Leviticus 24:1
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XXIV.

(1) And the Lord spake unto Moses.—The regulations about the annual festivals and the ritual connected with them are now followed by directions with regard to the daily service and its ritual.

Leviticus 24:1. After the foregoing particulars relating to the annual festivals and assemblies, and all things prepared for the tabernacle service, he proceeds to remind the Israelites of executing the orders before given, about providing at the public charge all materials for the daily service; and in particular a sufficient quantity of oil for the lamps of the golden candlestick, which were to burn continually in the holy place without the veil, the priests in waiting being obliged to keep this candlestick clean and pure, and to trim and supply the lamps morning and evening.24:1-9 The loaves of bread typify Christ as the Bread of life, and the food of the souls of his people. He is the Light of his church, the Light of the world; in and through his word this light shines. By this light we discern the food prepared for our souls; and we should daily, but especially from sabbath to sabbath, feed thereon in our hearts with thanksgiving. And as the loaves were left in the sanctuary, so should we abide with God till he dismiss us.The oil for the lamps of the tabernacle and the meal for the showbread were to be offerings from the Congregation, like the meal for the Pentecostal loaves, Leviticus 23:17. It appears that the responsibility of keeping up the lights rested on the high priest, but the actual service might be performed, on ordinary occasions, by the common priests. Compare margin reference.CHAPTER 24

Le 24:1-23. Oil for the Lamps.The oil for the lamps, Leviticus 24:1-4. The shew-bread, Leviticus 24:5-9. Shelomith’s son blasphemeth, Leviticus 24:10-12. The law of blasphemy, Leviticus 24:13-16. Of murder, Leviticus 24:17. Of damage, Leviticus 24:18-22. The blasphemer is stoned, Leviticus 24:23.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... After he had delivered to him the laws concerning the purity of the priests, and the perfection of the sacrifices they were to offer, and concerning the feasts the people were to keep, he spoke to Moses of some other things which concerned both people and priests:

saying; as follows.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1–3. These vv. agree almost verbatim with Exodus 27:20 f. The care of the lamps is also enjoined in Exodus 25:31 ff.; cp. Exodus 37:17 ff.Verses 1-4. - The ordinance on the lamps contained in the first three verses is repeated from Exodus 27:20. The oil to be used for the lamps was to be pure oil olive, that is, oil made of picked berries, without any intermixture of dust or twigs; and it was to be beaten instead of "pressed," because when the berries were crushed in the olive-press, small portions of them became mixed with and discoloured the oil, which was, therefore, less pure than when the fruit was simply beaten and then left to drain. The lamps were to burn continually; that is, from evening to morning every night. Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation; that is, in the holy place, as distinct from the holy of holies. Aaron, either personally or by his sons (see Exodus 27:21), was to dress the lamps every morning, and light them every evening (Exodus 30:7). The lamps were upon the seven-branched candlestick, which is called the pure candlestick, because made of gold. The light of the seven-branched candlestick symbolized the enlightening power of the Holy Spirit, which should illumine God's Church (Zechariah 4:2-6; Revelation 1:12, 20). "Beside the Sabbaths:" i.e., the Sabbath sacrifices (see Numbers 28:9-10), and the gifts and offerings, which formed no integral part of the keeping of the feasts and Sabbaths, but might be offered on those days. מתּנות, gifts, include all the dedicatory offerings, which were presented to the Lord without being intended to be burned upon the altar; such, for example, as the dedicatory gifts of the tribe-princes (Numbers 7), the firstlings and tithes, and other so-called heave-offerings (Numbers 18:11, Numbers 18:29). By the "vows" and נדבות, "freewill-offerings," we are to understand not only the votive and freewill slain or peace-offerings, but burnt-offerings also, and meat-offerings, which were offered in consequence of a vow, or from spontaneous impulse (see Judges 11:31, where Jephthah vows a burnt-offering). - In Leviticus 23:39. there follows a fuller description of the observance of the last feast of the year, for which the title, "feast of Tabernacles" (Leviticus 23:34), had prepared the way, as the feast had already been mentioned briefly in Exodus 23:16 and Exodus 34:22 as "feast of Ingathering," though hitherto no rule had been laid down concerning the peculiar manner in which it was to be observed. In connection with this epithet in Exodus, it is described again in Leviticus 23:39, as in Leviticus 23:35, Leviticus 23:36, as a seven days' feast, with sabbatical rest on the first and eighth day; and in Leviticus 23:40. the following rule is given for its observance: "Take to you fruit of ornamental trees, palm-branches, and boughs of trees with thick foliage, and willows of the brook, and rejoice before the Lord your God seven days, every native in Israel." If we observe that there are only three kinds of boughs that are connected together by the copula (vav) in Leviticus 23:40, and that it is wanting before תם כּפּת, there can hardly be any doubt that הדר עץ פּרי is the generic term, and that the three names which follow specify the particular kinds of boughs. By "the fruits," therefore, we understand the shoots and branches of the trees, as well as the blossom and fruit that grew out of them. הדר עץ, "trees of ornament:" we are not to understand by these only such trees as the orange and citron, which were placed in gardens for ornament rather than use, as the Chald. and Syr. indicate, although these trees grow in the gardens of Palestine (Rob., Pal. i. 327, iii. 420). The expression is a more general one, and includes myrtles, which were great favourites with the ancients, on account of their beauty and the fragrant odour which they diffused, olive-trees, palms, and other trees, which were used as booths in Ezra's time (Nehemiah 8:15). In the words, "Take fruit of ornamental trees," it is not expressly stated, it is true, that this fruit was to be used, like the palm-branches, for constructing booths; but this is certainly implied in the context: "Take...and rejoice...and keep a feast...in the booths shall he dwell." בּסּכּת with the article is equivalent to "in the booths which ye have constructed from the branches mentioned" (cf. Ges. 109, 3). It was in this sense that the law was understood and carried out in the time of Ezra (Nehemiah 8:15.).

(Note: Even in the time of the Maccabees, on the other hand (cf. 2 Macc. 10:6, 7), the feast of the Purification of the Temple was celebrated by the Jews after the manner of the Tabernacles (κατὰ σκηνωμάτων τρόπον); so that they offered songs of praise, holding (ἔχοντες, carrying?) leafy poles (θύρσους, not branches of ivy, cf. Grimm. ad l.c.) and beautiful branches, also palms; in the time of Christ it was the custom to have sticks or poles (staves) of palm-trees and citron-trees (θύρσους ἐκ φοινίκων καὶ κιτρέων: Josephus, Ant. xiii. 13, 5), or to carry in the hand a branch of myrtle and willow bound round with wool, with palms at the top and an apple of the περσέα (peach or pomegranate?) upon it (εἰρεσιώνην μυρσίνης καὶ ἰτέας σὺν κράδῃ φοίνικος πεποιημένην τοῦ μήλου τοῦ τῆς Περσέας προσόντος). This custom, which was still further developed in the Talmud, where a bunch made of palm, myrtle, and willow boughs is ordered to be carried in the right hand, and a citron or orange in the left, has no foundation in the law: it sprang rather out of an imitation of the Greek harvest-feast of the Pyanepsia and Bacchus festivals, from which the words θύρσοι and εἰρεσιώνη were borrowed by Josephus, and had been tacked on by the scribes to the text of the Bible (v. 40) in the best way they could. See Bδhr, Symbol. ii. p. 625, and the innumerable trivial laws in Mishna Succa and Succa Codex talm. babyl. sive de tabernaculorum festo ed. Dachs. Utr. 1726, 4.)

The leading character of the feast of Tabernacles, which is indicated at the outset by the emphatic אך (Leviticus 23:39, see at Leviticus 23:27), was to consist in "joy before the Lord." As a "feast," i.e., a feast of joy (חג, from חגג equals חוּג, denoting the circular motion of the dance, 1 Samuel 30:16), it was to be kept for seven days; so that Israel "should be only rejoicing," and give itself up entirely to joy (Deuteronomy 16:15). Now, although the motive assigned in Deut. is this: "for God will bless thee (Israel) in all thine increase, and in all the work of thine hands;" and although the feast, as a "feast of ingathering," was a feast of thanksgiving for the gathering in of the produce of the land, "the produce of the floor and wine-press;" and the blessing they had received in the harvested fruits, the oil and wine, which contributed even more to the enjoyment of life than the bread that was needed for daily food, furnished in a very high degree the occasion and stimulus to the utterance of grateful joy: the origin and true signification of the feast of Tabernacles are not to be sought for in this natural allusion to the blessing of the harvest, but the dwelling in booths was the principal point in the feast; and this was instituted as a law for all future time (Leviticus 23:41), that succeeding generations might know that Jehovah had caused the children of Israel to dwell in booths when He led them out of Egypt (Leviticus 23:43). סכּה, a booth or hut, is not to be confounded with אחל a tent, but comes from סכך texuit, and signifies casa, umbraculum ex frondibus ramisque consertum (Ges. thes. s. v.), serving as a defence both against the heat of the sun, and also against wind and rain (Psalm 31:21; Isaiah 4:6; Jonah 4:5). Their dwelling in booths was by no means intended, as Bhr supposes, to bring before the minds of the people the unsettled wandering life of the desert, and remind them of the trouble endured there, for the recollection of privation and want can never be an occasion of joy; but it was to place vividly before the eyes of the future generations of Israel a memorial of the grace, care, and protection which God afforded to His people in the great and terrible wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:15). Whether the Israelites, in their journey through the wilderness, not only used the tents which they had taken with them (cf. Leviticus 14:8; Exodus 16:1; Exodus 18:7; Exodus 33:8.; Numbers 16:26., Leviticus 24:5, etc.), but erected booths of branches and bushes in those places of encampment where they remained for a considerable time, as the Bedouins still do sometimes in the peninsula of Sinai (Burckhardt, Syrien, p. 858), or not; at all events, the shielding and protecting presence of the Lord in the pillar of cloud and fire was, in the words of the prophet, "a booth (tabernacle) for a shadow in the day-time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain" (Isaiah 4:6) in the barren wilderness, to those who had just been redeemed out of Egypt. Moreover, the booths used at this feast were not made of miserable shrubs of the desert, but of branches of fruit-trees, palms and thickly covered trees, the produce of the good and glorious land into which God had brought them (Deuteronomy 8:7.); and in this respect they presented a living picture of the plenteous fulness of blessing with which the Lord had enriched His people. This fulness of blessing was to be called to mind by their dwelling in booths; in order that, in the land "wherein they ate bread without scarceness and lacked nothing, where they built goodly houses and dwelt therein; where their herds and flocks, their silver and their gold, and all that they had, multiplied" (Deuteronomy 8:9, Deuteronomy 8:12-13), they might not say in their hearts, "My power, and the might of mine hand, hath gotten me this wealth," but might remember that Jehovah was their God, who gave them power to get wealth (Leviticus 23:17, Leviticus 23:18), that so their heart might not "be lifted up and forget Jehovah their God, who had led them out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage." If, therefore, the foliage of the booths pointed to the glorious possessions of the inheritance, which the Lord had prepared for His redeemed people in Canaan, yet the natural allusion of the feast, which was superadded to the historical, and subordinate to it, - viz., to the plentiful harvest of rich and beautiful fruits, which they had gathered in from this inheritance, and could now enjoy in peace after the toil of cultivating the land was over, - would necessarily raise their hearts to still higher joy through their gratitude to the Lord and Giver of all, and make this feats a striking figure of the blessedness of the people of God when resting from their labours.

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