And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood . . . —The appointed rites were to be discharged by Eleazar, not by Aaron, who would otherwise have been temporarily disqualified by legal impurity from the discharge of his high-priestly functions.
Before the tabernacle of the congregation . . . —i.e., opposite to the entrance of the Tabernacle, but, as stated in the preceding verse, outside the camp, because the act had reference to the uncleanness of death.Numbers 19:4. Sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle — This made it in some sort an expiation of sin; for the sprinkling of the blood before the Lord was the chief solemnity in all the sacrifices of atonement: therefore, though this was not done at the altar, yet, being done toward the sanctuary, it was intimated hereby that the virtue and validity of it depended upon the sanctuary, and were derived from it. Thus, in the satisfaction that was made to God by the death of Christ, our great High- Priest, who, by the eternal Spirit, (called, Luke 12:20, the finger of God,) offered himself without spot to God; he did, as it were, sprinkle his own blood directly before the sanctuary, when he said, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.” This also signifies how necessary it was, to the purifying our hearts, that satisfaction should be made to divine justice. This sprinkling of the blood put virtue into the ashes.Numbers 19:22, the high priest was relieved from performing it.
Without the camp - The defilement was viewed as transferred to the victim that was to be offered for its removal. Under these circumstances the victim, like the defiled persons themselves, would be removed outside the camp. The particular pollution to be remedied by this ordinance was the indirect one resulting from contact with tokens and manifestations of sin, not the direct and personal one arising from actual commission of sin. So too the sinless antitype had to bear the reproach of associating with sinners Luke 5:30; Luke 15:2. And as the red heifer was expelled from the precincts of the camp, so was the Saviour cut off in no small measure during His Life from the fellowship of the chief representatives of the theocracy, and put to death outside Jerusalem between two thieves. Compare Hebrews 13:11-12.Directly before the tabernacle, or, towards or over against the tabernacle; either,
1. Near to it; and so we must suppose that he took some of the blood in a basin, and carried it from without the camp to the tabernacle, and then returned to this place again; which might be done, though it be not here expressed. And this seems to agree best with other places, where this sprinkling seven times was performed in or near the tabernacle, as Leviticus 4:17. Or,
2. Standing at a good distance from it, even without the camp, yet turning and looking towards it. For here is no intimation that he went into the camp before this work was done, but rather the contrary is implied, Numbers 19:7. And because being defiled by this work he could not come near to the tabernacle, it was sufficient for him to turn and took towards it. Either way this posture signified his presenting of this blood before the Lord by way of atonement and satisfaction for his and the people’s sins, and his expectation of acceptance and pardon only from God, and from his mercy-seat in the tabernacle. Luke 11:20; who takes the blood of Christ, and sprinkles it on the hearts of his people, whereby they are freed from an evil conscience:
and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times; or "towards the tabernacle", so Noldius (c); as sprinkling of the blood was the principal action in sacrifices, this was to be done directly before the tabernacle, from whence its purifying virtue was expected, though it was not shed in it, that it might have all the appearance of a sacrifice it could have; and being done seven times, denotes the perfection of it: the priest, when he sprinkled, stood on the east side, with his face to the west. When the temple was built at Jerusalem, this affair was transacted on the mount of Olives, which was east of Jerusalem. Jarchi says, the priest stood in the east of Jerusalem, and placed himself so that he might see the door of the temple at the time of sprinkling the blood. Now it appears, as Maimonides says (d), that the floor of the temple was higher than the floor of the eastern gate of the mountain of the house twenty two cubits, and the height of the gate of the mountain of the house was twenty cubits; wherefore one that stood over against the eastern gate could not see the door of the temple, therefore they made the wall, which was over the top of this gate (the battlement of it), low, so that he (the priest), that stood on the mount of Olives, might see the door of the temple, at the time he sprinkled the blood of the cow over against the temple; otherwise he could only have seen the eighth step of the porch of the temple, as the same writer observes (e), with which agrees the Misnah (f), that all the walls there (about the mountain of the house) were high, except the eastern wall, that so the priest that burnt the cow might stand on the top of the mount of Olives, and look and behold the door of the temple, when he sprinkled the blood.And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 4. And Eleazar... shall... sprinkle of her blood directly before (אֵל־נֹכַח פְּנֵי) the tabernacle. By this act the death of the heifer became a sacrificial offering. The sprinkling in the direction of the sanctuary intimated that the offering was made to him that dwelt therein, and the "seven times" was the ordinary number of perfect performance (Leviticus 4:17, &c.).
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