Leviticus 1:5
And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
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(5) And he shall kill the bullock.—The sacrificer himself slaughtered the victim on the north side of the altar, by cutting its throat, while a priest or an assistant held a bowl under the neck to receive the blood.

Before the Lord.—That is, before the door of the tent of meeting (comp. Leviticus 1:11). The two phrases constantly interchange in the directions about the sacrifices. (Comp. Leviticus 3:2; Leviticus 3:8; Leviticus 3:12; Leviticus 4:4; Leviticus 4:15; Leviticus 4:24; Leviticus 6:18, &c.)

The priests, Aaron’s sons.—Better, the sons of Aaron, the priests, as the Authorised Version renders this phrase in Numbers 10:8. Besides the passage in Joshua 21:19, this phrase only occurs six times, once in Numbers, where it is properly rendered, and five times in this book, where it is translated three times “the priests Aaron’s sons” (Leviticus 1:5; Leviticus 1:8; Leviticus 1:11), and twice “Aaron’s sons the priests” (Leviticus 2:2; Leviticus 3:2). (See Leviticus 21:1.)

And sprinkle.—Better, throw the blood. The priestly functions, which began with the catching of the blood in the bowl, are now to continue also in this instance. The priest threw the blood upon the walls of the altar in two portions. He first stepped to the north-eastern corner, and from that corner diffused the blood on the northern and eastern walls; he then placed himself at the south-western corner, whence he diffused the second portion of the blood on the south and western walls. The rest of the blood he poured out at the Southern side of the altar, which was furnished with two holes; these holes communicated with a drain which conducted the blood into the Kedron.

By the door of the tabernacle.—Better, at the entrance of the tent of meeting. (See Leviticus 1:3.)

Leviticus 1:5-6. And he — Either, 1st, The offerer, who is said to do it, namely, by the priest; for men are commonly said to do what they cause others to do, as John 4:1-2. Or, 2d, The priest, as it follows, or the Levite, whose office this was. Shall sprinkle the blood — Which was done in a considerable quantity, and whereby was signified, 1st, That the offerer deserved to have his blood spilt in that manner. 2d, That the blood of Christ should be poured forth for sinners, and that this was the only means of their reconciliation to God, and acceptance with him. Pieces — Namely, the head, and fat, and inwards, and legs, Leviticus 1:8-9.1:3-9 In the due performance of the Levitical ordinances, the mysteries of the spiritual world are represented by corresponding natural objects; and future events are exhibited in these rites. Without this, the whole will seem unmeaning ceremonies. There is in these things a type of the sufferings of the Son of God, who was to be a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world? The burning body of an animal was but a faint representation of that everlasting misery, which we all have deserved; and which our blessed Lord bore in his body and in his soul, when he died under the load of our iniquities. Observe, 1. The beast to be offered must be without blemish. This signified the strength and purity that were in Christ, and the holy life that should be in his people. 2. The owner must offer it of his own free will. What is done in religion, so as to please God, must be done by love. Christ willingly offered himself for us. 3. It must be offered at the door of the tabernacle, where the brazen altar of burnt-offerings stood, which sanctified the gift: he must offer it at the door, as one unworthy to enter, and acknowledging that a sinner can have no communion with God, but by sacrifice. 4. The offerer must put his hand upon the head of his offering, signifying thereby, his desire and hope that it might be accepted from him, to make atonement for him. 5. The sacrifice was to be killed before the Lord, in an orderly manner, and to honour God. It signified also, that in Christians the flesh must be crucified with its corrupt affections and lust. 6. The priests were to sprinkle the blood upon the altar; for the blood being the life, that was it which made atonement. This signified the pacifying and purifying of our consciences, by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ upon them by faith. 7. The beast was to be divided into several pieces, and then to be burned upon the altar. The burning of the sacrifice signified the sharp sufferings of Christ, and the devout affections with which, as a holy fire, Christians must offer up themselves, their whole spirit, soul, and body, unto God. 8. This is said to be an offering of a sweet savour. As an act of obedience to a Divine command, and a type of Christ, this was well-pleasing to God; and the spiritual sacrifices of Christians are acceptable to God, through Christ, 1Pe 2:5.And he shall kill the bullock - Tradition states that before the laying on of the hand, the victim was bound by a cord to a ring on the north side of the altar; as the words of the prayer were ended, the throat was cut and the blood received into a bowl held by an assistant.

Sprinkle the blood - Rather, throw the blood, so as to make the liquid cover a considerable surface. (The Christian significance of this typical action is referred to in Hebrews 12:24; 1 Peter 1:2.)

By the door of the tabernacle - At the entrance of the tent.

5. he shall kill the bullock—The animal should be killed by the offerer, not by the priest, for it was not his duty in case of voluntary sacrifices; in later times, however, the office was generally performed by Levites.

before the Lord—on the spot where the hands had been laid upon the animal's head, on the north side of the altar.

sprinkle the blood—This was to be done by the priests. The blood being considered the life, the effusion of it was the essential part of the sacrifice; and the sprinkling of it—the application of the atonement—made the person and services of the offerer acceptable to God. The skin having been stripped off, and the carcass cut up, the various pieces were disposed on the altar in the manner best calculated to facilitate their being consumed by the fire.

He shall kill; either,

1. The offerer, who is said to do it, to wit, by the priest; for men are commonly said to do what they cause others to do, as John 4:1,2. Or,

2. The priest, as it follows, or the Levite, whose office this was. See Exodus 29:11 Leviticus 8:15 Numbers 8:19 1 Chronicles 23:28,31 2 Chronicles 20:16 35:11.

Sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar; which was done in a considerable, quantity, as may be gathered from Zechariah 9:15; and whereby was signified,

1. That the offerer deserved to have his blood spilt in that manner.

2. That the blood of Christ should be poured forth for sinners, and that that was the only mean of their reconciliation to God, and acceptance with him. And he shall kill the bullock before the Lord,.... That is, the man that brings the burnt offering, for no other is yet spoken of; and according to the traditions of the elders (h), killing of the sacrifice was right when done by strangers, by women, and by servants, and by unclean persons, even in the most holy things so be it that the unclean did not touch the flesh; and it is observed (i), that the service of the priest begins in the next clause, killing being lawful by him that was not a priest, according to the Targum of Jonathan, the butcher; but Aben Ezra interprets it of the priests, and certain it is, that the burnt offerings of the fowls were killed by the priests, Leviticus 1:15 and the Septuagint version renders it, "and they shall kill": but be this as it will, the burnt offering was to be killed in the court before the Lord; and this was typical of the death of Christ, who, according to these types, as well as to other prophecies, was to die for the sins of men, and accordingly did; and if this was the proprietor and not the priest that killed the sacrifice, it may denote that the sins of God's people, for whom Christ's sacrifice was offered up, were the cause of his death:

and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood: in vessels or basins, as the Targum of Jonathan adds, into which they received it when slain:

and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; which was the altar of burnt offering, and not the altar of incense, as appears by the situation of it, see Exodus 40:5 and the blood was sprinkled all around the altar with two sprinklings: the rule in the Misnah is (k); the slaying of the burnt offering is in the north, and the reception of its blood into the ministering vessels is in the north, and its blood ought to have two sprinklings, which answer to four; which Maimonides (l) explains thus; because it is said "round about", it must needs be that the sprinklings should comprehend the four sides of the altar; and this is done when the two sprinklings are upon the two horns, which are diametrically opposite; and this is what is meant, "which are four"; the sense is, that those two should include the four sides, and the two opposite horns were the northeast and the southwest, as he and other Jewish writers observe (m), and which he expresses more clearly elsewhere (n): when the priest took the blood in the basin, he sprinkled out of it in the basin, two sprinklings upon the two corners of the altar opposite from it; and he ordered it so to sprinkle the blood upon the horn, that the blood might surround the corners in the form of the Greek letter "gamma" (o); so that the blood of the two sprinklings might be found upon the four sides of the altar; because it is said of the burnt offerings, and of the peace offerings "round about"; and this is the law for the trespass offering, and the rest of the blood was poured out at the bottom southward: now this was always done by a priest, for though the bullock might be killed by a stranger, as Gersom on the place observes, yet its blood must be sprinkled by a priest; and it is the note of Aben Ezra, that this might be done by many, and therefore it is said, the "priests, Aaron's sons", when the slaying of it was only by one. The "altar" on which the blood was sprinkled typified the divinity of Christ, which gave virtue to his blood, whereby it made atonement for sin; and in allusion to this rite Christ's blood is called "the blood of sprinkling", 1 Peter 1:2 Hebrews 12:24 which being sprinkled on the heart by the Spirit of God clears it from an evil conscience, and purges the conscience from dead works, and speaks peace and pardon there, Hebrews 10:22.

(h) Misn. Zebachim, c. 3. sect. 1. & Maimon. in ib. T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 27. 1. & Zebachim, fol. 32. 1. & Menachot, fol. 19. 1.((i) Bartenora in Misn. Zebachim, ib. (k) Misn. Zebachim, c. 5. sect. 4. (l) Perush in ib. (m) Jarchi, Bartenora, & Yom Tob, in ib. (n) Hilchot Korbanot, c. 5. sect. 6. (o) Vid. T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 53. 2.

And {d} he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the {e} altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

(d) A priest of the Levites.

(e) Of the burnt offering, Ex 27:1.

5, 6. And he shall kill … flay … and cut it into its pieces] Many would not be able to flay and divide an animal without assistance; it seems probable that these parts of the ritual were performed by some one else. The plural verbs in LXX. and some other versions (they shall kill … flay …) may refer to existing practice, and it appears from 2 Chronicles 29:24; 2 Chronicles 29:34; 2 Chronicles 35:9-11 that priests and Levites performed these duties.

Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall present] bring A.V., the same Heb. word as that translated ‘offer’ in Leviticus 1:3. The priestly action commences here.

and sprinkle] Better, throw or scatter; the blood was caught in a bowl, and thrown against the sides of the altar twice, in such a manner that the blood touched all the four sides. The priest went to the N.E. corner, and threw the blood against the N. and E. sides, and then to the S.W. corner, where he threw the blood against the S. and W. sides. This is described in Mishna Zebâḥîm 53 b as ‘two applications of the blood which are four’ and quoted by Rashi in his commentary on this verse. For ‘sprinkling’ with the finger (Leviticus 4:6) another Heb. word is used.

door] entrance. There were no doors to the tent of meeting, but curtains.Verse 5. - And he shall kill the bullock. After having made the presentation, the offerer proceeds to the second part of the sacrifice, the immolation or slaying, which was to be performed before the Lord, that is, in front of the tabernacle, on the north side of the brazen altar. Then follows the third part of the sacrifice: the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar. The priests caught the blood (sometimes the Levites were allowed to do this, 2 Chronicles 30:16), and sprinkled or rather threw it round about on the altar, that is, so as to touch all the inner sides of the altar. "A red line all round the middle of the altar marked that above it the blood of sacrifices intended to be eaten, below it that of sacrifices wholly consumed, was to be sprinkled" (Edersheim, 'The Temple'). This was in some respects the most essential part of the ceremony, the blood representing the life (chapter 17:11), which was symbolically received at the hands of the offerer, and presented by the priests to God. In the antitype our Lord exercised the function of the sacrificing priest when he presented his own life to the Father, as he hung upon the altar of the cross. 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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