|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:1-14 Without entering into particulars of the sacrifices on the great day of atonement, we may notice that it was to be a statute for ever, till that dispensation be at an end. As long as we are continually sinning, we continually need the atonement. The law of afflicting our souls for sin, is a statue which will continue in force till we arrive where all tears, even those of repentance, will be wiped from our eyes. The apostle observes it as a proof that the sacrifices could not take away sin, and cleanse the conscience from it, that in them there was a remembrance made of sin every year, upon the day of atonement, Heb 10:1,3. The repeating the sacrifices, showed there was in them but a feeble effort toward making atonement; this could be done only by offering up the body of Christ once for all; and that sacrifice needed not to be repeated.
Verse 6. - And Aaron shall offer his bullock... and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. The first step is an expiatory offering to reconcile the officiating priest and the remainder of the priestly house to God. This was necessary before his offerings for the people could be accepted. It indicates the defects inherent in a priest whose nature was only that of man, which is compassed about with infirmities. The offering here commanded is not the slaying, but the solemn presentation, of the bullock to the Lord. In after times the following form of confession was used by the high priest when he laid his hand upon the bullock: - "O Lord, I have committed iniquity; I have transgressed; I have sinned, I and my house. O Lord, I entreat thee, cover over the iniquities, the transgressions, and the sins which I have committed, transgressed, and sinned before thee, I and my house; even as it is written in the Law of Moses thy servant, 'For on that day will he cover over for you, to make you clean; from all your transgressions before the Lord ye shall be cleansed" (Edersheim, 'Temple Service').
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And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself,.... That is, bring it into the court, and present it before the Lord in order to its being slain and sacrificed; for as yet it was not killed, and so could not be offered on the altar, see Leviticus 16:11; the place where the bullock was set was between the porch and the altar, his head in the south, and his face to the west, and the priest stood in the east, and his face to the west, and laid both his hands upon him, and confessed his sins, and his family's (x): and this is said to be "for himself"; not to atone for him, which is afterwards expressed, but which should come of him or from him, and not from the congregation, as Jarchi explains it; or as the Targum of Jonathan more clearly, which is of his own money, wholly at his own expense, and not the people's:
and make atonement for himself, and for his house; for himself, for his own personal sins and for his family's sins, those of his wife and children; and it may be extended to all the priests of the house of Aaron; and some say to the Levites also, as Aben Ezra notes, though he disapproves of it: by this it appears, that Christ, the antitype of Aaron, is a more perfect and excellent priest than he, who needed not to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for his people's, for this he did once, when he offered up himself, Hebrews 7:27; and which was for his whole family, and them only, the elect of God, consisting of Jews and Gentiles; part of which is in heaven, and part on earth, and both were reconciled, or atonement made for them, by the blood of Christ; whose house and family men appear to be, when they believe and hope in him, and hold fast their faith and hope; and who are made by him priests as well as kings to God; see Ephesians 3:15 Revelation 1:6.
(x) Misn. Yoma, c. 3. sect. 8.
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