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19For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people,

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19. For—confirming the general truth, Heb 9:16.

spoken … according to the law—strictly adhering to every direction of "the law of commandments contained in ordinances" (Eph 2:15). Compare Ex 24:3, "Moses told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments; and all the people answered with one voice," &c.

the blood of calvesGreek, "the calves," namely, those sacrificed by the "young men" whom he sent to do so (Ex 24:5). The "peace offerings" there mentioned were "of oxen" (Septuagint, "little calves"), and the "burnt offerings" were probably (though this is not specified), as on the day of atonement, goats. The law in Exodus sanctioned formally many sacrificial practices in use by tradition, from the primitive revelation long before.

with water—prescribed, though not in the twenty-fourth chapter of Exodus, yet in other purifications; for example, of the leper, and the water of separation which contained the ashes of the red heifer.

scarlet wool, and hyssop—ordinarily used for purification. Scarlet or crimson, resembling blood: it was thought to be a peculiarly deep, fast dye, whence it typified sin (see on Isa 1:18). So Jesus wore a scarlet robe, the emblem of the deep-dyed sins He bore on Him, though He had none in Him. Wool was used as imbibing and retaining water; the hyssop, as a bushy, tufty plant (wrapt round with the scarlet wool), was used for sprinkling it. The wool was also a symbol of purity (Isa 1:18). The Hyssopus officinalis grows on walls, with small lancet-formed woolly leaves, an inch long, with blue and white flowers, and a knotty stalk about a foot high.

sprinkled … the book—namely, out of which he had read "every precept": the book of the testament or covenant. This sprinkling of the book is not mentioned in the twenty-fourth chapter of Exodus. Hence Bengel translates, "And (having taken) the book itself (so Ex 24:7), he both sprinkled all the people, and (Heb 9:21) moreover sprinkled the tabernacle." But the Greek supports English Version. Paul, by inspiration, supplies the particular specified here, not in Ex 24:7. The sprinkling of the roll (so the Greek for "book") of the covenant, or testament, as well as of the people, implies that neither can the law be fulfilled, nor the people be purged from their sins, save by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ (1Pe 1:2). Compare Heb 9:23, which shows that there is something antitypical to the Bible in heaven itself (compare Re 20:12). The Greek, "itself," distinguishes the book itself from the "precepts" in it which he "spake."