Page images

hlled in the room of the guilty, justifies them before God. Nothing can be more unscriptural. There was a curse on him who brouge not a perfect male, because he virtually dishonoured the perfect sacrifice of the Son of God; but the simple act of bringing that perfect victim to the door of the tabernacle did not complete his typical justification ; no, it behoved to be sacrificed, and ascend by fire to the Lord. The offerer brought it to the door of the tabernacle of his own voluntary will. No sacrifice was acceptable but the free will offerings ; for the Lord then, as well as now, loved a cheerful giver. The altar stood near the door of the outer court, and hither the offering was brought, in distinction from the holy place, when the altar of incense stood. Christ was offered for his people, in the outer court, on earth; and he now officiates at the heavenly altar, in the presence of God, for us. It is remarkable, that the latter clause of the third verse should be read, not siinply before the Lord, but for acceptance of the Lord ; in like manner as in Lev. xxn. 11. • he shall • wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you;' opposed to this, we read, “ your burnt offerings are not to acceptance, Jerem. vi. 20.; and in like manner in various other passages. It is with a direct reference to this that Paul, speaking of Christian sacrifices, calls them holy and acceptable to God,' Rom. xii. 1.

In verse 4. we find the imposition of hands on the head of the sacrifice particularly enjoined, pointing, as we have already seen, to the imputation of sin, - The Lord laid on him the iniquities of us

all.' This act was always accompanied with confession. Laying on of hands, is, in all cases, an act denoting the transferring or conveying something to the person on whom hands are laid. Thus, the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were conveyed frequently by imposition of hands. . The offering was thus accepted to make atonement for him. The ultimate and leading design of all these offerings was atonement ; they were calculated to lead the mind of the offerer to these important objects, 1. The guilt and defilement of his own character before God'; 2. To the character of the Just and Holy One with whom we have to do, as infinitely opposite to all iniquity, and in whose sight no wicked thing can dwell; 3. To the righteous judgment of God, because the wages of sin is death; 4. To his own utter inability to pay to God the ranson for his soul; and, 5. That atonement and reconciliation which flows to the chief of sinners, from the divine dignity of the sacrifice and blood of the Son of God. The original word capper properly signifies covering ; and with a reference to this, the Psalmist says, i Blessed is the mail whose sins are covered,' Psal. xxxii. 1.

When it is said, verse 5. " he shall kill,' the Septuagint reads they, viz. the Priests or Levites, whose office it was to kill the sacrifice. It was necessary that the sacrifice should be actually killed, thus foreshewing that it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. Man’s life was forfeited by sin. Death was the penalty of Adam's transgression ; and the soul that sinneth shall


die, is the irrevocable sentence of God's law. On this account the cup could not pass from the Son of God, till he drank it up; and though he were the Son, yet learned he obedience ; he became obedient unto death, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. The sacrifice must be killed before Jehovah, a circumstance which was fulfilled in the completest manner in the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The blood was next to be sprinkled round about upon the altar ; in some instances, the blood was to be poured out at the bottom, or under the altar, see Lev. iv. 7. Some are led to think, that the language Rev. vi. 9. re. fers to this circumstance, • I beheld under the altar, the souls (that ois, lives, which is the blood) of those that were slain for the testi.

mony of Jesus ;' and thus they cry, • Dost thou not avenge our • blood ? &c. In the sixth verse, the Priest or Levite is to flay the burnt offering, and cut or divide it into pieces. To flay the skin, is

ure of deep affliction : thus the enemies and persecutors of the church of Christ, are said ' to eat the flesh of God's people, and • Aay off their skin from them,' Micah iii. 3. ; in this circumstance, therefore, the sufferings of Christ may have been pointed out. By cutting or dividing the offering into his pieces, was in the first place shewn, that it was to be done regularly ; his pieces, or as the Septuagint, his distinct members, carefully separated and divided. The Greek interpreters exposed God's words to Cain as having a reference to this, " If thou offerest aright, yet dividest not aright, hast

thou not sinned?' Gen. iv. 7. The dividing or cutting the offering into his pieces, was an important part of the service of the priest. Abraham, dividing his sacrifice, is particularly mentioned, Gen. xv. 10.; and it is farther added, that a lamp of fire passed between those pieces. On this circumstance, two things appear important, 1. The cutting and dividing the sacrifice, when applied to the Son of God, would seem to point at the extremity of his sufferings, when the lamp of fire, even divine justice, pierced to the dividing asunder of his soul and spirit. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are

disjointed ; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my & bowels,' Psalm xxii. 14. This part of the duty of the officiating priest, is expressly pointed at by Paul, 2 Tim. ii. 15. Study to • shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not ' to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth ;' and to this Paul's account of the word of God evidently refers, piercing even

to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and mar

row, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,' Heb. iv. 12.

In the 7th verse, the sons of Aaron are commanded to put, or give fire to the altar. We shall afterwards have occasion to examine this more particularly ; at present it may be remarked, that this is the fire, which was kept constantly alive in the tabernacle, and by which divine acceptance of the offering was expressed. It was in this fame of the altar, that the ANGEL JEHOVAH did wondrously,


[ocr errors]

and sap

in the sight of Manoah and his wife. • For it came to pass, when the flame went up towards heaven from off the altar, that the An

GEL JEHOVAH ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah • and his wife beheld, and fell on their faces to the ground, &c. Judges xii. 19-23. It was this fire of which Elijah spake, when he said, “ The God that answereth by fire, he is God,' I Kings xviii. 24. This fire was of heavenly origin, Lev. ix. 24. ; and the antitype of it was displayed at the cross of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The wood was next to be laid in order upon the fire. The wood of the altar is always particularly mentioned : • Behold the fire and the wood,' said Isaac ; but where is the lamb • for the burnt-offering?' Gen. xxii. Although the peculiar customs and ceremonies of the Jews are of no moment, but in as far as they are founded on the word of God; yet it is remarkable, that according to the regulations of the elders, choice and fresh wood was only permitted by them to be used. Nay Jacob Ben Aser mentions, that the wood for their burnt-offerings was always cut down in the month Ab, answering to our July, when the trees were in full vigour

It has been thought, that our Lord refers to this in his memorable saying, when going out to suffer, bearing his cross, " If • these things be done in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?' The Lord says by Jeremiah, “ Behold, I will make my * words in thy mouth, fire, and this people, wood,' &c. Some have considered the wood, as pointing to the cross, • Who his own self • bare our sins in his own body to the tree ;' and agreeably thereto, the words of Moses' law, “ Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.' Others, with more seeming propriety, to the body of the Son of God, in which that offering, which is in the sight of God of a sweet-smelling savour, was offered up.

The head of the offering, the parts, and the fat *, being laid in order, the inwards and legs were washed in water.

This washing of the inwards is evidently pointed to by David, " Thou desirest * truth in the inward parts,' Psal. li. 6. As the inwards contain the receptacles of filth, and the feet even of the most perfect animal in its body behoved to be in some degree unclean, they were thus commanded to be washed, in order to point forth the perfection of the inward parts of him, who alone could say, ' Search and try me, « and see if there be any wickedness within me ;' whose goings were purity itself. Filth is not more unavoidable in the inwards of an animal, than spiritual defilement in the heart of man, • of the heart of man proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, &c. while all his paths are marked with uncleanness. In that divine person, the propitiation for our sins, the glorious counterpart to all this was only seen ; and this of the law was a remarkable preaching of his glorious spotlessness. This offering thus divi

• for out

The Hebrew word peder is used only here, and in verse 12. also, Levit, viii. 20. and is thought to be the fat-caul or midrif that separateth the entrails:

ded, washed and laid on the altar, was burnt for an offering made by fire of a sweet savour to the Lord; and here the worshippers were led to think of Him, who gave himself for us an offering and a sacri. tice to God, of a sweet-smelling savour.

From verse 10. to 14. we have similar regulations, when the offering was of the sheep or goats ; and in these there seems to be nothing different, but an expression in ver. 11. he shall kill it' on the « side of the altar norih ward before the Lord.'' The Hebrew doctors allege, that as it is said, Jer. i. 14. · Out of the north, an evil • shall break forth, therefore, to restrain the judgments of God, the burnt and sin offerings were slain on the north side of the altar. It appears, however, from the text, that this was enjoined, in order that the death might take place directly before the Lord. On this subject, we recommend the following texts to the consideration of our readers. Job says, The Schechinah cometh out of the north, 6 with God is terrible majesty,' Job xxxvii. 22. Ezekiel says, the divine glory coming from the same quarter, see Ezekiel i. 4. viji. 5. ; and accordingly in chap. xl. 46. it is said, ' And the chamber whose • prospect is towards the north, is for the priests, the keepers of • the charge of the altar.' The words of the Psalmist are remarkable, and much to our purpose, - Beautiful for salvation, the joy of « the whole earth is Mount Zion; on the north side, stands the city • of the great king.' Perhaps it is not foreign to this subject to add, that the mountain on which the altar of Jehovah was built, where the one sacrifice, which for ever perfects the sanctified, was offered, was on the north side of Jerusalem. Whatever may be in this, one thing is obvious, from the simple text, that the offering was slain on the north side, that the face of the priest might be before the Lord.

From verse 14. to the end of the chapter, we have the laws of the offerings of the poor, turtle doves and pigeons. It will be remembered, that of these, the poor parents of Jesus Christ gave their offering at his birth. By examining the following texts, the reader will perceive, how fitly pigeons and doves were selected from other birds, as ofierings to the Lord ; see Song ii. 14. and iv. 1. Matth. *. 16. Isa. xxxviii. 34. and lix, 11. and lx. S. Ezek. vii. 16. Hos. xi. 11. Psalm lxxiv. 19. The regulations of this species of offerings are exactly suited to the nature of them, and point evidently to the same doctrines.

CHAP. II.--This chapter lays down the law of the meal-offering. All sacrifices, offerings, or oblations whatever, may be reduced to three heads, l. Exfritory, or atonements for sin ; 2. Eucharistical, giving thanks for blessings received; 3. Peace offerings, declaration of divine satisfaction and reconciliation. The burnt-offerings, which we have been considering in Chap. I. were in general called corban ; indeed, that is the general name of all offerings ; but meat-offerings, that is, offerings of any thing where life was not sacrificed, are calle ed minchah. This name is expressive of any solemn gift or present,

[ocr errors]


either to God or man ; hence we read of the children of Belial, that they said of Saul, · How shall this man save us and they brought

him no present,' (minchah,) 1 Sam. x. 27. The great object of the minchah, was, as well as the burnt-offering, the offering of him whose meat and drink was to do the will of him who sent him, and who gave

his flesh for the life of the world. He alone could say, My Mesh is meat indeed!' Hence Paul says, quoting the 40th Psalm, ! Sacrifice and offering (minchah) would not do ; then said I,

Lo I come, a body hast thou prepared me,' Hebrews x. 5. 8, 9, 10. So that the offering of Jesus Christ, once for all, put an end to the minchah as well as every other offering of the law. The minchah evidently pointed for the atonement, and the expiation of sins ; thus, the Lord sware, that the iniquity of Eli's house should not be ' purged with sacrifice or minchah for ever,' 1 Sam. iii. 14. David in like manner says, “ If the Lord have stirred thee up a* gainst me, let him accept (the original word is smell) a minchah.' Agreeably to all this, when Daniel is pointing for the blessed effects of the death of Christ, he says, • he shall cause the sacrifice and the « minchah to cease,' Daniel ix. 17. The minchah is also applied to the bodies of Christians, as presented to God a • living sacrifice.' Isaiah foretells, that they shall bring all your brethren for a minchah or meal-offering, as the sons of Israel bring a minchah in a clean • vessel,' Isa. Ixvi. 20. And thus Paul


• That the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy • Ghost,' Rom xv. 16. in like manner, it is applied to the sacrifice of praise. « Let my prayer be directed as incense before thee, and the • lifting up of my hands as the evening minchah,' Psal. cxli. 2. So when the Lord told the Jews, “ I will not accept a minchah at • your hand ;' he adds, • For from the rising of the sun to the going

down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles ; • and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and • a pure minchah, Mal. iji. 10, ul. Of the minchah some were offered by the whole congregation, others by individuals. Those of the congregation were three, viz. the waved sheaf, Lev. xxiii. 10, 11. the waved loaves, Lev. xxiii. 17. and the shew bread, Lev. xxiv. 5. Individual meat-offerings were of eight different kinds, 1. The poor man's minchah, Lev, v. 11. 2. The jealousy minthah, Numb. v. 15. 3. The meat-offering of initiation, which every priest offered when he entered


the service of the sanctuary, Lev. viii. 26. 4. The minchah which the high priest offered daily, Lev. vi. 20. 5. The minchah of fine flour. 6. The minchah baked on a plate. 7. The minchah baked in a frying pan.

8. The minchah baked in an oven. These last five are all mentioned Lev. ii.

All the different kinds of minchah were of fine flour, except the jealousy offering, and waved sheaf. It behoved to be of fine flour for îhe saine cause that the sacrifice must be spoiless. Oil and frankin, Bense were to be poured thereon ; the oil evidently pointed to the Holy Spirit ; and the frankincense to the sweet odour of these offer.,


« PreviousContinue »