NOTES ON The Third Book of MOSES called LEVITICUS

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII
Chapter XXIV
Chapter XXV
Chapter XXVI
Chapter XXVII

This book, containing the actions of about one month's space, acquaint us with the Levitical ceremonies used after the tabernacle was erected in the wilderness, and is therefore called Leviticus: It treats of laws concerning persons, and things, clean and unclean; as also purifyings in general once a year, and divers particular cleansings, with a brief repetition of divers laws, together with certain feasts, of seven years rest, of the jubilee, and the redemption of things consecrated to God; but especially of such ceremonies as were used about offerings and sacrifices, which were both expiatory for trespasses committed, whether by the People or the priests; and also eucharistical in the owning of God's blessings. Here are declared also laws for the regulating of these, and prescribing the lawful time for marriages; here is set down how several abominable sins are punishable by the magistrate; and how these things are to be managed by certain persons appropriated to the tribe of Levi, whose office is confirmed from heaven, and the male - administration of it threatened, and the judgment particularly inflicted on Nadab and Abihu for an example. Here are promises, and threatenings, to the observers, or breakers of this law. The records of even these abrogated laws are of use to us, for the strengthening of our faith in it, as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world; and for the increase of our thankfulness to God, for freeing us from that heavy yoke.

Chapter I

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,
  1. 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,
  2. 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,
  3. 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,
  4. 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,
  1. That God should he served with the best of every kind.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, Lev 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, John 10:7,9, by whom alone we have access to God.
4 He shall put his hand - Both his hands, Lev 8:14,18, and Lev 16:21. Whereby he signified,
  1. that he willingly gave it to the Lord.
  2. 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.
5 And he - Either,
  1. 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 John 4:1,2.
  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,
    1. That the offerer deserved to have his blood spilt in that manner.
    2. 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 him.
6 Pieces - Namely, the head, and fat, and inwards, and legs, Lev 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, Lev 9:24, and was to be carefully preserved there, and all other fire was forbidden, Lev 10:1, &c.
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, Lev 6:25, and Lev 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, Psa 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, Lev 1:17. And whereas it is said Lev 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.

Chapter II

Directions concerning the meal - offerings.

  1. Of fine flour with oil and frankincense, ver. 1 - 11.
  2. Of the first fruits, ver. 12 - 16.

1 A meal - offering - (Not meat - offering, an ancient false print, which has run thro' many editions of our bible.) This was of two kinds, the one joined with other offerings, Num 15:4,7,10, which was prescribed, together with the measure or proportion of it: the other, of which this place speaks, was left to the offerer's good will both for the thing, and for the quantity. And the matter for this offering was things without life, as meal, corn, or cakes. Now this sort of sacrifices were appointed,
  1. because these are things of greatest necessity and benefit to man, and therefore it is meet that God should be served with them, and owned and praised as the giver of them.
  2. In condescension to the poor, that they might not want an offering for God, and to shew that God would accept even the meanest services, when offered with a sincere mind.
  3. These were necessary provisions for the feast which was to be presented to God, and for the use of the priests, who were to attend upon these holy ministrations. He shall pour oil - This may note the graces of the Holy Ghost, which are compared to oil, and anointing with it, Psa 45:7, 1John 2:20, and which are necessary to make any offering acceptable to God. Frankincense - Manifestly designed Christ's satisfaction and intercession, which is compared to a sweet odour, Eph 5:2.
2 He shall take - That priest to whom he brought it, and who is appointed to offer it. The memorial - That part thus selected and offered; which is called a memorial, either
  1. to the offerer, who by offering this part is minded, that the whole of that he brought, and of all which he hath of that kind, is God's to whom this part was paid as an acknowledgment. Or
  2. to God, whom (to speak after the manner of men) this did put in mind of his gracious covenant and promises of favour, and acceptance of the offerer and his offering. A sweet savour unto the Lord - And so are our spiritual offerings, which are made by the fire of holy love, particularly that of almsgiving. With such sacrifices God is well - pleased.
3 Sons - To be eaten by them, Lev 6:16. Most holy - Or such as were to be eaten only by the priests, and that only in the holy place near the altar.
4 In the oven - Made in the sanctuary for that use.
6 In pieces - Because part of it was offered to God, and part given to the priests.
11 No leaven - Namely, in that which is offered of free - will; for in other offerings it might be used, Lev 7:13, 23:17. This was forbidden, partly to mind them of their deliverance out of Egypt, when they were forced thro' haste to bring away their meal or dough (which was the matter of this oblation) unleavened; partly to signify what Christ would be, and what they should be, pure and free from all error in the faith and worship of God, and from all hypocrisy, and malice or wickedness, all which are signified by leaven. Nor any honey - Either,
  1. because it hath the same effect with leaven in paste or dough, making it sour, and swelling. Or,
  2. in opposition to the sacrifices of the Gentiles, in which the use of honey was most frequent. Or,
  3. to teach us, that God's worship is not to be governed by men's fancies and appetites but by God's will.
12 Ye may offer them - Or either of them, leaven or honey. They shall not be burnt - But reserved for the priests.
13 Salt - To signify that incorruption of mind, and sincerity of grace, which in scripture is signified by salt, Mark 9:49, Col 4:6, and which is necessary in all them that would offer an acceptable offering to God. Or in testimony of that communion which they had with God in these exercises of worship; salt being the great symbol of friendship in all nations is called, either,
  1. because it represented the perpetuity of God's covenant with them, which is designed by salt, Num 18:19, 2Chr 13:5. Or,
  2. because it was so particularly required as a condition of their covenant with God; this being made absolutely necessary in all their offerings; and as the neglect of sacrifices was a breach of covenant on their part, so also was the neglect of salt in their sacrifices.
14 First - fruits - Of thine own free - will; for there were other first - fruits, and that of several sorts, which were prescribed, and the time, quality, and proportion of them appointed by God.
16 Made by fire - The fire denotes that fervency of spirit, which ought to be in all our religious services. Holy love is the fire, by which all our offerings must be made: else they are not of a sweet savour to God.

Chapter III

Directions concerning peace - offerings. A bullock or an heifer, ver. 1 - 5. A lamb, ver. 6 - 11. A goat, ver. 12 - 16. No fat or blood to be eaten, ver. 17.

1 A peace - offering - This was an offering for peace and prosperity, and the blessing of God, either,
  1. obtained, and so it was a thank - offering, or,
  2. desired; and so it was a kind of supplication to God.
A female - Which were allowed here, tho' not in burnt - offerings, because those principally respected the honour of God, who is to be served with the best; but the peace - offerings did primarily respect the benefit of the offerer, and therefore the choice was left to himself. Burnt - offerings had regard to God, as in himself the best of beings, and therefore were wholly burned. But peace - offerings had regard to God as a benefactor to his creatures, and therefore were divided between the altar, the priest, and the offerer.
2 At the door - Not on the north - side of the altar, where the burnt - offering was killed, as also the sin - offering, and the trespass - offering, but in the very entrance of the court where the brazen altar stood, which place was not so holy as the other; as appears both because it was more remote from the holy of holies, and because the ashes of the sacrifices were to be laid here. And the reason of this difference is not obscure, both because part of this sacrifice was to be waved by the hands of the offerer, Lev 7:30, who might not come into the court; and because this offering was not so holy as the others, which were to be eaten only by the priest, whereas part of these were eaten by the offerer.
5 Upon the burnt sacrifice - Either,
  1. Upon the remainders of it, which were yet burning; or rather,
  2. After it; for the daily burnt - offering was first to be offered, both as more eminently respecting God's honour; and as the most solemn and stated sacrifice, which should take place of all occasional oblations, and as a sacrifice of an higher nature, being for atonement, without which no peace could be obtained, nor peace offering offered with acceptance.
9 The rump - Which in sheep is fat, and sweet, and in these parts was very much larger and better than ours.
11 Burnt it - The parts now mentioned; the rest fell to the priest, Lev 7:31. The food - That is, the fuel of the fire, or the matter of the offering. It is called food, Heb. bread, to note God's acceptance of it, and delight in it; as men delight in their food.
16 Shall burn them - The parts mentioned, among which the tail is not one, as it was in the sheep. because that in goats is a refuse part. All the fat - This is to be limited,
  1. To those beasts, which were offered or offerable in sacrifice, as it is explained, Lev 7:23,25.
  2. To that kind of fat which is above - mentioned, and required to be offered, which was separated, or easily separable from the flesh for the fat which was here and there mixed with the flesh they might eat.
17 All your dwellings - Not only at or near the tabernacle, not only of those beasts which you actually sacrifice, but also in your several dwellings, and of all that kind of beasts. Fat - Was forbidden,
  1. To preserve the reverence of the holy rites and sacrifices.
  2. That they might be taught hereby to acknowledge God as their Lord, and the Lord of all the creatures, who might reserve what he pleased to himself.
  3. To exercise them in obedience to God, and self - denial and mortification of their appetites, even in those things which probably many of them would much desire. Blood - Was forbidden partly to maintain reverence to God and his worship; partly out of opposition to idolaters, who used to drink the blood of their sacrifices; partly with respect to Christ's Blood, thereby manifestly signified. God would not permit the very shadows of this to be used as a common thing. Nor will he allow us, tho' we have the comfort of the atonement made, to assume to ourselves any share in the honour of making it.

Chapter IV

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, Lev 16:30. Through ignorance - Or, error, either not knowing his act to be sinful, as appears by comparing Lev 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, Psa 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,
    1. The abominable nature of sin, especially in high and holy persons, or when it overspreads a whole people. Or,
    2. The removing of the guilt or punishment of that sin from the people. Or,
    3. That Christ should suffer without the camp or gate.
    Where the ashes are - For the ashes, though at first they were thrown down near the altar, Lev 1:16, yet afterwards they, together with the filth of the sacrifices, were carried into a certain place without the camp.
    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, Num 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 present.
    20 For a sin - offering - That is, for the priest's sin - offering, called the first bullock, Lev 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 the priest.
    35 Burn them - The fat; but he useth the plural number, because the fat was of several kinds, as we saw Lev 4:8,9, Heb. upon the offerings, together with them, or after them; because the burnt - offerings were to have the first place.

    Chapter V

    Directions concerning trespass - offerings. Both this and the sin - offering were intended to make atonement for sin, but the former was more general: The latter was to be offered only in some particular cases. If a man sinned,

  • By hearing and concealing blasphemy, ver. 1.
  • By touching an unclean thing, ver. 2, 3.
  • By swearing, ver. 4.
  • He was to offer a lamb or kid, ver. 5. 6.
  • Or two young pigeons, ver. 7 - 10.
  • Or fine flour, ver. 11 - 13.
  • Or a ram, if he had embezzled holy things, ver. 14 - 19.

    1 And hear - And for that is, as that particle is often used. For this declares in particular what the sin was. Or, namely, that of cursing, or blasphemy, or execration, as the word commonly signifies, and that either against one's neighbour, or against God. This may seem to be principally intended here, because the crime spoken of is of so high a nature, that he who heard it, was obliged to reveal it, and prosecute the guilty. He hath seen - Been present when it was said. Or known - By sufficient information from others. His iniquity - That is, the punishment of it; so that word is oft used, as Gen 19:15, Num 18:1.
    2 If it be hidden from him - If he do it unawares, yet that would not excuse him, because he should have been more circumspect to avoid all unclean things. Hereby God designed to awaken men to watchfulness against, and repentance for, their unknown, or unobserved sins. He shall be clean - Not morally, for the conscience was not directly polluted by these things, but ceremonially.
    3 When he knoweth - As soon as he knoweth it, he must not delay to make his peace with God. Otherwise he shall be guilty - For his violation and contempt of God's authority and command.
    4 If a soul swear - Rashly, without consideration either of God's law, or his own power or right, as David did, 1Sam 25:22. To do evil - To himself, to punish himself either in his body, or estate, or something else which is dear to him. Or rather to his neighbour. And it be hid from him - That is, he did not know, or not consider, that what he swore to do, was or would be impossible, or unlawful: When he discovers it to be so, either by his own consideration, or by information from others, whether it was good or evil which he swore to do.
    5 In one of these things - In one of the three forementioned cases, either by sinful silence, or by an unclean touch, or by rash swearing. He shall confess - Before the Lord in the place of public worship. And this confession is not to be restrained to the present case, but by a parity of reason, and comparing of other scriptures, to be extended to other sacrifices for sin, to which this was a constant companion.
    6 His trespass - offering - But how comes confession and a sacrifice to be necessary for him that touched an unclean thing, when such persons were cleansed with simple washing, as appears from Lev 11:25,28,32,40,43, and Num 19:7,8,10,19? This place speaks of him that being so unclean did come into the tabernacle, as may be gathered by comparing this place with Num 19:13, which if any man did, knowing himself to be unclean, which was the case there, he was to be cut off for it; and if he did it ignorantly, which is the case here, he was upon discovery of it to offer this sacrifice.
    7 Not able - Through poverty. And this exception was allowed also in other sin - offerings. For a sin - offering - Which was for that particular sin, and therefore offered first: before the burnt - offering, which was for sins in general; to teach us not to rest in general confessions and repentance, but distinctly and particularly, as far as we can, to search out, and confess, and loath, and leave our particular sins, without which God will not accept our other religious services.
    9 It is a sin - offering - This is added as the reason why its blood was so sprinkled and spilt.
    10 According to the manner - Or order appointed by God. The priest shall make an atonement - Either declaratively, he shall pronounce him to be pardoned; or typically, with respect to Christ.
    11 The tenth part of an ephah - About six pints. He shall put no oil, neither frankincense - Either to distinguish these from the meal - offerings, Lev 2:1, or as a fit expression of their sorrow for their sins, in the sense whereof they were to abstain from things pleasant; or to signify that by his sins he deserved to be utterly deprived both of the oil of gladness, the gifts, graces and comforts of the Holy Ghost; and of God's gracious acceptance of his prayers and sacrifices, which is signified by incense, Psa 141:2.
    13 As a meal offering - As it was in the meal - offering, where all, except one handful, fell to the share of the priests. And this is the rather mentioned here, because in the foregoing sacrifices, Lev 4:3, &c. Lev 4:13, &c. the priest had no part reserved for him.
    15 A trespass - Against the Lord and his priests. Through ignorance - For if a man did it knowingly, he was to be cut off, Num 15:30. In the holy things - In things consecrated to God, and to holy uses; such as tithes and first - fruits, or any things due, or devoted to God, which possibly a man might either with - hold, or employ to some common use. A ram - A more chargeable sacrifice than the former, as the sin of sacrilege was greater. With thy estimation - As thou shalt esteem or rate it, thou, O priest; and at present, thou, O Moses, for he as yet performed the priest's part. And this was an additional charge and punishment to him; besides the ram, he was to pay for the holy thing which he had with - held or abused, so many shekels of silver as the priest should esteem proportionable to it.
    17 The former law concerns the alienation of holy things from sacred to common use; this may concern other miscarriages about holy things, and holy duties, as may be gathered from Lev 5:19, where this is said to be a trespass against the Lord, not in a general sense, for so every sin was; but in a proper and peculiar sense.

    Chapter VI

    Further directions concerning trespass - offerings, ver. 1 - 7. Concerning the burnt - offerings, ver. 8 - 13. Concerning the meal - offerings, ver. 14 - 18. Particularly that at the consecration of the priests, ver. 19 - 23. Concerning the sin - offering, ver. 24 - 30.

    2 If a soul sin - This sin, though directly committed against man, is emphatically said to be done against the Lord, not only in general, for so every sin against man is also against the Lord, but in a special sense, because this was a violation of human society, whereof God is the author, and president, and defender: and because it was a secret sin, of which God alone was the witness and judge: and because God's name was abused in it by perjury. To keep - In trust. Or in fellowship - Heb. Or in putting of the hand: that is, commerce or fellowship in trading, which is very usual when one man puts any thing into another's hand, not to keep it, but to improve it for the common benefit of them both, in which cases of partnership it is easy for one to deceive the other, and therefore provision is made against it. And this is called a putting of the hand, because such agreements used to be confirmed by giving or joining their hands together. By violence - Secretly; for he seems to speak here of such sins as could not be proved by witness. Or hath deceived - Got any thing from him by calumny, or fraud, or circumvention; so the word signifies.
    3 Swear falsely - His oath being required, seeing there was no other way of discovery left.
    4 Is guilty - This guilt being manifested by his voluntary confession upon remorse, whereby he reapeth this benefit, that he only restores the principal with the addition of a fifth part; whereas if he were convicted of his fault, he was to pay double, Exo 22:9.
    5 In the day - It must not be delayed, but restitution to man must accompany repentance towards God. Wherever wrong has been done, restitution must be made, and till it is made to the utmost of our power we cannot look for forgiveness; for the keeping of what is unjustly got, avows the taking: And both together make but one continued act of unrighteousness.
    9 And the Lord spake - Hitherto he hath prescribed the sacrifices themselves; now he comes to the manner of them. The burnt - offering - The daily one, which Exo 29:38, Num 28:3, as the following words shew. This was to be so managed and laid on piece after piece, that the fire might be constantly maintained by it. The morning burnt - offerings were to be kept burning all the day from morning to night also; but he mentions not that, because there was such a constant succession of sacrifices in the day - time that there needed no law for feeding and keeping in the fire then; the only danger was for the night, when other sacrifices were not offered, but only the evening burnt - offering, which if it had been consumed quickly, as the morning burnt - offering was, there had been danger of the going out of that fire, which they were commanded diligently and constantly to keep in.
    10 The ashes which the fire hath consumed - That is, the wood consumed into ashes.
    11 Other garments - Because this was no sacred, but a common work. A clean place - Where no dung or filth was laid. The priest himself was to do all this. God's servants must think nothing below them but sin.
    12 It shall not be put out - The fire coming down from heaven, was to be perpetually preserved, and not suffered to go out, partly that there might be no occasion or temptation to offer strange fire; and partly to teach them whence they were to expect the acceptance of all their sacrifices, even from the divine mercy, signified by the fire that came down from heaven which was an usual token of God's favourable acceptance. Every morning - Though the evening also be doubtless intended, yet the morning is only mentioned, because then the altar was cleansed, and the ashes taken away, and a new fire made. Thereon - Upon the burnt - offering, which thereby would be sooner consumed, that the way might be made for other sacrifices.
    13 Thus should we keep the fire of holy love ever burning in our hearts.
    14 Of the meal - offering - Of that which was offered alone, and that by any of the people, not by the priest, for then it must have been all burnt. This law before delivered, is here repeated for the sake of some additions made to it.
    16 His sons - The males only might eat these, because they were most holy things; whereas the daughters of Aaron might eat other holy things. In the court - In some special room appointed for that purpose. The reason why this was to be eaten only by holy persons, and that in an holy place, is given Lev 6:17, because it is most holy.
    17 It - That part which remains to the priest; for the part offered to God seems not to have been baked at all.
    18 Every one - That is, none should touch, or eat them, but consecrated persons, priests, or their sons.
    20 When he is anointed - For high - priest for he only of all the priests was to be anointed in future ages. This law of his consecration was delivered before, and is here repeated because of some additions made to it. Perpetual - Whensoever any of them shall be so anointed. At night - Or, in the evening; the one to be annexed to the morning - sacrifice, the other to the evening - sacrifice, over and besides that meal - offering which every day was to be added to the daily morning and evening sacrifices.
    21 Thou - Who art so anointed and consecrated.
    23 It shall not be eaten - No part of it shall be eaten by the priest, as it was when the offering was for the people. The reason of the difference is, partly because when he offered it for the people, he was to have some recompence for his pains; partly to signify the imperfection of the Levitical priest, who could not bear their own iniquity; for the priest's eating part of the people's sacrifices did signify his typical bearing of the people's iniquity; and partly to teach the priests and ministers of God, that it is their duty to serve God with singleness of heart, and to be content with God's honour though they have no present advantage by it.
    26 For sin - For the sins of the rulers, or of the people, or any of them, but not for the sins of the priests; for then its blood was brought into the tabernacle, and therefore it might not be eaten.
    27 Upon any garment - Upon the priest's garment; for it was he only that sprinkled it, and in so doing he might easily sprinkle his garments. In the holy place - Partly out of reverence to the blood of sacrifices, which hereby was kept from a profane or common touch; and partly that such garments might be decent, and fit for sacred administrations.
    28 Broken - Because being full of pores, the liquor in which it was sodden might easily sink into it, whereby it was ceremonially holy, and therefore was broken, lest afterwards it should be abused to common uses. Rinsed - And not broken, as being of considerable value, which therefore God would not have unnecessarily wasted. And this being of a more solid substance than an earthen vessel, was not so apt to drink in the moisture.

    Chapter VII

    Further directions, concerning the trespass - offering, ver. 1 - 7. The burnt - offering and meal - offering, ver. 8 - 10. The peace - offering, ver. 11 - 21. Fat and blood again forbidden, ver. 22 - 27. The priest's share of it, ver. 28 - 34. The conclusion of these instructions, ver. 35 - 38.

    7 So is - In the matter following, for in other things they differed. The priests shall have it - That part of it, which was by God allowed to the priest.
    9 All the meal - offering - Except the part reserved by God, Lev 2:2,9. Because these were ready drest and hot, and to be presently eaten; shall be the priests - The priest, who offered it, was in reason to expect, something more than his brethren who laboured not about it; and that he had only in this offering; for the others were equally distributed.
    10 Dry - Without oil, or drink - offering, as those Lev 5:11, Num 5:15. All the sons of Aaron - These were to be equally divided among all the priests. And there was manifest reason for this difference, because these were in greater quantity than the former; and being raw, might more easily be reserved for the several priests to dress it in that way which each of them liked.
    13 Leavened bread - Because this was a sacrifice of another kind than those in which leaven was forbidden, this being a sacrifice of thanksgiving for God's blessings, among which leavened bread was one. Leaven indeed was universally forbidden, Lev 2:11. But that prohibition concerned only things offered and burnt upon the altar, which this bread was not.
    14 Of it - That is, of the offering, one of each part of the whole: it being most agreeable to the rules laid down before and afterward, that the priest should have a share in the unleavened cakes and wafers, as well as in the leavened bread.
    16 A vow - Offered in performance of a vow, the man having desired some special favour from God, and vowed the sacrifice to God if he would grant it. On the morrow also - Which was not allowed for the thank - offering.
    18 Neither shall it be imputed - For an acceptable service to God.
    19 And the flesh - Namely of the holy offering, of which he is here treating; and therefore the general word is to be so limited; for other flesh one might eat in this case. That toucheth - After its oblation; which might easily happen, as it was conveyed from the altar to the place where it was eaten: for it was not eaten in the holy place, as appears, because it was eaten by the priests, together with the offerers, who might not come thither. The flesh - That is, the other flesh; that which shall not be polluted by any unclean touch. All that are clean - Whether priests or offerers, or guests invited to the feast.
    20 That eateth - Knowingly; for if it were done ignorantly, a sacrifice was accepted for it. Not being cleansed from his uncleanness according to the appointment, Lev 11:24, &c. This verse speaks of uncleanness from an internal cause, as by an issue, &c. for what was from an external cause is spoken of in the next verse.
    21 Of man - Or, of women, for the word signifies both.
    23 The general prohibition of eating fat, Lev 3:17, is here explained of those kind of creatures which were sacrificed. The fat of others they might eat.
    24 He speaks still of the same kinds of beasts, and shews that this prohibition reaches not only to the fat of those beasts which were offered to God, but also of those that died, or were killed at home. And if this seems a superfluous prohibition, since the lean as well as the fat of such beasts were forbidden, Lev 22:8, it must be noted, that prohibition reached only to the priests, Lev 7:4.
    29 Shall bring - Not by another, but by himself, that is, those parts of the peace - offering, which are in a special manner offered to God. His oblation unto the Lord - That is, to the tabernacle, where the Lord was present in a special manner. Though part of such offerings might be eaten in any clean place, Lev 10:14, yet not till they had been killed, and part of them offered to the Lord in the place appointed by him for that purpose.
    30 His own hands - After the beast was killed, and the parts of it divided, the priest was to put the parts mentioned into the hands of the offerer. Offerings made by fire - So called, not strictly, as burnt - offerings are, because some parts of these were left for the priest, but more largely, because even these peace - offerings were in part, tho' not wholly, burnt. Waved - To and fro, by his hands, which were supported and directed by the hands of the priest.
    31 His sons - The portion of every succeeding high - priest and his family.
    34 The wave - breast and heave - shoulder - The breast or heart is the seat of wisdom, and the shoulder of strength for action; and these two may denote that wisdom, and power, which were in Christ our high - priest, and which ought to be in every priest.
    35 Of the anointing of Aaron - That is, of the priesthood; the sign put for the thing signified; and the anointing by a like figure is put for the part of the sacrifices belonging to the priest by virtue of his anointing. This was their portion appointed them by God in that day, and therefore to be given to them in after ages.
    37 Of the consecrations - That is, of the sacrifice offered at the consecration of the priests.

    Chapter VIII

    This chapter gives an account of the consecration of Aaron and his sins before the congregation, Moses washes and dresses them, ver. 1 - 9. Anoints the tabernacle with its utensils, and Aaron, ver. 10 - 12. Clothes his sons, ver. 13. Offers for them a sin - offering, ver. 14 - 17. A burnt - offering, ver. 18 - 21. The ram of consecration, ver. 22 - 30. Declares to them God's charge, which they perform, ver. 31 - 36.

    3 All the congregation - The elders who represented all, and as many of the people as would, and could get thither, that all might be witnesses both of Aaron's commission from God, and of his work and business.
    12 He poured - In a plentiful manner, as appears from Psa 133:2, whereas other persons and things were only sprinkled with it: because his unction was to typify the anointing of Christ with the Spirit, which was not given by measure to him. A measure of the same anointing is given to all believers.
    14 The bullock - There were indeed seven bullocks to be offered at his consecration, one every day; but here he mentions only one, because he here describes only the work of the first day.
    17 His hide - Which in the offerings for the people was not burnt, but given to the priest.
    18 He brought the ram - Hereby they gave to God the glory of this great honour which was put upon them: and also signified the devoting themselves and all their service to God.
    19 He - Either Moses, as in the following clause, or some other person by his appointment; which may be the reason why he is not named here, as he is to the sprinkling of the blood, which was an action more proper to the priest, and more essential to the sacrifice.
    29 Moses's part - Who at this time administering the priest's office was to receive the priest's wages.
    31 The flesh - That which was left of the ram, and particularly the breast, which was said to be Moses's part, Lev 8:29, and by him was given to Aaron, that he and his sons might eat of it, in token that they and only they should have the right to do so for the future.
    33 Seven days - In each of which the same ceremonies were to be repeated, and other rites to be performed. He - Either God or Moses; for the words may be spoken by Moses, either in God's name or in his own; Moses speaking of himself in the third person, which is very common in scripture.
    36 So Aaron and his sons did all things - And thus the covenant of life and peace, Mal 2:5, was made with them. But after all the ceremonies used in their consecration, one point was reserved for the honour of Christ's priesthood. They were made priests without an oath; but Christ with an oath, Heb 7:21. For neither these priests, nor their priesthood was to continue. But His is a perpetual and unchangeable priesthood.

    Chapter IX

    Moses appoints Aaron to offer various sacrifices, ver. 1 - 7. Aaron offers for himself, ver. 8 - 14. Offers for, and blesses the people, ver. 15 - 22. God signifies his acceptance of their persons and of their sacrifices, ver. 23 - 24.

    1 On the eighth day - Namely, from the day of his consecration, or when the seven days of his consecration were ended. The eighth day is famous in scripture for the perfecting and purifying both of men and beasts. See Lev 12:2,3 14:8,9,10 15:13,14 22:27. And the elders of Israel - All the congregation were called to be witnesses of Aaron's installment into his office, to prevent their murmurings and contempt; which being done, the elders were now sufficient to be witnesses of his first execution of his office.
    2 For a sin - offering - For himself and his own sins, which was an evidence of the imperfection of that priesthood, and of the necessity of a better. The Jewish writers suggest, that a calf was appointed, to remind him of his sin in making the golden calf. Thereby he had rendered himself for ever unworthy of the honour of the priesthood: on which he had reason to reflect with sorrow and shame, in all the atonements he made.
    3 A sin - offering - For the people, for whose sin a young bullock was required, Lev 4:15, but that was for some particular sin; this was more general for all their sins. Besides, there being an eye here to the priest's consecration and entrance into his office, it is no wonder if there be some difference in these Sacrifices from those before prescribed.
    4 The Lord will appear - Heb. Hath appeared. He speaks of the thing to come as if it were past, which is frequent in scripture, to give them the more assurance of the thing.
    5 Before the tabernacle where God dwelt.
    6 The glory of the Lord - The glorious manifestation of God's powerful and gracious presence.
    7 Go and offer - Moses had hitherto sacrificed, but now he resigns his work to Aaron, and actually gives him that commission which from God he had received for him. For thyself and for the people - The order is very observable, first for thyself, otherwise thou art unfit to do it for the people. Hereby God would teach us, both the deficiency of this priesthood, and how important it is that God's ministers should be in the favour of God themselves, that their ministrations may be acceptable to God, and profitable to the people.
    9 The altar - Of burnt - offering, of which alone he speaks both in the foregoing and following words; and the blood was poured out at the bottom of this altar only, not of the altar of incense, as appears from Lev 4:7, where indeed there is mention of putting some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of incense, in this case of the priest's sacrificing for his own sins. But there seems to be a double difference,
    1. That sacrifice was offered for some particular sin, this for his sins indefinitely.
    2. There he is supposed to be compleat in his office, and here he is but entering into his office, and therefore must prepare and sanctify himself by this offering upon the brazen altar in the court, before he can be admitted into the holy place where the altar of incense was. And the like is to be said for the difference between the sin - offering for the people here, and Lev 4:17,18.
    10 He burnt it - By ordinary fire, which was used until the fire came down from heaven, Lev 9:24, though afterwards it was forbidden. And if it had not been allowed otherwise, yet this being done by Aaron at the command of Moses, and consequently with God's approbation, it was unquestionably lawful. Add to this, that there is nothing said to be consumed by that heavenly fire, but the burnt - offering with the fat belonging to it, namely, that burnt - offering mentioned Lev 9:16, which therefore is not there said to be burnt, as it is said of the other burnt - offering, Lev 9:13, and of the rest of the sacrifices in their places.
    16 The burnt - offering - Which also was offered for the people, as the last mentioned sin - offering was.
    17 Besides the burnt - sacrifice - Which was to be first offered every morning; for God will not have his ordinary and stated service swallowed up by extraordinary.
    19 That - Fat. Which covereth the inwards - Or the Guts.
    22 Aaron lifted up his hands - Which was the usual rite of blessing. By this posture he signified both whence he expected the blessing, and his hearty desire of it for them. And blessed them - In some such manner, as is related, Num 6:24, &c. though not in the same form, for it is not probable that he used it before God delivered it And this blessing was an act of his priestly office, no less than sacrificing. And herein be was a type of Christ, who came into the world to bless us, and when he was parting from his disciples, lifted up his hands and blessed them: yea, and in them his whole church, of which they were the elders and representatives. And came down - From the altar; whence he is said to come down, either
    1. Because the altar stood upon raised ground, or
    2. Because it was nearer the holy place, which was the upper end.
    23 And Moses - Went in with Aaron to direct him, and to see him perform those parts of his office which were to be done in the holy place, about the lights, and the table of shew - bread, and the altar of incense, upon which part of the blood of the sacrifices now offered was to be sprinkled, Lev 4:7,16. And blessed the people - Prayed to God for his blessing upon them, as this phrase is explained, Num 6:23, &c. and particularly for his gracious acceptation of these and all succeeding sacrifices, and for his signification thereof by some extraordinary token. And the glory of the Lord - Either a miraculous brightness shining from the cloudy pillar, as Exo 16:10, or a glorious and visible discovery of God's gracious presence and acceptance of the present service.
    24 And there came a fire - In token of God's approbation of the priesthood now instituted, and the sacrifices offered, and consequently of others of the like nature. And this fire now given was to be carefully kept, and not suffered to go out, Lev 6:13, and therefore was carried in a peculiar vessel in their journeys in the wilderness. From before the Lord - Or, from the presence of the Lord, that is, from the place where God was in a special manner present, either from heaven or from the holy of holies. They shouted - As wondering at, rejoicing in, and blessing God for this gracious discovery of himself, and his favour. This also was a figure of good things to come. Thus the Spirit descended in fire upon the apostles, so ratifying their commission, as this does that of the priests. And the descent of this holy fire into our souls, to kindle in them devout affections, and such an holy zeal as burns up all unholiness, is a certain token of God's gracious acceptance.

    Chapter X

    The death of Nadab and Abihu, and quieting of Aaron, ver. 1 - 3. Orders given to bury them, and not to mourn, ver. 4 - 7. A command not to drink wine or strong drink, and to distinguish between holy and unholy, ver. 8 - 11. Directions concerning the parts of the burnt - offerings which were to be eaten, ver. 12 - 15. Moses reproves the priests, but is pacified by Aaron, ver. 16 - 20.

    1 Strange fire - Fire so called, because not taken from the altar, as it ought, but from some common fire. Before the Lord - Upon the altar of incense. Which he commanded not - Not commanding may be here put for forbidding, as it is, Jer 32:35. Now as this was forbidden implicitly; Lev 6:12, especially when God himself made a comment upon that text, and by sending fire from heaven declared of what fire he there spake; so it is more than probable it was forbidden expressly, though that be not here mentioned, nor was it necessary it should be.
    2 From the Lord - From heaven, or rather from the sanctuary. Devoured them - Destroyed their lives; for their bodies and garments were not consumed. Thus the sword is said to devour, 2Sam 2:26. Thus lightning many times kill persons, without any hurt to their garments.
    3 The Lord spake - Though the words be not recorded in scripture, where only the heads of discourses are contained, yet it is probable they were uttered by Moses in God's name. Howsoever the sense of them is in many places. I will be sanctified - This may note, either,
    1. their duty to sanctify God, to demean themselves with such care, and reverence, and watchfulness, as becomes the holiness of the God whom they serve; whence he leaves them to gather the justice of the present judgment. Or,
    2. God's purpose to sanctify himself, to manifest himself to be an holy and righteous God by his severe and impartial punishment of all transgressors, how near soever they are to him.
    That come nigh me - Who draw near to me, or to the place where I dwell, and are admitted into the holy place, whence others are shut out. It is a description of the priests. I will be glorified - As they have sinned publickly and scandalously, so I will vindicate my honour in a public and exemplary manner, that all men may learn to give me the glory of my holiness by an exact conformity to my laws. And Aaron held his peace - In acknowledgment of God's justice and submission to it. He murmured not, nor replied against God.
    4 Moses called Mishael - For Aaron and his sons were employed in their holy ministrations, from which they were not called for funeral solemnities. Brethren - That is, kinsmen, as that word is oft used. Out of the camp - Where the burying - places of the Jews were, that the living might neither be annoyed by the unwholesome scent of the dead, nor defiled by the touch of their graves.
    5 In their coats - In the holy garments wherein they ministered; which might be done, either,
    1. as a testimony of respect due to them, notwithstanding their present failure; and that God in judgment remembered mercy, and when he took away their lives, spared their souls. Or,
    2. because being polluted both by their sin, and by the touch of their dead bodies, God would not have them any more used in his service.
    6 Uncover not your head - That is, give no signification of your sorrow; mourn not for them; partly lest you should seem to justify your brethren, and tacitly reflect upon God as too severe; and partly lest thereby you should be diverted from, or disturbed in your present service, which God expects to be done chearfully. But bewail the burning - Not so much in compassion to them, as in sorrow for the tokens of divine displeasure.
    7 Ye shall not go from the tabernacle - Where at this time they were, because this happened within seven days of their consecration. The oil of the Lord is upon you - You are persons consecrated peculiarly to God's service, which therefore it is just you should prefer before all funeral solemnities.
    9 Drink not wine - it is not improbable, that the sin of Nadab and Abihu was owing to this very thing. But if not, yet drunkenness is so odious a sin in itself, especially in a minister, and most of all in the time of his administration of sacred things, that God saw fit to prevent all occasions of it. And hence the devil, who is God's ape, required this abstinence from his priests in their idolatrous service.
    10 Between holy and unholy - Persons and things, which Nadab and Abihu did not.
    11 Ye may teach - Which drunken persons are very unfit to do.
    12 Eat it - Moses repeats the command, partly lest their grief should cause them to neglect their meat prescribed by God, (which abstinence would have been both a signification of their sorrow which God had forbidden them, and a new transgression of a divine precept;) and partly to encourage them to go on in their holy services, and not to be dejected, as if God would no more accept them or their sacrifices.
    13 In the holy place - in the court, near the altar of burnt - offerings.
    14 In a clean place - In any of your dwellings, or any place in the camp, which was kept clean from all ceremonial defilement. In any place where the women as well as the men might come, for the daughters of the priest might eat these as well as their sons, if they were maids, or widows, or divorced, Lev 22:11 - 13.
    16 He was angry with Eleazar - He spares Aaron at this time, as overwhelmed with sorrow, and because the rebuking him before his sons might have exposed him to some contempt; but he knew that the reproof though directed to them, would concern him too. Who were left alive - And therefore ought to have taken warning.
    17 God hath given it to you - As a reward of your service, whereby you expiate, bear, and take away their sins, by offering those sacrifices, by which God through Christ is reconciled to the penitent and believing offerers.
    18 The blood was not brought in - Because Aaron was not yet admitted into the holy place, whither that blood should have been brought, 'till he had prepared the way by the sacrifices which were to be offered in the court.
    19 They have offered - They have done the substance of the thing, though they have mistaken this one circumstance. Such things - Whereby, haying been oppressed with grief, it is not strange nor unpardonable if I have mistaked. Should it have been accepted - Because it was not to be eaten with sorrow, but with rejoicing and thanksgiving.
    20 He rested satisfied with his answer. it appeared, that Aaron sincerely aimed at pleasing God: and those who do so, will find he is not extreme to mark what is done amiss.

    Chapter XI

    Of clean and unclean beasts, ver. 1 - 8. Fishes, ver. 9 - 12. Fowls, ver. 13 - 19. Creeping things whether flying, ver. 20 - 28. or creeping upon the earth, ver. 29 - 43. An exhortation to holiness, ver. 44, 45. The conclusion, ver. 46, 47.

    1 From the laws concerning the priests, he now comes to those which belong to all the people. God spake to both of them, because the cognizance of the following matters belonged to both: the priest was to direct the people about the things forbidden or allowed, where any doubt or difficulty arose; and the magistrate was to see the direction followed.
    2 These are the beasts - Though every creature of God be good and pure in itself, yet it pleased God to make a difference between clean and unclean, which he did in part before the flood, Gen 7:2, but more fully here for many reasons; as,
    1. To assert his own sovereignty over man, and all the creatures which men may not use but with God's leave.
    2. To keep up the wall of partition between the Jews and other nations, which was very necessary for many great and wise purposes.
    3. That by bridling their appetite in things in themselves lawful, and some of them very desirable, they might be better prepared and enabled to deny themselves in things simply and grossly sinful.
    4. For the preservation of their health, some of the creatures forbidden being, though used by the neighbouring nations, of unwholesome nourishment, especially to the Jews, who were very obnoxious to leprosies. To teach them to abhor that filthiness, and all those ill qualities for which some of these creatures are noted.
    3 Cloven - footed - That is, divided into two parts only: This clause is added to explain and limit the former, as appears from Lev 11:26, for the feet of dogs, cats &c. are parted or cloven into many parts. And cheweth the cud - Heb. and bringeth up the cud, that is, the meat once chewed, out of the stomach in the mouth again, that it may be chewed a second time for better concoction. And this branch is to be joined with the former, both properties being necessary for the allowed beasts. But the reason hereof must be resolved into the will of the law - giver; though interpreters guess that God would hereby signify their duties, by the first, that of discerning between good and evil; and by the latter, that duty of recalling God's word to our minds and meditating upon it.
    4 The camel - An usual food in Arabia, but yielding bad nourishment. Divideth not the hoof - So as to have his foot cloven in two, which being expressed, Lev 11:3, is here to be understood. Otherwise the camel's hoof is divided, but it is but a small and imperfect division.
    5 As for the names of the following creatures, seeing the Jews themselves are uncertain and divided about them, it seems improper to trouble the unlearned readers with disputes about them.
    8 Ye shall not touch - Not in order to eating, as may be gathered by comparing this with Gen 3:3. But since the fat and skins of some of the forbidden creatures were useful, for medicinal and other good purposes, and were used by good men, it is not probable that God would have them cast away. Thus God forbad the making of images, Exo 20:4, not universally, but in order to the worshipping them, as Christian interpreters agree.
    9 Fins and scales - Both of them; such fishes being more cleanly, and more wholesome food than others. The names of them are not particularly mentioned, partly because most of them wanted names, the fish not being brought to Adam and named by him as other creatures were; and partly because the land of Canaan had not many rivers, nor great store of fish.
    11 Unto you - This clause is added to shew that they were neither abominable in their own nature, nor for the food of other nations; and consequently when the partition - wall between Jews and Gentiles was taken away, these distinctions of meat were to cease.
    13 Among the fowls - The true signification of the following Hebrew words is now lost, as the Jews at this day confess; which not falling out without God's singular providence may intimate the cessation of this law, the exact observation whereof since Christ came is become impossible. In general, this may be observed, that the fowls forbidden in diet, are all either ravenous and cruel, or such as delight in the night and darkness, or such as feed upon impure things; and so the signification of these prohibitions is manifest, to teach men to abominate all cruelty or oppression, and all works of darkness and filthiness. The ossifrage and the osprey - Two peculiar kinds of eagles, distinct from that which being the chief of its kind, is called by the name of the whole kind.
    15 After his kind - According to the several kinds, known by this general name, which includes, besides ravens properly so called, crows, rooks, pyes, and others.
    20 All fowls - Flying things that crawl or creep upon the earth, and so degenerate from their proper nature, and are of a mongrel kind, which may intimate that apostates and mongrels in religion are abominable in the sight of God. Upon all four - Upon four legs, or upon more than four, which is all one to the present purpose.
    22 The locust - Locusts, though unusual in our food, were commonly eaten by the Ethiopians, Lybians, Parthians, and other eastern people bordering upon the Jews. And as it is certain the eastern locusts were much larger than ours, so it is probable they were of different qualities, and yielding better nourishment.
    23 All other - That is, which have not those legs above and besides their feet mentioned, Lev 11:21.
    24 Unclean - And such were excluded both from the court of God's house, and from free conversation with other men.
    25 Beareth - Or, taketh away, out of the place where it may lie, by which others may be either offended, or polluted.
    27 Upon his paws - Heb. upon his hands, that is, which hath feet divided into several parts like fingers, as dogs, cats, apes, and bears.
    34 That on which such water cometh - That flesh or herbs or other food which is dressed in water, in a vessel so polluted, shall be unclean; not so, if it be food which is eaten dry, as bread, or fruits; the reason of which difference seems to be this, that the water did sooner receive the pollution in itself, and convey it to the food so dressed.
    36 Of this no reason can be given, but the will of the law - giver and his merciful condescension to men's necessities, water being scarce in those countries; and for the same reason God would have the ceremonial law of sacrifices, give place to the law of mercy.
    37 Seed - Partly because this was necessary provision for man; and partly because such seed would not be used for man's food till it had received many alterations in the earth whereby such pollution was taken away.
    38 If any water - The reason of the difference is, because wet seed doth sooner receive, and longer retain any pollution and partly because such seed was not fit to be sown presently, and therefore that necessity which justified the use of the dry seed, could not be pretended in this case.
    39 If any beast die - Either of itself, or being killed by some wild beast, in which cases the blood was not poured forth, as it was when they were killed by men either for food or sacrifice.
    40 He that eateth - Unwittingly, for if he did it knowingly, it was a presumptuous sin against an express law, Deu 14:21, and therefore punished with cutting off.
    41 Every creeping thing - Except those expressly excepted, Lev 11:29,30.
    42 Upon the belly - As worms and snakes, Upon all four - As toads and divers serpents.
    44 Ye shall be holy - By this he gives them to understand, that all these cautions about eating or touching these creatures was not for any real uncleanness in them, but only that by diligent observation of these rules they might learn with greater care to avoid all moral pollutions, and to keep themselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and from all familiar and intimate converse with notorious sinners.
    45 That bringeth you up out of Egypt - This was a reason why they should chearfully submit to distinguishing laws, who had been so honoured with distinguishing favours.
    46 This is the law - It was so, as long the Mosaic dispensation lasted. But under the gospel we find it expressly repealed by a voice from heaven, Acts 10:15. Let us therefore bless God, that to us every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused.

    Chapter XII

    Laws concerning the uncleanness of women in child - birth, ver. 1 - 5. Concerning their purification, ver. 6 - 8.

    1 From uncleanness contracted by the touching or eating of external things, he now comes to that uncleanness which ariseth from ourselves.
    2 Seven days - Not for any filthiness which was either in the conception, or in bringing forth, but to signify the universal and deep pollution of man's nature, even from the birth, and from the conception. Seven days or thereabouts, nature is employed in the purgation of most women. Her infirmity - Her monthly infirmity. And it may note an agreement therewith not only in the time, Lev 15:19, but in the degree of uncleanness.
    4 In the blood of her purifying - In her polluted and separated estate; for the word blood or bloods signifies both guilt, and uncleanness, as here and elsewhere. And it is called the blood of her purifying, because by the expulsion or purgation of that blood, which is done by degrees, she is purified. No hallowed thing - She shall not eat any part of the peace - offerings which she or her husband offered, which otherwise she might have done; and, if she be a priest's wife, she shall not eat any of the tythes or first fruits, or part of the hallowed meats, which at other times she together with her husband might eat.
    5 Threescore and six days - The time in both particulars is double to the former, not so much from natural causes, as to put an honour upon the sacrament of circumcision, which being administered to the males, did put an end to that pollution sooner than otherwise had been.
    6 For a son or a daughter - For the birth of a son, or of a daughter: but the purification was for herself, as appears from the following verses. A sin - offering - Because of her ceremonial uncleanness, which required a ceremonial expiation.
    8 The morality of this law obliges women who have received mercies from God in child - bearing, with all thankfulness to acknowledge his goodness to them, owning themselves unworthy of it, and (which is the best purification) to continue in faith, and love, and holiness, with sobriety.

    Chapter XIII

    Rules whereby the priest was to judge of the leprosy, ver. 1 - 44. Directions concerning the leper, ver. 45, 46. Concerning the leprosy in garments, ver. 47 - 59.

    2 In the skin - For there is the first seat of the leprosy, the bright spot shining like the scale of a fish, as it is in the beginning of a leprosy. The priest - The priest was to admit to, or exclude from, the sanctuary, and therefore to examine who were to be excluded.
    3 When the hair is turned white - This change of colour was an evidence both of the abundance of excrementious humours, and of the weakness of nature, as we see in old and sick persons. His flesh - For the leprosy consumed both the skin and the flesh.
    4 Seven days - For greater assurance; to teach ministers not to be hasty in their judgments, but diligently to search and examine all things before - hand. The plague is here put for the man that hath the plague.
    6 Dark - Contrary to the white colour of the leprosy. But the word may be rendered, have contracted itself, and thus the opposition seems to be most clear as the spreading of itself. He shall wash his clothes - Though it was no leprosy, to teach us, that no sin is so small as not to need to be washed by the blood of Christ, which was the thing designed by all these washings.
    10 White in the skin - With a preternatural and extraordinary whiteness. Raw flesh - This shewed it was not a superficial leprosy but one of a deeper and more malignant nature, that had eaten into the very flesh, for which cause it is in the next verse called an old or inveterate leprosy.
    13 All his flesh - When it appeared in some one part it discovered the ill humour which lurked within, and withal the inability of nature to expel it; but when it overspread all, it manifested the strength of nature conquering the distemper, and purging out the ill humours into the outward parts.
    14 In it - That is in the place where the appearance of leprosy was, when the flesh was partly changed into a whiter colour, and partly kept its natural colour, this variety of colours was an evidence of the leprosy, as one and the same colour continuing, was a sign of soundness.
    15 The raw flesh - This is repeated again and again, because raw or living flesh might rather seem a sign of soundness, and the priest might easily be deceived by it, and therefore he was more narrowly to look into it.
    16 Unto white - As it is usual with sores, when they begin to be healed, the skin which is white, coming upon the flesh.
    21 Dark - Or, and be contracted.
    22 A plague - Or the plague of leprosy, of which he is speaking.
    24 A hot burning - A burning of fire, by the touch of any hot - iron, or burning coals, which naturally makes an ulcer or sore in which the following spot is.
    28 Of the burning - Arising from the burning mentioned, Lev 13:24.
    30 A yellow, thin hair - The leprosy in the body turned the hair white, in the head or beard it turned it yellow. And if a man's hair was yellow before, this might easily be distinguished from the rest, either by the thinness or smallness of it, or by its peculiar kind of yellow, for there are divers kinds of the same colour manifestly differing from one another.
    31 No black hair - For had that appeared, it had ended the doubt, the black hair being a sign of soundness and strength of nature, as the yellow hair was a sign of unsoundness.
    33 He shall be shaven - For the more certain discovery of the growth or stay of the plague.
    36 He shall not seek - He need not search for the hair, or any other sign, the spreading of it being a sure sign of leprosy.
    39 If the spots be darkish white - Or, contracted, or confined to the place where they are, and white.
    42 It is a leprosy - It is a sign that such baldness came not from age, or any accident, but from the leprosy.
    45 His clothes shall be rent - In the upper and fore parts, which were most visible. This was done partly as a token of sorrow, because though this was not a sin, yet it was an effect of sin, and a sore punishment, whereby he was cut off both from converse with men, and from the enjoyment of God in his ordinances; partly as a warning to others to keep at a due distance from him wheresoever he came. And his head bare - Another sign of mourning. God would have men though not overwhelmed with, yet deeply sensible of his judgments. A covering on his upper lip - Partly as another badge of his sorrow and shame, and partly for the preservation of others from his breath or touch. Unclean, unclean - As begging the pity and prayers of others, and confessing his own infirmity, and cautioning those who came near him, to keep at a distance from him.
    46 He shall dwell alone - Partly for his humiliation; partly to prevent the infection of others; and partly to shew the danger of converse with spiritual lepers, or notorious sinners.
    47 Leprosy in garments and houses is unknown in these times and places, which is not strange, there being some diseases peculiar to some ages and countries. And that such a thing was among the Jews, cannot reasonably be doubted; for, if Moses had been a deceiver, a man of his wisdom, would not have exposed himself to the contempt of his people by giving laws about that which their experience shewed to be but a fiction.
    48 In the warp or woof - A learned man renders it in the outside, or in the inside of it. If the signification of these words be doubtful now, as some of those of the living creatures and precious stones are confessed to be, it is not material to us, this law being abolished; it sufficeth that the Jews understood these things by frequent experience.
    55 If it have not changed its colour - If washing doth not take away that vicious colour, and restore it to its own native colour.

    Chapter XIV

    The manner of cleansing a leper, ver. 1 - 9. The sacrifices to be offered for him, ver. 10 - 32. The management of an house suspected of leprosy, ver. 33 - 53. The summary of the whole, ver. 54 - 57.

    2 He shall be brought to the priest - Not into the priest's house, but to some place without the camp or city, which the priest shall appoint.
    3 Healed by God - For God alone did heal or cleanse him really, the priest only declaratively.
    4 Two birds - The one to represent Christ as dying for his sins, the other to represent him as rising again for his purification or justification. Clean - Allowed for food and for sacrifice. Cedar - wood - A stick of cedar, to which the hyssop and one of the birds was tied by the scarlet thread. Cedar seems to be chosen, to note that the leper was now freed from that corruption which his leprosy had brought upon him, that kind of wood being in a manner incorruptible. Scarlet - A thread of wool of a scarlet colour, to represent both the leper's sinfulness, and the blood of Christ, and the happy change of the leper's colour and complexion, which before was wan and loathsome, now sprightly and beautiful. Hyssop - The fragrant smell of which, signified the cure of the leper's ill scent.
    5 Killed - By some other man. The priest did not kill it himself, because it was not properly a sacrifice, as being killed without the camp, and not in that place to which all sacrifices were confined. In an earthen - vessel - That is, over running water put in an earthen - vessel - Thus the blood of the bird and the water were mixed together, partly for the conveniency of sprinkling, and partly to signify Christ, who came by water and blood, 1John 5:6. The running water, that is, spring or river water by its liveliness and motion did fitly signify the restoring of liveliness to the leper, who was in a manner dead before.
    7 Into the open field - The place of its former abode, signifying the taking off that restraint which was laid upon the leper.
    8 All his hair - Partly to discover his perfect soundness; partly to preserve him from a relapse through any relicks of it which might remain in his hair or in his clothes. Out of his tent - Out of his former habitation, in some separate place, lest some of his leprosy yet lurking in him should break forth to the infection of his family.
    9 All his hair - Which began to grow again, and now for more caution is shaved again.
    10 Oil is added as a fit sign of God's grace and mercy, and of the leper's healing. A log is a measure containing six egg - shells full.
    11 Maketh him clean - The healing is ascribed to God, Lev 14:13, but the ceremonial cleansing was an act of the priest using the rites which God had prescribed.
    12 A trespass - offering - To teach them, that sin was the cause of leprosy, and of all diseases, and that these ceremonial observations had a farther meaning, to make them sensible of their spiritual diseases, that they might fly to God in Christ for the cure of them.
    14 The priest shall put it - To signify, that he was now free to hear God's word in the appointed places, and to touch any person or thing without defiling it, and to go whither he pleased.
    15 The oil - As the blood signified Christ's blood by which men obtained remission of sins, so the oil noted the graces of the spirit by which they are renewed.
    16 Before the Lord - Before the second veil which covered the holy of holies.
    17 Upon the blood - Upon the place where that blood was put.
    25 The priest shall put the blood - Upon the extremities of the body, to include the whole. And some of the oil was afterwards put in the same places upon the blood. That blood seems to have been a token of forgiveness, the oil of healing: For God first forgiveth our iniquities, and then healeth our diseases. When the leper was anointed, the oil must have blood under it, to signify that all the graces and comforts of the spirit, all his sanctifying influences are owing to the death of Christ. It is by his blood alone that we are sanctified.
    36 That all be not made unclean - It is observable here, that neither the people nor the household stuff were polluted till the leprosy was discovered and declared by the priest, to shew what great difference God makes between sins of ignorance, and sins against knowledge.
    37 In the walls of the house - This was an extraordinary judgment of God peculiar to this people, either as a punishment of their sins, which were much more sinful and inexcusable than the sins of other nations; or as a special help to repentance, which God afforded them above other people; or as a token of the mischievous nature of sin, typified by leprosy, which did not only destroy persons, but their habitations also: Hollow streaks - Such as were in the bodies of leprous persons.
    40 An unclean place - Where they used to cast dirt and filthy things.
    57 To teach - To direct the priest when to pronounce a person or house clean or unclean. So it was not left to the priests power or will, but they were tied to plain rules, such as the people might discern no less than the priest.

    Chapter XV

    This chapter contains laws concerning other ceremonial uncleannesses, contracted either by bodily disease, or some natural incidents,

  • whether in men, ver. 1 - 18,
  • or in women, ver. 19 - 33.

    2 A running issue - Commonly called the running of the reins, a grievous and loathsome disease, which is generally the consequence of sin.
    3 His flesh be stopped - That is, if it have run, and be stopped in great measure, either by the grossness of the humour, or by some obstructions that it cannot run freely.
    7 The flesh - That is, any part of his body.
    11 And hath not rinsed - That is, the person touched, to whom the washing of his hands is prescribed, if speedily done; but if that was neglected, a more laborious course was enjoined.
    13 When he is cleansed - When his issue hath wholly ceased.
    15 An atonement - Not as if this was in itself a sin, but only a punishment of sin; though oft - times it was sinful, as being a fruit of intemperance.
    18 A man - Or, The man, that had such an issue, which is plainly to be understood out of the whole context. For though in some special cases relating to the worship of God, men were to forbear the use of the marriage - bed, yet to affirm that the use of it in other cases did generally defile the persons, and make them unclean till even, is contrary to the whole current of scripture, which affirms the marriage - bed to be undefiled, Heb 13:4, to the practice of the Jews, which is a good comment upon their own laws, and to the light of nature and reason.
    19 And if a woman - Heb. And a woman when she shall have an issue of blood, and her issue shalt be in her flesh, that is, in her secret parts, as flesh is taken, Lev 15:2. So it notes her monthly disease. Put apart - Not out of the camp, but from converse with her husband and others, and from access to the house of God. Seven days - For sometimes it continues so long; and it was decent to allow some time for purification after the ceasing of her issue. Whosoever toucheth her - Of grown persons. For the infant, to whom in that case she might give suck, was exempted from this pollution by the greater law of necessity, and by that antecedent law which required women to give suck to their own children.
    24 Seven days - If he did this ignorantly; but if the man and woman did this knowingly, being accused and convicted, they were punished with death, Lev 20:18, for as there was a turpitude in the action, so it was very prejudicial to the children then begotten, who were commonly weak, or leprous; which was also an injury to the commonwealth of Israel, and redounded to the dishonour of God and of the true religion, that the professors thereof gave such public evidence of their intemperance.
    28 Seven days - From the stopping of her issue. And this was for trial, whether it was only a temporary obstruction, or a real cessation.
    31 When they defile my tabernacle - Both ceremonially, by coming into it in their uncleanness, and morally by the contempt of God's express command to cleanse themselves. The grand reason of all these laws was, to separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness. Hereby they were taught their privilege and honour, that they were purified unto God, a peculiar people; for that was a defilement to them, which was not so to others. They were also taught their duty, which was to keep themselves clean from all pollutions.

    Chapter XVI

    The institution of the yearly day of atonement for the whole nation. The whole service is committed to the high - priest, who is,

    1. Then only to come into the holy of holies, in his linen garments with a young bullock, ver. 1 - 4.
    2. To offer a goat, and a bullock for a sin - offering, ver. 5 - 13.
    3. To sprinkle the blood before the mercy seat, and upon the altar, ver. 13 - 19.
    4. To confess over the scape - goat, the sins of the people, and then send him into the wilderness, ver. 20 - 23.
    5. To offer the burnt - offerings, ver. 24 - 28. And,
    6. To appoint this day to be a solemn fast, by a statute for ever, ver. 29 - 34.

    2 At all times - Not whensoever he pleaseth, but only when I shall appoint him, namely, to take down the parts and furniture of it upon every removal, and to minister unto me once in the year. Lest he die - For his irreverence and presumption. In the cloud - In a bright and glorious cloud, over the mercy - seat, as a token when I would have him come.
    3 With a young bullock - That is, with the blood of it; the body of it was to be offered upon the altar of burnt - offerings. A sin - offering - For his own and family's sins; for a goat was offered for the sins of the people.
    4 The linen coat - It is observable, the high - priest did not now use his peculiar and glorious robes, but only his linen garments, which were common to him with the ordinary priests. The reason whereof was, because this was not a day of feasting and rejoicing, but of mourning and humiliation, at which times people were to lay aside their ornaments. These are holy - Because appropriated to an holy and religious use.
    8 For the Lord - For the Lord's use by way of sacrifice. Both this and the other goat typified Christ; this in his death and passion for us; that in his resurrection for our deliverance.
    11 The bullock - Mentioned in general, Lev 16:6. The ceremonies whereof are here particularly described. This was a different bullock or heifer from that Num 19:2,5,9,10,17, as appears by comparing the places.
    12 Within the veil - That is, into the holy of holies, Lev 16:2.
    13 Upon the fire - Which was in the censer, Lev 16:12.
    14 Upon the mercy - seat - To teach us, that God is merciful to sinners only through and for the blood of Christ. With his face east - ward, or upon the eastern part, towards the people, who were in the court which lay east - ward from the holy of holies, which was the most western part of the tabernacle. This signified that the high - priest in this act represented the people, and that God accepted it on their behalf. Before the mercy - seat - On the ground.
    15 Then shall he kill the goat - He went out of the holy of holies, and killed it, and then returned thither again with its blood. And whereas the high - priest is said to be allowed to enter into that place but once in a year, that is to be understood, but one day in a year, though there was occasion of going in and coming out more than once upon that day.
    16 Because of the uncleannesses of Israel - For though the people did not enter into that place, yet their sins entered thither, and would hinder the effects of the high - priest's mediation on their behalf if God was not reconciled to them. In the midst of their uncleanness - ln the midst of a sinful people, who defile not themselves only, but also God's sanctuary. And God hereby shewed them, how much their hearts needed to be purified, when even the tabernacle, only by standing in the midst of them, needed this expiation.
    17 In the tabernacle - ln the holy place, where the priests and Levites were at other times. This was commanded for the greater reverence to the Divine Majesty then in a more special manner appearing, and that none of them might cast an eye into the holy of holies, as the high - priest went in or came out.
    18 The altar before the Lord - That is, the altar of incense, where the blood of sacrifices was to be put, particularly the blood of the sin - offerings offered upon this day of atonement, and which is most properly said to be before the Lord, that is, before the place where God in a special manner dwelt. His going out relates to the holy of holies, into which he was said to go in, Lev 16:17.
    19 Seven times - To signify its perfect cleansing, (seven being a number of perfection) and our perfect reconciliation by the blood of Christ.
    21 All the iniquities - He mentions iniquities, transgressions, and sins, to note sins of all sorts, and that a free and full confession was to be made, and that the smallest sins needed, and the greatest sins were not excluded from, the benefit of Christ's death here represented. On the head - Charging all their sins and the punishment due to them upon the goat, which tho' only a ceremony, yet being done according to God's appointment and manifestly pointing at Christ upon whom their iniquities and punishments were laid, Isa 53:5,6, it was available for this end. And hence the Heathens took their custom of selecting one beast or man, upon whom they laid all their imprecations and curses, and whom they killed as an expiatory sacrifice for their sins, and to prevent their ruin. A fit man - Heb. a man of time, that is, of years and discretion, who may be trusted with this work. Into the wilderness - Which signified the removal of their sins far away both from the people, and out of God's sight. And here the goat being neglected by all men, and exposed to many hazards from wild beasts, which were numerous there, might farther signify Christ's being forsaken both by God and by men, even by his own disciples, and the many dangers and sufferings he underwent. The Jews write, that this goat was carried to the mountain called Azazel, whence the goat is so called, Lev 16:10, and that there he was cast down headlong.
    24 He shall put on his linen garments - Not his ordinary priestly linen garments, for he was to leave them in the tabernacle, Lev 16:23, but the high - priestly garments, called his garments properly, and by way of distinction. And this change of his garments was not without cause. For the common priestly garments were more proper for him in the former part of his ministration, both because he was to appear before the Lord in the most holy place to humble himself and make atonement for his own and for the people's sins, and therefore his meanest attire was most fit, and because he was to lay his hands upon that goat on which all their sins were put, by which touch both he and his garments would be in some sort defiled, and therefore as he washed himself, so we may presume his linen garments were laid by for the washing, as the clothes of him who carried away the scape - goat were washed, Lev 16:26. And the high - priestly garments were most proper for the latter part of his work, which was of another nature.
    29 The seventh month - Answering part to our September and part to our October; when they had gathered in all their fruits, and were most at leisure for God's service: This time God chose for this and other feasts, herein graciously condescending to men's necessities and conveniences. This feast began in the evening of the ninth day, and continued till the evening of the tenth. Your souls - Yourselves, both your bodies, by abstinence from food and other delights, and your minds by grief for former sins, which though bitter, yet is voluntary in all true penitents, who are therefore here said to afflict themselves, or to be active in the work.
    31 A sabbath - Observed as a sabbath - day from all servile works, and diligent attendance upon God's worship.
    32 He - The high - priest, who was to anoint his successor.
    34 This shall be an everlasting statute - By which were typified the two great gospel privileges; remission of sins, and access to God, both which we owe to the mediation of the Lord Jesus.

    Chapter XVII

    Two prohibitions,

    1. That no sacrifice be offered by any but the priests, nor any where but at the door of the tabernacle, ver. 1 - 9.
    2. That no blood be eaten, ver. 10 - 16.

    3 That killeth - Not for common use, for such beasts might be killed by any person or in any place but for sacrifice. In the camp, or out of the camp - That is, anywhere.
    4 The tabernacle - This was appointed in opposition to the Heathens, who sacrificed in all places; to cut off occasions of idolatry; to prevent the people's usurpation of the priest's office, and to signify that God would accept of no sacrifices but through Christ and in the Church; (of both which the tabernacle was a type.) But though men were tied to this law, God was free to dispense with his own law, which he did sometimes to the prophets, as 1Sam 7:9, 11:15. He hath shed blood - He shall be punished as a murderer. The reason is, because he shed that blood, which, though not man's blood, yet was precious, being sacred and appropriated to God, and typically the price by which men's lives were ransomed.
    5 They offer - The Israelites, before the building of the tabernacle, did so, from which they are now restrained. Peace - offerings - He nameth not these exclusively from others, as appears from the reason of the law, and from Lev 17:8,9, but because in these the temptation was more common in regard of their frequency, and more powerful, because part of these belonged to the offerer, and the pretence was more plausible, because their sanctity was of a lower degree than others, these being only called holy, and allowed in part to the people, whereas the others are called most holy, and were wholly appropriated either to God, or to the priests.
    6 Upon the altar - This verse contains a reason of the foregoing law, because of God's propriety in the blood and fat, wherewith also God was well pleased, and the people reconciled. And these two parts only are mentioned, as the most eminent, and peculiar, though other parts also were reserved for God.
    7 Unto devils - So they did, not directly or intentionally, but by construction and consequence, because the devil is the author of idolatry, and is eminently served, and honoured by it. And as the Egyptians were notorious for their idolatry, so the Israelites were infected with their leaven, Jos 24:14, Eze 20:7, 23:2,3. A whoring - Idolatry, especially in God's people, is commonly called whoredom, because it is a violation of that covenant by which they were peculiarly betrothed or married to God.
    10 I will set my face - I will be an enemy to him, and execute vengeance upon him immediately; because such persons probably would do this in private, so that the magistrate could not know nor punish it. Write that man undone, for ever undone, against whom God sets his face.
    11 Is in the blood - Depends upon the blood, is preserved and nourished by it. The blood maketh atonement - Typically, and in respect of the blood of Christ which it represented, by which the atonement is really made. So the reason is double;
    1. because this was eating up the ransom of their own lives, which in construction was the destroying of themselves.
    2. because it was ingratitude and irreverence towards that sacred blood of Christ which they ought to have in continual veneration.
    15 That eateth - Through ignorance or inadvertency; for if it was done knowingly, it was more severely punished. A stranger - Who is a proselyte to the Jewish religion: other strangers were allowed to eat such things, Deu 14:21, out of which the blood was either not drawn at all, or not regularly.
    16 His iniquity - The punishment of it, and therefore must offer a sacrifice for it.

    Chapter XVIII

    A prohibition of conformity to the heathens, ver. 1 - 5. Particular laws against incest, ver. 6 - 18. Against unnatural lusts and barbarous idolatries, ver. 19 - 23. Enforced from the destruction of the Canaanites, ver. 24 - 30.

    2 Your God - Your sovereign, and lawgiver. This is often repeated because the things here forbidden were practised and allowed by the gentiles, to whose custom he opposes divine authority and their obligation to obey his commands.
    3 Egypt and Canaan - These two nations he mentions, because their habitation and conversation among them made their evil example in the following matters more dangerous. But under them he includes all other nations.
    4 My judgments - Though you do not see the particular reason of some of them, and though they be contrary to the laws and usages of the other nations.
    5 He shall live in them - Not only happily here, but eternally hereafter. This is added as a powerful argument why they should follow God's commands, rather than mens examples, because their life and happiness depend upon it. And though in strictness, and according to the covenant of works they could not challenge life for so doing, except their obedience was universal, perfect, constant and perpetual, and therefore no man since the fall could be justified by the law, yet by the covenant of grace this life is promised to all that obey God's commands sincerely.
    6 To uncover their nakedness - I think Mr. Free has made it highly probable, that this phrase does not mean marriage, but fornication, throughout this chapter. So it unquestionably means in the twentieth chapter.
    16 Thy brother's wife - God afterwards commanded, that in one case, a man should marry his brother's widow.
    18 Thou shalt not take a wife to her sister - Perhaps this text doth not simply forbid the taking one wife to another, but the doing it in such a manner or for such an end, that he may vex or punish, or revenge himself of the former; which probably was a common motive amongst that hardhearted people to do so.
    19 As long as she is set apart - No not to thy own wife. This was not only a ceremonial pollution, but an immorality also, whence it is put amongst gross sins, Eze 18:6. And therefore it is now unlawful under the gospel.
    21 Pass through fire - This was done, either by burning them in the fire, or by making them pass between two great fires, which was a kind of consecration of them to that God. Moloch - Called also Milcom, was an idol chiefly of the Ammonites. He seems to be the Saturn of the heathens, to whom especially children and men were sacrificed. This is mentioned, because the neighbours of Israel were most infected with this idolatry, and therefore they are particularly cautioned against it, though under this one instance all other idols and acts, or kinds of idolatry, are manifestly comprehended and forbidden.
    25 I visit - I am about to visit, that is, to punish.
    26 Nor any stranger - In nation or religion, of what kind soever. For though they might not force them to submit to their religion, yet they might restrain them from the publick contempt of the Jewish laws, and from the violation of natural laws, which, besides the offence against God and nature, were matters of evil example to the Israelites themselves.
    29 Cut off - This phrase therefore of cutting off, is to be understood variously, either of ecclesiastical, or civil punishment, according to the differing natures of the offences for which it is inflicted.

    Chapter XIX

    Various Precepts to be holy, ver. 1, 2. To honour parents and sabbaths, ver. 3. To shun idolatry, ver. 4. Duty to eat their peace - offering, ver. 5 - 8. To leave gleanings for the poor, ver. 9, 10. Not to steal, lie, swear falsely, or defraud, ver. 11 - 13. Not to curse the deaf, or put a stumbling - block before the blind, ver. 14. Not to judge unjustly, carry tales, or bear false witness, ver. 15, 16. To reprove sinners, not to revenge themselves; to love their neighbours, ver. 17, 18. Not to mix different things, ver. 19. Not to lie with their bond - maids, ver. 20 - 22. Not to eat of the fruit of the land for four years, ver. 23 - 25. Not to eat blood, use enchantments, or heathen customs, ver. 26 - 28. Or prostitute their daughters, ver. 29. To reverence God and his sanctuary, ver. 30. Not to regard wizards, ver. 31. To honour the aged, ver. 32. Love and right the stranger, ver. 33, 34. Do no injustice, ver. 34, 35, 36.

    2 Be ye holy - Separated from all the forementioned defilements, and entirely consecrated to God and obedient to all his laws. I am holy - Both in my essence, and in all my laws, which are holy and just and good.
    3 His mother - The mother is put first, partly because the practice of this duty begins there, mothers, by perpetual converse, being sooner known to their children than their fathers; and partly because this duty is commonly neglected to the mother, upon whom children have not so much dependence as they have upon their father. And this fear includes the two great duties of reverence and obedience. And keep my sabbaths - This is added, to shew, that, whereas it is enjoined to parents that they should take care the sabbath be observed both by themselves and their children, it is the duty of children to fear and obey their parents in this matter. But that, if parents should neglect their duty herein, or by their command, counsel, or example, draw them to pollute the sabbath, the children in that case must keep the sabbath, and prefer the command of God before the commands of their parents.
    4 Idols - The word signifies such as are no Gods, or nothings, as they are called, 1Cor 8:4, many idols having no being, but in the fancy of their worshippers, and all of them having no virtue or power to do good or evil, Isa 41:23.
    5 At your own will - Or, according to your own pleasure, what you think fit: For though this in general was required, yet it was left to their choice to determine the particulars.
    6 On the morrow - He speaks here of that sort of peace - offerings, which were offered either by vow or freely for the obtaining of some mercy, for the other sort, which was by way of gratitude for mercies received, were to be eaten the same day.
    10 I am the Lord your God - Who gave you all these things with a reservation of my right in them, and with a charge of giving part of them to the poor.
    12 Ye shall not swear falsely - This is added, to shew how one sin draws on another, and that when men will lye for their own advantage, they will easily be induced to perjury. Profane the name - By any unholy use of it. So it is an additional precept, thou shalt not abuse my holy name by swearing either falsely or rashly.
    14 Before the blind - To make them fall. Under these two particulars are manifestly forbidden all injuries done to such as are unable to right or defend themselves; of whom God here takes the more care, because they are not able to secure themselves. Fear thy God - Who both can and will avenge them.
    15 The poor - So as through pity to him to give an unrighteous sentence.
    16 Stand against the blood - In judgment as a false accuser or false witness, for accusers and witnesses use to stand, whilst the judges sit in courts of judicature.
    17 Thou shalt not hate - As thou dost, in effect, if thou dost not rebuke him. Thy brother - The same as thy neighbour, that is, every man. If thy brother hath done wrong, thou shalt neither divulge it to others, nor hate him, and smother that hatred by sullen silence; nor flatter him therein, but shalt freely and in love, tell him of his fault. And not suffer sin upon him - Not suffer him to lie under the guilt of any sin, which thou by rebuking him, and thereby bringing him to repentance, couldst free him from.
    18 Thy neighbour - Every man, as plainly appears,
    1. By comparing this place with Lev 19:34, where this law is applied to strangers.
    2. Because the word neighbour is explained by another man, Lev 20:10 Rom 13:8. As thyself - With the same sincerity, though not equality of affection.
    19 Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender - This was prohibited, partly to restrain the curiosity and boldness of men, who might attempt to amend or change the works of God, partly that by the restraint here laid even upon brute - creatures men might be taught to abhor all unnatural lusts, partly to teach the Israelites to avoid mixtures with other nations, either in marriage or in religion, which also may be signified by the following prohibitions.
    20 She shall be scourged - Heb. There shall be a scourging, which probably may belong to both of them, for
    1. Both were guilty.
    2. It follows, they shall not be punished with death, which may seem to imply that they were to be punished by some other common and considerable punishment, which scourging indeed was, but the paying of a ram was a small penalty and very unsuitable to the greatness of the offence. And the offering of the ram as a trespass offering for the sin against God, is not inconsistent with making satisfaction other ways for the injury done to men, but only added here as farther punishment to the man, either because he only could do this, and not the woman, who being a bondwoman had nothing of her own to offer. Or because his sex and his freedom aggravated his sin. Not put to death - Which they should have been, had she been free, Deu 22:23,24. The reason of this difference is not from any respect which God gives to persons, for bond and free are alike to him, but because bond - women were scarce wives, and their marriages were scarce true - marriages, being neither made by their choice, but their masters authority, nor continued beyond the year of release, but at her master's or husband's pleasure.
    23 As uncircumcised - That is, As unclean, not to be eaten but cast away. This precept was serviceable,
    1. To the trees themselves, which grew the better and faster, being early stript of those fruits, which otherwise would have drawn away much more of the strength from the tree.
    2. To men, both because the fruit then was less wholesome, and because hereby men were taught to bridle their appetites; a lesson of great use and absolute necessity in a holy life.
    24 Holy - Consecrated to the Lord, as the first - fruits and tithes were, and therefore given to the priests and Levites, Num 18:12,13 Deu 18:4 yet so that part of them were communicated to the poor widows and fatherless and strangers. See Deu 14:28. To bless the Lord, by whose power and goodness the trees bring forth fruit to perfection.
    25 That it may yield the increase - That God may be pleased to give his blessing, which alone can make them fruitful.
    26 Any thing with the blood - Any flesh out of which the blood is poured. Neither shall ye use enchantments - It was unpardonable in them, to whom were committed the oracles of God, to ask counsel of the devil. And yet worse in Christians, to whom the son of God is manifested, to destroy the works of the devil. For Christians to have their nativities cast, or their fortunes told, or to use charms for the cure of diseases, is an intolerable affront to the Lord Jesus, a support of idolatry, and a reproach both to themselves, and to that worthy name by which they are called. Nor observe times - Superstitiously, esteeming some days lucky, others unlucky.
    27 The corners of your heads - That is your temples, ye shall not cut off the hair of your heads round about your temples. This the Gentiles did, either for the worship of their idols, to whom young men used to consecrate their hair, being cut off from their heads, as Homer, Plutarch and many others write; or in funerals or immoderate mournings, as appears from Isa 15:2 Jer 48:37. And the like is to be thought concerning the beard or the hair in the corner, that is, corners of the beard. The reason then of this prohibition is because God would not have his people agree with idolaters, neither in their idolatries, nor in their excessive sorrowing, no nor so much as in the appearances of it.
    28 Cuttings in your flesh - Which the Gentiles commonly did both in the worship of their idols, and in their solemn mournings, Jer 16:6.
    29 Do not prostitute - As the Gentiles frequently did for the honour of some of their idols, to whom women were consecrated, and publickly prostituted.
    31 Wizards - Them that have entered into covenant with the devil, by whose help they foretel many things to come, and acquaint men with secret things. See Lev 20:27 Deu 18:11 1Sam 28:3,7,9 2Kings 21:6.
    32 Rise up - To do them reverence when they pass by, for which end they were obliged, as the Jews say, presently to sit down again when they were past, that it might be manifest they arose out of respect to them. Fear thy God - This respect is due to such, if not for themselves, yet for God's sake, who requires this reverence, and whose singular blessing old age is.
    33 Vex him - Either with opprobrious expressions, or grievous exactions.
    34 As one born among you - Either

    1, as to the matters of common right, so it reacheth to all strangers. Or 2, as to church - privileges, so it concerns only those who were

    proselytes. Ye were strangers - And therefore are sensible of the fears, distresses, and miseries of such, which call for your pity, and you ought to do to them, as you desired others should do to you, when you were such.

    35 In mete - yard - In the measuring of lands, or dry things, as cloth, ribband. In measure - In the measuring liquid or such dry things as are only contigious, as corn or wine.
    36 A just ephah and a just hin - These two two measures are named as most common, the former for dry, the latter for moist things, but under them he manifestly comprehends all other measures.
    37 Therefore - Because my blessings and deliverances are not indulgences to sin, but greater obligations to all duties to God and men.

    Chapter XX

    Prohibitions against offering children to Moloch, ver. 1 - 5. Against consulting wizards, ver. 6. Holiness enjoined, ver. 7, 8. Against cursing parents, ver. 9. Against adultery, ver. 10 Against incestuous mixtures, ver. 11 - 21. Holiness again enjoined, ver. 22 - 26. Soothsayers to be stoned, ver. 27.

    2 The people - Here follow the punishments of the crimes forbidden in the former chapters.
    3 I will set my face against that man - Deal with him as an enemy, and make him a monument of my justice. To defile my sanctuary - Because the sanctuary was defiled by gross abominations committed in that city or land where God's sanctuary was: or because by these actions they declared to all men that they esteemed the sanctuary and service of God abominable and vile, by preferring such odious idolatry before it. And to profane my name - Partly by despising it themselves, partly by disgracing it to others, and giving them occasion to blaspheme it, and to abhor the true religion.
    4 Hide their eyes - Wink at his fault, and forbear to accuse and punish him.
    6 To go a whoring - To seek counsel or help from them.
    8 Who sanctify you - Who separate you from all nations, and from their impurities and idolatries, to be a peculiar people to myself; and who give you my grace to keep my statutes.
    9 Curseth - This is not here meant of every perverse expression, but of bitter reproaches or imprecations. His blood shall be upon him - He is guilty of his own death: he deserves to die for so unnatural a crime.
    12 Confusion - By perverting the order which God hath appointed, and making the same off - spring both his own child and his grandchild.
    13 Put to death - Except the one party was forced by the other. See Deu 22:25.
    14 They - All who consented to it.
    15 Slay the beast - Partly for the prevention of monstrous births, partly to blot out the memory of so loathsome a crime.
    17 See her nakedness - In this and several of the following verses, uncovering nakedness plainly appears to mean not marriage, but fornication or adultery.
    20 They shall die childless - Either shall be speedily cut off ere they can have a child by that incestuous conjunction; if this seem a less crime than most of the former incestuous mixtures, and therefore the magistrate forbear to punish it with death; yet they shall either have no children from such an unlawful bed, or their children shall die before them.
    21 His brother's wife - Except in the case allowed by God, Deu 25:5.
    27 A man or a woman that hath a familiar spirit, shall surely be put to death - They that are in league with the devil, have in effect made a covenant with death: and so shall their doom be.

    Chapter XXI

    Directions to the priests, ver. 1 - 9. To the high - priest, ver. 10 - 15. None of these must have any blemish, ver. 16 - 24.

    1 Among his people - None of the priests shall touch the dead body, or assist at his funeral, or eat of the funeral feast. The reason of this law is evident, because by such pollution they were excluded from converse with men, to whom by their function they were to be serviceable upon all occasions, and from the handling of holy things. And God would hereby teach them, and in them all successive ministers, that they ought entirely to give themselves to the service of God. Yea, to renounce all expressions of natural affection, and all worldly employments, so far as they are impediments to the discharge of their holy services.
    2 Near to him - Under which general expression his wife seems to be comprehended, though she be not expressed. And hence it is noted as a peculiar case, that Ezekiel, who was a priest, was forbidden to mourn for his wife, Eze 24:16, &c. These exceptions God makes in condescension to human infirmity, because in such cases it was very hard to restrain the affections. But this allowance concerns only the inferior priest, not the high - priest.
    3 That is nigh him - That is, by nearness not of relation, (for that might seem a needless addition) but of habitation, one not yet cut off from the family. For if she was married, she was now of another family, and under her husband's care in those matters.
    4 Being - Or, seeing he is a chief man, for such not only the high - priest, but others also of the inferior priests were. He shall not defile himself for any other person whatsoever. To profane himself - Because such defilement for the dead did profane him, or make him as a common person, and consequently unfit to manage his sacred employment.
    5 They shall not make baldness - In funerals, as the Heathens did. Though I allow them to defile themselves for some of the dead, yet in no case shall they use these superstitious rites, which also the people were forbidden to do; but the priests in a more peculiar manner, because they are by word and example to teach the people their duty.
    6 Holy unto their God - Devoted to God's service, and always prepared for it, and therefore shall keep themselves from all defilements. The name of their God - Which they especially bear. The bread of their God - That is, the shew - bread: or rather, all the other offerings, besides burnt - offerings: which are called bread, because bread is commonly put for all food.
    7 Profane - Or defiled, or deflowered, though it were done secretly, or by force: because the priest must take care that all the members of his family be free not only from gross wickedness, but from all suspicions of evil.
    8 Thou - O Moses, and whosoever shall succeed in thy place, to whom it belongs to see my laws observed, shall take care that the priest be holy, and do not defile himself by any of these forbidden marriages.
    9 And the daughter - And by analogy his son also, and his wife, because the reason of the law here added, concerns all. And nothing is more common than to name one kind for the rest of the same nature, as also is done Lev 18:6. She profaneth her father - Exposeth his person and office, and consequently religion, to contempt.
    10 The garments - Those holy garments, which were peculiar to him. Shall not uncover his head - This being then the posture of mourners, Lev 10:6, though afterwards the custom was changed and mourners covered their heads, 2Sam 15:30, Esth 6:12. Nor rent his clothes - Another expression of mourning.
    11 Go in - Into the chamber or house where they lie. This and divers other rites here prescribed were from hence translated by the Heathens into their use, whose priests were put under the same obligations.
    12 Out of the sanctuary - To attend the funerals of any person: for upon other occasions he might and did commonly go out. Nor profane the sanctuary - Either by the performance of a civility, or by entering into the sanctuary before the seven days allotted for his cleansing, Num 19:11, were expired. The crown of the anointing oil - Or, the crown, the golden plate, which is called the holy crown, Exo 29:6, and the anointing oil of his God are upon him. So there is only an ellipsis of the conjunction and, which is frequent. And these two things, being most eminent, are put for the rest, as the sign is put for the thing signified, that is, for he is God's high - priest.
    13 In her virginity - Or, a virgin, partly because as he was a type of Christ, so his wife was a type of the church, which is compared to a virgin, and partly for greater caution and assurance that his wife was not a defiled or deflowered person. Most of these things are forbidden to all the priests; and here to the high - priest, to shew that he also, and he especially is obliged to the same cautions.
    15 I the Lord sanctify him - I have separated him from all other men for my immediate service, and therefore will not have that race corrupted.
    17 Of thy seed - Whether the high priest, or the inferior ones. That hath - In all successive ages, any defect or excess of parts, any notorious deformity or imperfection in his body. The reason hereof is partly typical, that he, might more fully represent Christ, the great high - priest, who was typified both by the priest and sacrifice, and therefore both were to be without blemish; partly moral, to teach all Christians and especially ministers of holy things, what purity and perfection of heart and life they should labour after, and that notorious blemishes in the mind or conversation, render a man unfit for the ministry of the gospel; and partly prudential, because such blemishes were apt to breed contempt of the person; and consequently, of his function, and of the holy things wherein he ministered. For which reason, such persons as have notorious defects or deformities, are still unfit for the ministry except where there are eminent gifts and graces, which vindicate a man from the contemptibleness of his bodily presence. The particular defect's here mentioned, I shall not enlarge upon because some of the Hebrew words are diversely interpreted, and because the use of these things being abolished, the knowledge of them is not necessary.
    18 A flat nose - Most restrain this word to the nose, and to some great deformity relating to it. But according to others, it signifies more generally, a person that wants some member or members, because the next word, to which it is opposed, signifies one that hath more members than he should.
    21 A blemish - Any notorious blemish whereby he is disfigured, though not here mentioned.
    22 He shall eat - Which a priest having any uncleanness might not do whereby God would shew the great difference between natural infirmities sent upon a man by God, and moral defilements which a man brought upon himself.
    23 To the veil - To the second veil which was between the holy and the most holy place, to burn incense, to order the shew - bread, and to dress the lamps, which were nigh unto that veil though without. My altar - The altar of burnt - offering, which was without the sanctuary. The sense is, he shall not execute the priest's office, which was to be done in those two places.

    Chapter XXII

    A priest, having any uncleanness, must not eat of the holy things, ver. 1 - 7. No priest must eat that which dies of itself, or is torn, ver. 8, 9. No stranger must eat of holy things, ver. 10 - 13. Of them that do it ignorantly, ver. 14 - 16. Sacrifices must be without blemish, and of a due age, ver. 17 - 27. Thank offerings must be eaten the same day, ver. 29, 30. An exhortation to obedience, ver. 31 - 33.

    2 Separate themselves - When any uncleanness is upon them, as appears from Lev 22:3,4. From the holy things - From eating of those parts of the offerings, which belong to them. Only of the tithes they might eat. They - The children of Israel. And it ill became the priests to profane or pollute what the people did hallow.
    3 Goeth unto the holy things - To eat them, or to touch them; for if the touch of one of the people having his uncleanness upon him defiled the thing he touched, much more was it so in the priest. Cut off - From my ordinances by excommunication: He shall be excluded both from the administration, and from the participation of them.
    7 His food - His portion, the means of his subsistence. This may be added, to signify why there was no greater nor longer a penalty put upon the priests than upon the people in the same case, because his necessity craved some mitigation: tho' otherwise the priests being more sacred persons, deserved a greater punishment.
    9 Lest they bear sin - Incur guilt and punishment. For it - For the neglect or violation of it.
    10 No stranger - Of a strange family, who is not a priest; but there is an exception to this rule, Lev 22:11. A sojourner - One that comes to his house and abides there for a season, and eats at his table.
    12 A stranger - To one of another family, who is no priest. Yet the priest's wife, though of another family, might eat. The reason of which difference is, because the wife passeth into the name, state and privileges of her husband, from whom the family is denominated.
    14 Unto it - Over and above the principle, and besides the ram to be offered to God, Lev 5:15. And shall give unto the priest the holy thing - That is, the worth of it, which the priest was either to take to himself or to offer to God, as the nature of the thing was.
    15 They - The people shall not profane them, by eating them: or the priests shall not profane them, that is, suffer the people to profane them, without censure and punishment.
    16 They - That is, the priests, shall not (the negative particle being understood out of the foregoing clause) suffer them - That is, the people, to bear the iniquity of trespass - That is, the punishment of their sin, which they might expect from God, and for the prevention whereof the priest was to see restitution made.
    18 Strangers - Such as were proselytes.
    19 A male - For a burnt - offering, which was always of that kind: but the females were accepted in peace - offerings, and sin - offerings.
    25 A stranger's hand - From proselytes: even from those, such should not be accepted, much less from the Israelites. The bread of your God - That is, the sacrifices.
    28 In one day - Because it favoured of cruelty.
    32 Hallowed, or sanctified, either by you in keeping my holy commands, or upon you in executing my holy and righteous judgments. I will manifest myself to be an holy God that will not bear the transgression of my laws.

    Chapter XXIII

    Directions concerning the sabbath, ver. 1 - 3. The passover, ver. 4 - 8. The first fruits, ver. 9 - 14. The feast of pentecost, ver. 15 - 22. of trumpets, ver. 23 - 25. Of atonement, ver. 26 - 32. Of tabernacles, ver. 33 - 44.

    2 Ye shall proclaim - Cause to be proclaimed, by the priests. Holy convocations - Days for your assembling together to my worship in a special manner.
    3 Ye shall do no work therein - So it runs in the general for the sabbath day, and for the day of expiation, Lev 23:28, excluding all works about earthly employments whether of profit or of pleasure; but upon other feast days he forbids only servile works, as Lev 23:7,21,36, for surely this manifest difference in the expressions used by the wife God must needs imply a difference in the things. In all your dwellings - Other feasts, were to be kept before the Lord in Jerusalem only, whither all the males were to come for that end; but the sabbath was to be kept in all places, both in synagogues, and in their private houses.
    4 These are the feasts of the Lord - Or rather, the solemnities: (for the day of atonement was a fast:) and so the word is used, Isa 33:20, where Zion is called the city of our solemnities.
    10 An omer - They did not offer this corn in the ear, or by a sheaf or handful, but, as Josephus, 3. 10 affirms, and may be gathered from Lev 2:14,15,16, purged from the chaff, and dryed, and beaten out.
    11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord - In the name of the whole congregation, which as it were sanctified to them the whole harvest, and gave them a comfortable use of all the rest. For then we may eat our bread with joy, when God hath accepted our works. And thus should we always begin with God; begin our lives with him, begin every day with him, begin every work and business with him: seek ye first the kingdom of God. The morrow after the sabbath - After the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, which was a sabbath or day of rest, as appears from Lev 23:7, or upon the sixteenth day of the month. And this was the first of those fifty days, in the close whereof was the feast of pentecost.
    13 Two tenth deals - Or, parts, of an ephah, that is, two omers, whereas in other sacrifices of lambs there was but one tenth deal prescribed. The reason of which disproportion may be this, that one of the tenth deals was a necessary attendant upon the lamb, and the other was peculiar to this feast, and was an attendant upon that of the corn, and was offered with it in thanksgiving to God for the fruits of the earth.
    14 Bread - Made of new wheat. Nor green ears - Which were usual, not only for offerings to God, but also for man's food.
    15 From the morrow - From the sixteenth day of the month, and the second day of the feast of unleavened bread inclusively.
    16 A new meal - offering - Of new corn made into loaves.
    18 One bullock and two rams - In Num 28:11,19, it is two young bullocks and one ram. Either therefore it was left to their liberty to chuse which they would offer, or one of the bullocks there, and one of the rams here, were the peculiar sacrifices of the feast day, and the other were attendants upon the two loaves, which were the proper offering at this time. And the one may be mentioned there, and the other here, to teach us, that the addition of a new sacrifice did not destroy the former, but both were to be offered, as the extraordinary sacrifices of every feast did not hinder the oblation of the daily sacrifice.
    19 One kid - In Lev 4:14, the sin - offering for the sin of the people is a bullock, but here a kid; &c. the reason of the difference may be this, because that was for some particular sin of the people, but this only in general for all their sins.
    20 Wave them - Some part of them in the name of the whole; and so for the two lambs, otherwise they had been too big and too heavy, to be waved. For the priests - Who had to themselves not only the breast and shoulder as in others, which belonged to the priest, but also the rest which belonged to the offerer; because the whole congregation being the offerer here, it could neither be distributed to them all, nor given to some without offence to the rest.
    21 An holy convocation - A sabbath or day of rest, called pentecost; which was instituted, partly in remembrance of the consummation of their deliverance out of Egypt by bringing them thence to the mount of God, or Sinai, as God had promised, and of that admirable blessing of giving the law to them on the 50th day, and forming them into a commonwealth under his own immediate government; and partly in gratitude for the farther progress of their harvest, as in the passover they offered a thank - offering to God for the beginning of their harvest. The perfection of this feast, was the pouring out of the holy spirit upon the apostles on this very day, in which the law of faith was given, fifty days after Christ our passover was sacrificed for us. And on that day the apostles, having themselves received the first - fruits of the spirit, begat three thousand souls thro' the word of truth, as the first - fruits of the Christian church.
    22 When ye reap, thou - From the plural, ye, he comes to the singular, thou, because he would press this duty upon every person who hath an harvest to reap, that none might plead exemption from it. And it is observable, that though the present business is only concerning the worship of God, yet he makes a kind of excursion to repeat a former law of providing for the poor, to shew that our devotion to God is little esteemed by him if it be not accompanied with acts of charity to men.
    24 A sabbath - Solemnized with the blowing of trumpets by the priests, not in a common way, as they did every first day of every month, but in an extraordinary manner, not only in Jerusalem, but in all the cities of Israel. They began to blow at sun - rise, and continued blowing till sun - set. This seems to have been instituted,
    1. To solemnize the beginning of the new year, whereof as to civil matters and particularly as to the Jubilee, this was the first day; concerning which it was fit the people should be admonished, both to excite their thankfulness for God's blessings in the last year, and to direct them in the management of their civil affairs.
    2. To put a special honour upon this month. For as the seventh day was the sabbath, and the seventh year was a sabbatical year, so God would have the seventh month to be a kind of sabbatical month, for the many sabbaths and solemn feasts which were observed in this more than in any other month. And by this sounding of the trumpets in its beginning, God would quicken and prepare them for the following sabbaths, as well as that of atonement and humiliation for their sins, as those of thanksgiving for God's mercies.
    27 Afflict your souls - With fasting, and bitter repentance for all, especially their national sins, among which no doubt God would have them remember their sin of the golden calf. For as God had threatened to remember it in after times to punish them for it, so there was great reason why they should remember it to humble themselves for it.
    28 Whatsoever soul - Either of the Jewish nation, or religion. Hereby God would signify the absolute necessity which every man had of repentance and forgiveness of sin, and the desperate condition of all impenitent persons.
    32 From even to even - The day of atonement began at the evening of the ninth day, and continued till the evening of the tenth day. Ye shall celebrate your sabbath - This particular sabbath is called your sabbath, possibly to note the difference between this and other sabbaths: for the weekly sabbath is oft called the sabbath of the Lord. The Jews are supposed to begin every day, and consequently their sabbaths, at the evening, in remembrance of the creation, as Christians generally begin their days and sabbaths with the morning in memory of Christ's resurrection.
    34 Of tabernacles - Of tents or booths or arbours. This feast was appointed to remind them of that time when they had no other dwellings in the wilderness, and to stir them up to bless God, as well for the gracious protection then afforded them, as for the more commodious habitations now given them; and to excite them to gratitude for all the fruits of the year newly ended, which were now compleatly brought in.
    36 Ye shall offer - A several - offering each day. The eighth day - Which though it was not one of the days of this feast strictly taken. Yet in a larger sense it belonged to this feast, and is called the great day of the feast, John 7:37. And so indeed it was, as for other reasons, so because, by their removal from the tabernacles into fixed habitations, it represented that happy time wherein their 40 years tedious march in the wilderness was ended with their settlement in the land of Canaan, which it was most fit they should acknowledge with such a solemn day of thanksgiving as this was.
    37 A sacrifice - A sin - offering, called by the general name, a sacrifice, because it was designed for that which was the principal end of all sacrifices, the expiation of sin.
    38 Beside the sabbaths - The offerings of the weekly sabbaths. God will not have any sabbath - sacrifice diminished because of the addition of others, proper to any other feast. And it is here to be noted, that though other festival days are sometimes called sabbaths, yet these are here called the sabbaths of the Lord, in way of contradistinction, to shew that this was more eminently such than other feast - days. Your gifts - Which being here distinguished from the free - will - offerings made to the Lord, may note what they freely gave to the priests over and above their first - fruits and tithes or other things which they were enjoined to give.
    39 This is no addition of a new, but only a repetition of the former injunction, with a more particular explication both of the manner and reason of the feast. The fruit - Not the corn, which was gathered long before, but that of the trees, as vines, olives, and other fruit - trees: which compleated the harvest, whence this is called the feast of in - gathering.
    40 Of goodly trees - Namely, olive, myrtle and pine, mentioned, Neh 8:15,16, which were most plentiful there, and which would best preserve their greenness. Thick trees - Fit for shade and shelter. And willows - To mix with the other, and in some sort bind them together. And as they made their booths of these materials, so they carried some of these boughs in their hands, as is affirmed by Jewish and other ancient writers.
    42 In booths - Which were erected in their cities or towns, either in their streets, or gardens, or the tops of their houses. These were made flat, and therefore were fit for the use.
    44 The feasts of the Lord - We have reason to be thankful, that the feasts of the Lord, now are not so numerous, nor the observance of them so burdensome and costly; but more spiritual and significant, and surer and sweeter earnests of the everlasting feast, at the last in - gathering, which we hope to be celebrating to eternity.

    Chapter XXIV

    Laws concerning the lamps, ver. 1 - 4. The shew - bread, ver. 5 - 9. Blasphemy occasioned by that of Shelomith's son, ver. 10 - 16. The law of retaliation, ver. 17 - 22. The blasphemer stoned, ver. 23.

    2 To cause the lamps to burn - Heb. the lamp: yet Lev 24:4, it is the lamps: The seven lamps made all one lamp. In allusion to which, the Blessed Spirit is represented, Rev 4:5, by seven lamps of fire before the throne. For there are diversities of gifts, but one spirit.
    3 Aaron - Either by himself, or by his sons, Exo 25:37.
    4 The pure candlestick - So called, partly because it was made of pure gold, partly because it was to be always kept clean.
    5 Thou - By the priests or Levites, whose work it was to prepare them, 1Chr 9:32. Twelve cakes - Representing the twelve tribes.
    6 Two rows - Not one above another, but one beside another, as the frankincense put upon each, Lev 24:7, shews.
    7 Pure frankincense - Unmixed and uncorrupted, or of the best sort, to be burnt before the Lord. On the bread - And this was done every time that the bread was changed. For a memorial - For that part which properly belonged to God, whereas the rest belonged to the priests.
    8 From the children of Israel - And these cakes are said to be received from or offered by the children of Israel, bought with the money which they contributed. By an everlasting covenant - By virtue of that compact made between me and them, by which they were obliged to keep this amongst other commands, and, they so doing, I am obliged to be their God and to bless them. And this may be here called an everlasting covenant, not only because it was to endure as long as the Jewish polity stood, but also because this was to stand everlastingly, or continually, and therefore the new cakes were first brought before the old were taken away.
    9 It - The old bread now to be taken away. Made by fire - The incense was offered by fire, and that for or instead of the bread, and therefore the bread was reputed as if it had been so offered.
    10 Whose father was an Egyptian - This circumstance seems noted, partly to shew the danger of marriages with persons of wicked principles, and partly by this severity against him who was a stranger by the father, and an Israelite by the mother, to shew that God would not have this sin go unpunished amongst his people, what - soever he was that committed it. Went out - Out of Egypt, being one of that mixed multitude, which came out with the Israelites, Exo 12:32. It is probable, this was done when the Israelites were near Sinai.
    11 The name of the Lord - The words of the Lord, or of Jehovah, are supplied out of Lev 24:16, where they are expressed; here they are omitted perhaps for the aggravation of his crime. He blasphemed the name so called by way of eminency; that name which is above every name; that name which a man should in some sort tremble to mention; which is not to be named without cause or without reverence. And cursed - Not the Israelite only, but his God also, as appears from Lev 24:15,16. And they brought him - Either the people who heard him, or the inferior magistrate, to whom he was first brought.
    12 That the mind of the Lord might be shewed - For God had only said in general, that he would not hold such guiltless, that is, he would punish them, but had not declared how he would have them punished by men.
    14 Lay their hands upon his head - Whereby they gave public testimony that they heard this person speak such words, and did in their own and all the peoples names, demand justice to be executed upon him, that by this sacrifice God might be appeased, and his judgments turned away from the people, upon whom they would certainly fall if he were unpunished. Stone him - The same punishment which was before appointed for those who cursed their parents.
    15 Whosoever curseth his God - Speaketh of him reproachfully. Shall bear his sin - That is, the punishment of it; shall not go unpunished.
    16 He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord - This is a repetition of the same sin in other words, which is common. As this law is laid down in general terms, Lev 24:15, so both the sin and the punishment are particularly expressed, Lev 24:16. All the congregation - To shew their zeal for God, and to beget in them the greater dread and abhorrence of blasphemy.
    17 He that killeth - This law is repeated here, to prevent the mischievous effects of men's striving together, which as here it caused blasphemy, so it might in others lead to murder.
    22 One law - That is, in matters of common right, but not as to church privileges.
    23 Stone him with stones - This blasphemer was the first that died by the law of Moses. Stephen the first that died for the gospel, died by the abuse of the law. The martyr and the malefactor suffered the same death; but how vast the difference between them.

    Chapter XXV

    In token of his peculiar right to the land of Canaan, God in this chapter appoints,

    1. That every seventh year should be a year of rest, ver. 1 - 7.
    2. That every fiftieth year should be a year of jubilee, ver. 8 - 17. A peculiar blessing annext, ver. 18 - 22. The land sold may be redeemed: if not, it shall revert at the year of jubilee, only with some exceptions, ver. 23 - 34. Usury forbidden, ver. 35 - 38. Jewish servants to be released at the jubilee, ver. 39. but heathens might be retained, ver. 40 - 46. Of an Israelite that sold himself to a stranger, ver. 47 - 55.

    1 In mount Sinai - That is, near mount Sinai. So the Hebrew particle beth is sometimes used. So there is no need to disturb the history in this place.
    2 When ye come into the land - So as to be settled in it; for the time of the wars was not to be accounted, nor the time before Joshua's distribution of the land among them. Keep a sabbath - That is, enjoy rest and freedom from plowing, and tilling. Unto the Lord - In obedience and unto the honour of God. This was instituted,
    1. For the assertion of God's sovereign right to the land, in which the Israelites were but tenants at God's will.
    2. For the trial of their obedience.
    3. For the demonstration of his providence as well in general towards men, as especially towards his own people.
    4. To wean them from inordinate love, and pursuit of worldly advantages, and to inure them to depend upon God alone, and upon God's blessing for their subsistence.
    5. To put them in mind of that blessed and eternal rest provided for all good men.
    4 A sabbath of rest to the land - They were neither to do any work about it, nor expect any harvest from it. All yearly labours were to be intermitted in the seventh year, as much as daily labours on the seventh day.
    5 Of its own accord - From the grains that fell out of the ears the last reaping time. Thou shalt not reap - That is, as thy own peculiarly, but only so as others may reap it with thee, for present food. Undressed - Not cut off by thee, but suffered to grow for the use of the poor.
    6 The sabbath of the land - That is, the growth of the sabbath, or that fruit which groweth in the sabbatical year. For thy servant - For all promiscuously, to take food from thence as they need it.
    9 The jubilee - Signified the true liberty from our spiritual debts and slaveries to be purchased by Christ, and to be published to the world by the sound of the gospel. The seventh month - Which was the first month of the year for civil affairs; the jubilee therefore began in that month; and, as it seems, upon this very tenth day, when the trumpet sounded, as other feasts generally began when the trumpet sounded. In the day of atonement - A very fit time, that when they fasted and prayed for God's mercy to them in the pardon of their sins, then they might exercise their charity to men in forgiving their debts; and to teach us, that the foundation of all solid comfort must be laid in repentance and atonement for our sins through Christ.
    10 The fiftieth year - The year of jubilee was not the forty and ninth year, as some learned men think, but precisely the fiftieth. The old weekly sabbath is called the seventh day, because it truly was so, being next after the six days of the week and distinct from them all: and the year of release is called the seventh year, Lev 25:4, as immediately following the six years, Lev 25:3, and distinct from them all. And in like manner the jubilee is called the fiftieth year, because it comes next after seven tines seven or forty - nine years, Lev 25:8, and is distinct from them all. Unto all the inhabitants - Understand such as were Israelites; principally to all servants, even to such as would not and did not go out at the seventh year, and to the poor, who now were acquitted from all their debts, and restored to their possessions. Jubilee - So called either from the Hebrew word Jobel which signifies first a ram, and then a ram's horn, by the sound whereof it was proclaimed; or from Jubal the inventor of musical instruments, Gen 4:21, because it was celebrated with music and all expressions of joy. Unto his possession - Which had been sold or otherwise alienated from him. This law was not at all unjust, because all buyers and sellers had an eye to this condition in their bargains; but it was expedient in many regards, as
    1. To mind them that God alone was the Lord and proprietor both of them and of their lands, and they only his tenants; a point which they were very apt to forget.
    2. That hereby inheritances, families, and tribes, might be kept entire and clear until the coming of the Messiah, who was to be known as by other things, so by the tribe and family out of which he was to come. And this accordingly was done by the singular providence of God until the Lord Jesus did come. Since which time those characters are miserably confounded: which is no small argument that the Messiah is come.
    3. To set bounds both to the insatiable avarice of some, and the foolish prodigality of others, that the former might not wholly and finally swallow up the inheritances of their brethren, and the latter might not be able to undo themselves and their posterity for ever, which was a singular privilege of this law and people. His family - From whom he was gone, being sold to some other family either by himself or by his father.
    12 It shall be holy - So it was, because it was sequestered in great part from worldly employments and dedicated to God, and to the exercise of holy joy and thankfulness; and because it was a type of that holy and happy jubilee which they were to expect and enjoy under the Messiah. The increase thereof - Such things as it produced of itself. Out of the field - Whence they in common with others might take it as they needed it; but must not put it into barns, See Lev 25:5, and Exo 23:11.
    14 Ye shall not oppress - Neither the seller by requiring more, nor the buyer by taking the advantage from his brother's necessities to give him less than the worth of it.
    15 Years of fruits - Or, fruitful years; for there were some unfruitful years; those wherein they were not allowed to sow or reap.
    16 Years of fruits - Or, For the number of the fruits. The meaning is, he selleth not the land, but only the fruits thereof, and that for a certain time.
    21 For three years - Not compleatly, but in great part, namely, for that part of the 6th year which was between the beginning of harvest and the beginning of the 7th year, for the whole 7th year, and for that part of the 8th year which was before the harvest, which reached almost until the beginning of the ninth year. This is added to shew the equity of this command. As God would hereby try their faith and obedience, so he gave them an eminent proof of his own exact providence and tender care over them in making provisions suitable to their necessities.
    22 Old fruit - Of the sixth year principally, if not solely.
    23 For ever - So as to be for ever alienated from the family of him that sells it. Or, absolutely and properly, so as to become the property of the buyer: Or, to the extermination or utter cutting off, namely, of the seller, from all hopes and possibility of redemption. The land is mine - Procured for you by my power, given to you by my grace and bounty, and the right of propriety reserved by me. With me - That is, in my land or houses: thus he is said to sojourn with another that dwells in his house. Howsoever in your own or other mens opinions you pass for lords and proprietors, yet in truth, ye are but strangers and sojourners, not to possess the land for ever, but only for a season, and to leave it to such as I have appointed for it.
    24 A redemption - A right of redemption in the time and manner following.
    25 If any of his kin come - Or, If the redeemer come, being near akin to him, who in this was an eminent type of Christ, who was made near akin to us by taking our flesh, that he might perform the work of redemption for us.
    27 The years of the sale - That is, from the time of the sale to the jubilee. See above, Lev 25:15,16. The overplus - That is, a convenient price for the years from this redemption to the jubilee.
    28 Go out - That is, out of the buyer's hand, without any redemption money.
    30 It shall not go out - The reasons before alledged for lands do not hold in such houses; there was no danger of confusion in tribes or families by the alienation of houses. The seller also had a greater propriety in houses than in lands, as being commonly built by the owner's cost and diligence, and therefore had a fuller power to dispose of them. Besides, God would hereby encourage persons to buy and possess houses in such places, as frequency and fulness of inhabitants in cities, was a great strength, honour and advantage to the whole land.
    31 In the villages - Because they belonged to and were necessary for the management of the lands.
    34 May not be sold - Not sold at all, partly, because it was of absolute necessity for them for the keeping of their cattle, and partly because these were no enclosures, but common fields, in which all the Levites that lived in such a city had an interest, and therefore no particular Levite could dispose of his part in it.
    35 A sojourner - Understand it of proselytes only, for of other strangers they were permitted to take usury, Deu 23:20.
    36 Of him - That is, of thy brother, whether he be Israelite, or proselyte. Or increase - All kinds of usury are in this case forbidden, whether of money, or of victuals, or of any thing that is commonly lent by one man to another upon usury, or upon condition of receiving the thing lent with advantage and overplus. If one borrow in his necessity, there can be no doubt but this law is binding still. But it cannot be thought to bind, where money is borrowed for purchase of lands, trade, or other improvements. For there it is reasonable, that the lender share with the borrower in the profit.
    39 As a bond - man - Neither for the time, for ever, nor for the manner, with the hardest and vilest kinds of service, rigorously and severely exacted.
    41 Then shall he depart - Thou shalt not suffer him or his to abide longer in thy service, as thou mightest do in the year of release, Exo 21:2,6.
    42 They are my servants - They, no less than you, are members of my church and people; such as I have chosen out of all the world to serve me here, and to enjoy me hereafter, and therefore are not to be oppressed, neither are you absolute lords over them to deal with them as you please.
    43 Fear thy God - Though thou dost not fear them who are in thy power, and unable to right themselves, yet fear that God who hath commanded thee to use them kindly, and who can and will avenge their cause, if thou oppress them.
    47 The flock - Heb. root, that is, one of the root or flock. So the word root is elsewhere used for the branch or progeny growing from it. He seems to note one of a foreign race and country, transplanted into the land of Israel, and there having taken root amongst the people of God, yet even such an one, though he hath some privilege by it, shall not have power to keep an Hebrew servant from the benefit of redemption.
    50 According to the time of an hired servant - Allowance shall be made for the time wherein he hath served, proportionable to that which is given to an hired servant for so long service, because his condition is in this like theirs; it is not properly his person, but his work and labour that was sold.
    53 In thy sight - Thou shalt not suffer this to be done, but whethe thou art a magistrate, or a private person, thou shalt take care according to thy capacity to get it remedied.

    Chapter XXVI

    A general enforcement of the preceding laws, by promises of reward, and threats of punishment: Wherein is,

    1. A repetition of some principal commandments, ver. 1, 2.
    2. A promise of all good to the obedient, ver. 3 - 13.
    3. A threatening of terrible judgments to the disobedient, ver. 14 - 39.
    4. A promise of mercy to the penitent, ver. 40 - 46.

    1 An image - Or pillar, that is, to worship it, or bow down to it, as it follows. Otherwise this was not simply prohibited, being practised by holy men, both before and after this law.
    2 My sanctuary - By purging and preserving it from all uncleanness, by approaching to it and managing all the services of it with reverence, and in such manner only as God hath appointed.
    4 Rain - Therefore God placed them not in a land where there were such rivers as the Nile, to water it and make it fruitful, but in a land which depended wholly upon the rain of heaven, the key whereof God kept in his own hand, that so he might the more effectually oblige them to obedience, in which their happiness consisted.
    5 The vintage - That is, you shall have so plentiful an harvest, that you shall not be able to thresh out your corn in a little time, but that work will last till the vintage.
    6 The sword - That is, war, as the sword is oft taken. It shall not enter into it, nor have passage through it, much less shall your land be made the seat of war.
    8 Five - A small number; a certain number for an uncertain.
    9 Establish my covenant - That is, actually perform all that I have promised in my covenant made with you.
    10 Bring forth - Or, cast out, throw them away as having no occasion to spend them, or give them to the poor, or even to your cattle, that you may make way for the new corn, which also is so plentiful, that of itself it will fill up your barns.
    11 I will set - As I have placed it, so I will continue it among you, and not remove it from you, as once I did upon your miscarriage, Exo 33:7.
    12 I will walk among you - As I have hitherto done, both by my pillar of cloud and fire, and by my tabernacle, which have walked or gone along with you in all your journeys, and staid among you in all your stations, to protect, conduct, instruct, and comfort you. And I will own you for that peculiar people which I have singled out of mankind, to bless you here and to save you hereafter.
    13 Upright - With heads lifted up, not pressed down with a yoke. It notes their liberty, security, confidence and glory.
    15 Break my covenant - Break your part of that covenant made between me and you, and thereby discharge me from the blessings promised on my part.
    16 That shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart - Two remarkable effects of this distemper, when it continues long. It eminently weakens the sight, and sinks the spirit. All chronical diseases are here included in the consumption, all acute in the burning ague or fever.
    19 The pride of your power - That is, your strength of which you are proud, your numerous and united forces, your kingdom, yea, your ark and sanctuary. I will make your heaven as iron - The heavens shall yield you no rain, nor the earth fruits.
    20 In vain - in plowing, and sowing, and tilling the ground.
    25 The quarrel of my covenant - That is, my quarrel with you for your breach of your covenant made with me.
    26 When I have broken the staff of your bread - By sending a famine or scarcity of bread, which is the staff and support of man's present life. Ten women - That is, ten or many families, for the women took care for the bread and food of all the family. By weight - This is a sign and consequence both of a famine, and of the baking of the bread of several families together in one oven, wherein each family took care to weigh their bread, and to receive the same proportion which they put in.
    29 The flesh of your sons - Through extreme hunger. See Lam 4:10.
    30 High places - In which you will sacrifice after the manner of the Heathens. The carcases of your idols - So he calls them, either to signify that their idols how specious soever or glorious in their eyes, were in truth but lifeless and contemptible carcases; or to shew that their idols should be so far from helping them, that they should be thrown down and broken with them, and both should lie together in a forlorn and loathsome state.
    31 Sanctuaries - God's sanctuary, called sanctuaries here, as also Psa 73:17 74:7 Jer 51:51 Eze 28:18, because there were divers apartments in it, each of which was a sanctuary, or, which is all one, an holy place, as they are severally called. And yours emphatically, not mine, for I disown and abhor it, and all the services you do in it, because you have defiled it. I will not smell - Not own or accept them. Your sweet odours - Either of the incense, or of your sacrifices, which when offered with faith and obedience, are sweet and acceptable to me.
    32 Who dwell therein - Having driven you out and possessed your places.
    33 After you - The sword shall follow you into strange lands, and you shall have no rest there.
    34 The land shall enjoy her sabbaths - It shall enjoy those sabbatical years of rest from tillage, which you through covetousness would not give it.
    37 When none pursueth - Your guilt and fear causing you to imagine that they do pursue when indeed they do not.
    39 Pine away - Be consumed and melt away by degrees through diseases, oppressions, griefs, and manifold miseries.
    40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they have trespassed against me - That is, with their prevarication with me and defection from me to idolatry, which by way of eminency he calls their trespass: and that also they have walked contrary to me, Lev 26:41, and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies - That is, that they are not come into these calamities by chance, nor by the misfortune of war, but by my just judgment upon them. And, if then their uncircumcised, that is, impure, carnal, profane, and impenitent hearts be humbled, that is, subdued, purged, reformed: if to this confession they add sincere humiliation and reformation, I will do what follows.
    41 If they accept of - The meaning is, if they sincerely acknowledge the righteousness of God and their own wickedness, and patiently submit to his correcting hand; if with David they are ready to say, it is good for them that they are afflicted, that they may learn God's statutes, and yield obedience to them for the future, which is a good evidence of true repentance.
    42 I will remember my covenant - So as to make good all that I have promised in it. For words of knowledge or remembrance in scripture, commonly denote affection and kindness. I will remember the land - Which now seems to be forgotten and despised, as if I had never chosen it to be the peculiar place of my presence and blessing.
    44 For I am the Lord their God - Therefore neither the desperateness of their condition, nor the greatness of their sins, shall make me wholly make void my covenant with them and their ancestors, but I will in due time remember them for good, and for my covenant's sake return to them in mercy. From this place the Jews take great comfort, and assure themselves of deliverance out of their present servitude and misery. And from this, and such other places, St. Paul concludes, that the Israelitish nation, tho' then rejected and ruined, should be gathered again and restored.
    46 These are the laws which the Lord made between him and the children of Israel - Hereby his communion with his church is kept up. He manifests not only his dominion over them, but his favour to them, by giving them his law. And they manifest not only their holy fear, but their holy love by the observance of it. And thus it is made between them rather as a covenant than as a law: for he draws them with the cords of a man.

    Chapter XXVII

    Laws concerning persons sanctified to God, ver. 1 - 8. Concerning cattle, ver. 9 - 13. Concerning houses and lands, ver. 14 - 25. An exception concerning firstlings, ver. 26 - 27. Concerning what was devoted, ver. 28, 29. Concerning tithes, ver. 30 - 34.

    2 A singular vow - Or, an eminent, or hard vow, not concerning things, which was customary, but concerning persons, which he devoted to the Lord, which was unusual and difficult: yet there want not instances of persons who devoted either themselves or their children, and that either more strictly, as the Nazarites, and the Levites, 1Sam 1:11, and for these there was no redemption admitted, but they were in person to perform the service to which they were devoted: or more largely, as some who were not Levites, might yet through zeal to God, or to obtain God's help, which they wanted or desired, devote themselves or their children to the service of God and of the sanctuary, tho' not in such a way as the Levites, which was forbidden, yet in some kind of subserviency to them. And because there might be too great a number of persons thus dedicated, which might be burdensome to the sanctuary, an exchange is allowed, and the priests are directed to receive a tax for their redemption. By thy estimation - Thine, O man that vowest, as appears from Lev 27:8, where his estimation is opposed to the priest's valuation. Nor was there any fear of his partiality in his own cause, for the price is particularly limited. But where the price is undetermined, there, to avoid that inconvenience, the priest is to value it, as Lev 27:8,12.
    3 Unto sixty years - Which is the best time for strength and service, and therefore prized at the highest rate.
    4 Thirty shekels - Less than the man's price, because she is inferior to him both in strength and serviceableness.
    5 Five years old - At which age they might be vowed by their parents, as appears from 1Sam 1:11 - 28, tho' not by themselves; and the children were obliged by their parents vow, which is not strange considering the parents right to dispose of their children so far as is not contrary to the mind of God.
    8 Than thy estimation - If he be not able to pay the price which thou, according to the rules here given, requirest of him.
    9 Whereof men bring an offering - That is, a clean beast. Giveth - Voweth to give: Shall be holy - Consecrated to God, either to be sacrificed, or to be given to the priest, according to the manner of the vow, and the intention of him that voweth.
    10 He shall not alter it, nor change it - Two words expressing the same thing more emphatically, that is, he shall in no wise change it, neither for one of the same, nor of another kind: partly because God would preserve the reverence of consecrated things, and therefore would not have them alienated, and partly to prevent abuses of them who on this pretence might exchange it for the worse. It and the exchange - That is, both the thing first vowed, and the thing offered or given in exchange. This was inflicted upon him as a just penalty for his levity in such weighty matters.
    11 Unclean - Either for the kind, or for the quality of it; if it were such an one as might not be offered.
    14 Sanctify his house - By a vow, for of that way and manner of sanctification he speaks in this whole chapter.
    15 The fifth part - Which he might the better do, because the priests did usually put a moderate rate upon it.
    16 Of his possession - That is, which is his by inheritance, because particular direction is given about purchased lands, Lev 27:22. And he saith, part of it, for it was unlawful to vow away all his possessions, because thereby he disabled himself from the performance of divers duties, and made himself burdensome to his brethren. According to the seed - That is, according to the quantity and quality of the land, which is known by the quantity of seed which it can receive and return. Fifty - shekels - Not to be paid yearly, 'till the year of jubilee, but once for all, as is most probable,
    1. Because here is no mention of any yearly payment, but only of one payment.
    2. Because it is probable that lands were moderately valued, that men might be rather encouraged to make such vows, than deterred by excessive impositions. But if this were yearly rent, it was an excessive rate, and much more than the land ordinarily yielded. For an omer is but the tenth part of an ephah, about a pottle of our measure, which quantity of seed would not extend very far, and in some lands would yield but an inconsiderable crop, especially in barley, which was cheaper than wheat and which for that reason, among others, may be mentioned rather than wheat.
    17 From the year of jubilee - That is, immediately after the year of jubilee is past. According to thy estimation - Now mentioned, of fifty shekels for an omer of barley seed. It shall stand - That is, that price shall be paid without diminution.
    18 After the jubilee - That is, some considerable time after. The defalcation from the full price of fifty shekels shall be more or less as the years are more or fewer.
    20 If he will not redeem it - When the priest shall set a price upon it, and offer it to him in the first place to redeem it: or, rather and, for this seems to be added by way of accumulation, if he, that is, the priest, of whom he might have redeemed it, upon his refusal, offers it to sale, and have sold the field to another man - He shall for ever lose the benefit of redemption.
    21 When it goeth out - That is, out of the possession of the other man to whom the priest sold it. The possession shall be the priests - For their maintenance. Nor is this repugnant to that law, that the priests should have no inheritance in the land, Num 18:20, for that is only spoken of, the tribe of Levi in general, in reference to the first division of the land, wherein the Levites were not to have a distinct part of land, as other tribes had; but this doth not hinder, but some particular lands might be vowed and given to the priests, either for their own benefit, or for the service of the sanctuary.
    22 His possession - His patrimony or inheritance.
    23 Thy estimation - That is, the price which thou, O Moses, by my direction hast set in such cases. To the jubilee - As much as it is worth, for that space of time between the making of the vow and the year of jubilee: for he had no right to it for any longer time, as the next verse tells us. As an holy thing - As that which is to be consecrated to God instead of the land redeemed by it.
    25 The shekel - About 2s. 6d.
    26 No man shall sanctify it - By vow; because it is not his own, but the Lord's already, and therefore to vow such a thing to God is a tacit derogation from, and an usurpation of the Lord's right, and a mocking of God by pretending to give what we cannot withhold from him. Or ox or sheep - Under these two eminent kinds he comprehends all other beasts which might be sacrificed to God, the firstlings whereof could not be redeemed but were to be sacrificed; whereas the firstlings of men were to be redeemed, and therefore were capable of being vowed, as we see, 1Sam 1:11.
    27 An unclean beast - That is, if it be the first - born of an unclean beast, as appears from Lev 27:26, which could not be vowed, because it was a first - born, nor offered, because it was unclean, and therefore is here commanded to be redeemed or sold. It shall be sold - And the price thereof was given to the priests, or brought into the Lord's treasury.
    28 No devoted thing - That is, nothing which is absolutely devoted to God with a curse upon themselves or others, if they disposed not of it according to their vow; as the Hebrew word implies. Most holy - That is, only to be touched or employed by the priests, and by no other persons; no not by their own families, for that was the state of the most holy things.
    29 Devoted of men - Not by men, as some would elude It; but of men, for it is manifest both from this and the foregoing verses, that men are here not the persons devoting, but devoted to destruction, either by God's sentence, as idolaters, Exo 22:20 Deu 23:15, the Canaanites, Deu 20:17, the Amalekites, Deu 25:19, and 1Sam 15:3,26, Benhaded, 1Kings 20:42, or by men, in pursuance of such a sentence of God, as Num 21:2,3 31:17, or for any crime of an high nature, as Jud 21:5 Jos 17:15. But this is not to be generally understood, as some have taken it, as if a Jew might by virtue of this Text, devote his child or his servant to the Lord, and thereby oblige himself to put them to death. For this is expressly limited to all that a man hath, or which is his, that is, which he hath a power over. But the Jews had no power over the lives of their children or servants, but were directly forbidden to take them away, by that great command, thou shalt do no murder. And seeing he that killed his servant casually by a blow with a rod was surely to be punished, as is said, Exo 21:20, it could not be lawful wilfully to take away his life upon pretence of any such vow as this. But for the Canaanites, Amalekites, &c. God the undoubted Lord of all men's lives, gave to the Israelites a power over their persons and lives, and a command to put them to death. And this verse may have a special respect to them or such as them.
    30 The tithe - There are divers sorts of tithes, but this seems to be understood only of the ordinary and yearly tithes belonging to the Levites, as the very expression intimates, and the addition of the fifth part in case of redemption thereof implies.
    32 Under the rod - Either,
    1. The tither's rod, it being the manner of the Jews in tithing to cause all their cattle to pass through some gate or narrow passage, where the tenth was marked by a person appointed for that purpose and reserved for the priest. Or,
    2. the shepherd's rod, under which the herds and flocks passed, and by which they were governed and numbered. See Jer 33:13 Eze 20:37.
    34 These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai - This has reference to the whole book. Many of these commandments are moral: others ceremonial and peculiar to the Jewish economy: Which yet are instructive to us, who have a key to the mysteries that are contained in them. Upon the whole, we have cause to bless God, that we are not come to mount Sinai, that we are not under the dark shadows of the law, but enjoy the clear light of the gospel. The doctrine of our reconciliation to God by a Mediator, is not clouded with the smoke of burning sacrifices, but cleared by the knowledge of Christ, and him crucified. And we may praise him, that we are not under the yoke of the law, but under the sweet and easy instructions of the gospel, which pronounces those the true worshippers, that worship the Father in spirit and in truth, by Christ only, who is our priest, temple, altar, sacrifice, purification and all.

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