Leviticus 22:17
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
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(17) And the Lord spake unto Moses.—The laws about the physical features and ceremonial purity of the priests, who are to be devoted to the services of the altar, are now followed by kindred precepts about the animals which are to be offered upon the altar.

Leviticus 22:17-18. The Lord spake unto Moses — The following laws relate to the qualifications required in any offering made either by the Israelites or proselytes. For such proselytes as had renounced idolatry, and were proselytes of the gate, termed, Leviticus 22:18, strangers in Israel — Though not circumcised, and obliged to keep the whole law of Moses, were yet permitted, in testimony of their worshipping the true God, to offer free- will-offerings at the Jewish altar, as well as proselytes to the whole Mosaic system, termed proselytes of righteousness.

22:1-33 Laws concerning the priests and sacrifices. - In this chapter we have divers laws concerning the priests and sacrifices, all for preserving the honour of the sanctuary. Let us recollect with gratitude that our great High Priest cannot be hindered by any thing from the discharge of his office. Let us also remember, that the Lord requires us to reverence his name, his truths, his ordinances, and commandments. Let us beware of hypocrisy, and examine ourselves concerning our sinful defilements, seeking to be purified from them in the blood of Christ, and by his sanctifying Spirit. Whoever attempts to expiate his own sin, or draws near in the pride of self-righteousness, puts as great an affront on Christ, as he who comes to the Lord's table from the gratification of sinful lusts. Nor can the minister who loves the souls of the people, suffer them to continue in this dangerous delusion. He must call upon them, not only to repent of their sins, and forsake them; but to put their whole trust in the atonement of Christ, by faith in his name, for pardon and acceptance with God; thus only will the Lord make them holy, as his own people.These verses are rather difficult. Their meaning appears to be: "The holy things of the children of Israel which are heaved before Yahweh" (see Leviticus 7:30) "shall not be profaned; and they shall incur a sin of trespass who eat of their holy things (so as to profane them)." Le 22:17-33. The Sacrifices Must Be without Blemish. No text from Poole on this verse.

And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... At the same time; for having said many things concerning the holiness of priests, whose business it was to offer sacrifices, he adds various things concerning the nature, condition, and circumstances of the sacrifices they were to offer:

saying, as follows.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
17–25. Directions as to the quality of offerings

This passage retains clear signs of a remarkably composite character. Leviticus 22:17-18 a indicate (‘unto Aaron, and to his sons,’ ‘unto all etc.’) that what follows is a blending of directions referring to priests and to the people. But further, Leviticus 22:21 presents what is virtually a repetition of the directions in Leviticus 22:18-20, while the differences in phraseology between the two point to diversity of origin. We notice further that the classes of offerings dealt with differ, viz. Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings respectively, while each of these have the same sub-divisions, i.e. Vows and Freewill-Offerings, the former passage making no reference to other classes of Burnt-Offerings, such as the Sin-Offerings and Guilt-Offerings (4, 5), and the latter ignoring the third species, viz. Thank-Offering (see Leviticus 22:29), included (Leviticus 7:12) under the genus Peace-Offering. Moreover, within the parallelism (Leviticus 22:18-20 as compared with Leviticus 22:21) there are marked differences in phraseology (e.g. ‘of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats,’ Leviticus 22:19, ‘of the herd or of the flock,’ Leviticus 22:21). For other differences see Oxf. Hex., which further points out the frequent changes in number and person in 18a–20 as indicating successive editorial revisions.

Verses 17-25. - Just as the priests who offer to the Lord are to be ceremonially and morally holy, so the animals offered to him are to be physically perfect, in order

(1) to be types of a future perfect Victim,

(2) to symbolize the "perfect heart"which God requires to be given to him, and

(3) to teach the duty of offering to him of our best. Whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer. The list of blemishes and malformations which exclude from the altar is given; they are such as deform the animal, and make it less valuable: blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the Lord, nor any animal that is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut, that is, castrated in any manner. The clause following the mention of castration - neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land - literally translated, neither shall ye make in your land, probably forbids castration altogether, not merely the offering of castrated animals in sacrifice. The expression, Ye shall offer at your own will, should be understood, as before, for your acceptance (see note on Leviticus 2:1). Only one exception is made as to blemished offerings: an animal that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts may be offered for a freewill offering, but not for a vow (for the distinction of these offerings, see note on chapter Leviticus 2:1). These rules as to unblemished victims are to apply to the offerings of strangers as well as of Israelites. Leviticus 22:17Acceptable Sacrifices. - Leviticus 22:18-20. Every sacrifice offered to the Lord by an Israelite or foreigner, in consequence of a vow or as a freewill-offering (cf. Leviticus 7:16), was to be faultless and male, "for good pleasure to the offerer" (cf. Leviticus 1:3), i.e., to secure for him the good pleasure of God. An animal with a fault would not be acceptable.
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