Why have you not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God has given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Wherefore have ye not eaten? . . . —As enjoined in Leviticus 6:26.
God hath given it.—That is, He has given to you the flesh of the sin offering to cat. (See Leviticus 6:29.)
To bear the iniquity of the congregation.—Better, to remove the iniquity of the congregation, which the priests did by making atonement for them before the Lord, as is explained in the next clause. Accordingly the flesh of the sin offering is given to the priests, that by the act of eating it they may visibly show the offerer that God has graciously accepted the expiatory sacrifice, and that it is a most holy thing. The phrase “to bear iniquity” often signifies “to bear away, to remove, to forgive iniquity.” (Comp. Genesis 1:17; Exodus 32:32; Psalm 32:1; Psalm 32:5, &c.) Hence the most ancient Versions translate it here, “that ye may take away or remove” (LXX., the Chaldee, the Syriac, &c.). The rendering of the Authorised Version, however, is that of the Vulgate, which has been followed by the Reformers both in England and on the continent, as well as by several modern expositors. This is supported by the meaning of the phrase “to bear the iniquity” in Exodus 28:38; Numbers 18:1; Ezekiel 4:4-6. Those who follow this rendering take the passage to mean that the priest, by eating or incorporating the victim on which the offerer had laid his guilt, actually took away the sin, or neutralised it in a mysterious way, by virtue of the sanctifying power belonging to the sacerdotal office. Others, again, who also take the phrase to mean that the priest literally takes the sin upon himself, do not explain it, but simply say, that by eating the sin-laden victim the sins of the offerer were, in some sort, laid upon the priest to be taken away by him, thus prefiguring Christ, who should be both priest and sacrifice.Leviticus 10:17. God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation — It was given them as an encouragement to, and a reward of the careful performance of that part of their duty, whereby they expiated, bore, and took away the sins of the people by offering those sacrifices, by which, as being typical of the sacrifice of the Messiah, God was reconciled to the penitent and believing offerers.Exodus 28:38 note.
and God hath given it to you, to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord? for by eating the sin offering, or sin itself, as it is in the original text, see Hosea 4:8 they made the sins of the people, for whom the offering was, in some sense their own; and they bore them, and made a typical atonement for them; in which they were types of Christ, who was made sin for his people, took their sins upon him, and by imputation they were made his own, and he bore them in his own body on the tree, and made full satisfaction and atonement for them. Now since the eating of the sin offering of the people was of so great importance and consequence, the neglect of it by the priests was very blameworthy.Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. and he hath given it you to bear [mg. to take away] the iniquity of the congregation] Two interpretations of this clause have been proposed, (a) God has given the Sin-Offering for the purpose of taking away the iniquity of the congregation, (b) God has given to you the Sin-Offering (the part not burnt on the altar) to eat for the purpose of bearing (or taking away) the iniquity … The first is a general statement as to the efficacy of the Sin-Offering; the second attributes an atoning value to the eating by the priests, although not to this action apart from the ceremonial of which it formed a constituent portion. The acceptance of a sacrifice depends on the due observance of the whole appointed ritual, and each action as contributing towards the acceptance of the whole may be said to have an atoning value.Exodus 12:17), that they might be able to distinguish between the holy and common, the clean and unclean, and also to instruct the children of Israel in all the laws which God had spoken to them through Moses (ו...ו, Leviticus 10:10 and Leviticus 10:11, et...et, both...and also). Shecar was an intoxicating drink made of barley and dates or honey. הל, profanus, common, is a wider or more comprehensive notion than טמא, unclean. Everything was common (profane) which was not fitted for the sanctuary, even what was allowable for daily use and enjoyment, and therefore was to be regarded as clean. The motive for laying down on this particular occasion a prohibition which was to hold good for all time, seems to lie in the event recorded in Leviticus 10:1, although we can hardly infer from this, as some commentators have done, that Nadab and Abihu offered the unlawful incense-offering in a state of intoxication. The connection between their act and this prohibition consisted simply in the rashness, which had lost the clear and calm reflection that is indispensable to right action.
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