Leviticus 1:2
Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, If any man of you bring an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Speak unto the children of Israel.—The directions for the different sacrifices specified in Leviticus 1:2; Leviticus 3:17, are not in the first instance communicated to the priests who should teach them to the people, but are directly addressed to the people themselves.

Ye shall bring your offering . . . —Or, from the cattle ye shall bring your offering, from the oxen and from the flock, that is, if the offering be of quadrupeds in contradistinction to the “fowl” mentioned in Leviticus 1:14, they are to be of oxen and small cattle (tzön), i.e., sheep and goats.

Leviticus 1:2. Divers kinds of sacrifices are here prescribed, some by way of acknowledgment to God for mercies either desired or received; others by way of satisfaction to God for men’s sins; others were mere exercises of devotion. And the reason why so many kinds of them were appointed was, partly a respect to the childish state of the Jews, who, by the custom of nations, and their own natural inclinations, were much addicted to outward rites and ceremonies, that they might have full employment of that kind in God’s service, and thereby be kept from temptations to idolatry; and partly to represent, as well the several perfections of Christ, the true sacrifice, and the various benefits of his death, as the several duties which men owe to their Creator and Redeemer, all which could not be so well expressed by one sort of sacrifices. Of the herd and of the flock — By the herd, is meant oxen or kine; and by the flock, sheep or goats, as Leviticus 1:10. The only living creatures which were allowed to be offered on the Jewish altar were these five, namely, out of the herd, the bullock only: out of the flock, the sheep and the goat; from among the fowls, the turtle-dove, or young pigeon. These living creatures were common, and easy to be procured; besides, they were tame and gentle, useful and innocent. No ravenous beasts or birds of prey were admitted. Now God chose these creatures for his sacrifices, either, 1st, In opposition to the Egyptian idolatry, to which divers of the Israelites had been used, and were still in great danger of revolting again, that the frequent destruction of them might bring such silly deities into contempt. Or, 2d, Because these were the fittest representations both of Christ and of true Christians, as being gentle, and harmless, and patient, and useful to men. Or, 3d, As the best and most profitable creatures, with which it is fit. God should be served, and which we should be ready to part with, when God requires us to do so. Or, 4th, As things most common, that men might never want a sacrifice when they needed, or God required it.1:1,2 The offering of sacrifices was an ordinance of true religion, from the fall of man unto the coming of Christ. But till the Israelites were in the wilderness, no very particular regulations seem to have been appointed. The general design of these laws is plain. The sacrifices typified Christ; they also shadowed out the believer's duty, character, privilege, and communion with God. There is scarcely any thing spoken of the Lord Jesus in Scripture which has not also a reference to his people. This book begins with the laws concerning sacrifices; the most ancient were the burnt-offerings, about which God here gives Moses directions. It is taken for granted that the people would be willing to bring offerings to the Lord. The very light of nature directs man, some way or other, to do honour to his Maker, as his Lord. Immediately after the fall, sacrifices were ordained.Speak unto the children of Israel - It is important to observe that these first instructions Leviticus 1:2-3:17 are addressed expressly to the individual who felt the need of sacrifice on his own account. They were not delivered through the priests, nor had the officiating priest any choice as to what he was to do. He was only to examine the victim to see that it was perfect Leviticus 22:17-24, and to perform other strictly prescribed duties Leviticus 6:8-7:21. The act of offering was to be voluntary on the part of the worshipper, but the mode of doing it was in every point defined by the Law. The presenting of the victim at the entrance of the tabernacle was in fact a symbol of the free will submitting itself to the Law of the Lord. Such acts of sacrifice are to be distinguished from the public offerings, and those ordained for individuals on special occasions (see Leviticus 4:2 note), which belonged to the religious education of the nation.

Offering - Hebrew: קרבן qorbân - the general name for what was formally given up to the service of God (compare Mark 7:11), and exactly corresponding to the words "offering" and "oblation."

2. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them—If the subject of communication were of a temporal nature, the Levites were excluded; but if it were a spiritual matter, all the tribes were comprehended under this name (De 27:12).

If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord—The directions given here relate solely to voluntary or freewill offerings—those rendered over and above such, as being of standing and universal obligation, could not be dispensed with or commuted for any other kind of offering (Ex 29:38; Le 23:37; Nu 28:3, 11-27, &c.).

bring your offering of the cattle, &c.—that is, those animals that were not only tame, innocent and gentle, but useful and adapted for food. This rule excluded horses, dogs, swine, camels, and asses, which were used in sacrifice by some heathen nations, beasts and birds of prey, as also hares and deers.

There are divers kinds of sacrifices here prescribed; some by way of acknowledgment to God for mercies either desired or received; others by way of satisfaction to God for men’s sins; others were mere exercises of piety and devotion. And the reason why there are so many kinds of them was, partly respect to the childish estate of the Jews, who by the custom of nations, and their own natural inclinations, were much addicted to outward rites and ceremonies, that they might have full employment of that kind in God’s service, and thereby be kept from temptations to idolatry; and partly to represent as well the several perfections of Christ, be true sacrifice, and the various benefits of his death, as the several duties which men owe to their Creator and Redeemer, all which could not be so well expressed by one sort of sacrifices.

Of the flock, or, of the sheep; though the Hebrew word contains both the sheep and goats, as appears both from the use of the word, Genesis 12:16 27:9 38:17 and from Leviticus 1:10, and other places of Scripture. Now God chose these kinds of creatures for his sacrifices, either,

1. In opposition to the Egyptian idolatry, to which divers of the Israelites had been used, and were still in danger of revolting to again, that the frequent destruction of these creatures might bring such silly deities into contempt. Or,

2. Because these are the fittest representations both of Christ and of true Christians, as being gentle, and harmless, and patient, and most useful to men. Or,

3. As the best and most profitable creatures, with which it is fit God should be served, and which we should be ready to part with, when God requires us to do so. Or,

4. As things most common and obvious, that men might never want a sacrifice when they needed or God required it. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them,.... For unto no other was the law of sacrifices given; not to the Gentiles, but to the children of Israel:

if any man; or woman, for the word "man", as Ben Gersom observes, includes the whole species:

of you; of you Israelites; the Targum of Jonathan adds,"and not of the apostates who worship idols.''Jarchi interprets it of yours, of your mammon or substance, what was their own property, and not what was stolen from another (d), see Isaiah 61:8,

bring an offering unto the Lord; called "Korban" of "Karab", to draw nigh, because it was not only brought nigh to God, to the door of the tabernacle where he dwelt, but because by it they drew nigh to God, and presented themselves to him, and that for them; typical of believers under the Gospel dispensation drawing nigh to God through Christ, by whom their spiritual sacrifices are presented and accepted in virtue of his:

ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock; that is, of oxen, and of sheep or goats. The Targum of Jonathan is,"of a clean beast, of oxen, and of sheep, but not of wild beasts shall ye bring your offerings.''These were appointed, Ben Gersom says, for these two reasons, partly because the most excellent, and partly because most easy to be found and come at, as wild creatures are not: but the true reason is, because they were very fit to represent the great sacrifice Christ, which all sacrifices were typical of; the ox or bullock was a proper emblem of him for his strength and laboriousness, and the sheep for his harmlessness, innocence, and patience, and the goat, as he was not in himself, but as he was thought to be, a sinner, being sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, and being traduced as such, and having the sins of his people imputed to him.

(d) Vid. T. Bab. Succah, fol. 30. 1. & not. Abendana in Miclol Yophi in loc.

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the {b} cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.

(b) So they could offer of no other sort, but of those who were commanded.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. oblation] Heb. korban, from a root signifying ‘to come near’; a general term for anything brought near to God, whether sacrifice, or other sacred gift. It occurs frequently in chs. 1–7, also in Leviticus 9:7; Leviticus 9:15, Leviticus 17:4, Leviticus 22:18; Leviticus 22:27, Leviticus 23:14, Leviticus 27:9; Leviticus 27:11 (in Leviticus 27:11 ‘sacrifice’ A.V.); Numbers 5:15 (the meal offering of jealousy), Leviticus 6:14; Leviticus 6:21 (the offerings of the Nazirite), 7 (the offerings of the princes, parts of which were not for sacrifice), Leviticus 9:7; Leviticus 9:13 (the passover), Leviticus 15:4; Leviticus 15:25, Leviticus 18:9 (‘oblation’ A.V.), Lev 28:2, Lev 31:50 (‘oblation’ A.V., the spoil of Midian).

In the Pent., the word occurs only in Lev. and Num.; outside the Pent, it is found in Ezekiel 20:28; Ezekiel 40:43; Nehemiah 10:35; Nehemiah 13:31. In Neh. the first syllable of the word has the vowel ŭ; both R.V. and A.V. translate ḳurban hâ‘çẓim by ‘wood offering.’ R.V. renders ‘oblation’ except in Ezekiel 20:28 and Neh.; A.V. generally has ‘offering’; other renderings are noted in the list of passages given above. The verb from the same root is used in the Hiph.; it is applied to the action both of the layman and the priest, and is translated ‘offer.’

The verse refers only to animal sacrifices, and serves as an introduction to the Burnt-Offering, and to the Peace-Offering of ch. 3.

of the herd and of the flock] i.e. large and small cattle. An offering of birds (Leviticus 1:14-17) is not mentioned here.Verse 2. - If any man of you bring. Sacrifices are not now being instituted for the first time. Burnt offerings at least, if not peace offerings, had existed since the time of the Fall. The Levitical law lays down regulations adapting an already existing practice for the use of the Israelitish nation; it begins, therefore, not with a command, "Thou shalt bring," but, if any man of you (according to custom) bring. Any member of the congregation might bring his voluntary offering when he would. The times at which the public offerings were to be made, and their number, are afterwards designated. An offering. This verse is introductory to the ensuing chapters, and speaks of "offerings" in general. "Kor-ban," which is the word here used for "offering," derived from karab, meaning "to draw near for the sake of presentation," is the generic name including all offerings and sacrifices. It is used in speaking of animal sacrifices of various kinds, including peace offerings and sin offerings (Leviticus 3:1; Leviticus 4:23 and it is applied to vegetable offerings (Leviticus 2:1, 13) and to miscellaneous offerings for the service of the tabernacle, such as wagons and oxen, silver vessels for the altar, gold, jewels, etc. (Numbers 7:3, 10; Numbers 31:50). It is translated by the LXX. into Greek by the word δῶρον, equivalent to the Latin donum, and our "gift." These offerings are now distinguished into their different kinds. When the sanctuary, that had been built for the Lord for a dwelling in Israel, had been set up with all its apparatus, "the cloud covering the tabernacle, and the glory of Jehovah filled the dwelling," so that Moses was unable to enter. The cloud, in which Jehovah had hitherto been present with His people, and guided and protected them upon their journeying (see at Exodus 13:21-22), now came down upon the tabernacle and filled the dwelling with the gracious presence of the Lord. So long as this cloud rested upon the tabernacle the children of Israel remained encamped; but when it ascended, they broke up the encampment to proceed onwards. This sign was Jehovah's command for encamping or going forward "throughout all their journeys" (Exodus 40:36-38). This statement is repeated still more elaborately in Numbers 9:15-23. The mode in which the glory of Jehovah filled the dwelling, or in which Jehovah manifested His presence within it, is not described; but the glory of Jehovah filling the dwelling is clearly distinguished from the cloud coming down upon the tabernacle. It is obvious, however, from Leviticus 16:2, and 1 Kings 8:10-11, that in the dwelling the glory of God was also manifested in a cloud. At the dedication of the temple (1 Kings 8:10-11) the expression "the cloud filled the house of Jehovah" is used interchangeably with "the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah." To consecrate the sanctuary, which had been finished and erected as His dwelling, and to give to the people a visible proof that He had chosen it for His dwelling, Jehovah filled the dwelling in both its parts with the cloud which shadowed forth His presence, so that Moses was unable to enter it. This cloud afterwards drew back into the most holy place, to dwell there, above the outspread wings of the cherubim of the ark of the covenant; so that Moses and (at a later period) the priests were able to enter the holy place and perform the required service there, without seeing the sign of the gracious presence of God, which was hidden by the curtain of the most holy place. So long as the Israelites were on their journey to Canaan, the presence of Jehovah was manifested outwardly and visibly by the cloud, which settled upon the ark, and rose up from it when they were to travel onward.

With the completion of this building and its divine consecration, Israel had now received a real pledge of the permanence of the covenant of grace, which Jehovah had concluded with it; a sanctuary which perfectly corresponded to the existing circumstances of its religious development, and kept constantly before it the end of its calling from God. For although God dwelt in the tabernacle in the midst of His people, and the Israelites might appear before Him, to pray for and receive the covenant blessings that were promised them, they were still forbidden to go directly to God's throne of grace. The barrier, which sin had erected between the holy God and the unholy nation, was not yet taken away. To this end the law was given, which could only increase their consciousness of sin and unworthiness before God. But as this barrier had already been broken through by the promise of the Lord, that He would meet the people in His glory before the door of the tabernacle at the altar of burnt-offering (Exodus 29:42-43); so the entrance of the chosen people into the dwelling of God was effected mediatorially by the service of the sanctified priests in the holy place, which also prefigured their eventual reception into the house of the Lord. And even the curtain, which still hid the glory of God from the chosen priests and sanctified mediators of the nation, was to be lifted at least once a year by the anointed priest, who had been called by God to be the representative of the whole congregation. On the day of atonement the high priest was to sprinkle the blood of atonement in front of the throne of grace, to make expiation for the children of Israel because of all their sin (Leviticus 16), and to prefigure the perfect atonement through the blood of the eternal Mediator, through which the way to the throne of grace is opened to all believers, that they may go into the house of God and abide there for ever, and for ever see God.

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