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THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS.

Introduction.

I. Title. Acc. to usual cust., the Hebs. call this, the 3rd bk. of the Pentateuch, va-yikra (and he called) fr. its first word.' In the LXX. it is named Aevirusov (Levitikon), whence the Latinized form. Leviticus is the title in the Vulgate, and the title retained in the A.V. The Gk. Leviticon means “The Levitical Bk., or that wh. contains the laws by wh. the ministrations of the sacerdotal tribe of Levi were to be regulated(Blunt). [The Jews have, in later times, named it “ The Law of the Priests,” and “The Law of the Offerings.”] II. Author, MOSES. This is proved-1. By the general arguments wh. demonstrate him to have written the whole of the Pentateuch (see Intro. to Genesis. Angus Hd. Bk. 378. Horne's Intro.) 2. By citations fr. it as his production in other Bks. of Scripture (comp. Ne. viii. 14 with xxiii. 34–42; Lu. ii, 22 with xii. 6; 2 Ch. xxx. 16 with i. 5). “ The theories wh. are counter to its Mosaic origin are so much at variance with ea. other—no two of them being in anything like substantial agreement—that it does not seem worth while to notice them in this place.” (Intro. to Lev. in Speaker's Comm.) III. Time and place of writing. MOUNT SINAI (xxvii. 34). IV. Period included in the history. ONE MONTH, i.e. “ fr. the erection of the Tab. to the numbering of the people who were fit for war ; i.e. fr. the begin. of the 2nd yr. aft. Israel's depart. fr. Egypt to begin. of the 2nd mo. of the same yr., wh. was in A.M. 2514 and B.C. 1490” (Horne, who follows Usher). V. Scope, etc. containing a few historical matters, its chief purpose is “to record the laws concerning the sacrifices, ordinances, and institutions of that remarkable economy fr. wh. it derives its name. The established worship of the Hebs. was offering—not prayer, said or chanted, nor instrumental music, nor any like form of devotion-but the presenting to the Deity of certain articles of food and drink. This system of worship is not to be understood as having originated at the time to wh. the bk, refers." Sacrifices " constituted the prevailing form in wh. the spirit of devotion was taught to express itself fr. the very infancy of the race. But as they were ordained to enter largely into the dispensation now about to be established, they are in this book instituted, as it were, anew, placed upon their true foundation, and commanded with circumstances wh. gave them greater importance, and served to illustrate their typical meaning with more effect” (Bush). “ The Bk. of Lev. is of inestimable value as exhibiting, under an elaborate system of symbolism, the furdamental ideas on wh. the atoning work of Christ rests. The best commentary upon it is an inspired one, viz., the Ep. to the Hebs., fr. wh. we learn that this part of the law a shadow of good things to come;' and especially that the ceremonies of the great day of atonement were, all of them, prefigurative of corresponding realities under the Gospel” (Litton). “In the Book of Leviticus, comparison should be made of the high priest of the Jewish, with the High Priest of the Christian dispensation : the sacrifices offered on the Jewish altar, with the one sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross : the Jewish leper, with depraved and morally polluted man : the splendid festivals of the Jewish Church, with the simple but expressive ordinances of the Gospel : and the Jewish jubilee, with the whole period of the evangelical constitution. (Isa. lxi. 1, 2.) The Epistle to the Hebrews considerably illustrates this book” (Pinnock).

was

(According to Bush and Horne.)

PART I.-Laws concerning sacrifices.

PART IV.-Laws concerning Purifi

cation, 1. Or women after child-birth ............xii. 2. Of persons infected with leprosy...xiii.

xiv. 3. Of persons having bad issues ......

.........XY,

...............

1. Of the burnt-offerings...i. cf. Heb. ix. 26,

x. 14; 1 Jo. i. 7 2. Of the meat-offerings

ii. 3. Of the peace-offerings......iii. cf. Ep. ii.

14-16; Ac. xiii. 47; Heb. v. 9, ix. 28 4. Of the sin-offerings...iv., v. cf. Heb. xiii.

11-13 5. Or the trespass-offerings...vi., vii. cf. Is.

liii. 10; 2 Co. y. 21

PART V.-Various Regulations,
1. The great day of atonement ..... Xvi. rf.

Heb. ix. 7-12, 12-27 2. The place of offering sacrifices......Xvii. 3. Things prohibited to be eaten ...... xvii. 4. Incestuous connections .............Xviii. 5. Idolatry and other crimes......Xix.-xxii.

PART II.-Institution of the Priest

hood.

1. Consecration of Aaron and his sons..viii. 2. Offerings at consecration of priests...ix. 3. Death of Nadab and Abihu ...............

PART VI.-Laws concerning Festi

vals, Vows, and Tithes. 1. The Sabbath, Passover, Pentecost, etc.

xxiii. 2. Rites relative to sacred festivals...xxiv. 3. Sabbatic year, year of Jubilee, etc...XXV.

cf. Is. Ixi. 1-3; Lu. iv, 19 4. Prohibition of idolatry, etc. xxvi.cf. Nu.

xxi, 6; 2Ki. ii. 24 5. Vows, things devoted, etc.............xvii.

PART III.-Clean and unclean Ani

mals. 1. Specification of clean and unclean...xi.

ADDITIONAL NOTE.-The Mosaic authorship of this book is evident on the face of it. It is, moreover, specially referred to as Moses' law in Neh. viii. 14, 15. And though some modern critics have thought fit to represent it as a collection of statutes gradually formed by various compilers, some of them at least, De Wette for instance,-have felt themselves obliged, on more mature consideration, to retreat from such an untenable position. Bleek acknowledges everywhere the hand of Moses, though he still maintains that the book was not put into exactly its present shape by the great legislator. Thus he says that Moses would never have placed chaps. xviii. and xx., containing similar precepts, so near together; and fancies that he detects traces of a later hand in xviii. 3, 24, etc. He objects to the collection of diverse laws given without orderly arrangement in xix., and also to the regulations concerning festivals in xxii., which yet are there arranged and summed up in order. These objections are of very little weight; for every book in existence might be dismembered on some such pretexts. In fact, the simple artlessness of the way in which various statutes are here recorded is no slight proof that we have the whole as Moses wrote it. A later compiler and interpolater would have gone more systematically to work. By comparing Ex, xl, 17 with Num. i. 1, we may infer that the time comprised in this book is about one month, from the erection of the tabernacle to the numbering of the people ; the commands in it being delivered in the first month of the second year after leaving Egypt, 1490 B.C., according to the common computation (Ayre).

d Wordsworth.

It was

B.C. 1490.

CHAPTER THE FIRST.

animals for 1–6. (1) and, continuation of former book. Lord ..

sacrifice

Moses,a God the Author of the foll. laws. and .. taber-

pacle, in fulfilment of promise., (2) and :: them, special

a No: xil. 7, 8; instructions for special cases. if.. bring, of his own free will.

. iii. 5.

offering, Heb., corban [B. M., N. T., i. 299]. of.. flock,

6 He. ix. 11; 2 nature of beast indicated. (3) a .. sacrifice, i.e. whole burnt

Pe. i. 17. offering. a .. blemish, without deformity, defect, disease. of

will, "for his own favourable acceptance."d (4) put

CEx. xxv. 22. head, lit. make his hand rest upon. for .. atonement, lit.

to covere for himself. (5) bullock, lit. son of the bull. (6)

flay, the hide the perquisite of the priest. and .. pieces,

i.e. pieces proper for the sacrifice.

é" To provide a The burnt-offering.–Notice—I. The offering itself.

corering where-

the most ancient and dignified of all the sacrifices, and at the

hy he may be

bidden, and shel- same time the most frequent. II. The manner in which it was

tered from the presented. Notice the directions concerning-1. The offerer :

anger of God for " he shall offer it of his own voluntary will,” etc. ; 2. The offer-

his sin,"-Words-

worth.

ing: this was to be slain, and its blood“ round about upon the

altar.” III. The benefits resulting from it. It cleansed-1.

§ 2 Ch. xxix. 34. From ceremonial defilement really ; 2. From real defilement

ceremonially..
g C. Simeon, M.A. Sacrificial animals.-Five animals are named in the Law as

suitable for sacrifice; the ox, the sheep, the goat, the dove, and
“The priest shall the pigeon. It is worthy of notice that these were all offered by
kill.it: for it was Abraham in the great sacrifice of the Covenant (sec Gen. xv. 9).

forfer any These animals are all clean, according to the division into clean
own sacrifice. So and unclean animals, which was adopted in the Law. They were
it is still for any the most important of those which are used for food, and are of
to come to God the greatest utility to man.

The three kinds of quadrupeds
and by Christ.” were domesticated in flocks and herds, and were recognised as
Trapp. property, making up in fact a great part of the wealth of the

Hebrews before they settled in Palestine. It would thus appear

h Ab. from Spk. that three conditions met in the sacrificial quadrupeds : (1) they

Comm.

were clean according to the Law ; (2) they were commonly used

as food, and being domesticated, (3) they formed part of the

home wealth of the sacrificers.

preparing 7–9. (7) fire, fr. heaven ;a never went out ;common fire

the sacrifice

added by the priest at every sacrifice. lay .. fire, all things to

6 Le. vi. 9-13.

be done acc. to prescribed rule. (8) shall lay, etc., a hint that

c See Trapp, and

the preaching and teaching of Christ, the great Sacrifice, should

Wordsworth,

be pursued in an orderly and thoughtful manner. (9) inwards

d He. x. 22.

water, our heart and actions need purification.d

e Spe. Comm. fire, or, “an offering sent upwards, a sacrifice made by fire."
j' Eph. v. 2; Phil. of.. savour, 1 lit. an odour of rest.

iv.18; Ge. viii. 21. A sacrifice a sweet savour unto the Lord.Consider why the

“There dwelleth burnt-offering was said to be “ of a sweet savour unto the Lord.”

in the sinlessness It was so—I. As a proof of the obedience of His people unta

of youth a sweet Him. They voluntarily gave the offering at His command. II.

may not endure." As a manifestation of their affection and reverence for Him.

-Mrs. Embury. III. As a symbol and foreshadowing of His own glorious Son,

9 J.C. Williams. who was, in the future, to reconcile God to mang

death

man to offer his

a

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