|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.
Verses 15, 16. - These verses present some difficulties of construction. The rendering of the Authorized Version is as follows: And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the Lord; or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the Lord do sanctify them. If this rendering is accepted, it would mean that the priests are not to profane the holy things by any irregularity on their part as to the eating of them, nor to suffer laymen to incur the guilt of a trespass by eating them. The marginal rendering, which is to be preferred, gives the passage as follows: And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the Lord; or lade themselves with the iniquity of trespass in their eating. According to this translation, the meaning would be that laymen (who had been spoken of in the previous verse) should not profane the holy things, or become guilty of a trespass (as defined in verse 15) by eating them. Technically and literally, David was guilty of this trespass in an aggravated form, when he and his followers ate the shewbread at Nob (1 Samuel 21:6), for the shewbread was not only holy, but most holy. But his act is excused by our Lord, on the plea of necessity (Matthew 12:3, 4), even though it was done on the sabbath day (1 Samuel 21:5, margin).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the Lord. By causing or suffering strangers to eat of them; so Jarchi, referring the words to the priests, who should be careful that strangers ate not of sacred things; or by the strangers themselves eating them, whereby they were profaned and used as common things.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15, 16. they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel—There is some difficulty felt in determining to whom "they" refers. The subject of the preceding context being occupied about the priests, it is supposed by some that this relates to them also; and the meaning then is that the whole people would incur guilt through the fault of the priests, if they should defile the sacred offerings, which they would have done had they presented them while under any defilement [Calvin]. According to others, "the children of Israel" is the nominative in the sentence; which thus signifies, the children of Israel shall not profane or defile their offerings, by touching them or reserving any part of them, lest they incur the guilt of eating what is divinely appointed to the priests alone [Calmet].
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