Leviticus 6:8
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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(8) And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying.—This is the fourth instance in which this formula is used (see Leviticus 4:1; Leviticus 5:14; Leviticus 6:1) in Leviticus, and, as in the former passages, introduces a further communication to the Lawgiver. Hitherto the law pointed out to the people under what circumstances and how they are to bring their sacred oblations, now directions are given to the priests how to conduct the sacrificial service of the people.

Leviticus 6:8. The Lord spake unto Moses — Here begins a new subject, and if our Bibles were rightly divided, it ought to begin a new chapter, as in Junius and Tremellius, who join the first seven verses of this chapter to the former. Indeed, according to the Jewish division, the twenty-fifth section of the law begins here.6:8-13 The daily sacrifice of a lamb is chiefly referred to. The priest must take care of the fire upon the altar. The first fire upon the altar came from heaven, ch. 9:24; by keeping that up continually, all their sacrifices might be said to be consumed with the fire from heaven, in token of God's acceptance. Thus should the fire of our holy affections, the exercise of our faith and love, of prayer and praise, be without ceasing.In the day of his trespass offering - The restitution was thus to be associated with the religious act by which the offender testified his penitence. Le 6:8-13. The Law of the Burnt Offering. No text from Poole on this verse. And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... It maybe after some intermission, or pause made; for some here begin a new chapter, and indeed a new section here begins in the Hebrew copies:

saying; as follows:

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
(1) The Burnt-Offering (8–13)

9. the burnt offering shall be on the hearth] It is clear that the Burnt-Offering must rest on the wood that is kindled in order to consume it, and that some further support for both is needed. In the description of the altar in Exodus 27:1-8 no provision is made for a top on which the sacrifices can be placed, but an altar hearth (i.e. a place whereon the sacrifices are burnt) is mentioned in the description of Ezekiel 43:13-17. A ‘hearth’ is a ‘place of burning’; if the Heb. word be so translated, or the rendering of R.V. mg., ‘on its firewood,’ be adopted, the passage adds nothing to the incomplete description of the altar in Exodus 27.

and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning thereon] i.e. on the hearth; for ‘thereon’ A.V. has ‘in it,’ referring to the altar, but the fire burns upon the altar (Leviticus 6:13); it is perhaps better to render by it, i.e. by that which is burnt. The meaning of the verse is: the Burnt-Offering shall remain in the place where it is burnt all night, and the fire of the altar shall be kept up by the wood and the material of the sacrifice.

The sacrifice is that enjoined in Exodus 29:38-42, Numbers 28:3-8, which consisted of two lambs, the one offered in the morning, the other in the evening. It is here provided that the daily evening burnt sacrifice should be kept burning during the night until the priest kindled from it the wood for the morning burnt sacrifice. Thus by means of the two daily sacrifices (described in the singular as ‘a continual burnt offering,’ Numbers 28:6) a perpetual fire was kept burning on the altar. This double daily sacrifice is always described by Jewish tradition as the Tamid, i.e. the continual offering, and is the subject of a special section of the Mishna. Before the exile, as appears from 2 Kings 16:15, a Burnt-Offering was brought only in the morning, and a minḥah or Meal-Offering in the evening; for the restored temple Ezek. prescribes a lamb with a Meal-Offering each morning but makes no provision for an evening sacrifice; even in Ezra’s time the pre-exilic custom of offering a minḥah for the evening oblation appears to be continued (Ezra 9:4-5). The Tamid, as prescribed Exodus 29 and Numbers 28, with the law for the maintenance of a continuous fire on the altar as here enjoined in Leviticus 6:9; Leviticus 6:12, is part of the Priestly Code, and was observed in the second temple from the time that the law which Ezra ‘brought before the congregation’ (Nehemiah 8:2) was accepted by the people.

Chs. Leviticus 6:8 to Leviticus 7:38 [Hebrews 6:1-20; Hebrews 6:7]. The Second Part of the Law of Offerings

See the analysis of this portion in Appendix I (a) where are given reasons for concluding that this group of laws is not by the same hand as the first, and that they have been collected by one who may or may not be identical with the compiler of P, in order to supplement Leviticus 1:1 to Leviticus 6:7. In the main they are concerned with priestly duties and dues.Verses 8-13. - (See note on Leviticus 1:3.) The further ritual of the burnt offering is exhibited in the particular instance of the lamb sacrificed every evening (Exodus 29:33). In other cases the ritual was to be the same. Instead of It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, the reading should be, It, the burnt offering (viz. the evening sacrifice), shall burn upon the hearth upon the altar all night unto the morning. The priest is to wear his priestly dress already appointed (Exodus 28:40) - which was a white linen garment, covering the whole person like a close-fitting English surplice, fastened by a sash - while he is actually officiating at the altar; and thus vested, he is to remove from the altar the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering, or rather, as it would be better translated, the ashes to which the fire hath reduced the burnt offering, and put them beside the altar, that is, on the ash-heap to the east of the altar. On leaving the court of the tabernacle, he is to change his dress, and to carry the ashes of the sacrifice without the camp unto a clean place. The priest is also instructed to lay fresh wood on the altar fire every morning, in preparation for the morning sacrifice of the lamb (Exodus 29:38). The fat of the peace offerings, that is, the parts of the peace offerings that were burnt on the altar, were laid on the burnt offering. The altar fire was never to go out, because the daily sacrifices constantly burning on the altar symbolized the unceasing worship of God by Israel, and the gracious acceptance of Israel by God. The ever-burning sacrifice was the token of the people being in communion with God. (Ch. 5:14-6:7)

(Note: In the original the division of verses in the Hebrew text is followed; but we have thought it better to keep to the arrangement adopted in our English version. - Tr.)

The Trespass-Offerings. - These were presented for special sins, by which a person had contracted guilt, and therefore they are not included in the general festal sacrifices. Three kinds of offences are mentioned in this section as requiring trespass-offerings. The first is, "if a soul commit a breach of trust, and sin in going wrong in the holy gifts of Jehovah." מעל, lit., to cover, hence מעיל the cloak, over-coat, signifies to act secretly, unfaithfully, especially against Jehovah, either by falling away from Him into idolatry, by which the fitting honour was withheld from Jehovah (Leviticus 26:40; Deuteronomy 32:51; Joshua 22:16), or by infringing upon His rights, abstracting something that rightfully belonged to Him. Thus in Joshua 7:1; Joshua 22:20, it is applied to fraud in relation to that which had been put under the ban; and in Numbers 5:12, Numbers 5:27,it is also applied to a married woman's unfaithfulness to her husband: so that sin was called מעל, when regarded as a violation of existing rights. "The holy things of Jehovah" were the holy gifts, sacrifices, first-fruits, tithes, etc., which were to be offered to Jehovah, and were assigned by Him to the priests for their revenue (see Leviticus 21:22). חטא with מן is constructio praegnans: to sin in anything by taking away from Jehovah that which belonged to Him. בּשׁגגה, in error (see Leviticus 4:2): i.e., in a forgetful or negligent way. Whoever sinned in this way was to offer to the Lord as his guilt (see Leviticus 5:6) a ram from the flock without blemish for a trespass-offering (lit., guilt-offering), according to the estimate of Moses, whose place was afterwards taken by the officiating priest (Leviticus 27:12; Numbers 18:16). שׁקלים כּסף "money of shekels," i.e., several shekels in amount, which Abenezra and others have explained, no doubt correctly, as meaning that the ram was to be worth more than one shekel, two shekels at least. The expression is probably kept indefinite, for the purpose of leaving some margin for the valuation, so that there might be a certain proportion between the value of the ram and the magnitude of the trespass committed (see Oehler ut sup. p. 645). "In the holy shekel:" see Exodus 30:13. At the same time, the culprit was to make compensation for the fraud committed in the holy thing, and add a fifth (of the value) over, as in the case of the redemption of the first-born, of the vegetable tithe, or of what had been vowed to God (Leviticus 27:27, Leviticus 27:31, and Leviticus 27:13, Leviticus 27:15, Leviticus 27:19). The ceremony to be observed in the offering of the ram is described in Leviticus 7:1. It was the same as that of the sin-offerings, whose blood was not brought into the holy place, except with regard to the sprinkling of the blood, and in this the trespass-offering resembled the burnt-offerings and peace-offerings.

The second case (Leviticus 5:17-19), from its very position between the other two, which both refer to the violation of rights, must belong to the same category; although the sin is introduced with the formula used in Leviticus 4:27 in connection with those sins which were to be expiated by a sin-offering. But the violation of right can only have consisted in an invasion of Jehovah's rights with regard to Israel, and not, as Knobel supposes, in an invasion of the rights of private Israelites, as distinguished from the priests; an antithesis of which there is not the slightest indication. This is evident from the fact, that the case before us is linked on to the previous one without anything intervening; whereas the next case, which treats of the violation of the rights of a neighbour, is separated by a special introductory formula. The expression, "and wist it not," refers to ignorance of the sin, and not of the divine commands; as may be clearly seen from Leviticus 5:18 : "the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his error, which he committed without knowing it." The trespass-offering was the same as in the former case, and was also to be valued by the priest; but no compensation is mentioned, probably because the violation of right, which consisted in the transgression of one of the commands of God, was of such a kind as not to allow of material compensation. The third case (Leviticus 6:1-7) is distinguished from the other two by a new introductory formula. The sin and unfaithfulness to Jehovah are manifested in this case in a violation of the rights of a neighbour. "If a man deny to his neighbour (כּחשׁ with a double ב obj., to deny a thing to a person) a pikkadon (i.e., a deposit, a thing entrusted to him to keep, Genesis 41:36), or יד תּשׂוּמת, "a thing placed in his hand" (handed over to him as a pledge) "or גּזל, a thing robbed" (i.e., the property of a neighbour unjustly appropriated, whether a well, a field, or cattle, Genesis 21:25; Micah 2:2; Job 24:2), "or if he have oppressed his neighbour" (i.e., forced something from him or withheld it unjustly, Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:14; Joshua 12:8; Malachi 3:5), "or have found a lost thing and denies it, and thereby swears to his lie" (i.e., rests his oath upon a lie), "on account of one of all that a man is accustomed to do to sin therewith:" the false swearing here refers not merely to a denial of what is found, but to all the crimes mentioned, which originated in avarice and selfishness, but through the false swearing became frauds against Jehovah, adding guilt towards God to the injustice done to the neighbour, and requiring, therefore, not only that a material restitution should be made to the neighbour, but that compensation should be made to God as well. Whatever had been robbed, or taken by force, or entrusted or found, and anything about which a man had sworn falsely (Leviticus 6:4, Leviticus 6:5), was to be restored "according to its sum" (cf. Exodus 30:12; Numbers 1:2, etc.), i.e., in its full value; beside which, he was to "add its fifths" (on the plural, see Ges. 87, 2; Ew. 186 e), i.e., in every one of the things abstracted or withheld unjustly the fifth part of the value was to be added to the full amount (as in Leviticus 5:16). "To him to whom it (belongs), shall he give it" אשׁמתו בּיום: in the day when he makes atonement for his trespass, i.e., offers his trespass-offering. The trespass (guilt) against Jehovah was to be taken away by the trespass-offering according to the valuation of the priest, as in Leviticus 5:15, Leviticus 5:16, and Leviticus 5:18, that he might receive expiation and forgiveness on account of what he had done.

If now, in order to obtain a clear view of the much canvassed difference between the sin-offerings and trespass-offerings,

(Note: For the different views, see Bhr's Symbolik; Winer's bibl. R. W.; Kurtz on Sacrificial Worship; Riehm, theol. Stud. und Krit. 1854, pp. 93ff.; Rinck, id. 1855, p. 369; Oehler in Herzog's Cycl.)

we look at once at the other cases, for which trespass-offerings were commanded in the law; we find in Numbers 5:5-8 not only a trespass against Jehovah, but an unjust withdrawal of the property of a neighbour, clearly mentioned as a crime, for which material compensation was to be made with the addition of a fifth of its value, just as in Leviticus 5:2-7 of the present chapter. So also the guilt of a man who had lain with the slave of another (Leviticus 19:20-22) did not come into the ordinary category of adultery, but into that of an unjust invasion of the domain of another's property; though in this case, as the crime could not be estimated in money, instead of material compensation being made, a civil punishment (viz., bodily scourging) was to be inflicted; and for the same reason nothing is said about the valuation of the sacrificial ram. Lastly, in the trespass-offerings for the cleansing of a leper (Leviticus 14:12.), or of a Nazarite who had been defiled by a corpse (Numbers 6:12), it is true we cannot show in what definite way the rights of Jehovah were violated (see the explanation of these passages), but the sacrifices themselves served to procure the restoration of the persons in question to certain covenant rights which they had lost; so that even here the trespass-offering, for which moreover only a male sheep was demanded, was to be regarded as a compensation or equivalent for the rights to be restored. From all these cases it is perfectly evident, that the idea of satisfaction for a right, which had been violated but was about to be restored or recovered, lay at the foundation of the trespass-offering,

(Note: Even in the case of the trespass-offering, which those who had taken heathen wives offered at Ezra's instigation (Ezra 10:18.), it had reference to a trespass (cf. vv. 2 and 10), an act of unfaithfulness to Jehovah, which demanded satisfaction. And so again the Philistines (1 Samuel 6:3.), when presenting gifts as a trespass-offering for Jehovah, rendered satisfaction for the robbery committed upon Him by the removal of the ark of the covenant.)

and the ritual also points to this. The animal sacrificed was always a ram, except in the cases mentioned in Leviticus 14:12. and Numbers 6:12. This fact alone clearly distinguishes the trespass-offerings from the sin-offerings, for which all kinds of sacrifices were offered from an ox to a pigeon, the choice of the animal being regulated by the position of the sinner and the magnitude of his sin. But they are distinguished still more by the fact, that in the case of all the sin-offerings the blood was to be put upon the horns of the altar, or even taken into the sanctuary itself, whereas the blood of the trespass-offerings, like that of the burnt and peace-offerings, was merely swung against the wall of the altar (Leviticus 7:2). Lastly, they were also distinguished by the fact, that in the trespass-offering the ram was in most instances to be valued by the priest, not for the purpose of determining its actual value, which could not vary very materially in rams of the same kind, but to fix upon it symbolically the value of the trespass for which compensation was required. Hence there can be no doubt, that as the idea of the expiation of sin, which was embodied in the sprinkling of the blood, was most prominent in the sin-offering; so the idea of satisfaction for the restoration of rights that had been violated or disturbed came into the foreground in the trespass-offering. This satisfaction was to be actually made, wherever the guilt admitted of a material valuation, by means of payment or penance; and in addition to this, the animal was raised by the priestly valuation into the authorized bearer of the satisfaction to be rendered to the rights of God, through the sacrifice of which the culprit could obtain the expiation of his guilt.

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