Exodus 29:18
And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar.—A burnt offering, as representing self- sacrifice, was entirely acceptable to God; the whole might be consumed upon the altar. It was otherwise with sin offerings, of which only certain parts could be thus offered. (Comp. above, Exodus 29:14; and see Leviticus 4:12; Leviticus 4:21, &c.)

A sweet savour.—Comp. Genesis 8:21 and Note ad loc. It was a general heathen notion that the gods were actually delighted with the odour of the sacrifices offered to them; but there are no just grounds for taxing the Hebrews with such coarse and materialistic ideas. The expression, as used in this place, in Genesis 8:21, and in Leviticus and Numbers repeatedly, is metaphorical. (Comp. Exodus 5:21.)

29:1-37 Aaron and his sons were to be set apart for the priest's office, with ceremony and solemnity. Our Lord Jesus is the great High Priest of our profession, called of God to be so; anointed with the Spirit, whence he is called Messiah, the Christ; clothed with glory and beauty; sanctified by his own blood; made perfect, or consecrated through sufferings, Heb 2:10. All believers are spiritual priests, to offer spiritual sacrifices,Door of the tabernacle - Entrance of the tent. See Leviticus 8:3.10-22. And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle—This part of the ceremonial consisted of three sacrifices: (1) The sacrifice of a bullock, as a sin offering; and in rendering it, the priest was directed to put his hand upon the head of his sacrifice, expressing by that act a consciousness of personal guilt, and a wish that it might be accepted as a vicarious satisfaction. (2) The sacrifice of a ram as a burnt offering (Ex 29:15-18). The ram was to be wholly burnt, in token of the priest's dedication of himself to God and His service. The sin offering was first to be presented, and then the burnt offering; for until guilt be removed, no acceptable service can be performed. (3) There was to be a peace offering, called "the ram of consecration" (Ex 29:19-22). And there was a marked peculiarity in the manner in which this other ram was to be disposed of. The former was for the glory of God—this was for the comfort of the priest himself; and as a sign of a mutual covenant being ratified, the blood of the sacrifice was divided—part sprinkled on the altar round about, and part upon the persons and garments of the priests. Nay, the blood was, by a singular act, directed to be put upon the extremities of the body, thereby signifying that the benefits of the atonement would be applied to the whole nature of man. Moreover, the flesh of this sacrifice was to be divided, as it were, between God and the priest—part of it to be put into his hand to be waved up and down, in token of its being offered to God, and then it was to be burnt upon the altar; the other part was to be eaten by the priests at the door of the tabernacle—that feast being a symbol of communion or fellowship with God. These ceremonies, performed in the order described, showed the qualifications necessary for the priests. (See Heb 7:26, 27; 10:14). A sweet savour, Heb. a savour of rest, wherewith God will be well pleased, and for which, as representing Christ who offered up himself, he will graciously accept of the offerings of the priests for themselves, and for the people.

And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar,.... For which reason his head, his pieces, his inwards, and his legs, were to be put together, and laid in order upon the altar:

it is a burnt offering unto the Lord; offered up to him, and accepted by him, as follows:

it is a sweet savour; or "a smell of rest" (y), in which God acquiesces, and rests, and takes delight and pleasure; it is, as the Septuagint version:

for a smell of sweet savour, or a sweet smelling savour; which phrase the apostle makes use of, and applies to the sacrifice of Christ, Ephesians 5:2,

an offering made by fire unto the Lord; which being consumed by fire ascended upwards to the Lord, and became acceptable to him, as the sacrifice of his own Son, in his fiery sufferings and death, was unto him.

(y) "odor quietis", Montanus, Fagius, Vatablus, Cartwright, Piscator.

And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: {d} it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

(d) Or, savour of rest, which causes the wrath of God to cease.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. a burnt offering] see Leviticus 1.

a sweet savour] a soothing odour (McNeile), lit. an odour of rest giving, i.e. one composing and acceptable to the Deity. It is a technical expression for the fragrant odour emitted by a burning sacrifice, and is doubtless a survival from the time when the deity was supposed to be actually placated by the smell of the sacrificial smoke (see on v. 13). It is used, repeatedly by P (Leviticus 1:9; Lev Exo 1:13 &c.), and once by J (Genesis 8:21). Comp. the erêshê tâbu, or ‘goodly odour,’ offered to the Bab. gods (EB. iv. 4119; cf. Del. HWB. 121, 140a). ‘Sweet savour’ is a paraphrase based upon the rend. of LXX. ὀσμὴ εὐωδίας ‘an odour of a sweet smell’ (Php 4:18). Note that ‘savour’ in Old English meant not only taste (Matthew 5:13), but smell, as Joel 2:20, and 2 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 2:16 for ὀσμή: see DB., s.v.

an offering made by fire] in the Heb. one word,—as we might say, a firing. Another expression of the priestly terminology, used often by P (Leviticus 1:9; Leviticus 1:13; Leviticus 1:17, &c.), and occurring also twice besides (Deuteronomy 18:1, 1 Samuel 2:28).

Verse 18. - Thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar. This became the general law of the burnt-offering (Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17). It indicated that self-sacrifice was wholly acceptable to God; whereas in sin-offerings there was a taint of evil which rendered all but certain parts of the victim unacceptable (ver. 14). A sweet savour. This is not to be understood in the coarse sense in which heathen writers used similar expressions, meaning by them (as it would seem) that the gods were really pleased with the odour of sacrifices. No candid mind can ascribe to the Hebrews such anthropomorphism. Evidently no more is meant than that the offering would be pleasing to God. See Genesis 8:21; Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17, etc. Exodus 29:18Consecration of Aaron and his Sons through the anointing of their persons and the offering of sacrifices, the directions for which form the subject of vv. 1-35. This can only be fully understood in connection with the sacrificial law contained in 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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