Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: you shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Without blemish.—Natural piety teaches that we must not “offer the blind, the lame, or the sick for sacrifice” (Malachi 1:8). We must give to (God of our best. The Law emphasized this teaching, and here, on the first occasion when a sacrifice was formally appointed, required it to be absolutely without blemish of any kind. Afterwards the requirement was made general (Leviticus 22:19-25). It was peculiarly fitting that the Paschal offering should be without defect of any kind, as especially typifying “the Lamb of God,” who is “holy, harmless, undefiled”—a “lamb without spot.”
A male.—Males were reckoned superior to females, and were especially appropriate here, since the victim represented the firstborn male in each house.
Of the first year—i.e., not above a year old. As children are most innocent when young, so even animals were thought to be.Exodus 12:5. Your lamb shall be without blemish — Shall be perfect, as the Hebrew is, that is, in all its parts. This was a qualification indispensably requisite in all sacrifices: Leviticus 22:20-24. Even the heathen, in the worship of their false gods, were particular in this circumstance. A male — Because the males were accounted more excellent, and their flesh better than that of females. Of the first year — Under a year old, not above: for the lamb, as also a kid and calf, was fit for sacrifice at eight days old, but not before, Exodus 22:30. And the same law was observed in the daily sacrifice, Exodus 29:38. They were not to be offered before the eighth day, “because,” says Bochart, “till then they have hardly attained to the perfection of animal life, and are not sufficiently purified.” He adds, “they were not to be offered after the first year, because then they begin to feel the heat of libidinous appetite, and consequently are not fit emblems of purity and innocence.”
a male of the first year—Christ in the prime of life.Without blemish; without any deformity or distemper of body. Heb. perfect. Of which see Leviticus 22:21, &c.; Deu 15:21 17:1. And this the very light of nature taught the heathens to observe in their sacrifices. This property was required both to typify Christ, a Lamb without spot or blemish, Hebrews 9:14 1 Peter 1:19, and to instruct us that all our services to God must be as perfect as possibly may be.
A male, partly because that was better and more perfect than the female, whence a male is opposed to a corrupt thing, Malachi 1:14; and partly to typify the man Christ Jesus.
Of the first year, i.e. a year old, when it is in its rigour and perfection, and the fittest type of Christ. Most explain it thus, That it was not to be more than a year old, but it might be much less, seeing it might be offered to God any time after it was eight days old, Exodus 22:30 Leviticus 22:27. But though it was then fit to be offered to God, it was not very fit to be eaten by men. And the Hebrew phrase, the son of a year, seems to require a year’s age, as Saul is called the son of one year, 1 Samuel 13:1, when he had reigned one whole year. And it is remarkable, that he doth not say the son of this or that year, which might agree to one brought forth that year, though it was much younger than a year, but the son of a year, without any restrictive article.
Or from the goats; Heb. and from the goats: if you want a lamb, you shall take a kid of or from the goats. But the particle and is here well rendered or, as it is used Genesis 13:8 Exodus 21:17, compared with Matthew 15:4 Psalm 8:4, compared with Hebrews 2:6. Leviticus 21:21. This lamb was a type of Christ, who is therefore said to be our passover sacrificed for us, 1 Corinthians 5:7 comparable to a lamb for his innocence and harmlessness, for his meekness, humility, and patience, for usefulness both for food and raiment, as well as for being fit for sacrifice; and who is a lamb without spot and blemish, either of original sin, or actual transgression, holy in his nature, harmless in his life:
a male of the first year; anyone within that time, but not beyond it; denoting the strength and vigour of Christ, in the flower of his age, his short continuance among men, and his being tender and savoury food for the faith of his people:
ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats; it might be either a lamb, or a kid of the goats; for the most part, or generally, it was a lamb that was taken; so the Jewish canon runs (i),"he that says to his servant, go and slay for me the passover, if he slays a kid he may eat it; if he slays a lamb he may eat of it; if he slays a kid and a lamb, he may eat of the first.''The goat being of an ill smell may denote Christ being made sin, and a sin offering for his people; and the taking of a lamb from these may signify the choice of Christ from among the people in the council and covenant of God; the preordination of him to be the lamb slain from the foundation of the world; the preservation of him from the infection of sin in his incarnation, and the separation of him from sinners in his conversation.Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. Characteristics of the animal chosen: it is to be (1) without blemish (like sacrificial animals in general, Deuteronomy 17:1, Leviticus 22:19; Leviticus 22:21 [H]); (2) a male, as superior to a female, and therefore more appropriate as an offering to Jehovah (so for burnt-offerings, in H and P, Leviticus 1:3; Leviticus 1:10; Leviticus 22:19 : for peace- and sin-offerings females were allowed); (3) one year old (cf. the same regulation Exodus 29:38, Leviticus 9:3, and elsewhere); (4) either a lamb or a kid (cf. on v. 3); later usage declared in favour of a lamb.
of the first year] Heb. ‘the son of a year.’ The meaning is disputed. The Rabbis interpret of the first year, i.e. from 8 days old (Leviticus 22:27 H) to a full year; modern commentators generally, a year old (LXX. ἐνιαύσιος). The Hebrew idiom (of human beings as well as of animals) occurs constantly (Genesis 21:4-5; Genesis 25:26, &c.): the same age as here is appointed for sacrifices, esp. for burnt-offerings, Leviticus 9:3; Leviticus 12:6 (‘a son of its year’), Exodus 23:12; Exodus 23:18-19, and elsewhere.Verse 5. Your lamb shall be without blemish. Natural piety would teach that "the blind, the lame, and the sick" should not be selected for sacrifice (Malachi 1:8). The Law afterwards expressly forbade any blemished animals - "blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed" - to be offered for any of the stated sacrifices, though they might be given as free-will offerings (Leviticus 22:20-25). The absence of blemish was especially important in a victim which was to typify One "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." A male. As standing in place of and redeeming the first-born of the males in each family. Of the first year. Perhaps as then more approaching to the ideal of perfect innocence. The requirement was not a usual one. Or from the goats. Theodoret says the proviso was made for the relief of the poorer class of persons; but practically it seems not to have taken effect. When people were poor, their richer neighbours supplied them with lambs (Kalisch). Exodus 11:9 and Exodus 11:10 the account of Moses' negotiations with Pharaoh, which commenced at Exodus 7:8, is brought to a close. What God predicted to His messengers immediately before sending them to Pharaoh (Exodus 7:3), and to Moses before his call (Exodus 4:21), had now come to pass. And this was the pledge that the still further announcement of Jehovah in Exodus 7:4 and Exodus 4:23, which had already been made known to the hardened king (Exodus 11:4.), would be carried out. As these verses have a terminal character, the vav consecutive in ויּאמר denotes the order of thought and not of time, and the two verses are to be rendered thus: "As Jehovah had said to Moses, Pharaoh will not hearken unto you, that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt, Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and Jehovah hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land."
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