Leviticus 4:6
And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) And the priest shall dip his finger.—The different treatment of the blood is here to be noticed. Whilst in the case of the other sacrifices the priest threw the blood upon the walls of the altar of burnt offering (see Leviticus 1:5), in the sin offering before us the high priest is first of all to dip his finger seven times in the blood, and sprinkle it before the Lord. The finger, according to the rules which obtained during the second Temple, was that of the right hand, as the blood was always taken and sprinkled with the right hand. Seven, being a complete number, is used for the perfect finishing of a work. Hence the seven days of creation (Genesis 2:2-3); seven branches were in the golden candlestick (Exodus 25:37; Exodus 37:23); seven times the blood was sprinkled on the day of atonement (Leviticus 16:14); seven times was the oil sprinkled upon the altar when it was consecrated (Leviticus 8:11); seven days were required for consecrating the priests (Leviticus 8:35); seven days were necessary for purifying the defiled (Leviticus 12:2; Numbers 19:19); seven times Naaman washed in the Jordan (2Kings 5:10; 2Kings 5:14); seven days Jericho was besieged, and seven priests with seven trumpets blew when the walls fell down (Joshua 6); the lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God (Revelation 5:6); seven seals are on God’s book (Revelation 1:5), &c.

Before the Lord.—As the Lord was enthroned on the mercy-seat between the cherubim (Exodus 25:22) in the holy of holies, the phrase “before the Lord” is. used for the place in front of the holy of holies, where the altar of incense, the shewbread, and the golden candlestick stood (Exodus 27:21; Exodus 28:35; Exodus 30:8; Exodus 34:34, &c.), and towards which the blood was sprinkled.

Before the vail of the sanctuary.—This phrase is simply explanatory of the former phrase. As the vail separated the holy of holies, where the shechinah dwelt, from the holy place, the words are simply used as another expression for “before the Lord.” This clause has, however, been variously interpreted from time immemorial. As before is not in the original. but is supplied in the translation, some have maintained that the vail itself was sprinkled; whilst others, who, with the Authorised Version, regard the whole phrase to mean “before the vail,” declare that the blood was sprinkled on the floor of the sanctuary in front of the vail.

Leviticus 4:6. Seven times — A number much used in Scripture, as a number of perfection; and here prescribed, either to show that his sins needed more than ordinary purgation, and more exercise of his faith and repentance, both which graces he was obliged to join with that ceremonial rite. Before the veil — The second veil, dividing between the holy place and the holy of holies, which is generally called the veil of the sanctuary.

4:1-12 Burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and peace-offerings, had been offered before the giving of the law upon mount Sinai; and in these the patriarchs had respect to sin, to make atonement for it. But the Jews were now put into a way of making atonement for sin, more particularly by sacrifice, as a shadow of good things to come; yet the substance is Christ, and that one offering of himself, by which he put away sin. The sins for which the sin-offerings were appointed are supposed to be open acts. They are supposed to be sins of commission, things which ought not to have been done. Omissions are sins, and must come into judgment: yet what had been omitted at one time, might be done at another; but a sin committed was past recall. They are supposed to be sins committed through ignorance. The law begins with the case of the anointed priest. It is evident that God never had any infallible priest in his church upon earth, when even the high priest was liable to fall into sins of ignorance. All pretensions to act without error are sure marks of Antichrist. The beast was to be carried without the camp, and there burned to ashes. This was a sign of the duty of repentance, which is the putting away sin as a detestable thing, which our soul hates. The sin-offering is called sin. What they did to that, we must do to our sins; the body of sin must be destroyed, Ro 6:6. The apostle applies the carrying this sacrifice without the camp to Christ, Heb 13:11-13.Before the vail of the sanctuary - This is generally understood to mean the floor of the holy place in front of the veil. Le 4:3-35. Sin Offering for the Priest.

3. If the priest that is anointed do sin—that is, the high priest, in whom, considering his character as typical mediator, and his exalted office, the people had the deepest interest; and whose transgression of any part of the divine law, therefore, whether done unconsciously or heedlessly, was a very serious offense, both as regarded himself individually, and the influence of his example. He is the person principally meant, though the common order of the priesthood was included.

according to the sin of the people—that is, bring guilt on the people. He was to take a young bullock (the age and sex being expressly mentioned), and having killed it according to the form prescribed for the burnt offerings, he was to take it into the holy place and sprinkle the atoning blood seven times before the veil, and tip with the crimson fluid the horns of the golden altar of incense, on his way to the court of the priests,—a solemn ceremonial appointed only for very grave and heinous offenses, and which betokened that his sin, though done in ignorance, had vitiated all his services; nor could any official duty he engaged in be beneficial either to himself or the people, unless it were atoned for by blood.

Seven times; a number much used in Scripture, as a number of perfection; and here prescribed, either to show that his sins needed more than ordinary purgation, and more frequent and manifest exercises of his faith and repentance, both which graces he was obliged to join with that ceremonial rite.

Before the veil, to wit, the second veil dividing between the holy of holies, which is generally called by the name here used, as Exodus 26:31 35:12 40:3,21 Num 4:5.

And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood,.... The finger of his right hand, as Gersom observes, and so Maimonides (r); for blood was always taken and sprinkled with the right hand, if done with the left it was wrong, according to the Jewish canons (s) and though it is only said the priest, and not that is anointed, as before, yet it seems to mean him and not another; though if a private priest did this, Gersom says, it would be right, and so Maimonides (t):

and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord; a figure of the blood of Christ, called, in allusion to this rite, the blood of sprinkling; which being presented before the Lord, calls for pardon from him, and sprinkled on the conscience, speaks peace there, and perfectly cleanses from all sin, which the seven times sprinkling is a symbol of:

before the vail of the sanctuary: the words may be literally rendered, "the face of the vail of the sanctuary": as if the blood was sprinkled on the outside of the vail. Jarchi's note is,"over against the place of its holiness, he directed (it) over against between the staves; the blood shall not touch the vail, but if it touches, it touches it;''that is, it is no matter. And according to Maimonides (u) the blood of bullocks and goats burnt was sprinkled seven times upon the vail, which divided between the and the holy of holies. This typified the vail of flesh, whose blood gives boldness to enter into the holiest of all, Hebrews 10:19.

(r) Maaseh Hakorbanot, c. 5. sect. 7. Bartenora in Misn. Menachot, c. 3. sect. 4. (s) Misn. Zebachim, c. 2. sect. 1. & Bartenora in ib. (t) Maaseh Hakorbanot, c. 5. sect. 15. (u) Ib. sect. 13.

And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the {d} sanctuary.

(d) Which was between the holiest of holies and the sanctuary.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Leviticus 4:6The presentation, laying on of hands, and slaughtering, were the same as in the case of the other sacrifices (Leviticus 1:3-5). The first peculiarity occurs in connection with the blood (Leviticus 4:5-7). The anointed priest was to take (a part) of the blood and carry it into the tabernacle, and having dipped his finger in it, to sprinkle some of it seven times before Jehovah "in the face of the vail of the Holy" (Exodus 26:31), i.e., in the direction towards the curtain; after that, he was to put (נתן) some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of incense, and then to pour out the great mass of the blood, of which only a small portion had been used for sprinkling and smearing upon the horns of the altar, at the bottom of the altar of burnt-offering. A sevenfold sprinkling "in the face of the vail" also took place in connection with the sin-offering for the whole congregation, as well as with the ox and he-goat which the high priest offered as sin-offerings on the day of atonement for himself, the priesthood, and the congregation, when the blood was sprinkled seven times before (לפני) the capporeth (Leviticus 16:14), and seven times upon the horns of the altar (Leviticus 16:18-19). So too the blood of the red cow, that was slaughtered as a sin-offering outside the camp, was sprinkled seven times in the direction towards the tabernacle (Numbers 19:4). The sevenfold sprinkling at the feast of atonement had respect to the purification of the sanctuary from the blemishes caused by the sins of the people, with which they had been defiled in the course of the year (see at ch. 16), and did not take place till after the blood had been sprinkled once "against (? upon) the capporeth in front" for the expiation of the sin of the priesthood and people, and the horns of the altar had been smeared with the blood (Leviticus 16:14, Leviticus 16:18); whereas in the sin-offerings mentioned in this chapter, the sevenfold sprinkling preceded the application of the blood to the horns of the altar. This difference in the order of succession of the two manipulations with the blood leads to the conclusion, that in the case before us the sevenfold sprinkling had a different signification from that which it had on the day atonement, and served as a preliminary and introduction to the expiation. The blood also was not sprinkled upon the altar of the holy place, but only before Jehovah, against the curtain behind which Jehovah was enthroned, that is to say, only into the neighbourhood of the gracious presence of God; and this act was repeated seven times, that in the number seven, as the stamp of the covenant, the covenant relation, which sin had loosened, might be restored. It was not till after this had been done, that the expiatory blood of the sacrifice was put upon the horns of the altar, - not merely sprinkled or swung against the wall of the altar, but smeared upon the horns of the altar; not, however, that the blood might thereby be brought more prominently before the eyes of God, or lifted up into His more immediate presence, as Hoffmann and Knobel suppose, but because the significance of the altar, as the scene of the manifestation of the divine grace and salvation, culminated in the horns, as the symbols of power and might. In the case of the sin-offerings for the high priest and the congregation, the altar upon which this took place was not the altar of burnt-offering in the court, but the altar of incense in the holy place; because both the anointed priest, by virtue of his calling and consecration as the mediator between the nation and the Lord, and the whole congregation, by virtue of its election as a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6), were to maintain communion with the covenant God in the holy place, the front division of the dwelling-place of Jehovah, and were thus received into a closer relation of fellowship with Jehovah than the individual members of the nation, for whom the court with its altar was the divinely appointed place of communion with the covenant God. The remainder of the blood, which had not been used in the act of expiation, was poured out at the bottom of the altar of burnt-offering, as the holy place to which all the sacrificial blood was to be brought, that it might be received into the earth.
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