|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1-33 Laws concerning the priests and sacrifices. - In this chapter we have divers laws concerning the priests and sacrifices, all for preserving the honour of the sanctuary. Let us recollect with gratitude that our great High Priest cannot be hindered by any thing from the discharge of his office. Let us also remember, that the Lord requires us to reverence his name, his truths, his ordinances, and commandments. Let us beware of hypocrisy, and examine ourselves concerning our sinful defilements, seeking to be purified from them in the blood of Christ, and by his sanctifying Spirit. Whoever attempts to expiate his own sin, or draws near in the pride of self-righteousness, puts as great an affront on Christ, as he who comes to the Lord's table from the gratification of sinful lusts. Nor can the minister who loves the souls of the people, suffer them to continue in this dangerous delusion. He must call upon them, not only to repent of their sins, and forsake them; but to put their whole trust in the atonement of Christ, by faith in his name, for pardon and acceptance with God; thus only will the Lord make them holy, as his own people.
Verse 14. - As the sacrificial meals made a part of the stipends of the priestly body, any one who inadvertently took a share in them by eating of the holy thing unwittingly, when he had no right to do so, had to refund the value of the meat, with one fifth, that is, twenty percent, added to it. He thus acknowledged that he had "committed a trespass in the holy things of the Lord," the case falling under the rule given in chapter Leviticus 5:15, 16, "And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest." In the fifth chapter a trespass offering of a ram is also ordered, which, though not specified, is probably understood here also.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly,.... Either not knowing that it is an holy thing, or the heave offering, or any thing of that kind; or else is ignorant of the punishment of such an action, as Gersom observes; and this is to be understood of any man that was not a priest, or was not of the priest's family, even any common Israelite; so the Targum of Jonathan, a man of Israel, or an Israelite, one of the common people:
then he shall put a fifth part thereof unto it; a fifth part of the value of what he has eaten, to an equivalent for the whole, that is, he shall pay the full value for what he has eaten, and a fifth part besides:
and shall give it to the priest with the holy thing; the meaning is, that he shall give the fifth part to the priest, with the equivalent for what he has eaten; for he could not give the holy thing itself, but a compensation for it; according to Gersom, he was to give the principal to the priest, whose the holy thing was he ate of, and the fifth part he might give to what priest he would. The Jewish canon, concerning this matter, runs thus; he that ignorantly eats the heave offering pays the principal, and the fifth part; and the same, either he that eats, or drinks, or anoints; and whether the heave offering be clean or unclean, he pays the fifth, and the fifth of the fifth; and he does not pay the heave offering but of common things, rightly ordered, and they become an heave offering, and the compensation of it; and if the priest would forgive, he may not (p).
(p) Misn. Trumot, c. 6. sect. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly—A common Israelite might unconsciously partake of what had been offered as tithes, first-fruits, &c., and on discovering his unintentional error, he was not only to restore as much as he had used, but be fined in a fifth part more for the priests to carry into the sanctuary.
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