|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:5-32 The command to bring ALL the sacrifices to the door of the tabernacle, was now explained with reference to the promised land. As to moral service, then, as now, men might pray and worship every where, as they did in their synagogues. The place which God would choose, is said to be the place where he would put his name. It was to be his habitation, where, as King of Israel, he would be found by all who reverently sought him. Now, under the gospel, we have no temple or altar that sanctifies the gift but Christ only: and as to the places of worship, the prophets foretold that in every place the spiritual incense should be offered, Mal 1:11. Our Saviour declared, that those are accepted as true worshippers, who worship God in sincerity and truth, without regard either to this mountain or Jerusalem, Joh 4:21. And a devout Israelite might honour God, keep up communion with him, and obtain mercy from him, though he had no opportunity of bringing a sacrifice to his altar. Work for God should be done with holy joy and cheerfulness. Even children and servants must rejoice before God; the services of religion are to be a pleasure, and not a task or drudgery. It is the duty of people to be kind to their ministers, who teach them well, and set them good examples. As long as we live, we need their assistance, till we come to that world where ordinances will not be needed. Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we are commanded to do all to the glory of God. And we must do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to the Father through him. They must not even inquire into the modes and forms of idolatrous worship. What good would it do them to know those depths of Satan? And our inward satisfaction will be more and more, as we abound in love and good works, which spring from faith and the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ.
Verses 13-16. - They were to beware of offering sacrifice in any place that might seem to them best; their offerings were to be presented only in that place which God should choose. But this did not imply that they were not to kill and eat in their own abodes whatever they desired for food, according to the blessing of Jehovah their God. Only they were to abstain from eating of blood (cf. Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 7:26); that they were to pour on the earth as if it were water. Burnt offering; this is named instar omnium, as the principal offering. Whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. To "lust," in old English, means simply to will, choose, desire; it is the same word as "list," or, as it is sometimes spelt, "lest," and does not, as now, imply anything evil. As of the roebuck, and as of the hart; probably the gazelle and fallow deer. As these were animals that could not be offered in sacrifice, the distinction between clean and unclean, on the part of the eaters, did not come into consideration.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Take heed to thyself, that thou offer not thy burnt offerings,.... And so any other, this is put for all the rest:
in every place that thou seest; which might take with their fancy, seem pleasant, and so a proper and suitable place to sacrifice in, as on high places, and under green trees; but they were not to indulge their own fancies and imaginations, or follow the customs of others, but keep to the rules prescribed them by the Lord, and to the place fixed by him for his worship.
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