If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish…
One offerer might bring a bullock — another an offering from the flock — another only an offering of fowls. There was evidently much mercy in this provision; for if poverty, or even disinclination, prevented an Israelite from bringing the highest offering, he was permitted to bring a lesser, in order that he might not be deprived entirely of the blessings connected with the burnt-offering. Antitypically, there ought to be in believers sufficient enlargement of faith to form a proper conception of Christ as the burnt-offering; bat if this be wanting, there may be a more feeble power of faith, not without its value, which is able to apprehend partially. Such a character of faith is likely to be prevalent at an hour of general weakness like the present. The superior worth of the bullock, as contrasted with the lesser offerings, is doubtless the point chiefly to be rested on. But there seems a peculiar suitability in such a type as the bullock, when our minds are directed to Christ as the Servant of Jehovah. If we are to consider the strength, the patience, the submissiveness, which characterised His service, or the value of that service in result, the bullock is evidently a far fitter type than either the sheep or the dove. When the offering was from the flock, and yet more, when it was taken from the fowls, we find, as might be expected, the ceremonies indicating far less distinct and discriminative apprehension of the value of the burnt-offering than in the former case. A distinct recognition of Him and His perfections, to whom the offering was rendered, was most material. Accordingly, in offering the bullock the offerer presented it "at the door of the Tabernacle of congregation before Jehovah," and killed it "before Jehovah." Great prominency is thus given to "Jehovah"; but in this second case there is no such presentation before Jehovah, no laying the hand on the head of the victim, no mention of its being presented for acceptance or for atonement. It was killed also in a different place, not simply "before Jehovah," but "on the side of the altar northward before Jehovah." In the former case the offerer advanced to the door of the Tabernacle of congregation before Jehovah; as if recognising Him, and all His attributes in their totality; but in this second case he slew the victim, not in front of the altar, or at the altar, but on the side of the altar northward — indicating, apparently, that his attention was directed, not to the manner in which all the attributes of God were recognised by the altar, as it looked eastward and westward, northward and southward; but that it was fixed peculiarly on its relation to Jehovah in some of His attributes. To speak generally the deficiency in this second class of offerings may be described thus: An insufficient apprehension of Him to whom the offering is brought. Insufficient appreciation of the value of the offering itself, both in its life and in its death. Thoughts not sufficiently discriminative as regards the altar, and the qualities that attach to the offering as there burned. Seeing, then, it is the great object of these ceremonies to expand truth, and to give distinctness of apprehension, that object fails of being attained, just in proportion as there is deficiency of apprehension or confusion of thoughts that should be distinguished. This is still more manifest in the offering from the fowls.
(B. W. Newton.)
Parallel VersesKJV: If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.