LEVITICUS CHAPTER 22.

Further instructions For the priests.

WARNING AGAINST PROFANATION OF HALLOWED THINGS. - V.1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, v.2. Speak unto Aaron and to his sons that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not My holy name in those things which they hallow unto Me. I am the Lord. The priests were not to profane the holy gifts of the people by approaching them at a time when they themselves were in a condition of uncleanness, which made their priestly services unlawful. In these gifts were also included those parts of the sacrifices which the Lord had set aside for maintenance of the priests. V.3. Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, of any descendant of Aaron entrusted with priestly functions, that goeth unto the holy things which the children of Israel hallow unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, any form of Levitical defilement, such as were discussed in chaps. 13 to 15, that soul shall be cut off from My presence, deprived of his priestly office, and perhaps punished in a more severe manner. I am the Lord. V.4. What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue, chap. 15, 2, he shall not eat of the holy things until he be clean. And whoso toucheth anything that is unclean by the dead, because of contact with a dead body, or a man whose seed goeth from him; v.5. or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, any one of the lower forms of animal life whose contact defiled a man, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath; v.6. the soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, according to the general rule, which thus applied to the priests also, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water. V.7. And when the sun is down, at the end of the day and at the beginning of the new day, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things, because it is his food; he was dependent upon the priestsí share of the offerings for his daily bread and should no longer be deprived of this, after having fasted all day. The divine legislation always shows this considerate character. V.8. That which dieth of itself, or is torn with beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith, for that was forbidden to all the children of Israel, Ex. 22, 31. I am the Lord. V.9. They shall therefore keep Mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it and die there for, if they profane it. I, the Lord, do sanctify them. Death was the general penalty of a priestís neglect to follow the precepts of the Lord with regard to purity of service in his Sanctuary. Having now stated in what condition a priest was not to eat of things sanctified, the Lord excludes from their share of the sacrifices all those that were not members of the priestly family. V.10. There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing; a sojourner of the priest, any visitor not belonging to his family, to the tribe of Levi, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. V.11. But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house; they shall eat of his meat. In either case the slave was a member of the priestís family and dependent upon the food which he received for his own maintenance. V.12. If the priestís daughter also be married unto a stranger, to a man not belonging to the priestly family, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things. V.13. But if the priestís daughter be a widow or divorced, spurned by her husband, and have no child, and is returned unto her fatherís house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her fatherís meat, of the food which her father was entitled to as a part of his emoluments as priest; but there shall no stranger eat thereof. If the priestís daughter should have children, she formed with her children a household of her own, even if she was widowed or divorced. V.14. And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, without intention, without being aware of the fact at the time, then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, that is, the equivalent of the food which was profaned together with a penalty, and shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing, thereby making restitution for the fault. V.15. And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel which they offer unto the Lord, v.16. or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, load themselves with the crime of the guilt in permitting such a profanation on the part of unauthorized people, when they eat their holy things; for I, the Lord, do sanctify them. So the priests were charged with the supervision of these matters, in order to keep the sanctified things from profanation, just as the pastors of the Christian Church should carry out the function of watchmen in warning the people entrusted to them by the Lord of the Church against all transgressions of Godís holy Law.

SOME QUALIFICATIONS OF SACRIFICES. - V.17. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, v.18. Speak unto Aaron and to his sons and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, whatsoever he be of the house of Israel or of the strangers in Israel that will offer his oblation for all his vows and for all his free-will offerings, two forms of peace-offerings, chap. 7, 16, which they will offer unto the Lord for a burnt offering, v.19. ye shall offer at your own will, for the purpose of gaining the good pleasure of the Lord: a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats. The point that the animal offered had to be physically perfect stands out with special emphasis. V.20. But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer; for it shall not be acceptable for you. V.21. And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto the Lord to accomplish his vow, in payment of some promise made to the Lord, or a free-will offering in beeves or sheep, any animal from the flocks, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. V.22. Blind or broken, that is, ruptured, or maimed, with some deep incision or wound, or having a wen, a festering sore, or scurvy, an eruption like leprosy, or scabbed, with a putrid skin disease, ye shall not offer these unto the Lord, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the Lord. V.23. Either a bullock or a lamb that hath anything superfluous or lacking in his parts, members too many or too few, or members and organs of an abnormal shape in either direction, so long as they were not diseased, that mayest thou offer for a free-will offering, for in this case an exception was permitted; but for a vow it shall not be accepted. V.24. Ye shall not offer unto the Lord that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut, for by these four ways was sterility produced in male animals; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land; the Israelites were not to make such mutilations a practice, for a perfect animal included its fitness for breeding. V.25. Neither from a strangerís hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these, because their corruption is in them, and blemishes be in them; they shall not be accepted for you. We Christians should also keep in mind that it is not whatever remains after we have had our fill which we ought to give to the Lord, but that He expects perfect gifts at our hands. V.26. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, v.27. When a bullock or a sheep or a go at is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam, to get its nourishment from its mother; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the Lord. ďThe reason for this was that the young animal had not attained to a mature and self-sustained life during the first week of its existence.Ē (Keil.) Animals became admissible for sacrifices at the same age as that when a male child was received into the covenant relationship with God by the sacrament of circumcision. V.28. And whether it be cow or ewe, a female from the flock, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day. Cp. Ex. 23, 19; Deut. 22, 6. 7. V.29. And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the Lord, offer it at your own will; it was essential that the gift be voluntary. V.30. On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow. I am the Lord. Cp. chap. 7, 15: 19, 5. 6. V.31. Therefore shall ye keep My commandments and do them. I am the Lord. V.32. Neither shall ye profane My holy name in any of the ways discussed in this chapter; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel, given that obedience, honor, and reverence which pertains to Him as the one true God. I am the Lord which hallow you, v.33. that brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord. Just as the Lord at that time stressed the necessity of cheerful willingness on the part of the worshipers, so the truly good works of the Christians flow from the love of their hearts based upon their faith in their Savior.