King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Leviticus 1

The offerings. (1,2) From the herds. (3-9) From the flocks, and of fowls. (10-17)

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The offerings

1 And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.

From the herds

3 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.

4 And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.

5 And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

6 And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.

7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire:

8 And the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:

9 But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

From the flocks, and of fowls

10 And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish.

11 And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar.

12 And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:

13 But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

14 And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons.

15 And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar:

16 And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes:

17 And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Offer, voluntarily, without any command. Some sacrifices were of precept. Ex. xxii. 29. M. — These first chapters are addressed to the people; the 6th from v. 9, to the priests. Oxen, goats, and sheep, pigeons, and turtles, were to be offered in sacrifice, and small birds also, in the purification of lepers, (C. xiv. 4,) as they might easily be procured. C. — By sacrifice, we testify the dominion of God over all. They were offered by the patriarchs, and by all nations. God requireth that the victim should be without blemish, and slain with certain ceremonies wisely ordained. Ps. ciii. 24. W. — A sacrifice. Hebrew korban, a present of any sort. Mark vii. — Sheep and goats, v. 10. The same term, tson, signifies both. M.

Ver. 3. A holocaust. That is, a whole burnt-offering; (olocauston) so called, because the whole victim was consumed with fire; and given in such manner to God as wholly to evaporate, as it were, for his honour and glory; without having any part of it reserved for the use of man. The other sacrifices of the Old Testament were either offerings for sin, or peace-offerings: and these latter again were either offered in thanksgiving for blessing received, or by way of prayer for new favours or graces. So that sacrifices were then offered to God for four different ends or intentions, answerable to the different obligations which man has to God: 1. By way of adoration, homage, praise, and glory, due to his divine Majesty. 2. By way of thanksgiving for all benefits received from him. 3. By way of confessing and craving pardon for sins. 4. By way of prayer and petition for grace an relief in all necessities. In the New Law we have but one sacrifice, viz. that of the body and blood of Christ: but this one sacrifice of the New Testament perfectly answers all these four ends; and both priests and people, as often as it is celebrated, ought to join in offering it up for these four ends. Ch. S. Aug. de C. D. viii. 17. S. Chrys. in Ps. xcv. — We have an altar, (Heb. xiii. 10,) on which the unbloody sacrifice is offered, (Matt. xxvi. 25,) as the blood of Christ was on the cross. Heb. ix. 25. W.

Ver. 4. Victim. To transfer all the curses due to him upon it, (Eus. Demon. i. 10,) and to testify that he gives it up entirely for the honour of God. Lyran. — The Egyptians cut off the head of the victim, and vented upon it imprecations, begging that the gods would discharge upon it all the evils which they had deserved. Then they sold it to some foreigner, or threw it into the Nile. Herod. ii. 39. All nations seem to have acknowledged, that life would be given for life. Hanc animam vobis pro veliore damus: (Ovid Fast. i.) and they had holocausts, in imitation of the Hebrews. Bochart. — Expiation. Heb. “it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him,” provided he be in proper dispositions. M. — The primary intention of the holocaust was to honour God: but this insured his favour also, and pardon. D.

Ver. 5. He, by the hands of the priests, (C. x. 1,) as the Sept. express it, “they shall immolate;” (M.) though we might infer from this text, that the person who offered the victim, had to slay it; (C.) while the priests alone could pour the blood upon and around the altar. Without the effusion of blood remission is not made. Heb. ix. 22. H.

Ver. 6. They. Regularly the Levites performed this office. The skin belonged to the priest. C. vii. 8. C.

Ver. 7. Fire. Heb. and Sept. place the fire first, then the wood. It was the sacred fire which was never extinguished, but removed from the altar in marches, (C. iv. 13,) perhaps in a censer or pan. H.

Ver. 8. All things, &c. Heb. pador, may signify the fat, or the trunk of the animal. C.

Ver. 9. Sweet. Not that the Deity can take delight in sweet odours; but he is pleased with the devotion of men. For their advancement in piety, he required these sacrifices; 1. to keep the people from idolatry; 2. to teach them to consecrate their body and effects to him, as well as their souls, to serve justice unto sanctification; (Rom. vi. 19. Jo. iv. 24,) as without the help of exterior observances, the mind will hardly rise to the contemplation of truth; 3. to prefigure the greater mysteries of the Christian religion, of which the law was only a shadow, incapable of conferring justifying grace. Jo. i. 17. Gal. iii. 11. W. — The law was our pedagogue, in Christ, that we might be justified by faith, v. 24.

Ver. 10. Male. Lyranus seems to have read “a year old,” in the Vulg. But it is not found in the Heb. or in any version. It may have been taken from Exod. xii. 5, where the paschal lamb must be a male of one year.Blemish. The Sept. add, “and he shall put his hand upon its head.” H.

Ver. 14. Pigeons. Heb. and Sept. say nothing about the age; though the Rabbins assure us, that old turtles and young pigeons were to be immolated, as being more excellent. God requires only what each person may easily procure. This third species of holocaust was chiefly intended for the poor. C. xii. 8. But if they could not afford even this, they might offer flour. C. ii.

Ver. 15. The neck. Some say, without pulling the head off (Grotius); which the Rabbins deny. C.

Ver. 16. Throat. Heb. mierath, is rendered “the crop and its contents,” by the Chal. Syr. and Sam.

Ver. 17. Pinions, as if it were to be roasted. Eusebius remarks, that the pagans plunged their birds into the sea, then poured the blood round the altar, and afterwards burnt them. Abram did not divide the birds. Gen. xv. 10. C. — Oblation. Heb. “made by fire;” or which must be all consumed, except the crop and feathers. H.