Numbers 8:8
Then let them take a young bullock with his meat offering, even fine flour mingled with oil, and another young bullock shall you take for a sin offering.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 8:8. A young bullock — The same sacrifice which was offered for a sin-offering for the whole congregation, because the Levites came in the stead of all the firstborn, who did, in a manner, represent the whole congregation.8:5-26 Here we have directions for the solemn ordination of the Levites. All Israel must know that they took not this honour to themselves, but were called of God to it; nor was it enough that they were distinguished from others. All who are employed for God, must be dedicated to him, according to the employment. Christians must be baptized, ministers must be ordained; we must first give ourselves unto the Lord, and then our services. The Levites must be cleansed. They must be clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Moses must sprinkle the water of purifying upon them. This signifies the application of the blood of Christ to our souls by faith, that we may be fit to serve the living God. God declares his acceptance of them. All who expect to share in the privileges of the tabernacle, must resolve to do the service of the tabernacle. As, on the one hand, none of God's creatures are his necessary servants, he needs not the service of any of them; so none are merely honorary servants, to do nothing. All whom God owns, he employs; angels themselves have their services.The two bullocks were "to make an atonement for the Levites," and therefore are presented in their name. These offerings are similar to those prescribed in Leviticus 8:14 ff at the consecration of the priests, except that the burnt-offering was on that occasion a ram. The larger victim corresponds to the larger number of the Levites.6, 7. Take the Levites … and cleanse them—This passage describes the consecration of the Levites. Although the tribe was to be devoted to the divine service, their hereditary descent alone was not a sufficient qualification for entering on the duties of the sacred office. They were to be set apart by a special ceremony, which, however, was much simpler than that appointed for the priests; neither washing nor anointing, nor investiture with official robes, was necessary. Their purification consisted, along with the offering of the requisite sacrifices (Le 1:4; 3:2; 4:4), in being sprinkled by water mixed with the ashes of a red heifer (Nu 19:9), and shaved all over, and their clothes washed—a combination of symbolical acts which was intended to remind them of the mortification of carnal and worldly desires, and the maintenance of that purity in heart and life which became the servants of God. The same sacrifice which was offered for a sin-offering for the whole congregation, Le 4, because the Levites came in the stead of all the first-bern, which did in a manner represent the whole congregation. Then let them take a young bullock,.... Of two years old, as the Jewish writers gather from the other in the next clause, being called the second; though the wise men say one of three years old is fit for such a sacrifice; nay, others say, if four or five years old; but the decision is according to the wise men (q).

with his meat offering, even fine flour mingled with oil: which always went along with a burnt offering, and consisted of three tenth deals of line flour, and half an hin of oil, Numbers 28:12,

and another young bullock shalt thou take for a sin offering; which was the offering for the sin of the whole congregation of Israel, through ignorance; and this being for all the Levites, and they being instead of the firstborn of Israel, such an offering was required; and though there was no particular sin charged upon them, but it became necessary for their perfect cleansing and expiation.

(q) Misn. Parah, c. 1. sect. 2. & Bartenora in ib.

Then let them take a young bullock with his meat offering, even fine flour mingled with oil, and another young bullock shalt thou take for a sin offering.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 8. - Another young bullock shalt thou take for a sin offering. The ordinary sin offering was a shaggy one of the goats (see on chapter Numbers 7:16); but a bullock had been prescribed for the sin of the high priest, and for the sin of the congregation, in certain circumstances, and the analogy is followed here. It might seem as if the larger animal were meant to distinguish aggregate or collective guilt (see on Leviticus 4:3); but the scapegoat offered for the sin of the whole people makes against such a supposition. Consecration of the Levites. - The command of God to consecrate the Levites for their service, is introduced in Numbers 8:1-4 by directions issued to Aaron with regard to the lighting of the candlestick in the dwelling of the tabernacle. Aaron was to place the seven lamps upon the candlestick in such a manner that they would shine פּניו אל־מוּל. These directions are not a mere repetition, but also a more precise definition, of the general instructions given in Exodus 25:37, when the candlestick was made, to place the seven lamps upon the candlestick in such a manner that each should give light over against its front, i.e., should throw its light upon the side opposite to the front of the candlestick. In itself, therefore, there is nothing at all striking in the renewal and explanation of those directions, which committed the task of lighting the lamps to Aaron; for this had not been done before, as Exodus 27:21 merely assigns the daily preparation of the candlestick to Aaron and his sons; and their being placed in the connection in which we find them may be explained from the signification of the seven lamps in relation to the dwelling of God, viz., as indicating that Israel was thereby to be represented perpetually before the Lord as a people causing its light to shine in the darkness of this world. And when Aaron is commanded to attend to the lighting of the candlestick, so that it may light up the dwelling, in these special instructions the entire fulfilment of his service in the dwelling is enforced upon him as a duty. In this respect the instructions themselves, coupled with the statement of the fact that Aaron had fulfilled them, stand quite appropriately between the account of what the tribe-princes had done for the consecration of the altar service as representatives of the congregation, and the account of the solemn inauguration of the Levites in their service in the sanctuary. The repetition on this occasion (Exodus 27:4) of an allusion to the artistic character of the candlestick, which had been made according to the pattern seen by Moses in the mount (Exodus 25:31.), is quite in keeping with the antiquated style of narrative adopted in these books.
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