|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:10-17 Those who could not offer a bullock, were to bring a sheep or a goat; and those who were not able to do that, were accepted of God, if they brought a turtle-dove, or a pigeon. Those creatures were chosen for sacrifice which were mild, and gentle, and harmless; to show the innocence and meekness that were in Christ, and that should be in Christians. The offering of the poor was as typical of Christ's atonement as the more costly sacrifices, and expressed as fully repentance, faith, and devotedness to God. We have no excuse, if we refuse the pleasant and reasonable service now required. But we can no more offer the sacrifice of a broken heart, or of praise and thanksgiving, than an Israelite could offer a bullock or a goat, except as God hath first given to us. The more we do in the Lord's service, the greater are our obligations to him, for the will, for the ability, and opportunity. In many things God leaves us to fix what shall be spent in his service, whether of our time or our substance; yet where God's providence has put much into a man's power, scanty offerings will not be accepted, for they are not proper expressions of a willing mind. Let us be devoted in body and soul to his service, whatever he may call us to give, venture, do, or suffer for his sake.
Verse 15. - The priest shall bring it unto the altar. The difference in the ritual for the burnt sacrifice of fowls is:
1. That the offerer is not commanded to lay his hand on the bird.
2. That the altar is the place of maciation, instead of the space on the north side of the altar.
3. That the priest slays it instead of the offerer.
4. That the blood (owing to its smaller quantity) is pressed out against the side of the altar instead of being caught in a vessel and thrown on it. There is no essential variation here; the analogy of the sacrifice of the animal is followed so far as circumstances permit. It is not certain that the word malak, translated wring off his head, means more than "make an incision with the nail;" but in all probability the head was to be severed and laid on the fire separately, after the manner of the other sacrifices.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the priest shall bring it unto the altar,.... The southeast horn of it; near which was the place of the ashes, into which the crop and its feathers were cast (n):
and wring off his head; by twisting it back as it should seem; the word used is only to be found here, and in Leviticus 5:8 the Jews say, it signifies to cut with the nail, and that the priest did this, not with a knife or any other instrument, but with his nail; so Jarchi and Gersom on the place observe: some think he only let out the blood this way, but did not separate the head from the body, which seems to be favoured by Leviticus 5:8 though Maimonides and Bartenora (o) conclude the reverse from the same place; and that the meaning is, that he should cut off the head and divide it asunder at the time he cuts with the nail: the manner of cutting with the nail was this (p), the priest held both the feet of the bird with his two fingers of his left hand, and the wings between two other fingers, and the bird upon the back of his hand, that it might not be within the palm of it; then he stretches out its neck upon the thumb about two fingers' breadth, and cuts it over against the neck with his nail, and this is one of the hardest services in the sanctuary:
and burn it on the altar; that is, the head, after squeezing out the blood, and rubbing it with salt:
and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar: or "the wall" of it: this, though mentioned last, must be done before, and immediately upon the wringing of the head, and between that and the burning it on the altar: this wringing off the head, and wringing out the blood, denote violence, and show that Christ's death, which this was a type of, was a violent one; the Jews laid violent hands upon him, and pursued his life in a violent manner, were very pressing to have it taken away, and his life was taken away in such a manner by men, though not without his Father's secret will, and his own consent.
(n) Misn. Zebachim, c. 6. sect. 5. & Bartenora in ib. (o) In Misn. ib. (p) Maimon. in Misn. ib. sect. 4. & Bartenora. in ib.
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