of Jer. xiii. 17, "in secret places"), but "secreted," or forced to hide by reason
of their plots. He was the very contrast to timid Nicodemus, bold and unre-
served. Behold! then, this man suddenly returns to the city; and finding that
all is over, he boldly seeks the body of Jesus, his beloved Master. And next, he
and Nicodemus--two rich men, but the one all boldness, the other nervously
timid--lay the body in its silent tomb. And where is the tomb? " In the place
where he was crucifed" (John xix. 41); that is, at the very spot where crimi-
nals were put to death, and where they used to be buried. Extraordinary as it
may appear, this very spot was the spot where Joseph's new tomb was hewn out
of a rock! The stony sides of the tomb-the new tomb--"the clean place,"
where Jesus was laid--were part of the malefactor's hill. His dead body is
“with the rich man and with the wicked " in the hour of his death! His grave
is the property of a rich man; and yet the rocks which form the partition be-
tween his tomb and that of the other Calvary Malefactors, are themselves part
of Golgotha. Is there not here a fulfilment of Isaiah's words to the letter, and
that in a way so unlikely, that no eye could have foreseen it but His, who fore-
ordained the whole?
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 115
was to be supplied constantly in sufficient measure,
and the sacrifice laid thereon. There is an object for the
Divine justice to seize upon; and this victim must be
shewn every morning, exposed to that intolerable flame.
Christ bears the vehement heat of Jehovah's altar--the
reality of wrath.
There is no "putting out" of this fire.* "The fire is
not quenched," is Christ's own expression; perhaps in
reference to this type (Mark ix. 44). There will be no
putting out of these flames in eternity--no waters to
quench them--no interference of God's mercy to end
them. The company of their ungodly friends will not
“put out” any of the torments of the damned; nor shall
any intellectual efforts "put them out," by diverting
men's thoughts from their deserved doom. Christ's
agony is the proof of this. If ever God would have
“put out” one flame, it would have been in his case.
Yet he withheld no suffering--"all his waves" were
against him; he laid him in "the lowest pit."
Perhaps "burn the fat of the peace-offerings" is intro-
duced here to shew how the flame was to be fed. The
fat must feed it till it blazes bright and strong, casting its
light through the darkness, in view of all the camp. It
was an awful view of Divine justice; it figured out the
tremendous fierceness of almighty wrath. Yet inasmuch
as it is "the fat of peace-offerings," a discerning, believing
worshipper may find the elements of peace even here.
* In Song viii. 6, "vehement flame" is most generally understood to be
“the flame of Jehovah.” The love of Jesus is seen in proportion as we see
the heat of the wrath which he bore for us. "Love is strong as death--like the
flame of Jehovah," i. e. on the altar. How great was the sin of Ahaz (2 Chron.
Xxviii. 24) when lie shut up the temple! There was this ingredient in his guilt
he was attempting to extinguish the perpetual fire on the altar, as if thereby to hide
from his view the type of God's justice and a coming hell--a sin-avenging God.
116 SPECIAL RULES
The peace-offering on which that flame has fed declared
his reconciliation; so that he can read the assurance of
his acceptance even in these flames! Justice fully satis-
fied, and yet the worshipper standing in peace, is the
truth taught us by the blazing flame of this altar. "Our
God is a consuming fire."
Ver. 13. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall
never go out.
Throughout, we are emphatically shewn that this fire
has no end. We are reminded of John's words, "The
wrath of God abideth on him" (John iii. 36), and Christ's
thrice-repeated declaration, "Where their worm dieth
not, and their fire is not quenched" (Mark ix.) The
word for "go out" is the same that elsewhere is rendered
"quenched" (hB,k;ti). The eternal justice of Jehovah
shall never cease to find fuel in hell; and never shall it
cease to find satisfaction in the Altar of the Great High
Priest. Hence we see that an everlasting righteousness
was what we needed (Dan. ix. 24). "Eternal redemp-
tion" is what has been obtained for us (Heb. ix. 12).
REGARDING THE MEAT-OFFERING
Ver. 14. And this is the law of the meat-offering: The sons of Aaron
shall offer it before the Lord, before the altar.
The duties of the priest are dwelt upon here. The
officiating priest shall take the meat-offering from the
worshipper, and shall present it. He shall do this
solemnly, coming up "before the altar," i. e. in front of
it, in sight of all the people who stand by. For thus the
dedication of all that the man has--body and property,
as well as soul--is publicly declared. All are witnesses
that now he is not his own.
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 117
Ver. 15. And he shall take of it his handful, of the four of the meat-
offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which
is upon the meat-offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for
a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord.
When the memorial (see chap. ii. 2) was taken and
burnt, the offerer saw a sight that refreshed his soul. He
saw the altar smoking, and felt the air breathing with his
accepted gift--"a savour of rest." It was on such occa-
sions as these that the priests exhibited salvation and its
results so fully to the comfort of the worshippers, that
“the saints shouted for joy” (Ps. cxxxii, 16).
Ver. 16. And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons
eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place;
in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat
It ought to be rendered, "Unleavened shall it be
eaten;"* that is, the remainder which Aaron and his
sons received as their part, shall be eaten in the form of
unleavened bread. There must not be anything in it that
would intimate sin or corruption; for since the memorial
has been offered, the remainder is reckoned pure, so pure
that it may be put into the hands of the priests as food,
and eaten on holy ground. It may present to us the fact,
that when Jesus was once offered as a "sweet savour of
rest," then what remained, viz. his body the Church, was
pure, and might be freely admitted to holy ground--to
heaven, and to all heavenly employments.
The "holy place" here, is the court of the tabernacle
(ver. 26), where the altar and laver stood. It is "holy" on
the same principle that Peter calls the hill of transfigu-
ration "the holy mount" (2 Pet. i. 18); and because the
same God was present there who made the place "holy
* a]zuma brwqhsetai (Sept.)--Eaten as unleavened. " Comedet absque
118 SPECIAL RULES
ground" to Moses at the bush (Exod. iii. 5). There is a
passage in Numbers (xviii. 10) where the court seems to
be called "most holy"—“In the most holy place shalt
thou eat it"--unless we render the words (as Horsley
proposes), "Among the most holy things thou shalt eat
it." Patrick's explanation of it, by a reference to the
holy chambers in Ezekiel xlii., is altogether out of the
question. It seems to be simply the holiness arising
from the Lord's presence, hallowing the courts where
such offerings were made, that is meant.
In Leviticus xxiv. 9, and elsewhere, it is again called
“the holy place." And no wonder; for it was "at the
door of the tabernacle" (vii. 31)--in other words, oppo-
site the altar, which was the prominent object in the view
of all in the courts, but specially of any at the entrance.
To this, allusion is made in Isa, lxii. 9, when thank-offer-
ings of corn and wine are spoken of as feasted on "in
the courts of my holiness."
Ver. 17. It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto
them for their portion of my offerings made by fire: it is most
holy, as is the sin-offering, and as the trespass-offering.
They are directed not to use it as they might do bread
at their own dwellings: "There must be no leaven in it,
for it is a gift to them from me. Let it, then, derive its
sweetness and relish to their taste from the consideration
that it is my gift to them." This is truly like Hannah,
Samuel's mother: when, rejoicing after her son's birth, she
sings, not of her joy in her first-born, but of her joy in
him who gave her the rich gift--"My heart rejoiceth in
the Lord; mine horn is exalted in the Lord" (1 Sam, ii. 1),
There is here, also, a cheering notice of the full commu-
nion that subsists between God and his people--"I have
given it for THEIR portion, out of my offerings." As if
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 119
there was an intercommunity of goods--of blessings--
between God and his people. He and they alike feast
upon the same holiness and purity, found in the Right-
Ministers, and indeed all God's people, are here taught
not to consider the smallest service or offering as unim-
portant. Lest these "cakes," and "flour," and "baken
things” should be treated slightly, the Lord as solemnly
declared, “It is most holy, as is the sin--offering, and as
Ver. 18. All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it.
It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the
offerings of the Lord made by fire every one that toucheth them
shall be holy.
While all the males of Aaron's line might eat thereof,
every one must remember in all generations to do so
with deep reverence; for "every one (or everything) that
toucheth them shall be holy." Any person or thing
touching them was to be reckoned as set apart to holy
purposes, to be treated accordingly. Garments, vessels,
or the like, must be then considered as on holy ground;
and, accordingly, must be washed in clean water, as an
emblem of setting apart from common use. Persons, too,
that came in contact, must wash themselves, being, like
Moses at the bush, suddenly drawn into God's presence,
where they must put off the shoe.
What a circle of deep awe was thus drawn round the
altar and its offerings! "God is greatly to be feared in
the assembly of his saints, and to be had in reverence
of all that are about him" (Ps. lxxxix. 7). Nothing is
more blissful than God's presence, yet nothing more solem-
nising. Bethel was "the gate of heaven," and yet " how
dreadful!" This is holy bliss; it is not as the world's joy.
120 SPECIAL RULES
Ver. 19, 20. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, This is the
offering of Aaron, and of his sons, which they shall offer unto
the Lord in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an
ephah of fine four, for a meat-offering perpetual, half of it in the
morning, and half thereof at night.
“A meat-offering perpetual” means, that this shall be
in all ages the manner of the priest's meat-offering. The
common priests and Aaron offered it at their first enter-
ing an office, that is, "the day when he is anointed."
They had been already told what to bring, in Exod.
xxix. 2, but they are told how to bring it--what cere-
monies to use in the bringing of it.
The priest's meat-offering was of “fine flour,” in "cakes
and wafers" (Exod. xxix. 2), and "baken in the pan"
(ver. 21). It thus contained a reference to the two most
common sorts of meat-offering mentioned in chap. ii. 1-6.
It was neither the richest nor the poorest,
The omer, or tenth part of the ephah, is fixed on as the
measure. It might remind them of the omer of manna
which they used daily to gather; and the omer of it kept
in the golden pot. When they remembered that manna,
would not their hearts naturally feel their obligations to
devote all their substance to him who gave them bread
from heaven, and was still commanding the blessing on
their fields and dwellings?
Ver. 21. In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken,
thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat-offer-
ing shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the Lord.
They were to bring it ready-baken, that is, prepared
in the form of cakes and wafers, as Exod. xxix. 2 directed,
and as chap. ii. 5 appoints in regard to things baken in
The oil, and other particulars, have been noticed above.
The bringing it to the altar, all ready, may have been
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 121
meant to teach the need of a fully-prepared offering--
nothing imperfect--if presented to the Lord for acceptance.
Ver. 22, 23. And the priest of his sons, that is anointed in his
stead, shall offer it: it is a statute for ever unto the Lord: it
shall be wholly burnt. For every meat-offering for the priest
shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten.
The ministering high priest already in office presented
this offering of the sons of Aaron on the day of their
It is particularly declared that it must be "wholly
burnt"--"not eaten"--because it was a priest's offering
(see ver. 30 also). This prefigured, no doubt, the truth
that Christ gave Himself, entirely and completely, as the
offering. This type refers to the Saviour alone, not to
his people. It is speaking only of the Head, not of the
members. He who was his people's priest, in giving
himself, gave himself wholly, soul and body, to the con-
suming flame. "Our God is a consuming fire:" and that
fire withered his spirit as he bore the curse. This meat-
offering was wholly burnt, because it is the meat-offering
of the priest, who is the type of Jesus.
REGARDING THE SIN-OFFERING
Vex. 24, 25. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak un-
to Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin-
offering: In the place where the burnt-offering is killed shall
the sin-offering be killed before the Lord: it is most holy.
It must be brought solemnly before the Lord, like the
great burnt-offering, and killed on the same spot, on the
north side of the altar (i. 11). It is to one and the same
atonement that all these sacrifices refer.
“It is most holy." All sacrifices were to be regarded
with awful reverence. For it was as if the worshippers
122 SPECIAL RULES
were standing at the cross, where the Marys stood, and
saw the Saviour die. Or like the heavenly host, when
they saw the disembodied soul ("the blood was the life")
of the Redeemer come in before the Father, at the moment
the last mite was paid, and he had cried, "It is finished."
Was there ever such an hour in heaven? or shall there
ever be such an hour in earth or heaven? Even in the
act of accepting the atonement made, how solemnly does
the soul feel that receives it! See Isaiah, when the live
coal touched his lips. What, then, must have been the
hour when atonement itself was spread out complete?
The hour when a lost sheep returns is solemn; but what
is this to the hour when the Shepherd himself returned?
Ver. 26. The priest that offereth* it for sin shall eat it; in the holy
place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the
The Lord, who "by himself purged away sin," holds
communion with the once sinful man. He accepts the
offerer who presents this sacrifice. In Hosea iv. 8, this
rite is referred to--"They eat up the sin-offering of my
people" (txF.AHa); and then "lift up their hearts to their
iniquity." The degenerate priests one moment engaged
in duty, and the next ran back to sin.
Ver. 27, 28. Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy:
and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any
garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the
holy place. But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall
be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both
scoured and rinsed in water.
How awful is atoning blood! Even things without
life, such as garments, are held in dreadful sacredness if
* htAxo xFe.Ham;ha NheKoha. May it be, "Who maketh it sin;" i. e. by thus offer-
ing it, he makes it a mass of sin? See this use of the word in chap. ix. 15.
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VI 123
this blood touch them. No wonder, then, that this earth,
on which fell the blood of the Son of God, has a sacred-
ness in the eye of God. It must be set apart for holy
ends, since the blood of Jesus has wet its soil. And as
the earthen vessel, within which the sacrifice was offered,
must be broken, and not used for any meaner end again;
so must our Earth be decomposed and new-moulded, for
it must be kept for the use of him whose sacrifice was
offered there. And as the brazen vessel must be rinsed
and scoured, so must this earth be freed from all that
dims its beauty, and be set apart for holy ends. It must
be purified and reserved for holy purposes; for the blood
of Jesus has dropt upon it and made it more sacred than
any spot, except where he himself dwells. "My holy
mountain" (Isa. xi. 9), is the name it gets from himself,
when he is telling how he means to cleanse it for his
Ver. 29, 30. All the males among the priests shall eat thereof
it is most holy. And no sin-offering, whereof any of the blood
is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation, to reconcile
withal in the holy place, shall be eaten; it shall be burnt in
Again the sacredness of it is declared. It seems
as if nothing was so fitted to teach us holiness as com-
plete atonement. "He sitteth between the cherubim,"
says Ps. xcix. 1, looking down on the sprinkled blood;
therefore, "Let the earth be moved."
The sin-offerings are the class of sacrifices mentioned
as "those whereof any of the blood is brought into the
tabernacle, to reconcile withal in the holy place." Now,
these will be found to be the same sin-offerings that were
"burnt without the camp" (Heb. xiii. 11). All of which
specially and peculiarly prefigured the entireness of the
124 SPECIAL RULES
Saviour's work (see chap. iv. 12). On this account they
are never to be eaten, but all consumed; as observed in
a similar case (ver. 23). On some occasions the Lord is
pleased to exhibit parts of the truth separately, withdraw-
ing our view, for the sake of deeper impressiveness, from
all but one point at a time. This seems to be done here.
We are here led to notice the entireness and complete-
ness of the offering, apart from the results of restoring
fellowship between the sinner and his God, which "eating"
would have intimated. The transfer of the offerer's guilt
to the victim was so complete that the victim is altogether
polluted--all "made sin." Hence nothing of it what-
soever must be used; the fire must thoroughly consume
it all. Thus we behold the debt and the gold that pays
it, all told down on the floor of the holy place! What a
debt! What a payment! The last mite is there! Behold
the demands of a holy God! And these all met and
satisfied! Behold the sacrifice and the fire!--and then
the sacrifice "wholly consumed!" How fierce the heat of
the flame! How complete the consumption! Thus ter-
-ribly pure is the justice of the Lord in vindicating his
holy law--that jealous God, who is " Holy, holy, holy!"
(CHAP. VII )
REGARDING THE TRESPASS-OFFERING
Ver. 1, 2. Likewise this is the law of the trespass-offering: it is
most holy. In the place where they kill the burnt-offering shall
they kill the trespass-offering: and the blood thereof shall he
sprinkle round about upon the altar.
So much had been said of the blood of the sin-offering,
in chap. iv., that there was no need to call attention to
that matter in giving directions to the priests regarding
it. But there had been little said about the blood of the
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 125
trespass-offering; and therefore it is specially noticed
here. The blood must be "sprinkled round about upon
the altar." Surely Israel must have felt that their souls
were reckoned very guilty by their God, since he spoke
to them so continually in the language of blood. None
but a heavy-laden sinner could relish this never-varying
exhibition of blood to the eye of the worshipper. The
pilgrims to Zion, in after days, must often, as they jour-
neyed through the vale of Baca, have wondered what was
to be seen and heard in the courts of the Lord's house,
of which the worshippers sang, "How amiable are thy
tabernacles, 0 Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even
fainteth, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my
flesh crieth out for the living God. . . . Blessed are they
that dwell in thy house!" (Ps. lxxxiv. 1, 2, 4.) And
when they arrived, and saw in these courts blood on the
altar, blood in the bowls of the altar, blood on its four
horns, blood on its sides, blood meeting the eye at every
turn, none but a deeply-convicted soul, none but a soul
really alive to the guilt of a broken law, could enter into
the song, and cry with the worshippers, "How amiable!"
Even so with a preached Saviour at this day, and a sin-
Ver. 3-6. And he shall offer of it all the fat thereof; the rump,
and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the two kidneys, and
the fat that is on them,* which is by the flanks, and the caul
that is above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.
And the priest shall burn them upon the altar for an offering
made by fire unto the Lord: it is a trespass-offering. Every
male among the priests shall eat thereof: it shall be eaten in
the holy place: it is most holy.
* "The fat that is on them," and that, too, which is "on the flanks"--a
construction similar to Ps. cxxxiii. 3, "The dew of Hermon, and also the dew
that descendeth on the mountains of Zion."
126 SPECIAL RULES
These rites had been prescribed, in chaps. iii. and iv.,
in regard to other offerings, but had not been prescribed
as belonging to the trespass-offering; and as the priests
are specially instructed here, the specific directions come
in appropriately here.
The Lord is not weary of repeating these types,
both because of his wondrous love to the sinner, and his
still more unfathomable love to him whom he holds out
to fallen man in each of these figures--his Well-beloved.
Ver. 7. As the sin-offering is, so is the trespass-offering: there is
one law for them: the priest that maketh atonement therewith
shall have it.
"One law," not in regard to all the ceremonies used
therein, but in regard to this special circumstance of the
priest having the pieces left as his portion (see in chap.
vi. 26). The design of this may have been to fix atten-
tion on one special result of atonement, viz. that he who
is the means of making atonement has a claim on all that
the offerer brings; thus shewing forth Christ's claim on
his people for whom he atones--"Ye are not your own;
for ye are bought with a price" (1 Cor. vi. 20).
GENERAL RULE REGARDING PORTIONS BELONGING TO THE
Ver. 8. And the priest that offereth any man's burnt-offering, even
the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt-offering
which he hath offered.
This general rule seems naturally to follow the special
case just noticed in ver. 7. There we see "the skin"
given to the priest, irresistibly reminding us of the skins
that clothed Adam and Eve. If Jesus, at the gate of
Eden, acting as our Priest, appointed sacrifice to be
offered there, then he had a right to the skins, as priest;
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 127
and the use to which he appropriated them was clothing
Adam and Eve. He has clothing for the naked soul--
"fine raiment" (Rev. iii. 18)--obtained from his own
sacrifice. Even at the gate of Eden he began to "counsel
us to buy of him fine raiment, that we might be clothed."
And this is his office still (Rev. iii. I8).
Ver. 9, 10. And all the meat-offering that is oaken in the oven,
and all that is dressed in the frying pan and in the pan, shall
be the priest's that offereth it. And every meat-offering
mingled with oil, and dry, shall all the sons of Aaron have,
one as much as another.
"All the meat-offering"--after the memorial was taken,
of course (see chap. ii. 2, 9). All the kinds of meat-
offering are mentioned here--those prepared in the oven,
frying pan, and pan. Then, in ver. 10, the heap of fine
flour is meant by "every meat-offering mingled with oil,
and dry." It is not baked, but dry; the oil being on it
merely to consecrate it.
The meaning of this part of the type has already been
noticed in chap. ii.
Ver. 11. And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace-offerings,
which he shall offer unto the Lord.
The Jews say that the peace-offerings for thanksgiving
were brought on such occasions as Psalm cvii. mentions
--on occasions of deliverance from danger in travelling
the desert, or voyaging the sea, or captivity, or sickness.
The words used in that psalm countenance the idea (ver.
22), "And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and declare his works with rejoicing." Peace-offerings
brought on occasion of a vow were probably very similar,
but with this difference, that in the time of danger--e. g.
128 SPECIAL RULES
a storm at sea, or simoom in the desert--they were pro-
mised or vowed to the Lord. Such vowed peace-offerings
go under the name of "sacrifices of thanksgiving," in
Ps. cxvi. 17, compared with verses 1, 14, 18,
Those called "voluntary " (hbAdAn;) were probably
brought just because the soul of the worshipper was, at
the time, overflowing with gratitude; there was not, in
this case, any peculiar event to call for them. They were
nearly allied to praise, in so far as both these offerings
("free-will offerings") and praise were dictated simply by
the fulness of the worshipper's heart. Hence the phrase-
ology of Ps. cxix. 108, "Accept, I beseech thee, the free-
will offerings of my mouth." And Heb. xiii. 15, "By
him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God
continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to
Ver. 12. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with
the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil,
and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled
with oil, of fine flour, fried.
The last clause means, "the cakes mingled with oil
shall be made of fine flour prepared." The second sort
of meat-offering is fixed upon as the kind to be brought
along with peace-offerings; because, perhaps, it was under-
stood that the offerer was a man able to bring this, if he
could afford to bring a thanksgiving sacrifice. And the
meat-offering naturally accompanies an expression of
gratitude; for it is a binding of the offerer to the Lord,
himself and all he has, body and substance, as well as
soul. So, in Psalm cxvi., where the vows are paid by a
sacrifice of thanksgiving, we hear the offerer saying also,
in ver. 16, "0 Lord, truly I am thy servant." What is
the meaning of the redeemed casting even their crowns
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 129
at Christ's feet? Is not this their expression of abounding
gratitude? They would fain have nothing of their own.
Let all be his.
Ver. 13, 14. Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering
leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace-
offerings. And of it he shall offer one out of the whole obla-
tion for an heave-offering unto the Lord, and it shall be the
priest's that sprinkleth the blood of the peace-offerings.
Here is a remarkable appointment. "Leavened bread"
is to be offered. To understand this, we are to keep in
mind that this is a peace-offering, and therefore the offerer
is in a reconciled state toward God. His sins are all for-
given; there is peace between him and his God; But
this reconciliation does not declare that there is no cor-
ruption left remaining in the worshipper. Perfect pardon
does not imply perfect holiness. There is a remnant of
evil left. But here we see that remnant of evil brought
out before the Lord. The "leavened cakes" intimate the
corruption of the offerer; and God having graciously
accepted him, and delivered him from evils in the world
(for this is an offering of thanksgiving for special mercies),
he testifies his gratitude by bringing out what of corrup-
tion is found in his soul, that it may be removed. "Being
made free from sin, ye have your fruit unto holiness"
(Rom. vi. 22).
And to express yet more fully the intention of bringing
out this "leavened bread," the 14th verse tells that it is to
be "heaved to the Lord."* One cake of this bread that
is leavened is heaved up to the Lord; the priest lifts it up
* The word is hmAUrt;, and the " wave-offering" is hpAUnt;. Both words imply
the same action; but the former is the more comprehensive. The "wave-offer-
ing" is confined to lesser things, that could easily be lifted up. Neither term
implies anything as to a new kind of sacrifice, but only a new mode of present-
ing the sacrifice.
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before the Lord, and, in the sight of all the congregation,
waves it to the four quarters of the heavens, as a sign that
he is giving it over to the Lord. Thus the grateful offerer
presents to the Lord all he has, and spreads out his very
corruptions to be dealt with as the Lord sees good. Was
he not saying, while the priest thus waved the leavened
cake to the four winds, "Search me, 0 God, and know
my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if
there be any wicked way in me, and. lead me in the way
everlasting" (Ps. cxxxix. 23, 24). Patrick remarks that
the leavened bread was not put upon the altar. It is held
up in order to be removed.
Ver. 15. And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace-offerings for
thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he
shall not leave any of it until the morning.
The priest that sprinkled the blood was to eat the
pieces of this peace-offering the same day that it was
offered. Some say that this rule prevented covetousness
arising in the priests; no one had it in his power to hoard
up. Others say that this rule was fitted to promote brotherly
love; for he must call together his friends, in order to
have it all finished. But these uses are only incidental.
The true uses lie much nearer the surface. Israel might
hereby be taught to offer thanksgiving while the benefit
was still fresh and recent. Besides this, and most
specially, the offerer who saw the priest cut it in pieces,
and feast thereon, knew thereby that God had accepted
his gift, and returned rejoicing to his dwelling, like David
and his people, when their peace-offerings were ended, at
the bringing up of the ark (2 San. vi. 17-19). The
Lord took speciat notice of this free spontaneous thank-
offering, inasmuch as he commanded it to be immediately
eaten, thus speedily assuring the worshipper of peace and
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 131
acceptance. The love of our God is too full to be re-
strained from us one moment longer than is needful for
the manifestation of his holiness.
Ver 16, 17. But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a
voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he
offereth his sacrifice; and on the morrow also the remainder
of it shall be eaten. But the remainder of the flesh of the
sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with, fire.
This is the case of a peace-offering offered on occasions
when the man had bound himself by a vow to present it;
and those other occasions when he brought it voluntarily,
that is, of his own thought, although nothing special had
occurred to him to draw it forth. There is one particular
in which this offering is to be dealt with differently from
the first kind. The time within which it must be eaten
is never extended beyond the third day; and if any
portion remained so long as the third day, that part is to
be forthwith brought out and burnt. Every precaution
is taken that none of the portions should suffer the taint
of corruption. The type refers to the incorruption of the
Surety, after he had been offered as a sacrifice. When
the third day came round, God completed his testimony
to the acceptance of his Son's work, by forthwith raising
him from the dead, ere corruption could begin. It seems
to be implied here, that "what remained" was to be
speedily consumed on the third day--perhaps as soon as
morning dawned, in order to be the more exact type of
the resurrection--" early on the first day of the week."
Ver. 18. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace-offer-
ings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted,
neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be
an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his
132 SPECIAL RULES
How strictly is the type guarded, that so there may be
no misrepresentation of the Antitype! Lest possibly it
should corrupt by the third day, it is never to be eaten
then; for holy fellowship with God must be set forth by
eating it pure. They must make haste, therefore, to
eat it; they might eat it the very same day as it was
offered (ver. 16). Why, then, delay? And to insure
attention to this, the offerer's own interest is bound up
with it; for here it is declared that he loses the whole
comfort of his offering if any part should be left till the
third day--"it shall not be imputed to him," i. e. not
reckoned as a peace-offering at all. And if any one
rashly persist in eating it, or eat it ignorantly, on that
day, he is defiled and unclean.
How careful ought we to be to represent Christ's work
to our people exactly as it is held forth in Scripture!
How jealous ought we to be of any departure from the
pattern shewn to us, since the Father is so jealous over
even the figures and emblems of the doing and suffering
of his beloved Son. We need all wisdom and prudence;
our people need to implore such direction for us; and
they, on their own part, need the Spirit of wisdom and
revelation in the knowledge of Christ, in order to receive
without mistake what is set before them.
Ver. 19. And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not
be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire: and as for the flesh, all
that be clean shall eat thereof.
Here it is commanded, first, that the flesh be clean;
next, that they be clean who eat it. The priests must
keep off from the peace-offering the approach of anything
unclean; and having thus guarded the flesh and kept it
pure, they must take care that those who feast thereon
be ceremonially clean. It is an accepted work that must
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 133
form our food; and it must be fed upon by accepted per-
sons, Hence the case of the Jews in John xviii. 28--
they wished to eat the peace-offerings that accompanied
the Passover, and therefore kept themselves from cere-
Here is again brought before us the jealous care of
God. He must shew himself holy, even while he pours
out his love. His unalterable righteousness and purity
must be manifested at the tomb of Jesus, in the very
hour when he is about to declare the Surety's work
accepted, and access open for the sinner to the bosom of
Ver. 20, 21. But the soul that, eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of
peace-offerings that pertain unto the Lord, having his unclean-
ness upon him, even that soul shall be cut of from his people.
Moreover, the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the
uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable
unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace-
offerings which pertain unto the Lord, even that soul shall be
cut off from his people.
This "cutting off from his people" seems to be, not
death, but complete expulsion from all ordinances. The
person was excommunicated, and left to the judgment of
God. It seems, from chap. xxii. 4-9, that death was
sometimes sent by God immediately, to ratify the act of
the priests. The act was, in such cases, like breaking
through the fence drawn round Mount Sinai, and coming
in to gaze. The source of the sin, we should observe,
is comparatively immaterial, if the fact of the sin be
established. "Whether from man, beast, or thing," it
mattered not, if uncleanness had been contracted. The
Lord shews us that theories as to the origin of evil, and
apologies drawn from the manner in which we were led
astray, can have no effect in disproving the sin itself. It
134 SPECIAL RULES
seems implied, also, that no man was to be allowed to
plead that it happened accidentally, or was only a trivial
matter; the enumeration of "man, beast, thing," is sweep-
ing and decisive.
And now, we see the reference in Psalm xxii. 27--
"The meek shall eat, and be satisfied." The meek are
they who bow to God's will, and follow his rules. They
may freely eat when complying with his rules. In that
Psalm, the food is Christ, our slain Lamb; of whom we
may freely partake as often as we will, if only we comply
with the rule to come to this feast on the simple warrant,
“All things are ready.” So to come is true meekness.
GENERAL LAWS REGARDING THE FAT AND THE BLOOD
Ver. 22, 23. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto
the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat,
of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.
Probably the frequent occurrence of fat in the peace-
offerings led to the introduction of this rule in this place;
and the prohibition of fat was naturally connected with
that regarding blood in ver. 26.
These three, “ox, sheep, goat,” include all the classes
of animals offered in sacrifice. And "the fat" forbidden
is all those pieces elsewhere mentioned as sacrificial,
devoted to the fire. On feast-days, we read of the people
“eating the fat and drinking the sweet.” In this case,
the fat of sheep and oxen seems meant. But the pieces
were not to be sacrificial pieces. Our rendering conveys
too wide a prohibition; it ought to be rendered, "Ye
shall not eat any fat of ox," &c., viz. any of that spoken
of in iii. 17.
What we give to the Lord must be wholly his. We
must not give it to the Lord, and then again draw it back
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 135
for our own use. Holy things must be completely left at
the Lord's disposal, like the money laid at the apostles'
feet by Joses of Cyprus (Acts iv. 36).
Ver. 24. And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of
that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use;
but ye shall in no wise eat of it.
They might use the fat of such torn beasts and such
diseased ones, for a blaze on their own hearth, or for
domestic purposes; but they must not use the sacrificial
portions for food, even when the animal cannot be brought
to the altar.
God's claim upon them must be kept ever in view.
These pieces are the Lord's in all cases; and had they
eaten pieces that were to be consumed on the altar, then
the type would be interfered with. These pieces being
set apart to signify the inmost desires given up to God,
man must never feast on them. They are no portion for
him. The strength of our desires and feelings is already
given away; we cannot spend it on any but God himself.
Ver. 25. For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men
offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, even the soul that
eateth it shall be cut of from his people.
The injunction is repeated, because the temptation
might occur very often in common life; and the penalty
is complete excommunication from the holy people. We
are thus taught the awful guilt of transgressing even the
smallest precept that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
It is a case like this, where there is no other reason for
the thing being binding but just this, viz. the Lord has
said it; it is such a case that best shews us the majesty
and glory of the Lord. He is such, that to deviate from
the slightest of his precepts is a sin that deserves cutting
off from the holy people. "0 God, who is like unto thee?"
136 SPECIAL RULES
It is thus, too, that we arrive at a simple but very
awful view of sin itself. The essence of its enormity is,
opposition to the will of the Holy One. And as the
smallest precept given forth by him, discovers the desires
of his heart, so, to oppose this precept, is really to thwart
the purpose and desire of the Lord's heart--the Lord's
nature--his very Godhead.
We should view every precept as proceeding from the
heart of him "who so loved us;" and in this light every
precept will connect us with his love.
Ver. 26, 27. Moreover, ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it
be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever
soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall
be cut off from his people.
Because the blood was set apart (see iii. 17) to repre-
sent life poured out as an atonement. How often was the
stream of Calvary thus made to flow within their view!
How often were weary Israelites thus refreshed "in their
dwellings" by a sight of blood set apart, leading them to
him who was to come and pour out his soul unto death!
RULES REGARDING THE PARTS OF THE PEACE-OFFERING,
SPECIALLY THE BREAST AND THE SHOULDER
Ver. 28, 29. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto
the children of Israel, saying, He that offereth the sacrifice of
his peace-offerings unto the Lord, shall bring his oblation unto
the Lord of the sacrifice of his peace-offerings.
The meaning is, "He that cometh to present a peace-
offering as his sacrifice, shall, in so doing, bring the
Some new truths are here put before us in the peace-
offering; and these truths are, all of them, comforting to
the priest's heart. It is the priests who are specially
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 137
addressed in the directions of this chapter, so that it was
natural to bring in, at this point, what bore upon their
Ver. 30, 31. His own hands shall bring the offerings of the Lord
made by fire; the fat, with the breast, it shall he bring, that the
breast may be waved for a wave-offering before the Lord. And
the priest shall burn the fat upon the altar; but the breast shall
be Aaron's and his sons'.
The offerer himself—“his own hands"--must bring
the offering; for we must come to God in our own person,
each of us for ourselves, and enter into fellowship with
him for our own souls. Each of us, when reconciled,
must bring to God "the fat;" all mentioned in chap. iii.
3, 4, typical of every deep-seated desire, every inward
affection. And we bring, also, the breast, in connexion
with the fat, intimating the heart's affections and sym-
pathies. Aaron and his sons receive the breast as their
portion, as if to declare that the reconciled worshipper,
now at peace with God, had true sympathy with, and love
towards, the priest, by whose instrumentality this blessing
came to him. We are taught, in this manner, the wor-
shipper's affectionate feelings to his officiating priest--
similar, in kind, to the feeling that now subsists between
a pastor whom the Spirit anoints to preach glad tidings
to the meek, and the people who shout for joy at the
voice. At the same time, it also taught the redeemed
sinner's complete devotion of heart and mind to Jesus,
his High Priest, who procures the peace, and gives the
joy, of reconciliation.
The names of the twelve tribes on the precious stones
that were placed both on the shoulder and on the breast
of the high priest, seem to confirm and establish this view.
For we seem to be taught the affection and the power of
138 SPECIAL RULES
the priest, in the engraved stones worn on the breast and
The waving of it was an action designed to shew
publicly that the thing waved was given over to God.
The priest lifted it up, and probably moved it from east
to west, from north to south, as if to say that all ends of
the earth might be witnesses that this was now given up
to God. The whole heart, open, full, entire, is devoted
to the Lord.
Ver. 32, 33. And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest
for an heave-offering of the sacrifices of your peace-offerings.
He among the sons of Aaron that offereth the blood of the
peace-offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for
The right shoulder, as well as the breast, is presented;
for there must be hand and heart together in a full dedi-
cation to the Lord. It is the shoulder, as being that
which bore the burden; and the right shoulder, as that
had most strength to support a burden. A true Israelite,
in the enjoyment of reconciliation, felt himself bound to
help the priest with heart and hand, because he was the
Lord's minister to him for good. He would daily make
supplication for him, that his soul might be "satiated
with fatness" as he handled the types, and might never
grow weary in his work; that he might be able, also, to
tell a waiting people somewhat of the wonders he saw.
For, I suppose, the priest often spoke to the worshippers,
and directed their eye to the person of Him who was to
come--to Him whose glorious form was as yet hid amid
the drapery of the earthly sanctuary.
But, besides this, the true worshipper hereby presented
himself to the Great High Priest, saying, in a manner,
"Here is my person, soul and body; pour into my heart
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 139
all thy spirit, and put thy yoke upon my willing shoulder,
for thou hast redeemed me."
And yet once more. It shewed forth Christ, our peace-
offering,* presenting himself to the Father, heart and
hand, to do the Father's will. In full sympathy with his
Father's will, and full co-operation with hint in one grand
design of redemption, he presents himself as "our Peace."
And herein is the security of our peace, that he and the
Father are one in counsel, purpose, love, and action.
Once more. These portions are given to the priests
directly by the Lord, because the priests had no lot or
inheritance assigned them in Israel. But this mode of
providing for their wants was well fitted to keep them
ever looking to the Lord alone, in having whom they
could never want. For truly does Augustine say (Ps,
lvi.), "Quantum-libet sis avarus, sufficit tibi Deus."
Ver. 34. For the wave-breast and the heave-shoulder have I taken
of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace-
offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest, and unto
his sons, by a statute for ever, from among the children of Israel.
“A statute for ever.” To mark how reasonable it
appeared in the Lord's eyes, he declares that this statute
shall never be altered. So long as their polity continued,
* Some (see especially Edzardus, in Note 33, in his Latin translation and
comment on the tract of the Gemara, “De Idololatria”) try to find types of
The Cross, in the heaving and the waving of these pieces. They think it is seen
in waving them up and across. And they go to other similar ceremonies, such
as anointing the four corners of the altar with oil--putting blood on the same--
anointing Aaron and his sons with oil on hands, feet, and ears-putting blood
on them in the same manner--the roasting of the Paschal Lamb on the spit
(which the Jews say was always of wood)--the leaven cakes cut in pieces,
i. e. decussatae in formam X"--the position of the priest's hands when lifting
them up to bless--and even the gratework of the inside of the altar. But this is
fancy. The brazen serpent, and the "man hanged on the tree as accursed,"
are the only clear types of the cross. Ps. xxii. 15 is a prophecy, not a
140 SPECIAL RULES
this statute must remain in force. The unalterable and
necessary connexion between reconciliation and self-dedi-
cation may be held forth in this everlasting statute. In-
deed, nothing is so natural to the reconciled soul, enjoying
the fellowship of the Father and the, Son, as this complete
giving up of heart and hand to him that "offered the blood"
(ver. 33); for we should have noticed that these are
the due of “him who offered the blood,” as if to keep our
attention fixed on the fact, that it is the Redeemer's blood
shed for us that has given him this right to all we are
and all we can yield.
"I have taken." The Lord himself specially appoints
this to be done, and speaks of his appointment as one that
should be noticed and observed, as being important in his
GENERAL REMARKS ON THE PRECEDING RULES
Ver. 35, 36. This is the portion* of the anointing of Aaron, and
of the anointing of his sons, out of the offerings of the Lord
made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister
unto the Lord in the priest's office; which the Lord commanded
to be given them of the children of Israel, in the day that he
anointed them, by a statute for ever throughout their genera-
More literally, "This is the anointing of Aaron;” i. e.
this is what is involved in the anointing. This is the
lot and portion of the sons of Aaron, and of Aaron him-
self, the moment he is anointed. These are the privileges
and duties connected with their anointing. Willett notes
* tHAw;mi. Rosenmuller proposes to adopt for this word the Arabic sense,
"portion-measure;" and another critic finds in Ethiopic the word "myshach,"
a feast, which might give a good sense here. But the word Hwama, "to anoint,"
with its derivatives, is a term belonging to the Tabernacle, and evidently applied
specially to its usages. An "a[pac legomenon" would be out of place here.
† Hexapla on Levit.
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 141
that the presenting of Aaron and his sons was on the first
day, and the anointing was on the eighth day.
It is characteristic of the Lord's way thus to state all
the provision made for a duty or an office before the person
actually enters upon that duty or office. Hence he tells
the priests what shall be their work, and what their
comforts under it, before they are consecrated. The
details of consecration are in next chapter. It is like his
way in other things and like his way, in the Gospel,
where he first sets before the sinner the full provision
made for him, in privilege and in duty; and thus, by
exhibiting the easy yoke and the light burden, leads him
to take on all gladly. Everywhere we trace the hand of
the same God--the God and Father of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ.
Ver. 37. This is the law of the burnt-offering, of the meat-offering,
and of the sin-offering, and of the trespass-offering, and of the
consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings,--
It may seem out of place to insert “consecrations”
here. But probably the reason is this:--The directions
given above, in regard to sin-offerings (chap. vi. 24) and
trespass-offerings (chap. vii. 1) in general, were to be
observed also in the case of these offerings being pre-
sented by the priests on the day of their consecration.
Hence, by inserting the clause here, “this is the law of
the consecrations;” the priests were made aware that, in
regard to themselves, there was to be no change in any of
the rites observed in sin-offerings and trespass-offerings.
The Lord leaves no one's duty doubtful. His mind
may be ascertained. "If it were not so, I would have
told you" (John xiv. 2), may be held as a general rule.
Ver. 38. Which the Lord commanded Moses in mount Sinai, in
142 SPECIAL RULES
the day that he commanded the children of Israel to offer
their oblations unto the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai.
This reminds us, again, that the mode of receiving
atonement is revealed by God to the sinner. The need
of atonement was made known by God on Sinai, when he
so awfully alarmed the camp. Then, that there was for-
giveness with him--atonement--was made known. And
now, the mode of receiving and applying it has been
made known--all by God himself. We, who are in this
wilderness, are taught still by the same God in the same
way. The law from Sinai awakens; then the Mediator's
message to us, from the same Sinai, gives peace. Jesus,
who had the law of God "within his heart" (Psalm xl. 8,
"in the midst of his bowels."), not merely in his hands,
like Moses, comes down from fellowship with the Father,
to lead the sinner to the very communion he enjoyed
himself. He leads us, by his blood, above all the clouds
and thunders of the hill,* to see "the body of heaven in
its clearness, with the pavement of sapphire-stone," and
to the God of Israel himself, who is well pleased, and lays
no hand but the hand of love on these "nobles of Israel"
lifted up from the dunghill to take their place among the
princes of his people. Here, then, let us eat and drink;
on that very spot let us eat "hidden manna," and drink:
“the water of life.”
It may be suitable here to inquire into the meaning
of a phrase occurring not unfrequently, "Sacrifices of
righteousness" (see Ps. iv. 5, and li. 19). The ex-
pression is taken from the book of Deuteronomy (chap.
xxxiii. 19), and means sacrifices presented in a right
way. What Malachi (iii. 3) speaks of as done hqAdAc;bi,
* As typified more fully in Exod. xxiv.
FOR THE PRIESTS CHAP. VII 143
"in righteousness," these other passages express by calling
them "sacrifices of righteousness." The form qd,c, yHeb;zi,
is phraseology quite authorised by qd,c, ynez;xmo (Lev. xix.
36), "balances of righteousness," &c.
The passage in Ps. iv. 5 occurs in beautiful connexion.
The context tells of the godly man set apart by the Lord
as his peculiar treasure; and whenever this treasure is in
peril, the Lord at once hastens to help (ver. 3). The man
thus kept, is one who lives in holy awe--one who searches
out the leaven, and spreads it out before God (ver. 4).
In so doing, he is led to use the appointed sacrifices, and
there he finds repose, resting as a pardoned man (ver. 5).
Not less beautiful is Ps. li. 16, 17, which speaks of
another kind of sacrifice at first view--the sacrifices of
God are a broken spirit." David, newly forgiven, and
wondering at the grace which cleansed him from foul
adultery, and the crimson stains of murder and deceit,
inquires, after all this, "What shall I render unto the
Lord for all, his benefits?" How shall I ever recompense
such free love, such overflowing grace? This is evidently
the secret train of feeling that led to ver. 16--"For thou
desirest not sacrifice," &c. If mere gifts of lambs or oxen
would sufficiently express my gratitude, then I would
give them. There is not a lamb in my flock, an ox in my
stall, that I would spare. But that is not what thou
desirest as a proof of true thankfulness. There is a better
thank-offering still. Let me walk softly all my days.
Let me give thee "a broken heart," i. e. let me cherish,
all my days, that holy, tender frame of spirit that feels
for thy honour, and loveth thee so intensely as to be
broken-hearted when thou art wronged!