The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleGenesis 4:4
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock,
&c.] As he was a shepherd, his flock consisted of sheep; and of the
firstlings of these, the lambs that were first brought forth, he
presented as an offering to the Lord; and which were afterwards
frequently used in sacrifice, and were a proper type of Christ,
Jehovah's firstborn, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the
world, a Lamb without spot and blemish; fitly signified by one for his
innocence, harmlessness, and meekness:
and of the fat thereof;
which is to be understood either of the fat
properly, which in later time was claimed by the Lord as his own,
(Leviticus 3:16) or of the fattest of his flock, the best lambs he had; the
fattest and plumpest, and which were most free from defects and
blemishes; not the torn, nor lame, nor sick, but that which was perfect
and without spot; for God is to be served with the best we have.
Josephus F6 says it was milk, and the firstlings of his flock; and a
word of the same letters, differently pointed, signifies milk; and some
learned men, as Grotius and others, have given into this sense,
observing it to be a custom with the Egyptians to sacrifice milk to
their gods: but the word, as here pointed, is never used for milk; nor
were such sacrifices ever used by the people of God; and Abel's
sacrifice is called by the apostle (yusik) , a "slain" sacrifice,
as Heidegger F7 observes:
and the Lord had respect to Abel, and to his offering;
what he had designed and appointed to be used for sacrifice in future
time, and as being a suitable type and emblem of the Messiah, and his
sacrifice; and especially as being offered up by faith, in a view to
the sacrifice of Christ, which is of a sweet smelling savour to God,
and by which sin only is atoned and satisfied for, see (Hebrews 11:4) .
God looked at his sacrifice with a smiling countenance, took, and
expressed delight, well pleasedness, and satisfaction in it; and he
first accepted of his person, as considered in Christ his well beloved
Son, and then his offering in virtue of his sacrifice: and this respect
and acceptance might be signified by some visible sign or token, and
particularly by the descent of fire from heaven upon it, as was the
token of acceptance in later times, (Leviticus 9:24) and Theodotion here
renders it, he "fired" it, or "set" it on "fire"; and Jarchi paraphrases
``fire descended and licked up his offering;''
and Aben Ezra,
``and fire descended and reduced the offering of Abel to ashes;''
so Abraham Seba F8.
F6 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 2. sect. 1.
F7 Hist. Patriarch. Exercit. 5. sect. 20.
F8 In Tzeror Hammor, fol. 8. 2.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 4:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=ge&chapter=004&verse=004>. 1999.