OF TRESPASS-OFFERINGS. - V.1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, v.2. if a soul sin and commit a trespass against the Lord, break faith over against the Lord in some sin against his neighbor, - for the one included the other, - and lie unto his neighbor in that which was delivered him to keep, if he denies altogether having received anything of his neighbor in trust, or in fellowship, if he disclaims the receipt of some security, or in a thing taken away by violence, if he falsely states that he did not come into possession of his neighbor’s property by sinful methods, or hath deceived his neighbor, in taking something from him by extortion or by a refusal to pay a just claim, if he invents excuses for the purpose of defrauding his neighbor, because he refuses to restore such property which he wrongfully holds; v.3. or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely, if he adds perjury to the sins which he has already committed against the Seventh Commandment; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein, v.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, whether the sin was done secretly or openly, whether extortion or fraud was committed, with or without a show of right, v.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, as a penalty or forfeit, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass-offering. The unlawfully gotten gain having been restored to his neighbor, the Lord also had to he reconciled, because the transgression was also directed against Him, Ps. 51, 4. So man could seek the divine forgiveness without having done all in his power to make amends for the wrong committed. V.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; v.7. and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the Lord; and it shall be forgiven him for anything of all that he hath done in trespassing therein, as in the trespass-offering which was concerned exclusively with the Lord, chap. 5, 14-19; for these verses really belong to that paragraph and are so given in the Hebrew text. If Christians have been overcome by sin and are in any way guilty over against their neighbors, they should hasten to confess their sins and ask God for forgiveness in Christ Jesus, At the same time it is self-evident that they will make amends as quickly as possible, and as far as in their power lies.
OF BURNT OFFERINGS. - V.8. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, v.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. All the paragraphs following contain special instructions for the priests with regard to the various offerings. The first paragraph relates to the daily burnt offering of a lamb at evening and in the morning, which was made at the cost of the entire congregation. Cp. Ex. 29, 38; Num. 28, 3. “The slow fire of the evening sacrifice was to be so arranged as to last until the morning; that of the morning sacrifice was ordinarily added to by other offerings, or if not, could easily be made to last through the much shorter interval until the evening. The evening sacrifice is naturally mentioned first because, in the Hebrew division of time, this was the beginning of the day.” V.10. And the priest shall put on his linen garment, Ex. 28, 40, and his linen breeches shall be put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar; the sacrifices having been turned to ashes in the burning, the officiating priest was to remove all these ashes; and he shall put them beside the altar, a special place being provided for that purpose on the east side of the court. V.11. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. This duty was afterward performed by such members of the priestly family as were excluded from officiating at the altar by some bodily defect, chap. 21, 16-23. During the wilderness journey some clean place outside of the camp could be used for the ashes from the altar of burnt offering; when the sanctuary of the Lord was in the Temple at Jerusalem, a place outside of the city was chosen. V.12. And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out, even when there were no sacrifices to be burned; and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, build up a great, glowing fire from the embers that had kept the fire going during the night, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn there on the fat of the peace-offerings, chap. 3. V.13. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. It signified the continual, uninterrupted fellowship of the children of Israel with the covenant God. In the heart of the Christians the flame of love toward God should burn at all times with unabated vigor, until the worshiper passes from believing to seeing.
OF MEAT-OFFERINGS. - V.14. And this is the law of the meat-offering, as far as the priests were concerned: The sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, before the altar. Cp. chap. 2, 2. 8. V.15. And he, the officiating priest, shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat-offering, as much as his hand would hold, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat-offering, and shall burn it upon the altar, of burnt offering, for a sweet savor, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord. V.16. And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat, this ordinance being an addition to the directions which had been given before; with unleavened bread, or as unleavened bread, shall it be eaten in the Holy Place, no leaven or yeast being permitted in the preparation of this bread; in the court of the Tabernacle of the Congregation they shall eat it, where they were stationed when on duty. V.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-offering. The entire offering was consecrated to the Lord, and He chose to give the greater portion of it to the priests for their maintenance. V.18. All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it, even such as were too young or too old to be actively engaged in the priestly functions. It shall be a statute forever in your generations concerning the offerings of the Lord made by fire; every one that toucheth them shall be holy. Only those that were set apart for the service of the Lord were permitted to partake of them, and any layman that touched them henceforth had the duty to keep himself from all uncleanness, just like the priests themselves. All Christians are priests of the most holy God and will therefore guard against defilement of every kind.
THE OFFERING OF CONSECRATION. - V.19. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, v.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, when he was ordained and inducted into office, it being his daily sacrifice: 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; it was the high priest’s daily oblation, in order to maintain his fellowship with God. V.21. In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in, roasted or fried; and the baken pieces of the meat-offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savor unto the Lord, the sacrifice in its finished form being broken in pieces in the act of offering. V.22. And the priest of his sons that is anointed in his stead shall offer it, this solemn ceremony being one of the first acts of every new high priest; it is a statute forever unto the Lord; it shall be wholly burned, for it was considered a part of a burnt offering, and in those the worshiper had no part. V.23. For every meat-offering for the priest shall be wholly burned; it shall not be eaten. The priest himself being the worshiper, the entire oblation went to the Lord.
OF SIN-OFFERINGS. - V.24. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, v.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, on the north side of the altar, in the court of the Tabernacle, shall the sin-offering be killed before the Lord; it is most holy, set apart for the Lord. V.26. The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it, that is, all but the fat of the abdominal cavity and the kidneys, unless it was specifically ordered that the entire animal had to he burned outside the camp; in the Holy Place shall it be eaten, in the court of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. V.27. Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy (cp. v.18); and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the Holy Place. So strict was the Law in this case that the priest had to have the dress of the worshiper washed before he left the court of the Sanctuary, in case any of the blood of the sacrificial animal was spattered on it. The entire animal with its blood belonged to the Lord, and not even a drop of the latter could he carried out of the Sanctuary on the garment of the worshiper. V.28. But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken, since the blood and the juices of the flesh would he absorbed by the unglazed material; and if it be sodden in a brazen pot, it shall be both scoured and rinsed in water, so that no particle of the sacrifice would cling to it. V.29. All the males among the priests shall eat thereof; it is most holy. V.30. And no sin-offering whereof any of the blood is brought in to the Tabernacle of the Congregation to reconcile withal in the Holy Place, as in the sin-offering for the priest and for the entire congregation, also on the Day of Atonement, chap. 4; 16, 27, shall be eaten; it shall be burnt in the fire. Also in this respect the sin-offering for the whole congregation was a type of Christ, who suffered for our sins without the gate, Heb. 13, 11. 12.