrictions might, in a con was always supposed that life went to redeem life' (Horne's siderable degree, have operated in limiting the power of Introduction, iii. 290). Hence this act was eminently the the mass of the people to offer sacrifices. The water of peculiar function of the priest, and even a priest was repurification is, however, directed to be made with the quired to be in the highest state of legal purity and corblood of a red heifer in Num. xix, 2; and as that animal rectness to be qualified for this act. The blood itself is was not only to be without blemish, but' without spot,' said by the Jewish writers to have been received in a it is probable that, in all instances, animals of one unva vessel specially appropriated to the use, and hallowed for riegated colour were preferred. The regulations on this the service. In addition to what has on this point been subject may perhaps receive illustration from the practices stated in the leading note, we have only to add, that the of the Egyptians, as detailed by Herodotus. He states surplus blood, left after the sprinkling had been performed, that they sacrificed to Apis white bulls; and as the ex was poured out at the foot of the altar, where there was istence of a single black hair upon them rendered them probably a trench, such as that which, in the temple, unfit to be victims, they were examined with the most conveyed the superfluous blood into the valley of the scrupulous exactness by a priest appointed for the purpose : Kidron, where it was sold to the gardeners to manure their if the result of this examination proved satisfactory to grounds. It was not only among the Hebrews that the him, he fastened to its horns a label, which, after applying effusion of the life blood was the most essential act of wax, he sealed with his ring. The animal was then led sacrifice. It was regarded among the ancient Persians away: and it was a capital crime to sacrifice any bull and some other nations as so exclusively essential that which had not in this manner been examined and sealed they did not burn the sacrifice at all, but only slew it beby the priest. It is thought, from various incidental alla- | fore the altar, or at most offered only the omentum; besions in Scripture, that there was a similar inspection and lieving that the life of the victim was all that their gods required. Indeed, it is to be observed that in all cases the rude stone by an offering of blood (Buchanan's Mysore, sacrifice does not consist in burning the animal so much as iii. 253). The Chaman Tartars stain their idols with in the killing at the altar. Many curious and illustrative blood; and even in the New World we find a similar custraces of this custom of sprinkling or offering the blood tom among the Aztecks (Humboldt, i. 219). See further may be discovered among nations remote from each other | in the note on Ezek. xxiii. 14. in time and place. Among the Greeks the blood was re 6. • He shall flay,' etc. The remark with which the served in a vessel and offered on the altar. With the Romans note on v. 5 opens applies equally here. Anciently the also the blood was received in goblets and poured upon the person who brought the victim, when he had slain it, proaltar. Among the Scythians (who often sacrificed men) the ceeded to flay the carcass, and then to cut it in pieces. blood of the victims was sprinkled on their deity-an iron But in later times this was done by the priests and Levites. sword ; with blood also they profusely sprinkled or var. In the times of Josephus, there were tables of marble and nished the trunks of their sacred trees. The Indians who columns in the temple, expressly adapted to all the proreside among the hills of Rajamahall must contrive, in cesses of slaying the victims and preparing them for the their religious sacrifices, that the blood should fall, or be altar. The Jewish writers furnish a vast deal of informasprinkled on the shrine chumdah, the consecrated nuckmun tion respecting the processes observed in flaying and cutbranch, and bamboos, etc. (Asiatic Researches, iv. 52, 55). ting up the animals; but we find little that the reader will A sanguinary goddess is pleased during 100,000 years judge interesting, unless it be that the animal was hanged with the sacrifice of three men, and delights in blood as up by the heels for the purpose, and that it was customary in ambrosia (A. R. v. 373). Some Indian tribes worship a to divide it into twelve parts.
and when it is presented unto the priest, he
shall bring it unto the altar. 1 The meat offering of flour with oil and incense, 4 9 And the priest shall take from the meat
either baken in the oven, 5 or on a plate, 7 or in a l offering 'a memorial thereof. and shall burn fryingpan : 12 and of the firstfruits in the ear. 13
it upon the altar : it is an offering made by The salt of the meat offering.
fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. AND when any will offer a meat offering unto | 10 And that which is left of the meat the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; offering shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frank- a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD incense thereon.
made by fire. 2 And he shall bring it to Aaron's sons | 11 No meat offering, which ye shall bring the priests: and he shall take thereout his unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven : handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; any offering of the LORD made by fire. and the priest shall burn the memorial of it 12 9 As for the oblation of the firstfruits, upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, ye shall offer them unto the LORD: but they of a sweet savour unto the LORD:
shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet 3 And 'the remnant of the meat offering savour. shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is a thing 13 | And every oblation of thy meat offermost holy of the offerings of the LORD made ing shalt thou season with salt ; neither shalt by fire.
thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God 4 4 And if thou bring an oblation of a to be lacking from thy meat offering : with meat offering baken in the oven, it shall be | all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt. unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with | 14 | And if thou offer a meat offering of oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer
5 1 And if thy oblation be a meat offering for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green baken "in a pan, it shall be of fine flour un ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten leavened, mingled with oil.
out of full ears. 6 Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour 15 And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay oil thereon: it is a meat offering.
frankincense thereon : it is a meat offering. 7 | And if thy oblation be a meat offering | 16 And the priest shall burn the memorial baken in the fryingpan, it shall be made of of it, part of the beaten corn thereof, and part fine flour with oil.
of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense 8 And thou shalt bring the meat offering thereof: it is an offering made by fire unto that is made of these things unto the LORD: | the LORD.
i Ecclus. 7.31. 2 Or, on a flat plate, or, slice. 8 Verse 2. Exod. 29. 18. Heb. ascend. Mark . 49.