And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Be of fowls.—The fowls here are in contrast to the cattle in Leviticus 1:2. And as the quadrupeds there are immediately defined to consist of bullocks, sheep and goats, so the generic term winged creature is here restricted to the dove and pigeon. It will thus be seen that five different kinds are allowed for the burnt offering, viz., the bullock, lamb, goat, dove and pigeon, the same that Abram was commanded to offer (Genesis 15:9).
Of turtledoves.—Though in the case of the burnt offering, as well as of the sin offering, pigeons were permitted to those who were too poor to offer quadrupeds, yet in certain other cases birds were prescribed for all irrespective of their circumstances. Not only did turtledoves regularly come in large flocks (Song of Solomon 2:11-12; Jeremiah 8:7) into Palestine at certain periods, but owing to these sacrifices the Jews have always kept dove-cots and reared pigeons (2Kings 6:25; Isaiah 60:8; Joseph. Wars, v. 4, 4). To supply the demand for them, dealers in these birds sat about with them in cages on stalls in the Temple court (Matthew 21:2; John 11:16, &c.).Leviticus 1:14. Turtle-doves — Those who were not able to go to the charge of a sheep or goat might offer a bird. And these birds were preferred before others, 1st, Because they were easily obtained; for Maimonides observes, that they were so plenteous in Canaan, and consequently so cheap, that the poorer sort could easily afford to bring this oblation. 2d, Because they fitly represented Christ’s chastity, meekness, and gentleness, and that purity of mind which becomes every worshipper of God. Hence birds of prey, and those of a coarser kind, were not to be offered. The pigeons were to be young, because then they are best; but the turtle-doves are better when they are grown up, and therefore they are not confined to that age.Leviticus 15:14, Leviticus 15:29; Numbers 6:10. The limitation of the age of the pigeons may be accounted for by the natural habits of the birds. It would seem that the species which are most likely to have been the sacrificial dove and pigeon are the common turtle and the bluerock pigeon, a bird like our stock-dove, and considerably larger than the turtle. The turtles come in the early part of April, but as the season advances they wholly disappear. The pigeons, on the contrary, do not leave the country; and their nests, with young ones in them, may be easily found at any season of the year. Hence, it would appear, that when turtledoves could not be obtained, nestling pigeons were accepted as a substitute. Leviticus 5:7,
then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons; the Jewish writers all agree, that the turtles should be old, and not young, as the pigeons young, and not old; so the Targum of Jonathan, Jarchi, Aben Ezra and Gersom (l); the latter gives two reasons for it, because then they are the choicest and easiest to be found and taken: no mention is made of their being male or female, either would do, or of their being perfect and unblemished, as in the other burnt offerings; but if any part was wanting, it was not fit for sacrifice, as Maimonides (m) observes. These creatures were proper emblems of Christ, and therefore used in sacrifice, whose voice is compared to the turtle's, and his eyes to the eyes of doves, Sol 2:12 and who is fitly represented by them for his meekness and humility, for his chaste and strong affection to his church, as the turtledove to its mate, and for those dove like graces of the Spirit which are in him.And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)c) Fowls (14–17)
This kind of offering is not included in the general introduction in Leviticus 1:2. The ritual is slightly altered; the laying the hand on the victim is omitted, the bringing in the hand being equivalent; and the priest performs all the ceremonial.Verse 14. - If the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the Lord be of fowls. A comparison of Leviticus 12:8 leads us to infer that the permission to offer a bird was a concession to poverty. The pigeon and the turtle-dove were the most easy to procure, as the domestic fowl was at this time unknown to the Hebrews. The first and only allusion in the Bible to the hen occurs in the New Testament (Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:30, nor is there any representation of the domestic fowl in ancient Egyptian paintings. The domicile of the bird was still confined to India. A single pigeon or turtle-dove formed a sacrifice, and there was no rule in respect to sex, as there was in the case of the quadrupeds. Leviticus 6:6), and to lay "wood in order upon the fire" (ערך to lay in regular order), and then to "lay the parts, the head and the fat, in order upon the wood on the fire," and thus to cause the whole to ascend in smoke. פּדר, which is only used in connection with the burnt-offering (Leviticus 1:8, Leviticus 1:12, and Leviticus 8:20), signifies, according to the ancient versions (lxx στέαρ) and the rabbinical writers, the fat, probably those portions of fat which were separated from the entrails and taken out to wash. Bochart's explanation is adeps a carne sejunctus. The head and fat are specially mentioned along with the pieces of flesh, partly because they are both separated from the flesh when animals are slaughtered, and partly also to point out distinctly that the whole of the animal ("all," Leviticus 1:9) was to be burned upon the altar, with the exception of the skin, which was given to the officiating priest (Leviticus 7:8), and the contents of the intestines. הקטיר, to cause to ascend in smoke and steam (Exodus 30:7), which is frequently construed with המּזבּחה towards the altar (ה local, so used as to include position in a place; vid., Leviticus 1:13, Leviticus 1:15, Leviticus 1:17; Leviticus 2:2, Leviticus 2:9, etc.), or with המּזבּח (Leviticus 6:8), or על־המּזבּח (Leviticus 9:13, Leviticus 9:17), was the technical expression for burning the sacrifice upon the altar, and showed that the intention was not simply to burn those portions of the sacrifice which were placed in the fire, i.e., to destroy, or turn them into ashes, but by this process of burning to cause the odour which was eliminated to ascend to heaven as the ethereal essence of the sacrifice, for a "firing of a sweet savour unto Jehovah." אשּׁה, firing ("an offering made by fire," Eng. Ver.), is the general expression used to denote the sacrifices, which ascended in fire upon the altar, whether animal or vegetable (Leviticus 2:2, Leviticus 2:11, Leviticus 2:16), and is also applied to the incense laid upon the shew-bread (Leviticus 24:7); and hence the shew-bread itself (Leviticus 24:7), and even those portions of the sacrifices which Jehovah assigned to the priests for them to eat (Deuteronomy 18:1 cf. Joshua 13:14), came also to be included in the firings for Jehovah. The word does not occur out of the Pentateuch, except in Joshua 13:14 and 1 Samuel 2:28. In the laws of sacrifice it is generally associated with the expression, "a sweet savour unto Jehovah" (ὀσμὴ εὐωδίας: lxx): an anthropomorphic description of the divine satisfaction with the sacrifices offered, or the gracious acceptance of them on the part of God (see Genesis 8:21), which is used in connection with all the sacrifices, even the expiatory or sin-offerings (Leviticus 4:31), and with the drink-offering also (Numbers 15:7, Numbers 15:10).
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