And you shall take of the blood of the bullock, and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thou shalt take of the blood . . . and put it upon the horns of the altar.—It has been already noticed that the virtue of the altar was considered to reside especially in its horns; hence fugitives clung to them (1Kings 1:50; 1Kings 2:28). In all sin offerings it was required (1) That some of the victim’s blood should be smeared upon the altar’s horns; and (2) That the remainder should be poured at its base (Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:18; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34).Leviticus 8:3.Upon the horns of the altar; not of incense, as some would have it, but of the burnt-offerings, as may appear,
1. Because it was that altar at the bottom whereof the blood was to be poured, as it is here expressed; but that was not done at the altar of incense, as is evident and confessed. Compare Leviticus 16:18, &c.
2. It was that altar upon which the parts of the sacrifices were burnt, as it here follows, Exodus 29:13, for there is no distinction here between the two altars. It is true, in the following sin-offerings of the priests the blood was put upon the horns of the altar of incense, Leviticus 4:7. But it must be considered,
1. That the blood was not poured out at the bottom of that altar.
2. Because Aaron and his sons were not yet complete priests, but private persons, and therefore did this at the same altar which the people used in their sin-offerings, Leviticus 4:25,30.
and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger; not sprinkle it with hyssop, as was done in some cases, but put on with the finger dipped into the blood in the basin; as the horns of the altar were the place where the sacrifice was bound, as some think, or however where persons in distress fled for refuge, and laid hold on, it may figure the blood of Christ, being effectual to the cleansing of their souls, and the remission of their sins, through the application of it to them by the Spirit of God:
and pour all the blood beside at the bottom of the altar; the rest of the blood not put upon the horns of the altar, all that was left of it. Jarchi says, there was a receptacle (for it) that protruded from around the altar, about a cubit from the ground; and here it was that the blood was poured.And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. The Hebrew regarded the blood as the seat of the ‘soul,’ or principle of life; and it was in virtue of the ‘soul’ that was in it, that it made atonement (see Leviticus 17:11). By its application to the horns of the altar (cf. Leviticus 4:25; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34),—as in other cases to those of the altar of incense, or to the mercy-seat (Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:18; Leviticus 16:14-15),—it was brought near to Jehovah.
upon the horns (Exodus 27:2) of the altar] i.e. of the altar of burnt-offering (Exodus 27:1 ff.), exactly as in the cases of the sin-offering for laymen specified in Leviticus 4:25; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34 (contrast Exodus 29:6 f., Exodus 29:17 f.): the priests, before their consecration is completed, are treated as laity.
at the base of the altar] as in the ordinary sin-offering, Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:18; Leviticus 4:25; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34; cf. Leviticus 5:9; Leviticus 8:15 (the parallel to the present passage), Exodus 9:9. The ‘base’ (lit. foundation) of the altar is mentioned only in these passages. On the additions in Leviticus 8:15, respecting the atonement made for the altar, see below, on v. 36.Verse 12. - Thou shalt take of the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar. The virtue of the altar was regarded as residing especially in its horns. Here expiation was obtained by the blood - "which is the life " - of the victim being first smeared upon the four horns, and then the remainder poured out at the altar's base. Such was the usual practice with "sin-offerings" (Leviticus 4:7) whereof this was to be the first example. Leviticus 1-7. It will be more advisable therefore to defer the examination of this ceremony till we come to Leviticus 8, where the consecration itself is described. The same may also be said of the expiation and anointing of the altar, which are commanded in Exodus 29:36 and Exodus 29:37, and carried out in Leviticus 8:11.
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