And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Verse 1. - The Lord spake unto Moses. It is impossible to say with any assurance whether the law of offerings contained in these two chapters was really given to Moses shortly before his death, or whether it was ever given in this connected and completed form. It is obvious that the formula with which the section opens might be used with equal propriety to introduce a digest of the law on this subject compiled by Moses himself, or by some subsequent editor of his writings from a number of scattered regulations, written or oral, which had Divine authority. It is indeed quite true that this routine of sacrifice was only suitable for times of settled habitation in the promised land, and therefore there is a certain propriety in its introduction here on the eve of the entry into Canaan. But it must be remembered, on the other hand, that the same thing holds true of very much of the legislation given at Mount Sinai, and avowedly of that comprised in chapter 15 (see verse 2), which yet appears from its position to have been given before the rebellion of Korah in the wilderness. It is indeed plain that the ritual, festal, and sacrificial system, both as elaborated in Leviticus and as supplemented in Numbers, presupposed throughout an almost immediate settlement in Canaan. It is also plain that a system so elaborate, and entailing so much care and expense, could hardly have come into regular use during the conquest, or for some time after. It cannot, therefore, be said with any special force that the present section finds its natural place here. All we can affirm is that the system itself was of Divine origin, and dated in substance from the days of Moses. In any case, therefore, it is rightly introduced with the usual formula which attests that it came from God, and came through Moses. It must be noted that a great variety of observances which were zealously followed by the Jews of later ages find no place here. Compare, e.g., the ceremonial pouring of water during the feast of tabernacles, to which allusion is made by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 12:3) and our Lord (John 7:37, 38).
Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.
Verse 2. - My offering, and my bread. Literally, "my korban, my bread." The general term korban (anything offered to God; cf. Numbers 7:3; Mark 7:11) is here restricted by the words which follow to the meat offering. "Bread" (לֶחֶם) is translated "food" in Leviticus 3:11, 16 (see the note there). Sweet savour. רֵיחַ. Septuagint, εἰς ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας (see on Genesis 8:21; Leviticus 3:16; Ephesians 5:2).
And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.
Verse 3. - This is the offering made by fire. The daily offering prescribed at Exodus 29:38-42, and which had presumably never been intermitted since, is specified again here because it formed the foundation of the whole sacrificial system. Whatever else was offered was in addition to it, not in lieu of it. The sabbath and festival use of the Jews was developed out of the ferial use, and rested upon it. Hence in a connected republication of the law of offering it could not be omitted. Without spot. תְמִימִם. Septuagint, ἀνώμους. This necessary qualification had not been expressed in the original ordinance, but in respect of other sacrifices had been continually required (see on Exodus 12:5; Leviticus 1:3; chapter Numbers 19:2; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19).
The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even;
And a tenth part of an ephah of flour for a meat offering, mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil.
It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in mount Sinai for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD.
And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.
Verse 7. - In the holy place. בַּקֹּדֶשׁ. Septuagint, ἐν τῷ ἀγίῳ. Josephus paraphrases this by περὶ τὸν βωμόν ('Ant.,' 3:10), and so the Targum of Onkelos; Jonathan and the Targum of Palestine render, "from the vessels of the sanctuary." The former would seem to be the real meaning of the original. There is nowhere any specific direction as to the ritual of the drink offering (see on Leviticus 23, and Numbers 15:7, 10), nor is it certain whether it was poured at the foot of the altar (as apparently stated in Ecclus. 1. 15) or poured upon the flesh of the sacrifice on the altar (as seems to be implied in Philippians 2:17). The strong wine. שֵׁכָר. Septuagint, σίκερα. The Targums render it "old wine," because the drink offering was in every other instance ordered to be made with wine (Exodus 29:40, &c.). Shecar, however, was not wine, but strong drink other than wine (such as we call "spirits"), and it is invariably used in that sense in contradistinction to wine (see on Leviticus 10:9; Numbers 6:3, &c.). It can only be supposed that the difficulty of procuring wine in the wilderness had caused the coarser and commoner liquor to be substituted for it. It is certainly remarkable that the mention of shecar should be retained at a time when wine must have been easily obtainable, and was about to become abundant (Deuteronomy 8:8). As it would seem impossible that shecar should have been substituted for wine after the settlement in Canaan, its mention here may be accepted as evidence of the wilderness-origin of this particular ordinance. The quantity ordained (about a quart for each lamb) was very considerable.
And the other lamb shalt thou offer at even: as the meat offering of the morning, and as the drink offering thereof, thou shalt offer it, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof:
Verse 9. - And on the sabbath day. The special offering for the sabbath is ordered here for the first time. It does not say when the two lambs were to be slain, but in practice it was immediately after the morning sacrifice of the day.
This is the burnt offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.
Verse 10. - The burnt offering of every sabbath. Literally, "the sabbath burnt offering for its sabbath."
And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;
Verse 11. - In the beginnings of your months. The new-moon offering also is here enjoined for the first time, the festival itself having only been incidentally mentioned in Numbers 10:10. There can be no doubt that this (unlike the sabbath) was a nature-festival, observed more or less by all nations. As such it did not require to be instituted, but only to be regulated and sanctified in order that it might not lend itself to idolatry, as it did among the heathen (cf. Deuteronomy 4:19; Job 31:26, 27; Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 8:2). The new-moon feast, depending upon no calendar but that of the sky, and more clearly marked in that than any other recurring period, was certain to fix itself deeply in the social and religious habits of a simple pastoral or agricultural people. Accordingly we find it incidentally mentioned as a day of social gathering (1 Samuel 20:5), and as a day for religious instruction (2 Kings 4:23). From the latter passage, and from such passages as Isaiah 66:23; Ezekiel 46:1; Amos 8:5, it is evident that the feast of the new moon became to the month exactly what the sabbath was to the week - a day of rest and of worship (see also Judith 8:6).
And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram;
And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD.
And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year.
And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto the LORD shall be offered, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.
Verse 15. - One kid of the goats. "One hairy one (שָׂעִיר) of the she goats (עֵן)." See on Numbers 7:16. This was probably offered first in order, according to the usual analogy of such sacrifices (Exodus 29:10-14). There is no authority for supposing that this sin offering superseded the one mentioned in Numbers 15:24 sq. This was essentially part of the customary routine of sacrifice; that was essentially occasional, and proper to some unforeseen contingency. It is likely enough that the national conscience would in fact content itself with the first, but it does not in the least follow that such was the intention of the legislator.
And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD.
And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.
Verse 17. - In the fifteenth day of this month is the feast. The fourteenth day of Abib, or Nisan, the day of the passover proper, was not a feast, but a fast ending with the sacred meal of the evening. Only the ordinary daily sacrifice was offered on this day. Unleavened bread. מַצּות (mattsoth). Septuagint, ἄζυμα, unleavened cakes.
In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein:
Verse 18. - In the first day, i.e., on the fifteenth (see on Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:7).
But ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year: they shall be unto you without blemish:
Verse 19. - Ye shall offer a sacrifice. This offering, the same for each day of Mattsoth as for the feast of the new moon, had not been prescribed before, and almost certainly not observed at the one passover kept in the wilderness (Numbers 9:5).
And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil: three tenth deals shall ye offer for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram;
A several tenth deal shalt thou offer for every lamb, throughout the seven lambs:
And one goat for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you.
Ye shall offer these beside the burnt offering in the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering.
Verse 23. - Ye shall offer these beside the burnt offering in the morning, i.e., in addition to, and immediately after, the usual morning sacrifice. Even when it is not expressly stated, the presumption is that all the sacrifices here treated of were cumulative. Thus the sabbath of the passover (John 19:31) would have the proper sacrifices
(1) of the day,
(2) of the sabbath,
(3) of the feast of Mattsoth, comprising two bullocks, one ram, eleven lambs, with their meat offerings and drink offerings.
After this manner ye shall offer daily, throughout the seven days, the meat of the sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD: it shall be offered beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.
And on the seventh day ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work.
Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work:
Verse 26. - In the day of the first-fruits. The feast of weeks, or day of Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-21).
But ye shall offer the burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the LORD; two young bullocks, one ram, seven lambs of the first year;
Verse 27. - Ye shall offer the burnt offering. The festal sacrifice here prescribed is exactly the same as for the days of Mattsoth and for the feast of the new moon. It is not the same as that prescribed for the same day in Leviticus 23, and it is difficult to determine whether it was meant to supersede the previous ordinance, or to be distinct and additional. The fact that no notice is taken of the sacrifice already ordered would seem to point to the former conclusion; but the further fact that no mention is made of the offering of wave-loaves, with which the sacrifices in Leviticus were distinctively connected, seems to show that the two lists were independent (cf. Josephus, 'Ant.,' 3:10, 6). The fact seems to be that throughout this section no sacrifices are mentioned save such as formed a part of the system which is here for the first time elaborated.
And their meat offering of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals unto one bullock, two tenth deals unto one ram,
A several tenth deal unto one lamb, throughout the seven lambs;
And one kid of the goats, to make an atonement for you.
Ye shall offer them beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, (they shall be unto you without blemish) and their drink offerings.