Leviticus 22:7
And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food.
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(7) And shall afterward eat . . . because it is his food.—As the sacrifices which were the perquisites of the officiating priests were the only things he had to live upon, the priest who had contracted defilement had virtually to go without food till sundown, when he purified himself by the prescribed lustrations.

That which dieth of itself.—That is, clean animals or birds which have not been properly slaughtered, but have met with an accident. These have already been forbidden to every ordinary Israelite. (See Leviticus 17:15.) In the case of a priest eating the proscribed meat the consequences would be more serious, inasmuch as he would be debarred from his sacerdotal duties.

Keep my ordinance.—That is, one laid down in the preceding verse with reference to animals which died a natural death, &c.

And die therefore, if they profane it.—The death here threatened for the transgression of the ordinance is one not to be inflicted by an earthly tribunal, but, as it was explained during the second Temple, “by the hand of heaven.” Hence the Chaldee version of Jonathan renders it, “lest they be killed for it by a flaming fire” like Nadab and Abihu.

Leviticus 22:7. His food — His portion, the means of his subsistence. This may be added, to signify why there was no greater nor longer a penalty put upon the priests than upon the people in the same case, because his necessity craved some mitigation: though otherwise the priests, being more sacred persons, deserved a greater punishment.

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.The soul - Rather, the person. Compare the use of the word "body" in the Prayer Book version of Psalm 53:1, and in the compounds "somebody, nobody". 4-6. wash his flesh with water—Any Israelite who had contracted a defilement of such a nature as debarred him from the enjoyment of his wonted privileges, and had been legally cleansed from the disqualifying impurity, was bound to indicate his state of recovery by the immersion of his whole person in water. Although all ceremonial impurity formed a ground of exclusion, there were degrees of impurity which entailed a longer or shorter period of excommunication, and for the removal of which different rites required to be observed according to the trivial or the malignant nature of the case. A person who came inadvertently into contact with an unclean animal was rendered unclean for a specified period; and then, at the expiry of that term, he washed, in token of his recovered purity. But a leper was unclean so long as he remained subject to that disease, and on his convalescence, he also washed, not to cleanse himself, for the water was ineffectual for that purpose, but to signify that he was clean. Not a single case is recorded of a leper being restored to communion by the use of water; it served only as an outward and visible sign that such a restoration was to be made. The Book of Leviticus abounds with examples which show that in all the ceremonial washings, as uncleanness meant loss of privileges, so baptism with water indicated a restoration to those privileges. There was no exemption; for as the unclean Israelite was exiled from the congregation, so the unclean priest was disqualified from executing his sacred functions in the sanctuary; and in the case of both, the same observance was required—a formal intimation of their being readmitted to forfeited privileges was intimated by the appointed rite of baptism. If any one neglected or refused to perform the washing, he disobeyed a positive precept, and he remained in his uncleanness; he forbore to avail himself of this privilege, and was therefore said to be "cut off" from the presence of the Lord. i.e. His portion, the means of his subsistence. This may be added to signify why there was no greater nor longer a penalty put upon the priests than upon the people in the same case, Le 11 Le 15, because his necessity craved some mitigation; though otherwise the priests being more sacred persons, and obliged to greater care and exemplariness, deserved a greater punishment.

And when the sun is down he shall be clean,.... Having washed himself in water, otherwise not, though the sun may be set:

and shall afterwards eat of the holy things; the families of the priests lived upon:

because it is his food: his common food, his ordinary diet, that by which he subsists, having nothing else to live upon; this being the ordination of God, that he which ministered about holy things should live on them; and these being his only substance, in compassion to him they were detained from him no longer than the evening; and this was done, to make him careful how he defiled himself, since thereby he was debarred of his ordinary meals.

And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food.
Leviticus 22:7"A soul which touches it," i.e., any son of Aaron, who had touched either an unclean person or thing, was to be unclean till the evening, and then bathe his body; after sunset, i.e., when the day was over, he became clean, and could eat of the sanctified things, for they were his food.
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