And the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD, even before the veil.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Leviticus 4:17-18. And sprinkle it — It was not to be poured out there, but sprinkled only; for the cleansing virtue of the blood of Christ was sufficiently represented by sprinkling. It was sprinkled seven times — Because God made the world in six days, and rested the seventh. This signified the perfect satisfaction Christ made, and the complete cleansing of our souls thereby. The altar — Of incense; Which is before the Lord — That is, before the holy of holies, where the Lord was in a more special manner present.
to the tabernacle of the congregation; as he brought the blood of his own bullock, Leviticus 4:5 from hence to the Leviticus 4:16 an account is given of the same rites to be observed in the sin offering, for the congregation, as for the anointed priest; See Gill on Leviticus 4:6, Leviticus 4:7, Leviticus 4:12.And the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD, even before the vail.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Leviticus 1:9) and the foeces, in fact the whole bullock, was to be carried out by him (the sacrificing priest) to a clean place before the camp, to which the ashes of the sacrifices were carried from the ash-heap (Leviticus 1:16), and there burnt on the wood with fire. (On the construction of Leviticus 4:11 and Leviticus 4:12 see Ges. 145, 2).
The different course, adopted with the blood and flesh of the sin-offerings, from that prescribed in the ritual of the other sacrifices, was founded upon the special signification of these offerings. As they were presented to effect the expiation of sins, the offerer transferred the consciousness of sin and the desire for forgiveness to the head of the animal that had been brought in his stead, by the laying on of his hand; and after this the animal was slaughtered, and suffered death for him as the wages of sin. But as sin is not wiped out by the death of the sinner, unless it be forgiven by the grace of God, so devoting to death an animal laden with sin rendered neither a real nor symbolical satisfaction or payment for sin, by which the guilt of it could be wiped away; but the death which it endured in the sinner's stead represented merely the fruit and effect of sin. To cover the sinner from the holiness of God because of his sin, some of the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled seven times before Jehovah in the holy place; and the covenant fellowship, which had been endangered, was thereby restored. After this, however, the soul, which was covered in the sacrificial blood, was given up to the grace of God that prevailed in the altar, by means of the sprinkling of the blood upon the horns of the altar of incense, that it might receive the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God, and the full enjoyment of the blessings of the covenant be ensured to it once more. But the sin, that had been laid upon the animal of the sin-offering, lay upon it still. The next thing done, therefore, was to burn the fat portions of its inside upon the altar of burnt-offering. Now, if the flesh of the victim represented the body of the offerer as the organ of his soul, the fat portions inside the body, together with the kidneys, which were regarded as the seat of the tenderest and deepest emotions, can only have set forth the better part or inmost kernel of the man, the ἔσω ἄνθρωπος (Romans 7:22; Ephesians 3:16). By burning the fat portions upon the altar, the better part of human nature was given up in symbol to the purifying fire of the Holy Spirit of God, that it might be purified from the dross of sin, and ascend in its glorified essence to heaven, for a sweet savour unto the Lord (Leviticus 4:31). The flesh of the sin-offering, however, or "the whole bullock," was then burned in a clean place outside the camp, though not merely that it might be thereby destroyed in a clean way, like the flesh provided for the sacrificial meals, which had not been consumed at the time fixed by the law (Leviticus 7:17; Leviticus 8:32; Leviticus 19:6; Exodus 12:10; Exodus 29:34), or the flesh of the sacrifices, which had been defiled by contact with unclean objects (Leviticus 7:19); for if the disposal of the flesh formed an integral part of the sacrificial ceremony in the case of all the other sacrifices, and if, in the case of the sin-offerings, the blood of which was not brought into the interior of the sanctuary, the priests were to eat the flesh in a holy place, and that not "as a portion assigned to them by God as an honourable payment," but, according to the express declaration of Moses, "to bear and take away (לשׂאת) the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them" (Leviticus 10:17), the burning of the flesh of the sin-offerings, i.e., of the animal itself, the blood of which was not brought into the holy place, cannot have been without significance, or simply the means adopted to dispose of it in a fitting manner, but must also have formed one factor in the ceremony of expiation. The burning outside the camp was rendered necessary, because the sacrifice had respect to the expiation of the priesthood, and the flesh or body of the bullock, which had been made חטּאת by the laying on of the hand, could not be eaten by the priests as the body of sin, that by the holiness of their official character they might bear and expiate the sin imputed to the sacrifice (see at Leviticus 10:17). In this case it was necessary that it should be given up to the effect of sin, viz., to death or destruction by fire, and that outside the camp; in other words, outside the kingdom of God, from which everything dead was removed. But, inasmuch as it was sacrificial flesh, and therefore most holy by virtue of its destination; in order that it might not be made an abomination, it was not to be burned in an unclean place, where carrion and other abominations were thrown (Leviticus 14:40, Leviticus 14:45), but in the clean place, outside the camp, to which the ashes of the altar of burnt-offering were removed, as being the earthly sediment and remains of the sacrifices that had ascended to God in the purifying flames of the altar-fire.
(Note: The most holy character of the flesh of the sin-offering (Leviticus 6:18.) furnishes no valid argument against the correctness of this explanation of the burning; for, in the first place, there is an essential difference between real or inherent sin, and sin imputed or merely transferred; and secondly, the flesh of the sin-offering was called most holy, not in a moral, but only in a liturgical or ritual sense, as subservient to the most holy purpose of wiping away sin; on which account it was to be entirely removed from all appropriation to earthly objects. Moreover, the idea that sin was imputed to the sin-offering, that it was made sin by the laying on of the hand, has a firm basis in the sacrifice of the red cow (Numbers 19), and also occurs among the Greeks (see Oehler in Herzog's Cycl.).)
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