And he shall sprinkle of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) And he shall sprinkle.
—He then sprinkled with his right finger, seven times, the middle or top of the altar, the coals and ashes having been previously removed so effectually, that the gold appeared. The remainder of the blood he poured out at the western and south-eastern side of the altar, where a drain communicated with the Kidron, whither it was conducted by a pipe.Leviticus 16:19
. Seven times —
To signify its perfect cleansing (seven being a number of perfection) and our perfect reconciliation by the blood of Christ.
16:15-34 Here are typified the two great gospel privileges, of the remission of sin, and access to God, both of which we owe to our Lord Jesus. See the expiation of guilt. Christ is both the Maker and the Matter of the atonement; for he is the Priest, the High Priest, that makes reconciliation for the sins of the people. And as Christ is the High Priest, so he is the Sacrifice with which atonement is made; for he is all in all in our reconciliation to God. Thus he was figured by the two goats. The slain goat was a type of Christ dying for our sins; the scape-goat a type of Christ rising again for our justification. The atonement is said to be completed by putting the sins of Israel upon the head of the goat, which was sent away into a wilderness, a land not inhabited; and the sending away of the goat represented the free and full remission of their sins. He shall bear upon him all their iniquities. Thus Christ, the Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world, by taking it upon himself, Joh 1:29. The entrance into heaven, which Christ made for us, was typified by the high priest's entrance into the most holy place. See Heb 9:7. The high priest was to come out again; but our Lord Jesus ever lives, making intercession, and always appears in the presence of God for us. Here are typified the two great gospel duties of faith and repentance. By faith we put our hands upon the head of the offering; relying on Christ as the Lord our Righteousness, pleading his satisfaction, as that which alone is able to atone for our sins, and procure us a pardon. By repentance we afflict our souls; not only fasting for a time from the delights of the body, but inwardly sorrowing for sin, and living a life of self-denial, assuring ourselves, that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. By the atonement we obtain rest for our souls, and all the glorious liberties of the children of God. Sinner, get the blood of Christ effectually applied to thy soul, or else thou canst never look God in the face with any comfort or acceptance. Take this blood of Christ, apply it by faith, and see how it atones with God.
The order of the ceremony required that atonement should first be made for the most holy place with the mercy-seat, then for the holy place with the golden altar, and then for the altar in the court. See Leviticus 16:20
, Leviticus 16:33
. The horns of the brazen altar were touched with the blood, as they were in the ordinary sin-offerings. Leviticus 4:25
, Leviticus 4:30
, Leviticus 4:34
Of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat - Some of the blood of the two victims was mingled together in a basin.
11-19. Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself, &c.—The first part of the service was designed to solemnize his own mind, as well as the minds of the people, by offering the sacrifices for their sins. The sin offerings being slain had the sins of the offerer judicially transferred to them by the imputation of his hands on their head (Le 4:4, 15, 24, 29, 33); and thus the young bullock, which was to make atonement for himself and the other priests (called "his house," Ps 135:19), was killed by the hands of the high priest. While the blood of the victim was being received into a vessel, taking a censer of live coals in his right hand and a platter of sweet incense in his left, he, amid the solemn attention and the anxious prayers of the assembled multitude, crossed the porch and the holy place, opened the outer veil which led into the holy of holies and then the inner veil. Standing before the ark, he deposited the censer of coals on the floor, emptied the plate of incense into his hand, poured it on the burning coals; and the apartment was filled with fragrant smoke, intended, according to Jewish writers, to prevent any presumptuous gazer prying too curiously into the form of the mercy seat, which was the Lord's throne. The high priest having done this, perfumed the sanctuary, returned to the door, took the blood of the slain bullock, and, carrying it into the holy of holies, sprinkled it with his finger once upon the mercy seat "eastward"—that is, on the side next to himself; and seven times "before the mercy seat"—that is, on the front of the ark. Leaving the coals and the incense burning, he went out a second time, to sacrifice at the altar of burnt offering the goat which had been assigned as a sin offering for the people; and carrying its blood into the holy of holies, he made similar sprinklings as he had done before with the blood of the bullock. While the high priest was thus engaged in the most holy place, none of the ordinary priests were allowed to remain within the precincts of the tabernacle. The sanctuary or holy place and the altar of burnt offering were in like manner sprinkled seven times with the blood of the bullock and the goat. The object of this solemn ceremonial was to impress the minds of the Israelites with the conviction that the whole tabernacle was stained by the sins of a guilty people, that by their sins they had forfeited the privileges of the divine presence and worship, and that an atonement had to be made as the condition of God's remaining with them. The sins and shortcomings of the past year having polluted the sacred edifice, the expiation required to be annually renewed. The exclusion of the priests indicated their unworthiness and the impurities of their service. The mingled blood of the two victims being sprinkled on the horns of the altar indicated that the priests and the people equally needed an atonement for their sins. But the sanctuary being thus ceremonially purified, and the people of Israel reconciled by the blood of the consecrated victim, the Lord continued to dwell in the midst of them, and to honor them with His gracious presence. Seven times,
to signify its perfect cleansing, seven being a number of perfection, and our perfect reconciliation by the blood of Christ here represented.
And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times,.... This was done with his right finger, or forefinger, as the Targum of Jonathan, and seven times, to denote the perfect cleansing of the altar with it. Jarchi observes, that after he, the high priest, had put the puttings (of blood) upon the horns of it, he sprinkled of it seven sprinklings on the top of it: the Misnah says (u), upon the pure place of it, that is, upon a place of it, from whence the coals and ashes were removed, and where the gold appeared:
and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel; by sprinkling the blood upon it; Jarchi's note is, "and cleanse it" from what was past, "and hallow it" for time to come.
(u) Yoma, c. 5. sect. 6. And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
He was then to slay the bullock of the sin-offering, and make atonement for himself and his house (or family, i.e., for the priests, Leviticus 16:33
). But before bringing the blood of the sin-offering into the most holy place, he was to take "the filling of the censer (machtah, a coal-pan, Exodus 25:38
) with fire-coals," i.e., as many burning coals as the censer would hold, from the altar of burnt-offering, and "the filling of his hands," i.e., two hands full of "fragrant incense" (Exodus 30:34
), and go with this within the vail, i.e., into the most holy place, and there place the incense upon the fire before Jehovah, "that the cloud of (burning) incense might cover the capporeth above the testimony, and he might not die." The design of these instructions was not that the holiest place, the place of Jehovah's presence, might be hidden by the cloud of incense from the gaze of the unholy eye of man, and so he might separate himself reverentially from it, that the person approaching might not be seized with destruction. But as burning incense was a symbol of prayer, this covering of the capporeth with the cloud of incense was a symbolical covering of the glory of the Most Holy One with prayer to God, in order that He might not see the sin, nor suffer His holy wrath to break forth upon the sinner, but might graciously accept, in the blood of the sin-offering, the souls for which it was presented. Being thus protected by the incense from the wrath of the holy God, he was to sprinkle (once) some of the blood of the ox with his finger, first upon the capporeth in front, i.e., not upon the top of the capporeth, but merely upon or against the front of it, and then seven times before the capporeth, i.e., upon the ground in front of it. It is here assumed as a matter of course, that when the offering of incense was finished, he would necessarily come out of the most holy place again, and go to the altar of burnt-offering to fetch some of the blood of the ox which had been slaughtered there.
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