|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1,2 The offering of sacrifices was an ordinance of true religion, from the fall of man unto the coming of Christ. But till the Israelites were in the wilderness, no very particular regulations seem to have been appointed. The general design of these laws is plain. The sacrifices typified Christ; they also shadowed out the believer's duty, character, privilege, and communion with God. There is scarcely any thing spoken of the Lord Jesus in Scripture which has not also a reference to his people. This book begins with the laws concerning sacrifices; the most ancient were the burnt-offerings, about which God here gives Moses directions. It is taken for granted that the people would be willing to bring offerings to the Lord. The very light of nature directs man, some way or other, to do honour to his Maker, as his Lord. Immediately after the fall, sacrifices were ordained.
Verse 2. - If any man of you bring. Sacrifices are not now being instituted for the first time. Burnt offerings at least, if not peace offerings, had existed since the time of the Fall. The Levitical law lays down regulations adapting an already existing practice for the use of the Israelitish nation; it begins, therefore, not with a command, "Thou shalt bring," but, if any man of you (according to custom) bring. Any member of the congregation might bring his voluntary offering when he would. The times at which the public offerings were to be made, and their number, are afterwards designated. An offering. This verse is introductory to the ensuing chapters, and speaks of "offerings" in general. "Kor-ban," which is the word here used for "offering," derived from karab, meaning "to draw near for the sake of presentation," is the generic name including all offerings and sacrifices. It is used in speaking of animal sacrifices of various kinds, including peace offerings and sin offerings (Leviticus 3:1; Leviticus 4:23 and it is applied to vegetable offerings (Leviticus 2:1, 13) and to miscellaneous offerings for the service of the tabernacle, such as wagons and oxen, silver vessels for the altar, gold, jewels, etc. (Numbers 7:3, 10; Numbers 31:50). It is translated by the LXX. into Greek by the word δῶρον, equivalent to the Latin donum, and our "gift." These offerings are now distinguished into their different kinds.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them,.... For unto no other was the law of sacrifices given; not to the Gentiles, but to the children of Israel:
if any man; or woman, for the word "man", as Ben Gersom observes, includes the whole species:
of you; of you Israelites; the Targum of Jonathan adds,"and not of the apostates who worship idols.''Jarchi interprets it of yours, of your mammon or substance, what was their own property, and not what was stolen from another (d), see Isaiah 61:8,
bring an offering unto the Lord; called "Korban" of "Karab", to draw nigh, because it was not only brought nigh to God, to the door of the tabernacle where he dwelt, but because by it they drew nigh to God, and presented themselves to him, and that for them; typical of believers under the Gospel dispensation drawing nigh to God through Christ, by whom their spiritual sacrifices are presented and accepted in virtue of his:
ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock; that is, of oxen, and of sheep or goats. The Targum of Jonathan is,"of a clean beast, of oxen, and of sheep, but not of wild beasts shall ye bring your offerings.''These were appointed, Ben Gersom says, for these two reasons, partly because the most excellent, and partly because most easy to be found and come at, as wild creatures are not: but the true reason is, because they were very fit to represent the great sacrifice Christ, which all sacrifices were typical of; the ox or bullock was a proper emblem of him for his strength and laboriousness, and the sheep for his harmlessness, innocence, and patience, and the goat, as he was not in himself, but as he was thought to be, a sinner, being sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, and being traduced as such, and having the sins of his people imputed to him.
(d) Vid. T. Bab. Succah, fol. 30. 1. & not. Abendana in Miclol Yophi in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them—If the subject of communication were of a temporal nature, the Levites were excluded; but if it were a spiritual matter, all the tribes were comprehended under this name (De 27:12).
If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord—The directions given here relate solely to voluntary or freewill offerings—those rendered over and above such, as being of standing and universal obligation, could not be dispensed with or commuted for any other kind of offering (Ex 29:38; Le 23:37; Nu 28:3, 11-27, &c.).
bring your offering of the cattle, &c.—that is, those animals that were not only tame, innocent and gentle, but useful and adapted for food. This rule excluded horses, dogs, swine, camels, and asses, which were used in sacrifice by some heathen nations, beasts and birds of prey, as also hares and deers.
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