Leviticus 17:2
Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them; This is the thing which the LORD has commanded, saying,
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(2) And unto all the children of Israel.—To understand the import of this phrase, and its bearing upon the injunction in question, it is necessary to notice that the words “and unto all the children of Israel” are here used for the first time. Hitherto the Divine communications were made to (1) Moses alone, without his being ordered to speak to any one else (Leviticus 5:14, Leviticus 6:12, Leviticus 8:1, (Leviticus 14:1); (2) to Moses, with the command to speak to Aaron (Leviticus 16:1); (3) to Moses, with the command to speak to Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 6:1; Leviticus 6:17); (4) to Moses, with a command to speak to the children of Israel (Leviticus 1:1; Leviticus 4:1; Leviticus 7:28; Leviticus 12:1); (5) to Moses and Aaron conjointly, without being ordered to speak to the children of Israel (Leviticus 13:1; Leviticus 14:33); (6) to Moses and Aaron conjointly, who are ordered to speak to the children of Israel (Leviticus 11:1; Leviticus 15:1); and (7) Aaron alone is addressed (Leviticus 10:8). In the chapter before us, however, the communication is made to Moses alone, and he is commanded not only to impart its contents to Aaron and his sons—i.e., the priesthood—but “unto all the children of Israel,” or their representatives, at the same time. The pontiff and the priests are thus put on a level with the ordinary Israelite or the laity, as far as this regulation is concerned. There are only two other occasions on which this phrase is used again, viz., Leviticus 21:24; Leviticus 22:18.

This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded.—To emphasize the importance of the following law Moses is ordered by God to use this additional formula; whilst in other instances where it is used, when important statutes are enacted, Moses uses it of his own accord. (Comp. Exodus 16:16; Exodus 35:4; Leviticus 8:5; Leviticus 9:6; Numbers 30:2; Numbers 36:6.)

17:1-9 All the cattle killed by the Israelites, while in the wilderness, were to be presented before the door of the tabernacle, and the flesh to be returned to the offerer, to be eaten as a peace-offering, according to the law. When they entered Canaan, this only continued in respect of sacrifices. The spiritual sacrifices we are now to offer, are not confined to any one place. We have now no temple or altar that sanctifies the gift; nor does the gospel unity rest only in one place, but in one heart, and the unity of the Spirit. Christ is our Altar, and the true Tabernacle; in him God dwells among men. It is in him that our sacrifices are acceptable to God, and in him only. To set up other mediators, or other altars, or other expiatory sacrifices, is, in effect, to set up other gods. And though God will graciously accept our family offerings, we must not therefore neglect attending at the tabernacle.This chapter, in its immediate bearing on the daily life of the Israelites, stands as the first of four Leviticus 17-20 which set forth practical duties, directing the Israelites to walk, not in the way of the pagan, but according to the ordinances of Yahweh. CHAPTER 17

Le 17:1-16. Blood of Beasts Must Be Offered at the Tabernacle Door.

No text from Poole on this verse. Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons,.... Who were now constituted priests, the business of whose office it was to offer the sacrifices of the people, ordinary and extraordinary:

and to all the children of Israel; who were all under obligation to sacrifices at certain times; under whom may be comprehended the Levites, who were not priests, and the strangers that sojourned in Israel, for these are concerned in the following law:

and say unto them; which is spoken to Moses, who was to say what follows to Aaron, and by him to his sons, and by his sons to the people of Israel, and by them to the strangers:

this is the thing which the Lord hath commanded; ordered to be observed as his will and pleasure by everyone of them:

saying; namely, what follows.

Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them; This is the thing which the LORD hath {a} commanded, saying,

(a) Lest they should practice the idolatry they had learned among the Egyptians.

General directions for the yearly celebration of the day of atonement. - It was to be kept on the tenth day of the seventh month, as an "everlasting statute" (see at Exodus 12:14). On that day the Israelites were to "afflict their souls," i.e., to fast, according to Leviticus 23:32, from the evening of the 9th till the evening of the 10th day. Every kind of work was to be suspended as on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10), by both natives and foreigners (see Exodus 12:49), because this day was a high Sabbath (Exodus 31:15). Both fasting and sabbatical rest are enjoined again in Leviticus 23:27. and Numbers 29:7, on pain of death. The fasting commanded for this day, the only fasting prescribed in the law, is most intimately connected with the signification of the feast of atonement. If the general atonement made on this day was not to pass into a dead formal service, the people must necessarily enter in spirit into the signification of the act of expiation, prepare their souls for it with penitential feelings, and manifest this penitential state by abstinence from the ordinary enjoyments of life. To "afflict (bow, humble) the soul," by restraining the earthly appetites, which have their seat in the soul, is the early Mosaic expression for fasting (צוּם). The latter word came first of all into use in the time of the Judges (Judges 20:26; 1 Samuel 7:6; cf. Psalm 35:13 : "I afflicted my soul with fasting"). "By bowing his soul the Israelite was to place himself in an inward relation to the sacrifice, whose soul was given for his soul; and by this state of mind, answering to the outward proceedings of the day, he was to appropriate the fruit of it to himself, namely, the reconciliation of his soul, which passed through the animal's death" (Baumgarten).
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