Leviticus 22:20
But whatever has a blemish, that shall you not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) But whatsoever hath a blemish.—Better. whatsoever hath, &c, without the “but,” which is not in the original, and is not wanted. The general rule is here repeated as an introduction to the cases which are immediately to be specified. It will be seen that only quadrupeds are given and that fowls are not alluded to, because when people brought birds the Law did not require any distinction to be made between male and female, and during the second Temple no blemish disqualified a bird except the entire absence of a limb.

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.Ye shall offer at your own will a male - Rather, That it may be accepted (so Leviticus 22:29) for you it shall be a male. See Leviticus 1:3. It is the same phrase as in Leviticus 22:20-21, Leviticus 22:27. 19. Ye shall offer at your own will—rather, to your being accepted.

a male without blemish—This law (Le 1:3) is founded on a sense of natural propriety, which required the greatest care to be taken in the selection of animals for sacrifice. The reason for this extreme caution is found in the fact that sacrifices are either an expression of praise to God for His goodness, or else they are the designed means of conciliating or retaining His favor. No victim that was not perfect in its kind could be deemed a fitting instrument for such purposes if we assume that the significance of sacrifices is derived entirely from their relation to Jehovah. Sacrifices may be likened to gifts made to a king by his subjects, and hence the reasonableness of God's strong remonstrance with the worldly-minded Jews (Mal 1:8). If the tabernacle, and subsequently the temple, were considered the palace of the great King, then the sacrifices would answer to presents as offered to a monarch on various occasions by his subjects; and in this light they would be the appropriate expressions of their feelings towards their sovereign. When a subject wished to do honor to his sovereign, to acknowledge allegiance, to appease his anger, to supplicate forgiveness, or to intercede for another, he brought a present; and all the ideas involved in sacrifices correspond to these sentiments—those of gratitude, of worship, of prayer, of confession and atonement [Bib. Sac.].

No text from Poole on this verse. For whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer,.... Which is the general rule, the particulars of which are after given, and which has been imitated by the Heathens. The Egyptians, as they only sacrificed the males of beeves, so they were very curious in examining them, that they might be entirely pure and perfect (s); and it was a custom among the Romans, that such sheep should be chosen for sacrifice, in which there was nothing wanting (t); and so, among the Grecians, Homer (u) speaks of perfect goats offered in sacrifice to appease the gods:

for it shall not be acceptable for you; be grateful to God, and accepted by him on their account, if blemished; see Malachi 1:13.

(s) Heredot. Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 38. (t) Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 4. (u) Iliad. 1. ver. 66.

But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
But if any one (i.e., a layman) should eat unawares of that which was sanctified, he was to bring it, i.e., an equivalent for it, with the addition of a fifth as a compensation for the priest; like a man who had sinned by unfaithfulness in relation to that which was sanctified (Leviticus 5:16). - In the concluding exhortation in Leviticus 22:15 and Leviticus 22:16, the subject to יחלּלוּ (profane) and השּׂאוּ (bear) is indefinite, and the passage to be rendered thus: "They are not to profane the sanctified gifts of the children of Israel, what they heave for the Lord (namely, by letting laymen eat of them), and are to cause them (the laymen) who do this unawares to bear a trespass-sin (by imposing the compensation mentioned in Leviticus 22:14), if they eat their (the priests') sanctified gifts." Understood in this way, both verses furnish a fitting conclusion to the section Leviticus 22:10-14. On the other hand, according to the traditional interpretation of these verses, the priesthood is regarded as the subject of the first verb, and a negative supplied before the second. Both of these are arbitrary and quite indefensible, because Leviticus 22:10-14 do not refer to the priests but to laymen, and in the latter case we should expect אליהם ישׂאוּ רלא (cf. Leviticus 22:9) instead of the unusual אותם השּׂאוּ.
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