The Burnt Offering
"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world"--
John i. 29
THE TABERNACLE was that tent whose two apartments,
separated by the veil, formed the Holy Place, and the
Most Holy. This " tabernacle" was God's dwelling-place
on earth; where he met with men,--the token of his
returning to man after the fall. It was here that "the
voice of the Lord God" was often heard, as in Eden, in
the cool of the day.
Ver. 1. And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out
of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,--
The cloud that guided Israel* had descended on the
tabernacle; and while this pillar stood over it, the glory
of the Lord filled the Holy of holies within (Exod. xl. 34).
Rays of this glory were streaming out all around, per-
haps like the light that shone from Christ's form "on the
holy mount," through his raiment, till the whole hill
shone. Out of the midst of this "excellent glory" (2
Pet. i. 17) came the voice of the Lord. He called on
Moses as at the bush; and having fixed the undivided
* In Exod. xl. 34-38, we have the general history of this cloud; not the nar-
rative of its motions on a particular occasion.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 11
attention of Moses on him that spake, Jehovah utters his
mind. What love is here! The heart of our God, in
the midst of all his own joy, yearning to pour itself out
The date of these laws is probably a few days after
the tabernacle had been set up. They are given not from
Sinai, though at its foot (see chap. xxvii. 34); but from
over the mercy-seat, from between the cherubim, where
the glory had so lately found a resting-place. Perhaps
this intimated that all these institutions about to be
given bear on the same great subject, viz. Atonement
and its effects. Sinai and its law a few weeks before,
with the dark apostasy in the matter of the golden calf,
had lately taught them the necessity of reconciliation,
and made their conscience thirst for that living water.
And it is given here. The first clause of this book
declares a reconciled God--"The Lord called to Moses,"
as a man to his friend.
Ver. 2. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If
any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord, ye shall bring
your offering* of the cattle, even of the herd and of the flock.
When the Lord said, "Speak to the children of Israel,"
instead of himself addressing them, it taught the people
their need of a Mediator. It was as if he had said,
These things are addressed to sinners who cannot see my
face or hear my voice, except through a daysman.
The offerings first spoken of are those that are to be
wholly consumed--types of complete exhaustion of wrath.
In these cases, everything about the animal was consumed,
sinews, horns, bones, hoof, the wool on the sheep's head,
and the hair on the goat's beard--(Willet). Hence they
* The Septuagint render this "prosoisete ta dwra u[mw?n."
Hence, perhaps, Heb. viii. 3, "gifts and sacrifices."
12 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
were called whole burnt-offerings (o[lokautwmata). God
prescribes the symbols of atonement, even as he fixed on
the ransom itself. It is a sovereign God that sinners are
dealing with; and in so doing, he fixed on the herd and
the flock, as the only class of cattle (hmAheB;), or four-
footed beasts, that he would accept. If we are to inquire
into a reason for this beyond his mere sovereignty, there
are two that readily present themselves as every way
probable. First, oxen, sheep, and goats (the herd and
flock) are easily got by men, being at their hand. He
did not wish to make them go in pursuit of beasts for
offering, for salvation is brought to our hand by our God.
Second, the characteristics of these animals fit them to
be convenient types of various truths relating to sacrifice.
The ox taken from feeding by the river-side, or the sheep
from its quiet pastures,--perhaps from among the lilies
of Sharon,--was an emblem of the Redeemer leaving the
joy and blessedness of his Father's presence, where he
had been ever "by the streams that make glad the city
of God." Another reason has been assigned, viz. all
these were horned animals. Whether in the East such
were reckoned more valuable than other animals we
cannot say. It is, at least, worthy of notice, that the
horn, which is the symbol of power and honour, is found
in them all.
Ver. 3. If his offering be a burnt-sacrifice of the herd, let him
offer a male, without blemish: he shall offer it of his own
voluntary will, at the door of the tabernacle of the congrega-
tion, before the Lord.
“A male," representing the second Adam, "without
blemish." Christ, by his one offering, makes his Church
spotless (Eph. v. 27), and, therefore, he was to be so
* See Guild's Moses Unveiled.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 13
himself. Of course, therefore, the type of him must be
so. In the peace-offerings it was different: for these
typified rather the effects of Christ's atonement on the
receiver than himself atoning; and the animal, in that
case, might have some defect or blemish, even as the
effects of his work may be imperfectly experienced by
the sinner, though the work itself is perfect. But what-
ever speaks of Christ himself must speak of perfection.
"Before the Lord" is an expression ever recurring: it is
remarkable that it should occur so often. But perhaps
it was because the Lord meant thus to insert a Divine
safeguard against the Socinian idea, that sacrifice chiefly
had reference to the offerer, not to God. Every sacrifice
is brought before "the great Inhabitant of the sanctu-
ary." So also this expression guards us against Popish
error, as if ministers of Christ are priests in the same
sense as the line of Aaron. No; ministers of Christ
approach men in behalf of God, who sends them as am-
bassadors, but these priests approached God in behalf
of guilty men. "He shall offer it of his own voluntary
will."* The Gospel warrant is, "Whosoever will, let him
come." There must be a willing soul; none but a soul
made willing in the day of his power pays any regard
to atonement. The Lord allows all that are willing, to
come to the atoning provision. "Are you thirsty for
the living God? for yonder altar's sacrifice?" might some
son of Aaron say to a fearful soul. The fearful con-
science replies, "I cannot well tell if I be really thirsty
for him." "But are you, then, willing to go to yonder
altar?" "Yes, I am." "Then you may come; for
* Some translate this, “He shall offer it in order to be accepted.” I do
not think this meaning can be proved to be the true one, although the Septuagint
generally renders the expression, " dekton e@nanti Ku
here has, "dekton au]t& e]cilasqai e]nanti Kuriou."
14 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
read Leviticus i. 3, and see that it is neither riches nor
poverty, moral attainment nor deep experience, but sim-
ply a conscience willing to be bathed in atonement, that
is spoken of by the God of Israel."
Come then with the sacrifice to "the door of the taber-
nacle." The altar was near the door of the tabernacle;
it faced it. It was the first object that met the eye of
a worshipper coming in. The priest met him there, and
led the offerer with his sacrifice on to the altar. The
presenting any sacrifice there was a type of the worship-
per's object being to get admission into the presence of
God by entrance at that door ("access," Eph. ii. 18).
Thus the offerer walked silently and with holy awe to
the door of the tabernacle, and there met his God.
As a type of Christ, it would declare Christ's willing
offering of himself “Lo, I come;" and how he was, in
the fulness of time, led silently as a lamb to the slaugh-
ter. For we are to distinguish between the presentation
of Christ before he went forth, and the presentation of
himself after all was done.
Ver. 4. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-
offering; and it shall be accepted for him, to make atonement
This action of the offerer gives us a view of faith.
The offerer puts his hand on the same head whereon the
Lord's hand was laid, and thereby agrees to all that is
implied in his choosing that offering. God and the
believing soul meet at the same point, and are satisfied
by the same display of the Divine attributes.--" He
shall put his hand."* It is yet more forcible in the
* We make no reference, here nor elsewhere, to Jewish traditions as
to the manner in which the thing was done, and the words used. It is strange
that Ainsworth, Patrick, Outran, and others, should waste so much time in this
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 15
Hebrew—“He shall lean his hand” (j`msAv;), the very
word used in Psalm lxxxviii. 7, "Thy wrath leaneth
hard upon me." We lean our soul on the same person
on whom Jehovah leant his wrath.
When the worshipper had thus simply left his sins,
conveyed by the laying on of his hand upon the sacrifice,
he stands aside. This is all his part. The treatment of
the victim is the Lord's part. The happy Israelite who
saw this truth might go home, saying, "I have put my
hand on its head; it shall be accepted as an atonement."
Faith in the Lord's testimony was the ground of an
Israelite's peace of conscience,--nothing of it rested on
his own frame of mind, character, or conduct.
Ver. 5. And he shall kill the bullock before the Lord; and
the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle
the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of
the tabernacle of the congregation.
It is interesting to notice here, that Outram, Witsius,
and, others, seem to have proved that, in patriarchal
ages, every man might offer his own sacrifice. Heads of
families, and heads of a tribe or nation, often acted for
those under them; but the idea that the first-born were
the only priests is without foundation. The patriarchal
age was taught that every man must take Christ for
himself personally. In the Mosaic economy, however,
this is altered. There is another truth to be shewn
forth. Any one (2 Chrou. xxx. 17) might kill the ani-
mal--any common Levite, or even the offerer himself
--for there may be many executioners of God's wrath.
Earth and hell were used in executing the Father's pur-
department. Are these traditions anything more than human fancy--often, too,
of a somewhat modern date? Augustine judged well when he said, “Quid scrip-
tura voluerit, non quod illi opinati fuerint, inquirendum."
16 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
pose toward the Prince of Life. But there is only one
appointed way for dispensing mercy; and therefore only
priests must engage in the act that signified the bestowal
The animal is "killed" in the presence of the Lord.
And now, what an awfully solemn sight! The priest
“brings forward the blood." As he bears it onward, in
one of the bowls of the altar, all gaze upon the warm
crimson blood! It is the life! So that when the blood
is thus brought forward, the life of the sacrifice is brought
before God! It is as if the living soul of the sinner
were carried, in its utter helplessness and in all its filthi-
ness, and laid down before the Holy One!
The blood was then "sprinkled round about upon the
altar." The life being taken away, the sinner's naked
soul is exhibited! He deserves this stroke of death-
death death in the Lord's presence, as a satisfaction to his holi-
ness! As the blood that covered the door on the night
of the Passover represented the inmates' life as already
taken, so the blood on the altar and its sides signified
that the offerer's life was forfeited and taken. It was
thus that Jesus "poured out his soul unto death" for us.
It was, further, "round about," as well as "upon," the
altar. This held it up on all sides to view; and the
voice from the altar now is, "Look unto me, and be ye
saved, all the ends of the earth." All within the camp
might look and live; for this sacrifice represents Christ's
dying as the only way for any, and the sufficient way for all.
The altar mentioned here was the "altar of brass;"
not the "golden altar," which stood in the Holy Place.*
Ver. 6. And he shall flay the burnt-offering, and cut it into his
* See some remarks on the brass of this altar in a note, chap. xiv. 5.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 17
Here, again, any one might act, as well as the priest;
for any of God's creatures may be the executioners of his
wrath. “He shall flay."--The skin torn from off the
slain animal may intimate the complete exposure of the
victim, uncovered, and laid open to the piercing eye of
the beholder. But specially, it seems to skew that there
is no covering of inherent righteousness on the person of
the sinner. While the skin was unwounded, the inward
parts were safe from the knife; thus, so long as man had
personal righteousness interposing, no knife could pierce
his soul. But the taking away of the victim's skin
skewed that the sinner had no such protection in God's
view; even as the bringing of such skins to Adam and
Eve, after the fall, skewed that God saw them destitute
of every covering, and had, in his mercy, provided cloth-
ing for them by means of sacrifice.
The "cutting it into pieces" would at last leave the
sacrifice a mangled mass of flesh and bones. Entire dis-
location of every joint, and separation of every limb and
member, was the process. By this the excruciating tor-
ment due to the sinner seems signified. God's sword--
his Abraham's knife--spares not the sacrifice; but uses
its sharpness and strength to pierce and destroy to the
uttermost. The slashing sword of wrath leaves nothing
to the guilty; but, as "one woe is past, behold, another
woe cometh quickly." Yet it is "into his pieces."
There was an order observed--a regularity and deliber-
ate systematic procedure. So will it be in the damna-
tion of hell; every pang will be weighed by perfect holi-
ness, every stroke deliberated upon ere it is inflicted.
And, in truth, this deliberate infliction is the most awful
feature of justice. It leaves the sufferer hopeless. The
stroke is awfully relentless, determined, righteous! Such,
18 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
too, were the Saviour's sufferings. Every part and pore
of his frame was thus mangled; every member of his
body, every feeling of his soul. There was not an action
of his life, or desire in his heart, but was combined with
woe; and all so just, that from the cross he lifts his
eyes to his Father, and looking on him--as he had ever
done, cries, "But thou art holy!" (Ps. xxii. 3.)
Ver. 7. And the sons* of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon
the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire.
This verse is well illustrated by Heb. ix. 14, "Who,
through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot
to God." Christ was prepared, in his human nature, by
the Holy Spirit. The Father prepared the fire of wrath,
filled the vial with that wrath, and, then poured it out.
The Holy Spirit, as Heb. ix. 14 declares, set all things in
order, in Christ's human nature, ready for the vial being
poured out. At the moment when the fire came down
and consumed him, love to God and man was at its
highest pitch in his soul--obedience, holy regard for the
Divine law, hatred of sin, love to man.
The wood, taken by itself, is not a type of anything;
but it must be taken thus:--the laying the wood in
order preparatory to the fire coming. In this view it
represents what we have just said.
The fire was from that fire which descended from the
cloudy pillar. It was, therefore, divinely intended to
shew "the wrath of God revealed from heaven" against
all ungodliness of men. Indeed, the fire from the bosom
of that cloud was no less than a type of wrath from the
* We sometimes see mistakes committed in representations of tabernacle
scenes. Levites are made to act as priests, and Levites are exhibited blowing
the silver trumpets. But all this was the duty of Aaron's sons alone. True;
they were Levites, but they were the priestly family among the Levites. Priests
are Levites, but all Levites are not priests.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP, I 19
bosom of God against him who lay in his bosom (see
chap. vi. 9, and ix. 24).
Ver. 8. And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the
head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire
which is upon the altar.
The fat did, of course, help the flame to consume the
head, notwithstanding the gushing stream of blood. But
what is the type? The head was that whereon the
offerer leant his hand, conveying to it his load of guilt.
The fat (rd,PA) is a word that occurs only, thrice, viz.
here, and ver. 12, and chap. viii. 20. Some understand
it to be the midriff; others, the fat separated from the
rest of the flesh; but there is no way of arriving at the
certain import. The type, however, is obvious. The
head and this fat are two pieces--one outward, the other
inward; thus representing the whole inner and outer
man. Christ's whole manhood, body and soul, was
placed on the altar, in the fire, and endured the wrath of
God. There could be no type of his soul otherwise than
by selecting some inward part to signify it; and that is
done here by the "fat." It is on the fat, too, that the
fire specially kindles. It is at the man's heart, feelings,
and desires that God expresses his indignation most fully.
It is the heart that is desperately wicked. It is the
carnal mind that is enmity against God.
Ver. 9. But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water:
and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt-
sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the
Answerable to the "head and fat" of the former
* The North American Indians long practised sacrifice; and D. Brainerd, in
his Journal, tells us of a great sacrifice where “they burnt the fat of the inwards
in the fire, and sometimes raised the flame to a prodigious height.”
20 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
verse, as parts representing the inward and outward, we
have here the legs and the intestines. The legs and in-
testines may be supposed to be selected to mark outward
and inward defilement--man's polluted nature needing
to be washed in water. But why wash these in water, if
they are to be burnt? Because here is a sacrifice for
others--"the just for the unjust"--Christ taking our
place. Now, lest anything should seem to indicate per-
sonal defilement in him, these portions are washed in
water, and then presented. Christ's body and soul, all
his person, and all his acts, were holy. His walk was
holy, and his inmost affections holy.
Such was the sacrifice on which the fire came! See
Isaac on the wood! but the knife has pierced this Isaac!
--in symbol, the original and immutable sentence, "Thou
shalt die." Here is death; and it has come in such a
manner as not to leave a vestige of the victim's former
aspect. The victim is all disfigured, and has become a
mass of disjointed bones and mangled flesh, because thus
shall it be in the case of the lost in hell. The lost sinner's
former joy, and even all his relics of comfort, are gone
for ever--no lover or friend would ever be able to re-
cognise that lost one. Even as it was with Jesus when
he took the position of the lost; his visage seemed to
every eye more marred than any man, and his form more
than the sons of men. But lo! as if even all this were
not expressive enough, that mangled mass is committed
to the flames, and in the consuming flame, every remain-
ing mark of its former state disappears. All is ashes.
So complete is the doom of the lost--as testified on this
altar, and fulfilled by Jesus when he took the sinner's
place. That smoke attests that God's righteousness is
fully satisfied in the suffering victim. His blood--his
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 21
soul--is poured out! and the flame of Divine wrath burns
up the suffering one! The smoke ascends--"a sweet
savour to the Lord." He points to it, and shews therein
his holy name honoured, and his law magnified. It is
sweet to Jehovah to behold this sight in a fallen world.
It reminds him, so to speak, of that Sabbath-rest over
the first creation (Gen. ii. 2); only this is deeper rest, as
being rest after trouble. This "sweet savour" is literally
"savour of rest" (HaOHyni Hayri); as if the savour stayed his
wrath and calmed his soul. So Eph. v. 2. And at the
view of that ascending smoke, more joyful hallelujahs are
sung than will be heard over the smoke of the pit (Rev.
xix. 3). For here love has free scope as well as righteous-
ness. What a rest will the millennial and heavenly rest
be, when, in addition to other elements, it has in it this
element of perfect satisfaction--" He shall, rest in his
love!" (Zeph. iii. 17.)
Such, then, is the "ox and bullock that has horns and
hoofs" (Ps. lxix. 31) ; and such, too, the meaning of the
offering. The Antitype set forth in Psalm lxix. has mag-
nified the name of the Lord, and set aside the type.
Ver. 10. And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep,
or of the goats, for a burnt-sacrifice; he shall bring it a male
It appears that wealthier men generally selected oxen
as their offering;* and men less able took sheep or goats;
while ver. 14 shews that those yet poorer brought doves.
God thus left the sacrifice open alike to the rich, the
middle classes, and the labouring poor. For in Jesus
Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew, barbarian nor
Scythian, bond nor free; he is within reach of all alike.
* That is, oxen were always part of their sacrifice. Thus Numb.
vii. and I Chron. xxix. 21.
22 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
Our High Priest welcomes sinners under the wide name,
“Him that cometh " (John vi. 3 7); the advancing foot-
steps of a sinner to his altar, whether he be great or small,
is a sweet sound in our Aaron's ear.
Here is specially included the offering of the lamb.
Morning and evening this was done by the priest for all
Israel. "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter"* (Isa.
liii. 7). Every day that picture was exhibited to Israel.
Ver. 11. And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward
before the Lord: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle
his blood round about upon the altar.
There is a peculiarity here which does not occur in the
sacrifices of the herd, namely, it is to be killed on the
north side of the altar. One obvious reason seems to be
this: there was a necessity, for the sake of order, that
there should be a separate place for killing the oxen and
the sheep. No quarter of the heavens was sacred; and
since, at other times, the sacrifice was presented on the
east side, a variety like this answered the purpose of
proclaiming that Jesus is offered to any soul in any na-
tion, east or north, i.e. from east to west, north to south,
his death is presented to the view of all, to be believed
by men as soon as they see it. "Look unto me, and be
ye saved, all the ends of the earth."†
Ver. 12, 13. And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and
his fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood
* An old writer asks, why Christ is called so often "the Lamb of God,"
and not "the ox, or the ram, of God." The reply is, because these were not
offered “every day," whereas the lamb was a daily offering, and therefore fitted
to proclaim Christ's blood as always ready for use.
† Some have tried without success to discover a deeper meaning in the
“north," And have suggested that the omission of it in Ps. lxxv. 6 strengthens this
idea. But in that passage "south" also is omitted, the Hebrew being rbad;mi.mi,,
"from the desert," referring to the caravans, which, amid all their rare
commodities, never brought the gift spoken of.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 23
that is on the fire which is upon the altar. But he shall wash
the inwards and the legs with water; and the priest shall bring
it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt-sacrifice, an
offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
The sheep or goat is not commanded to be "flayed,"
as ver. 6 commands as to the ox or bullock; perhaps
because flaying signified the defencelessness of the victim
left without a covering. Now, the sheep or goat is, by its
very nature, defenceless enough. Our attention, therefore,
in this type, is rather fixed on the complete stroke of the
knife, that separates all into its pieces ready for the fire.
When the Lord said, "Awake, 0 sword, against my
Shepherd" (Zech. xiii. 7), the Saviour was smitten to
the very soul, and wrath came down on him like fire.
In ver. 13, the words, "and shall bring it all near,"
intimate the solemn care with which the priest advanced
to the spot and lighted the wood, attending to every
point, although his offering was one of the flock, and not
of the herd. This clause seems intended to put equal
honour on the offering of the flock as on that of the
herd, for the Antitype is all that gives either of them
The other particulars are the same as those mentioned
in verses 7- 9.
How simple the rules laid down for ordering his
favourite type--the lamb! But let us not fail to notice
that the use made of the lamb is what we are chiefly
called to observe--not the lamb itself in particular; as if
to shew that it is not Christ's meek nature, but Christ,
the meek and lowly one, in his connexion with the altar,
that we ought to be reminded of by the name "Lamb."
If it had been his character only, or chiefly, that was
referred to in that name--"Lamb of God," there would
24 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
have been no propriety in typifying him by the "ox"
and the "goat." But if the manner of his death and
the intention of his sufferings were mainly referred to,
then all is appropriate.
BURNT-OFFERING OF FOWLS.
Ver. 14. And if the burnt-sacrifice for his offering to the Lord
be of fowls, then shall he bring his offering of turtle-doves, or
of young pigeons.
In John ii. 14, we find this third class of offerings
referred to, along with the other two,--oxen, sheep, and
From chap. v. 7, we learn that the poorer class were
to bring this sort of sacrifice. "To the poor the Gospel
is preached;" and ministers must be as solicitous for the
salvation of the poor as of the rich.
The dove or pigeon was to be a male; for the Hebrew
word for "young pigeons" is hnAOy yneB;, "sons of the
dove." Thus it was fitter to represent Christ. And of
the winged tribes, none were ever taken for sacrifice,
except the dove and the turtle-dove. These abounded,
in the Holy Land, so that the poorest could get them
easily.* They were fitted, also, to be emblems of Jesus,
just as was the lamb. He is undefiled and holy, full of
love and tenderness; therefore the dove is his type. And
as the dove at the Deluge brought the message of peace,
and as the turtle-dove is the known emblem of peace,
because its voice is heard from the olive-tree (itself the
* In the course of my ordinary visits in the country; I one day sat down to
converse with a poor illiterate believer, at whose board a beautiful tame pigeon
used to feed. I opened the Bible at this passage, and chewed this type of a suf-
fering Saviour. It seemed to be specially blessed--she long remembered this
type of Jesus: and in this simple incident, there seemed to me discernible some-
thing of the wisdom and goodness that so provided for the poor of Israel.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 25
type of peace), in quiet, calm security, so, on this ground
more specially, they are the better types of Jesus. The
previous suffering of the offered dove, or turtle, repre-
sents Christ suffering ere he enters into peace, and
becomes the peace-maker. Taken from his Father's
bosom, he comes to suffer. The dove, "by the rivers of
water" (Song v. 12), in peace and joy, is caught, and
wrung to death on the altar. The olive-groves must be
searched, and the turtle-dove taken from its own happy,
peaceful olive-tree. It is then violently brought to the
altar, and left lifeless there! Thus it was with Jesus.
But from this suffering and death of the Peaceful One
results "peace on earth." "He is our peace" (Eph. ii.
14). He breathes out on us nothing less than his own
peace--"My peace I give unto you" (John xiv. 27).
And soon, too, as the grand and wide result of all, "the
voice of the turtle (the herald of spring and of storms
past) shall be heard in our land" (Song ii. 12); and the
deluge of fire being passed, this dove shall bring its
olive-branch to announce to the new earth that wrath is
for ever turned away. Christ, who died to make peace,
shall reign in peace, over a peaceful earth, which his
own blood has made the dwelling of righteousness.
He of whom these things are spoken, when on earth,
shewed, from such Scriptures as these, that he needed
to suffer unto death. "Thus it is written, and thus it
behoved Christ to suffer" (Luke xxiv. 46), said Jesus,
while shewing the things written in the law of Moses
Ver. 15. And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring
of his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof
shall be wrung out at the side of the altar.
The method of putting the dove to death must be
26 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
regulated by the nature of the victim; hence, here it is
by "wringing off his head." But this arrangement is
the better fitted to exhibit another. Feature in the death
of Jesus, viz. the awful violence done to one so pure, so
tender, and so lovely. We shrink back from the terrible
harshness of the act, whether it be plunging the knife
into the neck of the innocent lamb, or wringing off the
head of the tender dove. But, on this very account, the
circumstances are the better figure of the death of Jesus.
“He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his
mouth; yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him."
After this, "the blood was to be wrung out"
squeezed or pressed out) over the side of the altar, till it
ran in a crimson stream down the altar's side, in view of
all. Then it collects at the foot of the altar; and there
is a cry, like that from the souls under the altar in Rev.
vi. 9, against the cause of this blood-shedding, viz. sin.
A testimony against sin ascends up into the ears of the
Lord of Sabaoth. But his blood speaketh better things
than the blood of Abel, or the cry of the martyred ones;
for the response to this cry of blood is not vengeance,
but pardon to man.
It was the priest who performed this apparently harsh
and cruel act, for the Father bruised Jesus, and the
priest acts in his name.
Ver. 16. And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers,
and cast it beside the altar, on the east part, by the place of
The crop, containing the food, seems to be considered
unclean, because an emblem of man's appetites. Now, as
there was nothing of man's sinful appetites in the Holy
One, there must be nothing even in the type, that might
lead us to suppose that he was otherwise than perfectly
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 27
holy. Hence "the crop" is removed. "The feathers,"
also, are removed, because they are a covering to the
dove; and it must be left quite unsheltered when the
drops of the storm fall thick and heavy upon it. These
are to be cast to "the place of ashes," out of sight of
God; and thus the dove is offered, in a state of purity
and of unprotectedness, on the altar.
Ver. 17. And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall
not divide it asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the
altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt-
sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the
“The cleaving” (fS.awi) implies such a separation as is
not complete. It is only dislocation, but not disruption
of the parts, as is also explained in the clause, "but shall
not divide it asunder." In this we see another typical
circumstance. It is like that in the case of the paschal
lamb--"A bone of him shall not be broken." At the
same time, this type gives us, in addition, a reference to
the Saviour's racked frame on the cross, when he said,
"All my bones are out of joint" (Ps. xxii. 14). All this
seems intended to declare that Jesus in his death, was
whole, though broken,--"sin for us," but "no sin in him."
"With the wings thereof," to shew nothing left what-
soever that could be means of escape--total weakness.
Jesus said, as he suffered, "I am poured out like water"
(Ps. xxii. 14).
And this sacrifice is "of a sweet savour to the Lord."
It satisfies the Father well--so much so, that we find his
redeemed ones called by the name that refers us back to
the sacrifice. For example--the Church is called "the
dove" (Song ii. 14). So--"Deliver not the soul of thy
turtle-dove into the hands of the enemy" (Ps. lxxiv. 19).
28 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
Just as both Christ and his Church are called "the lily,"
in Song ii. 1, 2 ; and both his voice and theirs is " like
the voice of many waters" in the book of Revelation
(comp. Rev. i. 15; xiv. 2 ; xix. 6). If the Church says,
Behold, thou art fair, my beloved (ydiOd), yea, pleasant
(Song i. 16), it is in response to Christ, who had said,
Behold, thou art fair, my love (ytiyAf;ra); behold, thou art
fair." So truly one is Christ and Ms people, they are in
a manner identified! "Lord, thou art my righteousness,
and I am thy sin; thou hast taken from me what was
mine, and given me what was thine." “ ]W th?j glukei
a]ntallagh?j! w@ th?j a]necixniastou dhmiourgiaj! w@ tw?n a]pros-
dokhEpist. ad Diognet. 9.) "Oh, sweet
exchange ! Oh, unsearchable device! Oh, benefits be-
yond all expectation!"
And now, looking back on this chapter, let us briefly
notice that the rudimental sketch of these offerings, and
the mode of their presentation, will be found at the gate
of Eden. Some have sought for their origin* in Egyptian
ceremonies, at one time imitated, at another purposely
opposed. But this is altogether erroneous.
Davison refuses to admit that sacrifice in the patriarchal
time was identical in meaning with sacrifice in the Mosaic
dispensation--admitting that, if that identity could be
made out, the Divine origin of sacrifice would be proved.†
Now, is there one text in all the Bible to shew that
sacrifice (which Davison gladly admits had in it the
atoning principle in the institutions of Moses) ever has
more than one meaning? As well might we ask evidence
to prove that "to call on the name of the Lord" in the
* Vide Spencer, &c.
† On The Origin and Intention of Primitive Sacrifice.
THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I 29
days of Enos was quite a different act from "calling on
the name of the Lord" in the days of the Psalmist; or
that "righteousness" in Abraham's day (Gen. xv. 6) was
different from "righteousness" in Paul's days (Rom.
iv. 3). Just as we believe the Hiddekel and Euphrates of
Genesis ii. are the same as the Hiddekel and Euphrates of
later history; and the cherubim of Genesis iii. the same
as those in the tabernacle; and the "sweet savour" of
Genesis viii. 21 the same as that in Leviticus i. 9 and
Ephesians v. 2; so do we regard the intention of sacrifice
as always the same throughout Scripture. There would
therefore be need, not of proof to establish this principle,
but of argument to refute it. Ours is the obvious and
common-sense principle. All these ordinances were parts
of the one telescope, through which men saw the Star of
Bethlehem from afar. In Mosaic rites, the telescope was
drawn out farther than at Eden, and the focus at which
the grand object could be, best seen was more nearly
found. But the gate of Eden presents us with the same
truths in a more rudimental form.
Some have traced the outlines of the Mosaic ritual at
the gate of Eden in the following manner:--Within the
gate stood the cherubim, occupying the hallowed spot
where the Tree of Life waved its branches. This resem-
bled the Holy of holies; and the veil that prevented the
approach of any from without was the flaming sword,
flashing its sheets of fire on every side. But opposite to
this sword, at some distance, we see an altar, where our
first parents shed the blood of sacrifice--shewing in type
how the barred-up way of access to the Tree of Life was
to be opened by the blood of the woman's bruised seed.
On this altar bloody and unbloody offerings were ap-
pointed to be presented in their season. And when we
30 THE BURNT-OFFERING CHAP. I
find clean and unclean noticed (Gen. viii. 20), and in
Abraham's case (Gen. xv. 9, 10), the heifer and goat,
the turtle and the pigeon, and also "commandments,
statutes, and laws" (parallel to Lev. xxvi. 46), we cannot
but believe that these fuller institutions in Leviticus are
just the expansion of what Adam first received. The
Levitical dispensation is the acorn of Eden grown to a
full oak. If so, then may we say, that the child Jesus,
wrapped in his swaddling-clothes, was, in these ceremonies,
laid down at the gate of Eden!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God."--
Rom. xii. 1
"The things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a
sacrifce acceptable, well pleasing to God."--Phil. iv. 18
Ver. 1. And when any will offer a meat-offering unto the Lord,
his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon
it, and put frankincense thereon.
IN Daniel ix. 27, "He shall cause the sacrifice and
oblation to cease," there seems to be reference made to
the two great divisions, sacrifices with, and sacrifices
without, blood. For the words are more exactly, “He
shall cause sacrifice and meat-offering (hHAn;mi) to cease."
So also in I Sam. iii. 14, and Ps. xl. 6. We have now
come to this second class of offerings.
The meat-offering (so called by our translators because
the greater part of it was used for food) represents the
offerer's person and property, his body and his posses-
sions.* When he had by the burnt-offering; obtained full
* Ainsworth gives in substance the same meaning of the type, when he says
that it signified "the sanctification of persons and actions, and the acceptation
of them." Patrick is evidently far wrong when he speaks of these meat-offerings
as a merciful provision for those who could not afford to offer animal sacrifices.
32 THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II
acceptance for his soul, he comes next to give up his
whole substance to the Lord who has redeemed him.
The mercies of God constrain him to give up all he has
to the Lord. The meat-offering was generally, or rather
always, presented along with some animal sacrifice, in
order to shew the connexion between pardon of sin and
devotion to the Lord. The moment we are pardoned, all
we are, and all we have, becomes the property of Christ.
“Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price"
(1 Cor. vi. 19). Our Redeemer and kinsman buys first
Ruth, the Moabitess herself, and nest, he claims also the
field and inheritance. Joseph, who saves our life, buys
up our bodies and our substance.
A type that was to represent this dedication of body
and property behoved to be one that had no blood
therein; for blood is the life or soul, which has been
This distinction may have existed as early as the days
of Adam. When God instituted animal sacrifice to
represent the atonement by death, he probably also in-
stituted this other sort; the fact of this latter existing,
and its meaning and use being definitely understood,
would tend to confirm the exclusive use of animal sacrifice
when atonement was to be shewn forth. Cain's offering
of first fruits might have been acceptable as a meat-
offering, if it had been founded upon the slain lamb, and
had followed as a consequence from that sacrifice.* But
the statement in Heb. xi. 4 lets us know that Cain had
not faith in the seed of the woman; therefore his offering
* In this view Ambrose (De Incarnat. Dom. Sacram., cap. i.) is not wrong:--
“Nihil invenio quod in specie munerum reprehendam, nisi quod et Cain munera
sua displicuisse cognovit, et Dominus dixit, Si recte offeras, recte autem non
dividas, peccasti. Ubi igitur est crimen? Ubi culpa? Non in oblatione muneris,
sed in oblationis affectu."
THE MEAT-OFFERING CHAP. II 33
was hateful to God. Cain's attempt was virtually this,--
to present himself and his property to God, as if they had
been under no curse that needed blood first of all to wash
them. He sought to be accepted by his holiness, and so
overthrew salvation by Christ. Acts of clarity, substi-
tuted for Christ's work, as a means of pacifying the con-
science, make up precisely this sin of Cain. Nor are
they less mistaken who think, by self-denial, and by doing
good to others in their life and conduct, to obtain favour,
and be accepted with God. This is offering the meat-
offering ere the man has been cleansed by the burnt-
offering. It is putting sanctification before justification.*
And there is a tendency to this error in those books
which recommend anxious souls, that are not yet come to
Christ, to draw up a form of self-dedication, and solemnly
give themselves to the Lord. These counsellors are in
danger of leading souls past the blood of the Lamb,
and of putting the meat-offering too hastily into their
This meat-offering was presented daily, along with the
morning and evening sacrifice, teaching us to give all we
have to the Lord's use, not by irregular impulse on parti-
cular exigencies, but daily.
In Isaiah lxvi. 20, the words, "They shall bring all
your brethren an offering (hHAn;mi) to the Lord," are very
appropriate when we keep in mind that this is the
* An instance of such-like self-righteousness we find among the early
Fathers. Ephraim Syrus seems never to have found the blood-sprinkled way,
but to have travelled onward to eternity over a road strewn with the palm-branches
of good feelings and deeds of self-denial, and watered with tears at every step. His
wretched scheme of peace may be gathered from such congratulations as these