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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.

1. And the Lord spake unto Moses. Moses here treats of the accidents whereby pollution is contracted, although a man may be by nature pure and sound. If any labored under natural defects, Moses prohibited them from exercising the sacerdotal office; now, if any extrinsic pollution may have affected a priest, he commands him to abstain from his duties until he shall have been purified. He had already commanded that any unclean person should be separated from the people lest their contagion should infect others; it may therefore seem superfluous to prescribe to the priests what had been universally enjoined. But since men placed in any position of honor are apt to abuse God’s favor as a pretext for sin, lest the sacerdotal dignity might be used as a covering for the indulgence or excuse of scandals, it was necessary to enact an express law, that the priests should not plead their privilege to eat in their uncleanness of the sacrifices which none but the clean might offer. And that their sacrilege might be the more detestable, he denounces death against any who should intrude their pollutions into the sacrifices; for it was necessary to arouse by the fear of punishment, and as it were to drive by violence to their duty those who would not have been otherwise restrained by any religious feeling from making God’s service contemptible. He then enumerates the particular kinds of pollution of which we have before spoken. Whence it appears, that the priests were brought into discipline by this law, lest they should think themselves more free than the rest of the people, thus might indulge themselves in security; and this is afterwards more clearly expressed where God admonishes them to “keep his ordinance,” 194194     Lat., “Custodiant custodiam meam.” Ainsworth, “Keep my charge." (ver. 9:) i.e., diligently to observe whatever He commanded; and the greater dignity He had honored them with, that the greater should be their study to persevere in the exercises of piety; for he shews them that so far from their sacerdotal rights conducing to the alleviation of their sin, they were more strongly bound by them to keep the Law.


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