And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean…
It was one great office of the Jewish priesthood to instruct the people to discern between the unclean and the clean. No doubt this office was often discharged in a perfunctory manner; yet a valuable purpose was answered by the importance which the Israelites were thus encouraged to attach to obedience to the behests of the great King.
I. THERE IS AN ARBITRARY AND FACTITIOUS DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE HOLY AND THE PROFANE. Such is the distinction drawn in heathen communities, simply in the interests of the priests themselves, with no moral bearing or intention.
II. THERE IS A CEREMONIAL AND SYMBOLICAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE HOLY AND THE PROFANE. Such was the difference which was established by the Law given by Moses to the Israelites, and maintained by Divine command by the instrumentality of the priests of Jehovah.
III. THERE IS A SPIRITUAL AND REAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE HOLY AND THE PROFANE. It cannot be doubted that the ceremonial differences were intended to be the emblems of deeper and more real distinctions of a moral nature. In the Christian dispensation men were early taught upon the highest authority to call nothing common or unclean. But whilst Christ abolished distinctions, which were a means to an end, which served a temporary purpose of preparation, he emphasized those distinctions which, in the sight of a holy God, are real and important. Especially was this the case with the eternal difference between moral good and evil, between what is in accordance with, and what is repugnant to, the nature, the character, and the will of God, This distinction is one which the Church of Christ is bound to maintain, both by teaching and by conduct, before a sinful and disobedient world. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.