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John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible

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Chapter 17

Chapter Overview

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

Verse 3
That killeth-Not for common use, for such beasts might be killed by any person or in any place but for sacrifice. In the camp, or out of the camp - That is, anywhere.

Verse 4
The tabernacle - This was appointed in opposition to the Heathens, who sacrificed in all places; to cut off occasions of idolatry; to prevent the people's usurpation of the priest's office, and to signify that God would accept of no sacrifices but through Christ and in the Church; (of both which the tabernacle was a type.) But though men were tied to this law, God was free to dispense with his own law, which he did sometimes to the prophets, as 1 Samuel 7:9; . He hath shed blood - He shall be punished as a murderer. The reason is, because he shed that blood, which, though not man's blood, yet was precious, being sacred and appropriated to God, and typically the price by which men's lives were ransomed.

Verse 5
They offer - The Israelites, before the building of the tabernacle, did so, from which they are now restrained. Peace-offerings -He nameth not these exclusively from others, as appears from the reason of the law, and from Leviticus 17:8,9, but because in these the temptation was more common in regard of their frequency, and more powerful, because part of these belonged to the offerer, and the pretence was more plausible, because their sanctity was of a lower degree than others, these being only called holy, and allowed in part to the people, whereas the others are called most holy, and were wholly appropriated either to God, or to the priests.

Verse 6
Upon the altar - This verse contains a reason of the foregoing law, because of God's propriety in the blood and fat, wherewith also God was well pleased, and the people reconciled. And these two parts only are mentioned, as the most eminent, and peculiar, though other parts also were reserved for God.

Verse 7
Unto devils - So they did, not directly or intentionally, but by construction and consequence, because the devil is the author of idolatry, and is eminently served, and honoured by it. And as the Egyptians were notorious for their idolatry, so the Israelites were infected with their leaven, Joshua 24:14; Ezekiel 20:7; . A whoring - Idolatry, especially in God's people, is commonly called whoredom, because it is a violation of that covenant by which they were peculiarly betrothed or married to God.

Verse 10
I will set my face - I will be an enemy to him, and execute vengeance upon him immediately; because such persons probably would do this in private, so that the magistrate could not know nor punish it. Write that man undone, for ever undone, against whom God sets his face.

Verse 11
Is in the blood - Depends upon the blood, is preserved and nourished by it. The blood maketh atonement - Typically, and in respect of the blood of Christ which it represented, by which the atonement is really made. So the reason is double; 1. because this was eating up the ransom of their own lives, which in construction was the destroying of themselves. 2. because it was ingratitude and irreverence towards that sacred blood of Christ which they ought to have in continual veneration.

Verse 15
That eateth - Through ignorance or inadvertency; for if it was done knowingly, it was more severely punished. A stranger - Who is a proselyte to the Jewish religion: other strangers were allowed to eat such things, Deuteronomy 14:21, out of which the blood was either not drawn at all, or not regularly.

Verse 16
His iniquity - The punishment of it, and therefore must offer a sacrifice for it.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/wen/view.cgi?book=le&chapter=017>. 1765.  

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