Leviticus 9:2
And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD.
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(2) A young calf for a sin offering.—Literally, a calf, the son of a bull, which, according to the canonical law, was a calf of the second year, whilst a steer, the son of a bull, rendered in the Authorised Version by “young bullock,” was defined to be three years old, or in its third year. (See Leviticus 4:3.) Before they could mediate for the forgiveness of the people, Aaron and his sons had first to bring a sin offering for themselves, in expiation probably for the feeling of pride which they might have fostered at having been so highly distinguished and chosen to be the mediators of the people. This sin offering, however, showed him that, though a high priest, he was beset with the same infirmities, and stood in need of the same atonement, as the people whom he represented. As this is the only instance in which a calf is appointed for a sin offering, and as the offerer who is ordered to bring this exceptional sacrifice is Aaron, Jewish tradition will have it that it was designed to refer to the sin of the golden calf which he made for the people. (Exodus 32:4-6.) So old and universal is this interpretation, that it is expressed in the ancient Chaldee Version of the Pentateuch. This sense seems to derive support from Leviticus 9:7.

Before the Lord.—That is, before the door of the tent of meeting (see Leviticus 1:5; Leviticus 1:11), on the altar of burnt offering.

Leviticus 9:2. For a sin-offering — For himself and his own sins, which was an evidence of the imperfection of that priesthood, and of the necessity of a better. The Jewish writers suggest, that a calf was appointed to remind him of his sin in making the golden calf. Thereby he had rendered himself for ever unworthy of the honour of the priesthood; on which he had reason to reflect with sorrow and shame, in all the atonements he made.

9:1-21 These many sacrifices, which were all done away by the death of Christ, teach us that our best services need washing in his blood, and that the guilt of our best sacrifices needs to be done away by one more pure and more noble than they. Let us be thankful that we have such a High Priest. The priests had not a day's respite from service allowed. God's spiritual priests have constant work, which the duty of every day requires; they that would give up their account with joy, must redeem time. The glory of God appeared in the sight of the people, and owned what they had done. We are not now to expect such appearances, but God draws nigh to those who draw nigh to him, and the offerings of faith are acceptable to him; though the sacrifices being spiritual, the tokens of the acceptance are spiritual likewise. When Aaron had done all that was to be done about the sacrifices, he lifted up his hands towards the people, and blessed them. Aaron could but crave a blessing, God alone can command it.A young calf - A bull calf, which might have been what we should call a yearling ox.CHAPTER 9

Le 9:1-24. The Priests' Entry into Office.

1-7. Moses called … Take thee a young calf for a sin offering—The directions in these sacred things were still given by Moses, the circumstances being extraordinary. But he was only the medium of communicating the divine will to the newly made priests. The first of their official acts was the sacrifice of another sin offering to atone for the defects of the inauguration services; and yet that sacrifice did not consist of a bullock—the sacrifice appointed for some particular transgression, but of a calf, perhaps not without a significant reference to Aaron's sin in the golden calf [Ex 32:22-24]. Then followed a burnt offering, expressive of their voluntary and entire self-devotement to the divine service. The newly consecrated priests having done this on their own account, they were called to offer a sin offering and burnt offering for the people, ending the ceremonial by a peace offering, which was a sacred feast. This injunction, "to make atonement for himself and for the people" (Septuagint, "for thy family"), at the commencement of his sacred functions, furnishes a striking evidence of the divine origin of the Jewish system of worship. In all false or corrupt forms of religion, the studied policy has been to inspire the people with an idea of the sanctity of the priesthood as in point of purity and favor with the Divinity far above the level of other men. But among the Hebrews the priests were required to offer for the expiation of their own sins as well as the humblest of the people. This imperfection of Aaron's priesthood, however, does not extend to the gospel dispensation: for our great High Priest, who has entered for us into "the true tabernacle," "knew no sin" (Heb 10:10, 11).

A young calf, Heb. a calf, the son of a bull or cow; which may seem to be added purposely to intimate that it was not a young calf properly so called, but a young bullock, for that was the sacrifice enjoined for the high priest’s sin-offering, Leviticus 4:3. Though it be not material, if this be a young calf, and that a young bull, because the grounds and ends of the several sacrifices differ, that Le 4: being for his particular sin, and this for his own and family’s sins in general, and therefore no wonder if the sacrifices also differ. For a sin offering, for himself and his own sins, which was an evidence of the imperfection of that priesthood, and of the necessity of another and a better.

And he said unto Aaron,.... In the presence of the people of Israel:

take thee a young calf for a sin offering; one not exceeding a year old, as in Leviticus 9:3 but this was not for the sin of making the calf only, to which the Jewish writers restrain it, but for all other sins of his, which it was necessary should be expiated before he offered sacrifices for the sins of others:

and a ram for a burnt offering; being a strong and innocent creature, was a proper emblem of Christ, the Lamb of God, that takes away by his sacrifice the sins of men:

without blemish; this character belongs, as Aben Ezra observes, both to the calf and ram, which were both to be without spot, and so proper types of Christ the Lamb without spot and blemish, free both from original and actual sin:

and offer them before the Lord; on the altar of burnt offering, which stood in the court of the tabernacle near where Jehovah was, to whom every sacrifice for sin was to be offered, being committed against him, and whose justice must be satisfied for it.

And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a {b} sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD.

(b) Aaron enters into the possession of the priesthood: and offers the four principal sacrifices, the burnt offering, the sin offering, the peace offering, and the meat offering.

2. a bull calf] Only here is a calf appointed for a Sin-Offering. According to Jewish tradition, expressed in Targ. Jon., it was to remind Aaron of his sin in making the golden calf at Horeb (Exodus 32).

Leviticus 9:2And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel; Entrance of Aaron and his Sons upon their Office. - Leviticus 9:1-7. On the eighth day, i.e., on the day after the seven days' consecration, Aaron and his sons entered upon their duties with a solemn sacrifice for themselves and the nation, to which the Lord had made Himself known by a special revelation of His glory, to bear solemn witness before the whole nation that their service at the altar was acceptable to Him, and to impress the divine seal of confirmation upon the consecration they had received. To this end Aaron and his sons were to bring to the front of the tabernacle a young calf as a sin-offering for themselves, and a ram for a burnt-offering; and the people were to bring through their elders a he-goat for a sin-offering, a yearling calf and yearling sheep for a burnt-offering, and an ox and ram for a peace-offering, together with a meat-offering of meal mixed with oil; and the congregation (in the persons of its elders) was to stand there before Jehovah, i.e., to assemble together at the sanctuary for the solemn transaction (Leviticus 9:1-5). If, according to this, even after the manifold expiation and consecration, which Aaron had received through Moses during the seven days, he had still to enter upon his service with a sin-offering and burnt-offering, this fact clearly showed that the offerings of the law could not ensure perfection (Hebrews 10:1.). It is true that on this occasion a young calf was sufficient for a sin-offering for the priests, not a mature ox as in Leviticus 8:14 and Leviticus 4:3; and so also for the burnt-offerings and peace-offerings of the people smaller sacrifices sufficed, either smaller in kind or fewer in number than at the leading feasts (Numbers 28:11.). Nevertheless, not one of the three sacrifices could be omitted; and if no special peace-offering was required of Aaron, this may be accounted for from the fact, that the whole of the sacrificial ceremony terminated with a national peace-offering, in which the priests took part, uniting in this instance with the rest of the nation in the celebration of a common sacrificial meal, to make known their oneness with them.
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