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Leviticus 22

Laws concerning the priests and sacrifices.

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Laws concerning the priests and sacrifices

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the LORD.

3 Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD.

4 What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him;

5 Or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath;

6 The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water.

7 And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food.

8 That which dieth of itself, or is torn with beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith; I am the LORD.

9 They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the LORD do sanctify them.

10 There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing.

11 But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.

12 If the priest’s daughter also be married unto a stranger, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things.

13 But if the priest’s daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father’s house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father’s meat: but there shall be no stranger eat thereof.

14 And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing.

15 And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the LORD;

16 Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the LORD do sanctify them.

17 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

18 Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering;

19 Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.

20 But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you.

21 And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.

22 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD.

23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.

24 Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land.

25 Neither from a stranger’s hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these; because their corruption is in them, and blemishes be in them: they shall not be accepted for you.

26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

27 When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

28 And whether it be cow, or ewe, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day.

29 And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.

30 On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the LORD.

31 Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD.

32 Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you,

33 That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Offer. He does not speak of such things as fell to the share of the priests; (M.) but orders them to behave with great reverence when they perform their sacred offices, lest others should take occasion to treat the name of God and holy things with disrespect. Heb. and Sept. “let them not profane my holy name, which they are bound to sanctify; or in what they consecrate to me.” Such things must not be used for ordinary purposes. S. Bas. ser. de bapt. ii. 2. and 3.

Ver. 3. Approacheth, &c. This is to give us to understand, with what purity of soul we are to approach to the blessed sacrament, of which these meats that had been offered in sacrifice were a figure. Ch. — Such as were unclean either fasted till the evening, or ate unconsecrated meats till they were purified. — Perish. The Rabbins say, by the hands of the other priests. The judges could only condemn him to be whipped. If his crime were secret, the punishment was left to God. Seld. syn. ii. 1.

Ver. 4. And he, &c. Hence it is plain, even the Jewish priests were bound to observe continence during the time of their ministry. C. — For the same reason, the priests of the new law, who may be called at any time to perform their more sacred functions, engage voluntarily in the state of perpetual celibacy. H.

Ver. 5. Or any. Heb. “or a man who may contaminate,” as lepers, &c. M.

Ver. 8. That. See C. xvii. 15.

Ver. 9. In the sanctuary, is not found in Heb. which is difficult to explain. “They shall observe my precepts, (or “watches,” entering upon the ministry at 17. Josep. M.) and not bear sin for it, and die in it, because they have profaned it;” which it, may be understood either of the consecrated food, (v. 7,) or of the sanctuary. C.

Ver. 10. Sojourner. “Guest,” or friend. Syriac. None but priests could taste this meat, except they were going to remain in the family for ever. Hence servants and slaves of the Jewish nation, who would one day regain their liberty, are excluded.

Ver. 13. Children. If she had any, she remained with them. Philo. Monar. 2.

Ver. 14. He. A layman, who, through mistake, eat of any of the tithes, &c. was obliged to give the capital, and a fifth part besides, with a sacrifice, mentioned C. v. 15. — Sanctuary. Heb. and Sept. “He shall give to the priest the holy thing.” But if he ate it on purpose, he was to be slain. Mum. xv. 30.

Ver. 15. They; the common people shall not profane, by touching them afterwards, or by retaining any part. C. — The priests shall answer for the profanation, if it be committed through their neglect. H.

Ver. 18. Strangers: proselytes of justice, or converts of the Jewish religion. See v. 25.

Ver. 19. Without blemish. To teach us to aim at perfection in all our offerings and performances.

Ver. 22. Scar. Sept. “If its tongue be cut out, or slit.” which was a blemish among the heathens. Servius in Æn. vi.; lectas de more bidentes. They also required the victims to be perfect. The Egyptians had officers called Sealers, who were directed by many books how to choose the proper victims. The Hebrew priests had to examine such as were offered to them, with the utmost nicety. See the Misna of Babylon. The idea of God’s perfection, has taught all nations to present to Him nothing but what is perfect, particularly when they offer victims.

Ver. 23. Ear…cut. Heb. saruang, which is translated a crooked nose. C. xxi. 18. The Sept. and Syriac agree here with the Vulg.: but the moderns generally adopt the interpretation of the Rabbins, who say the word is applied to those animals whose double members, feet, ears, &c. are disproportionately long; as kolut, means too short. Bochart. C. — Voluntarily, for the use of the priests, but not for any sacrifice, v. 21. D.

Ver. 24. Bruised. Heb. does not specify what part, no more than the Syr. or Arab. versions; but the Sept., Chal., Rabbins, and most commentators agree with us. — Do any, &c. (faciatis.) You shall not sacrifice (Syriac) any thing that is rendered unfit to propagate its kind: neither shall you reduce either man or beast to that condition. Josephus c. Apion ii. Rabbins.

Ver. 25. Bread, which always accompanies the sacrifices for sin. Holocausts might be offered by the Gentiles, 2 Mac. iii. 3. 1 Esd. vi. 9. Josep. Ant. xviii. 7. Seld. Jur. 4. 7. — Them. To reconcile this with v. 18, we must understand because in the sense of in as much as; they are all corrupted, when contrary to these regulations. The strangers shall not be allowed to offer any blemished victim. Heb. “Neither from the hand of a stranger shall you offer the bread (or victims) of your God of any of these; because…blemishes are in them: they shall not be accepted (by God) for you (or them).” The Chal. and other versions explain it in the same sense. Presents of gold, &c. were accepted, and kept in the temple. The family of Augustus shewed their generosity in this respect. Philo Legat. C. — Strangers, or pagans, could not offer victims, but they might give money to purchase them. T.

Ver. 27. Lord. In this and the following verses, we are taught a lesson of humanity. Tert. — The Romans did not offer sheep or goats till they were eight days old: though the Jews were at liberty to sacrifice them after that term, they generally waited till they were thirty days old. C.