|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-24 Laws concerning the priests. - As these priests were types of Christ, so all ministers must be followers of him, that their example may teach others to imitate the Saviour. Without blemish, and separate from sinners, He executed his priestly office on earth. What manner of persons then should his ministers be! But all are, if Christians, spiritual priests; the minister especially is called to set a good example, that the people may follow it. Our bodily infirmities, blessed be God, cannot now shut us out from his service, from these privileges, or from his heavenly glory. Many a healthful, beautiful soul is lodged in a feeble, deformed body. And those who may not be suited for the work of the ministry, may serve God with comfort in other duties in his church.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him,.... That is, his sister by both father's and mother's side, as Aben Ezra; though, according to Gersom, his sister by his father's side, and not by his mother's side, is meant; but, according to Alphes, by his mother's side: perhaps this may signify not nearness of kin, which is expressed by being his sister, but nearness of place, for, being unmarried, she remained unto her death in her father's house:
which hath had no husband; neither betrothed to one, for then she would have been nigh to her husband, and not her brother, and therefore he might not pollute himself for her, as Gersom observes; nor married to him, for such an one he might not defile himself, even though she might have been rejected or divorced by her husband, as the same writer says:
for her may he be defiled; for a pure virgin that had never been betrothed nor married to a man, and had never departed from her father's house, and so had no husband to mourn for her, and take care of her funeral, and so for all the rest before mentioned; and which Jarchi says is a command, and not a bare sufferance or allowance, but what he ought and was obliged to do; and so it is related of Joseph (r), a priest, that his wife died in the evening of the sabbath, and he would not defile himself for her, and his brethren the priests obliged him, and made him defile himself against his will.
(r) T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 90. 1.
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