And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the sons of Aaron.—The priests are to put the fire upon the altar, because they offered the sacrifice upon the altar. This applies to the first burnt offering which was offered upon the newly-erected altar, since afterwards the fire was always burning, and was never allowed to go out (Leviticus 6:13).
And lay the wood.—No other fuel but wood was allowed for the altar, and no one was allowed to bring it from his own house, but it had to be the wood of the congregation. (Comp. Nehemiah 10:34; Nehemiah 13:31.) It had to be of the best kind; worm-eaten wood or timber from pulled-down buildings was not allowed.Leviticus 1:7. The sons of Aaron shall put fire — The fire was originally kindled from heaven, when the first sacrifices were offered, (Leviticus 9:24,) and was to be carefully preserved and kept burning, (Leviticus 6:13,) and therefore the expression of putting fire upon the altar is to be understood, not of kindling, but of feeding the fire with fresh fuel, or disposing and putting it in order.Leviticus 6:13.
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.
dispose the fire, i.e. blow it up, and put it together, so as it might be fit for the present work. For the fire there used and allowed came down from heaven, Leviticus 9:24, and was to be carefully preserved there, and all other fire was forbidden, Leviticus 10:1, &c. Leviticus 9:24 and this fire was kept burning continually upon the altar, Leviticus 6:12 and yet the Jewish writers say, it was the command of God, according to this passage, that fire should be brought from another place and put here; Jarchi's note on the text is,"though fire came down from heaven, it was commanded to bring it from a common or private place:''and Maimonides (r) says the same thing, and so it is often said in the Talmud (s); and this, as Gersom observes, was not done by any but a priest in the time of his priesthood, or when clothed with his priestly garments; and so in the Talmud it is said, that the putting fire upon the altar belonged to the priesthood, but not flaying or cutting in pieces (t): this fire denoted the wrath of God, revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men, and which is the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, and all the workers of iniquity; and which Christ endured for his people in human nature, when he bore their sins, and became a whole burnt offering for them:
and lay the wood in order upon the fire; the wood for the sacrifice was an offering of the people, brought to the temple at the times appointed, Nehemiah 10:34 where was a place called , "the wood room", or "wood chamber", and which was in the northeast part of the court of the women; and here such priests as had blemishes wormed the wood, or searched the wood for worms; for whatsoever wood had a worm found in it, it was not fit to be laid upon the altar; and it was from hence the priests fetched the wood and laid it on the altar (u); for a private person might not bring it from his own house for his offering (w), though it was provided by the congregation (x), and brought thither by private persons; and it might be any sort of wood but that of the vine and olive (y), which were not used, because they did not burn well, and were soon reduced to ashes; and because such a consumption would be made of such useful trees hereby, that there would be no wine or oil in the land of Israel, so necessary for private and religious uses. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "the pile of wood being laid before": that is, before the fire was put upon the altar; but this is contrary to the text, for the wood was laid upon the fire, and therefore the fire must be first; the case seems to be this, the fire was first kindled, and then the wood laid in order upon it.
(r) Hilchot. Tamidin, c. 2. sect. 1.((s) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 63. 1. Yoma, fol. 21. 2. & 53. 1.((t) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 26. 2. Vid. T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 18. 1.((u) Misn. Middot, c. 2. sect. 5. (w) Issure Mizbeach, c. 5. sect. 13. T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 27. 1.((x) T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 22. 1.((y) Misn. Tamid, c. 2. sect. 3. & T. Bab. Tamid, fol. 29. 2.And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. shall put fire upon the altar] According to Leviticus 6:9-13 the fire is kept burning upon the altar.
lay wood in order] The verb ‘lay in order’ here and in Leviticus 1:8 is different from ‘lay’ in Leviticus 1:4. The wood was collected and brought by the people (Nehemiah 10:34).Verse 7. - The priest shall put fire upon the altar. The fire once kindled was never to be allowed to go out (Leviticus 6:13). Unless, therefore, these words refer to the first occasion only on which a burnt sacrifice was offered, they must mean "make up the fire on the altar" or it might possibly have been the practice, as Bishop Wordsworth (after Maimonides) supposes, that fresh fire was added to the altar fire before each sacrifice. Leviticus 1:2. "If any one of you present an offering to Jehovah of cattle, ye shall present your offering from the herd and from the flock." קרבּן (Corban, from הקריב to cause to draw near, to bring near, or present, an offering) is applied not only to the sacrifices, which were burned either in whole or in part upon the altar (Leviticus 7:38; Numbers 18:9; Numbers 28:2, etc.), but to the first-fruits (Leviticus 2:12), and dedicatory offerings, which were presented to the Lord for His sanctuary and His service without being laid upon the altar (Numbers 7:3, Numbers 7:10., Numbers 31:50). The word is only used in Leviticus and Numbers, and two passages in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 20:28; Ezekiel 40:43), where it is taken from the books of Moses, and is invariably rendered δῶρον in the lxx (cf. Mark 7:11 "Corban, that is to say a gift"). הבּהמה מן (from the cattle) belongs to the first clause, though it is separated from it by the Athnach; and the apodosis begins with הבּקר מן (from the herd). The actual antithesis to "the cattle" is "the fowl" in Leviticus 1:14; though grammatically the latter is connected with Leviticus 1:10, rather than Leviticus 1:2. The fowls (pigeons) cannot be included in the behemah, for this is used to denote, not domesticated animals generally, but the larger domesticated quadrupeds, or tame cattle (cf. Genesis 1:25).
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