When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thereafter it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire to the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat—The three sacrificial quadrupeds. (See Leviticus 22:19 and Leviticus 17:3-6.)
Is brought forth.—From this expression it was enacted during the second Temple that the animal fit for a sacrifice had to be born naturally. One brought into the world by artificial aid was disqualified for the altar.
It shall be seven days under the dam.—Under seven days the animal is extremely weak, and unfit for human food, and hence must not be offered as the food of God, as sacrifices are called. (See Leviticus 22:25.) For the same reason children could not be circumcised before the eighth day from their birth. (See Exodus 22:29.) Because the text here says that the newly born animal is to be with the dam seven days, it was enacted that if the mother died before the seven days (in which case it could not be with the dam seven days), it was for ever disqualified for a sacrifice.From the eighth day. See on Exodus 23:30 23:19.
then it shall be seven days under the dam; whether a calf, or a lamb, or a kid of the goats; it was not to be taken from its dam and killed, either for food or sacrifice, before it was seven days old: Fagius says, the Hebrews give two reasons why a creature might not be offered before the eighth day; one is, that a sabbath might pass over it, nothing being perfect and consistent without it, that giving, as they say (d) perfection and consistence to all the things of the world; and the other, as the heavens and the earth being perfected in seven days, a creature which lives so long seems to be, as it were, perfect; but he observes, if we inquire after the mystical sense of it, a better reason is to be given, namely, that Christ, the type of all the sacrifices, was not to be offered, or suffer death in his infancy, which Herod contrived, but at man's estate; and to show that no man is fit to be a propitiatory sacrifice, through weakness and inability, being unable to stand before the justice of God, only Christ, in whom is perfection of strength:
and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the Lord; become an acceptable burnt offering to God; so Pliny (e) says, that the young of sheep are fit for sacrifice on the eighth day, and of an ox on the thirtieth day; see Exodus 22:30.When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. For the regulation cp. Exodus 22:30 [Heb. 29].Numbers 15:3, Numbers 15:8 : פּלּא, from פּלא to be great, distinguished, wonderful), or as a freewill gift; that is to say, it was to be free from such faults as blindness, or a broken limb (from lameness therefore: Deuteronomy 15:21), or cutting (i.e., mutilation, answering to חרוּם Leviticus 21:18), or an abscess (יבּלת, from יבל to flow, probably a flowing suppurating abscess).
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