Leviticus 1:6
And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) And he shall flay.—After the priest threw the blood on the walls of the altar, the sacrificer himself had to skin and cut up the sacrifice into its natural limbs (comp. Leviticus 1:12; Leviticus 8:20; Exodus 29:17), as head, breast, legs, &c., and not mangle it. The skin was the perquisite of the officiating priest (Leviticus 8).

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 flay - The sacrificer, or his assistant, had to skin and cut up the victim. The hide was the gratuity of the officiating priest. Leviticus 7:8.

His pieces - That is, its proper pieces, the parts into which it was usual for a sacrificed animal to be divided.

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 flay the burnt-offering; partly for decency, because the sacrifices being as it were God’s food and feast, it was incongruous to offer to God that which men refused to eat; and partly to signify that the great thing which God required and regarded in men was, not their outward appearance, but their inside; and that as he doth see all men’s insides, Hebrews 4:13, so he will one day make them visible to others.

Into his pieces, to wit, the head, and fat, and inwards, and legs, Leviticus 1:8,9. And he shall flay the burnt offering,.... Take off its skin; this was the only part of it that was not burnt, and was the property of the priest, Leviticus 7:8 but who this was done by is not so manifest, since it is in the singular number "he", and seems to be the bringer of the offering; for Aaron's sons, the priests that sprinkled the blood, are spoken of plurally; and agreeably, Gersom observes, that the flaying of the burnt offering and cutting it in pieces were lawful to be done by a stranger; but Aben Ezra interprets "he" of the priest; and the Septuagint and Samaritan versions read in the plural number, "they shall flay", &c. and this was the work of the priests, and who were sometimes helped in it by their brethren, the Levites, 2 Chronicles 29:34 and as this follows upon the sprinkling of the blood, it was never done till that was; the rule is, they do not flay them (the sacrifices) until the blood is sprinkled, except the sin offerings, which are burnt, for they do not flay them at all (p). The flaying of the burnt offering may denote the very great sufferings of Christ, when he was stripped of his clothes, and his back was given to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; and the skin of the sacrifice, which belonged to the priest, may be an emblem of the righteousness of Christ, and which also was signified by the coats of skins the Lord God made for Adam and Eve, Genesis 3:21 that robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation, which all that are made kings and priests to God are clothed with:

and cut it into his pieces; which was done while he was flaying it, and after this manner, as Maimonides relates (q), he flays until he comes to the breast, and then he cuts off the head, then its legs, and finishes the flaying; then he rends the heart, and brings out its blood; then he cuts off the hands, and goes to the right foot, and cuts off that, and after that he cuts down the beast until its bowels are discovered; he takes the knife and separates the lights from the liver, and the caul of the liver from the liver, and does not remove the liver out of its place; and he goes up to the right side, and cuts and descends to the backbone, and he does not go to the backbone until he comes to the two tender ribs; he comes to the neck, and leaves in it two ribs here and two ribs there; he cuts it and comes to the left side, and leaves in it two tender ribs above and two tender ribs below; then he comes to the point of the backbone, he cuts it, and gives it and the tail, and the caul of the liver, and the two kidneys with it; he takes the left foot and gives it to another; and according to this order they flay and cut in pieces the burnt offering of the cattle; and these are the pieces spoken of in the law, Leviticus 1:6 some apply this to the ministers of the Gospel, rightly dividing the word of God, and to the effect the word has in dividing asunder soul and spirit; but it is best to apply it to Christ, either to the evidence given of him in the Gospel, in which he is clearly set forth in his person, natures, and offices, and in all the parts and branches thereof; where every thing is naked and open to view, as the creature was when thus cut up; or rather to his sufferings, which he endured in every part of his body, from head to foot.

(p) Hilchot Korbanot, c. 5. sect. 18. (q) Ib. c. 6. sect. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Vid. Misnah Tamid, c. 4. sect. 2, 3.

And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 6. - He shall flay the burnt offering. The hide was given to the priest (Leviticus 7:8). The whole of the remainder of the animal was consumed by the fire of the altar; none of it was eaten by the offerer and his friends as in the peace offerings, or even by the ministers of God as in the sin offerings; it was a whole burnt offering. His pieces, into which it was to be cut, means the customary pieces. 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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