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22. Unacceptable Sacrifices

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2Speak 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. 3Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the Lord. 4What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him; 5Or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath; 6The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water. 7And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food. 8That which dieth of itself, or is torn with beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith: I am the Lord. 9They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the Lord do sanctify them. 10There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. 11But 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. 12If the priest’s daughter also be married unto a stranger, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things. 13But if the priest’s daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father’s house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father’s meat: but there shall no stranger eat thereof.

14And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing. 15And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the Lord; 16Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the Lord do sanctify them.

17And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 18Speak 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 freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the Lord for a burnt offering; 19 Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats. 20 But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you. 21And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. 22Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the Lord, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the Lord. 23Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted. 24Ye shall not offer unto the Lord that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land. 25Neither from a stranger’s 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.

26And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 27When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the Lord. 28And whether it be cow or ewe, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day. 29And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the Lord, offer it at your own will. 30On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the Lord. 31Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the Lord. 32Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the Lord which hallow you, 33That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord.

14. And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly. A question may here arise, why God would have satisfaction made to the priests, if any one should have eaten of the offerings; for they deserved punishment rather than reward, if they had suffered sacred things to be brought into contempt by their promiscuous use. But the error of those is here dealt with, who had not reserved for the priests their lawful share. A portion, as we shall see, was assigned by God, which they were to set aside before they tasted any part of the victim; those, therefore, who had sinned by inadvertency, are commanded by Him to expiate their fault, to restore so much to the priest, and to add a fifth part. And this was done with the object of which we have spoken, lest, if the things offered to God were exposed to common use, religion should be brought into contempt. What follows afterwards, “and they shall not profane the holy things,” I interpret as addressed to the priests themselves; for this sentence is connected with the previous one, in which the injunctions were directed to the priests alone; and this is further confirmed by the next verse, which declares that the whole people would be accomplices in the sin of the priests if they should have polluted the sacred oblations. For thus I take the words, “that they should not suffer the people to bear the iniquity,” or the punishment of the transgression, if the unclean should have touched things offered to God. For as the priest is the mediator of reconciliation to propitiate God towards men, so his impiety is a common iniquity, which brings guilt upon all. The translation which some give, “that they should not lade themselves,” 196196     As in margin of A. V. is further from the sense, and altogether wrested. Finally, God again declares that in proportion to the greatness of the honor which He had put upon them, would be the heaviness and inexcusableness of the crime, if they acted unworthily of their calling.


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