The first seven verses of this chapter might fitly have been added to
the foregoing chapter, being a continuation of the law of the
trespass-offering, and the putting of other cases in which it was to be
offered; and with this end the instructions God gave concerning the
several kinds of sacrifices that should be offered: and then at
(which in the original begins a new section of the law) he comes to
appoint the several rites and ceremonies concerning these sacrifices
which had not been mentioned before.
I. The burnt-offering,
II. The meat-offering
particularly that at the consecration of the priest,
III. The sin-offering,
Leviticus 6:24-30, &c.
|Law of the Trespass-Offering.
||B. C. 1490.|
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and
lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep,
or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath
deceived his neighbour;
3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it,
and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth,
4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that
he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing
which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him
to keep, or the lost thing which he found,
5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even
restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more
thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the
day of his trespass offering.
6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram
without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a
trespass offering, unto the priest:
7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the
LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he
hath done in trespassing therein.
This is the latter part of the law of the trespass-offering: the former
part, which concerned trespasses about holy things, we had in the close
of the foregoing chapter; this concerns trespasses in common things.
I. The trespass supposed,
Though all the instances relate to our neighbour, yet it is called a
trespass against the Lord, because, though the injury be done
immediately to our neighbour, yet an affront is thereby given to his
Maker and our Master. He that speaks evil of his brother is said to
speak evil of the law, and consequently of the Law-maker,
Though the person injured be ever so mean and despicable, and every way
our inferior, yet the injury reflects upon that God who has made the
command of loving our neighbour second to that of loving himself. The
trespasses specified are,
1. Denying a trust: If a man lie unto his neighbour in that which
was delivered him to keep, or, which is worse, which was lent him
for his use. If we claim that as our own which is only borrowed, left
in our custody, or committed to our care, this is a trespass against
the Lord, who, for the benefit of human society, will have property
and truth maintained.
2. Defrauding a partner: If a man lie in fellowship, claiming a
sole interest in that wherein he has but a joint-interest.
3. Disowning a manifest wrong: If a man has the front to lie
in a thing taken away by violence, which ordinarily cannot be hid.
4. Deceiving in commerce, or, as some think, by false accusation; if a
man have deceitfully oppressed his neighbour, as some read it,
either withholding what is due or extorting what is not.
5. Detaining what is found, and denying it
if a man have found that which was lost, he must not call it his
own presently, but endeavour to find out the owner, to whom it must be
returned; this is doing as we would be done by: but he that lies
concerning it, that falsely says he knows nothing of it, especially
if he back this lie with a false oath, trespasseth against the
Lord, who to every thing that is said is a witness, but in an oath
he is the party appealed to, and highly affronted when he is called to
witness to a lie.
II. The trespass-offering appointed.
1. In the day of his trespass-offering he must make satisfaction
to his brother. This must be first done if thy brother hath aught
against thee: Because he hath sinned and is guilty,
that is, is convicted of his guilt by his own conscience, and is
touched with remorse for it; seeing himself guilty before God, let him
faithfully restore all that he has got by fraud or oppression, with a
fifth part added, to make amends to the owner for the loss and trouble
he had sustained in the mean time; let him account both for debt and
damages. Note, Where wrong has been done restitution must be made; and
till it is made to the utmost of our power, or an equivalent accepted
by the person wronged, we cannot have the comfort of the forgiveness of
the sin; for the keeping of what is unjustly got avows the taking, and
both together make but one continued act of unrighteousness. To repent
is to undo what we have done amiss, which (whatever we pretend) we
cannot be said to do till we restore what has been got by it, as
and make satisfaction for the wrong done.
2. He must then come and offer his gift, must bring his
trespass-offering to the Lord whom he had offended; and the priest
must make an atonement for him,
This trespass-offering could not, of itself, make satisfaction for sin,
nor reconciliation between God and the sinner, but as it signified the
atonement that was to be made by our Lord Jesus, when he should make
his soul an offering or sin, a trespass-offering; it is
the same word that is here used,
The trespasses here mentioned are trespasses still against the law of
Christ, which insists as much upon justice and truth as ever the law of
nature or the law of Moses did; and though now we may have them
pardoned without a trespass-offering, yet not without true repentance,
restitution, reformation, and a humble faith in the righteousness of
Christ: and, if any make the more bold with these sins because they are
not now put to the expense of a trespass-offering for them, they turn
the grace of God into wantonness, and so bring upon themselves a swift
destruction. The Lord is the avenger of all such,
1 Thessalonians 4:6.
|Law of the Burnt-Offering.
||B. C. 1490.|
8 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
9 Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the
burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the
burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire
of the altar shall be burning in it.
10 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen
breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which
the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and
he shall put them beside the altar.
11 And he shall put off his garments, and put on other
garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean
12 And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall
not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every
morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he
shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.
13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall
never go out.
Hitherto we have had the instructions which Moses was directed to give
to the people concerning the sacrifices; but here begin the
instructions he was to give to the priests; he must command Aaron
and his sons,
The priests were rulers in the house of God, but these rulers must be
ruled; and those that had the command of others must themselves be
commanded. Let ministers remember that not only commissions, but
commands, were given to Aaron and his sons, who must be in subjection
In these verses we have the law of the burnt-offering, as far as it was
the peculiar care of the priests. The daily sacrifice of a lamb, which
was offered morning and evening for the whole congregation, is here
chiefly referred to.
I. The priest must take care of the ashes of the burnt-offering, that
they be decently disposed of,
He must clear the altar of them every morning, and put them on the east
side of the altar, which was furthest from the sanctuary; this he must
do in his linen garment, which he always wore when he did any service
at the altar; and then he must shift himself, and put on other
garments, either such as were his common wear, or (as some think) other
priestly garments less honourable, and must carry the ashes into a
clean place without the camp. Now,
1. God would have this done, for the honour of his altar and the
sacrifices that were burnt upon it. Even the ashes of the sacrifices
must be preserved, to testify the regard God had to it; by the
burnt-offering he was honoured, and therefore thus it was
honoured, and therefore thus it was honoured. And some think
that this care which was taken of the ashes of the sacrifice typified
the burial of our Saviour; his dead body (the ashes of his sacrifice)
was carefully laid up in a garden, in a new sepulchre, which was a
clean place. It was also requisite that the altar should be kept
as clean as might be; the fire upon it would burn the better, and it is
decent in a house to have a clean fire-side.
2. God would have the priests themselves to keep it so, to teach them
and us to stoop to the meanest services for the honour of God and of
his altar. The priest himself must not only kindle the fire, but clean
the hearth, and carry out the ashes. God's servants must think nothing
below them but sin.
II. The priest must take care of the fire upon the altar, that it be
kept always burning. This is much insisted on here
and this express law is given: The fire shall ever be burning upon
the altar, it shall never go out,
We may suppose that no day passed without some extraordinary
sacrifices, which were always offered between the morning and evening
lamb; so that from morning to night the fire on the altar was kept up
of course. But to preserve it all night unto the morning
required some care. Those that keep good houses never let their kitchen
fire go out; therefore God would thus give an instance of his good
house-keeping. The first fire upon the altar came from heaven
so that by keeping that up continually with a constant supply of fuel
all their sacrifices throughout all their generations might be said to
be consumed with that fire from heaven, in token of God's acceptance.
If, through carelessness, they should ever let it go out, they could
not expect to have it so kindled again. Accordingly the Jews tell us
that the fire never did go out upon the altar, till the captivity in
Babylon. This is referred to
where God is said to have his fire in Zion, and his furnace in
Jerusalem. By this law we are taught to keep up in our minds a
constant disposition to all acts of piety and devotion, an habitual
affection to divine things, so as to be always ready to every good word
and work. We must not only not quench the Spirit, but we must
stir up the gift that is in us. Though we be not always
sacrificing, yet we must keep the fire of holy love always burning; and
thus we must pray always.
|Law of the Meat-Offering.
||B. C. 1490.|
14 And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of
Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar.
15 And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour 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
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.
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
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.
19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
20 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 flour for a meat offering
perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.
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
offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the LORD.
22 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.
23 For every meat offering for the priest shall be wholly
burnt: it shall not be eaten.
The meat-offering was either that which was offered by the people or
that by the priests at their consecration. Now,
I. As to the common meat-offering,
1. Only a handful of it was to be burnt upon the altar; all the rest
was allowed to the priests for their food. The law of the
burnt-offerings was such as imposed upon the priests a great deal of
care and work, but allowed them little profit; for the flesh was wholly
burnt, and the priests had nothing but the skin. But to make them
amends the greatest part of the meat-offering was their own. The
burning of a handful of it upon the altar
was ordered before,
Here the remainder of it is consigned to the priests, the servants of
God's house: I have given it unto them for their portion of my
(1.) It is the will of God that his ministers should be well provided
for with food convenient; and what is given to them he accepts as
offered to himself, if it be done with a single eye.
(2.) All Christians, being spiritual priests, do themselves share in
the spiritual sacrifices they offer. It is not God that is the gainer
by them; the handful burnt upon the altar was not worth speaking of, in
comparison with the priests' share; we ourselves are the gainers by our
religious services. Let God have all the frankincense, and the priests
shall have the flour and the oil; what we give to God the praise and
glory of we may take to ourselves the comfort and benefit of.
2. The laws concerning the eating of it were,
(1.) That it must be eaten unleavened,
What was offered to God must have no leaven in it, and the priests must
have it as the altar had it, and no otherwise. Thus must we keep the
feasts of the Lord with the unleavened bread of sincerity and
(2.) It must be eaten in the court of the tabernacle (here
called the holy place), in some room prepared by the side of the
court for this purpose. It was a great crime to carry any of it out of
the court. The very eating of it was a sacred rite, by which they were
to honour God, and therefore it must be done in a religious manner, and
with a holy reverence, which was preserved by confining it to the holy
(3.) The males only must eat of it,
Of the less holy things, as the first-fruits and tithes, and the
shoulder and breasts of the peace-offerings, the daughters of
the priests might eat, for they might be carried out of the court; but
this was of the most holy things, which being to be eaten only in the
tabernacle, the sons of Aaron only might eat of it.
(4.) The priests only that were clean might eat of it: Every one
that toucheth them shall be holy,
Holy things for holy persons. Some read it, Every thing that
toucheth it shall be holy: Al the furniture of the table on which
these holy things were eaten must be appropriated to that use only, and
never after used as common things.
II. As to the consecration meat-offering, which was offered for the
priests themselves, it was to be wholly burnt, and none of it
It comes in here as an exception to the foregoing law. It should seem
that this law concerning the meat-offering of initiation did not only
oblige the high priest to offer it, and on that day only that he was
anointed, and so for his successors in the day they were anointed; but
the Jewish writers say that by this law every priest, on the day he
first entered upon his ministry, was bound to offer this
meat-offering,--that the high priest was bound to offer it every day of
his life, from the day in which he was anointed,--and that it was to be
offered besides the meat-offering that attended the morning and evening
sacrifice, because it is said here to be a meat-offering
Josephus says, "The high priest sacrificed twice every day at his own
charges, and this was his sacrifice." Note, Those whom God has advanced
above others in dignity and power ought to consider that he expects
more from them than from others, and should attend to every intimation
of service to be done for him. The meat-offering of the priest was to
be baked as if it were to be eaten, and yet it must be wholly burnt.
Though the priest that ministered was to be paid for serving the
people, yet there was no reason that he should be paid for serving the
high priest, who was the father of the family of the priests, and whom
therefore any priest should take a pleasure in serving gratis. Nor was
it fit that the priests should eat of the offerings of a priest; for as
the sins of the people were typically transferred to the priests, which
was signified by their eating of their offerings
so the sins of the priests must be typically transferred to the altar,
which therefore must eat up all their offerings. We are all undone,
both ministers and people, if we must bear our own iniquity; nor
could we have had any comfort or hope if God had not laid on his dear
Son the iniquity of us all, and he is both the priest and the
|Law of the Sin-Offering.
||B. C. 1490.|
24 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
25 Speak unto 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
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
27 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.
28 But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken:
and if it be sodden in a brazen pot, it shall be both scoured,
and rinsed in water.
29 All the males among the priests shall eat thereof: it is
30 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 the fire.
We have here so much of the law of the sin-offering as did peculiarly
concern the priests that offered it. As,
1. That it must be killed in the place where the burnt-offering was
that is, on the north side of the altar
which, some think typified the crucifying of Christ on mount Calvary,
which was on the north side of Jerusalem.
2. That the priest who offered it for the sinner was (with his sons,
or other priests,
to eat the flesh of it, after the blood and fat had been offered to
God, in the court of the tabernacle,
Hereby they were to bear the iniquity of the congregation, as it
3. The blood of the sin-offering was with great reverence to be washed
out of the clothes on which it happened to light
which signified the awful regard we ought to have to the blood of
Christ, not counting it a common thing; that blood must be sprinkled on
the conscience, not on the raiment.
4. The vessel in which the flesh of the sin-offering was boiled must
be broken if it were an earthen one, and, if a brazen one, well washed,
This intimated that the defilement was not wholly taken away by the
offering, but did rather cleave to it, such was the weakness and
deficiency of those sacrifices; but the blood of Christ thoroughly
cleanses from all sin, and after it there needs no cleansing.
5. That all this must be understood of the common sin-offerings, not of
those for the priest, or the body of the congregation, either
occasional, or stated upon the day of atonement; for it had been before
ordained, and was now ratified, that if the blood of the offering was
brought into the holy place, as it was in those extraordinary cases,
the flesh was not to be eaten, but burnt without the camp,
Hence the apostle infers the advantage we have under the gospel above
what they had under the law; for though the blood of Christ was
brought into the tabernacle, to reconcile within the holy place,
yet we have a right by faith to eat of the altar
and so to take the comfort of the great propitiation.