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words occurring ch. 27. 34, ' These are the commandments which the Lord com. manded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai.' That this is to be understood not only of those laws which were orally promulgated at that time and place, hut of those also which were committed to writing, may be in ferred from the parallel expression, Num. 36. 13, “These are the commandments and the judgments which the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses, unto the child. ren of Israel, in the plains of Moab, by Jordan, near Jericho. As it was in the plains of Moab here mentioned that Moses died, and as the precepts in the book of Numbers could not have been written either prior or subsequent to the period of the sojourn at that station, it is reasonable to conclude, that if in one case mention is made of written laws, the same is to be understood in the other. So that there is no room to question that this book was written during the encamp. ment of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai. This is strikingly confirmed by such allusions as the following, indicating that the state of the Israelites at the time, was that of an encampment, instead of a permanent settlement in cities and villages. Lev. 4. 12, ' The whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp.' v. 28,. And afterward he shall come into the camp. Ch. 14. 33,' And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When ye be come into the land of Canaan which I give to you,' &c. implying that they had not yet arrived there.
§ 2. The Period embraced by the History. Archbishop Usher, who is followed by Mr. Horne, supposes that the book comprises the history of the transactions of a single month, viz. from April 21 to May 21, of the year 2514, which answers to the first month of the second year after the departure from Egypt. Others consider it as containing only the account of what passed during the eight days of the consecration of Aaron and his sons. The former is the more generally received opinion, but as the book itself contains no definite data by which the chronological arrangement of its facts can be adjusted, we can affirm nothing positive on the subject.
§ 3. Divisions, Contents, $c. By the Jews this book is divided into ten 57095 parashoth, or larger divisions, and twenty-three 87970 siderim, or smaller divisions. These, in the arrange. ment of our Bibles, are comprised in twenty-seven chapters, of which the contents may be agaiu subdivided and classified as follows:
PART I.-Laws concerning Sacrifices.
I. Of the burnt-offerings,
3 4,5 6,7
PART II.-Institution of the Priesthood.
8 9 10
PART III.-Distinction of Clean and Unclean Animals.
PART V.-Various Regulations.
PART VI.-Laws concerning the Festivals, Vows, and Tithes.
§ 4. Argument, Scope, &c.
The sacrifices prescribed in the Levitical worship, were of two kinds; the
(I.) THE BLOODY SACRIFICES.—These consisted, (1.) of Holocausts, which
nity and excellence, for which reason Moses commences the law of sacrifices wilb them. (2.) Sin and Trespass-offerings, distinguished from the holocausls by certain parts only of the animal being burnt on the altar, while the flesh was eaten by the priests. (3.) Eucharistical Sacrifices, or Thank-offerings. In these the fat only was consumed on the altar, a small portion being allotted by law to the priest, and all the rest being eaten at a solemn and joyful feast by the offerer and his guests.
(II.) UNBLOODY SACRIFICES, OR MEAT OFFERING6.- These consisted of flour, bread, cakes, and ears of corn and grain roasted, of which a full account is given in ch.2. The libations were of wine, and although the mode of pouring them out is nowhere described, yet it is most likely that the wine was poured out of some vessel upon the top of the altar.
That these sacrifices had all of them a typical intent ; that they were 'shadows of good things to come,' pointing more or less distinctly to the body which is of Christ,' the whole epistle to the Hebrews is a continued proof. The imposition of hands upon the head of the victim, the shedding of its blood, and the consumption of its members upon the altar, were prefigurative acts setting forth, by a kind of dramatic representation, the future offering of the · Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. The requisite qualities of these sacri. ficial victims were emblernatical of Christ's iinmaculate character, and the law of their oblation was a practical hieroglyphic of the great gospel truth of the atonement. So also were the outward washings and purifications enjoined by the Mosaic law, designed to intimate the necessity of inward purity. Indeed, if these institutions be severed from their New Testament relations, we have no key to unlock the hidden meaning of the Pentateuch, and the whole ritual con. tained in it dwindles down to a burdensome round of unmeaning ceremonies. But when regarded in the light now suggested, the whole service, like the veil on the face of Moses, conceals a spiritual radiance under an outward covering, and the wisdom of the various appointments appears at once worthy of its di. vine Author. To what extent the spiritual import of these rites was actually understood by the Jews themselves, it may not be easy to determine ; but that something, over and above the simple act of slaying and offering the animal victim, was required by the spirit of the law is evident from the fact, that the obedience of the chosen people is frequently represented as faulty, not with. standing their scrupulous observance of the outward rite. Thus Isai. 1. 11, 12, • To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord : I ain full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.'
But while the Jews probably in great ineasure fell short of apprehending the true typical genius of their own dispensation, and consequently rejected its divine Fulfiller when he came, an error is often committed on the other hand, in modern times, by the attempt to elicit more from these figurative institutions than they were intended to convey. It by no means follows that because cer. tain portions of the Levitical economy have a typical purport, we have therefore a right to give loose to imagination and multiply types at will, as if the Scrip. tures meant all that they can be made to inean. This was the fault of many of the earlier interpreters, who so abounded in mystical senses as 10 convert nearly the whole system into a mass of fancied allegories and typical allusions, which
Luther very properly characterized as the 'froth of scripture.' To such lengths was this style of interpretation carried by Origen, Hesychius, and their disciples in later times, that one can scarcely open a volume of their commentaries with out reading in the title-page that the mystical sense is duly expounded ;' evi. dently implying that the duty of the commentator was by no means discharged by the accurate grammatical exegesis of the text; but that he was bound in addition to penetrate beyond the surface of the letter, and enlighten his readers by an exhibition of the manifold occult meanings hidden beneath the surface, and constituting those abysmal depths of import, which the plummet of lexicogra. phy could never presume to sound.
It may be difficult, indeed, to lay down precise rules which shall be universally applicable in the way of interpretation, but the grand canon undoubtedly is, to follow strictly the apostolical explanations, where we have them; and, where we have them not, 10 proceed with extreme caution, adhering rigidly to the analogy of faith, and standing as remote as possible from any thing which may appear fancisul, and give occasion lo cavillers to discard iypical expositions altogether. Under these restrictions we may safely recognize a typical import in many items of the Levitical law which are not expressly affirmed by the New Testament writers to be possessed of that character; and, in fact, in no other way will that wondrous polity disclose to us the whole richness of its evangeli. cal implications.
§ 5. Commentators. The remark made under this head in the introduction to the Notes on Exo. dus, holds strictly true of the book of Leviticus, viz. that it has been the subject of few commentaries except such as have at the saine time embraced either the whole Pentateuch or the whole Bible. In pointing out therefore the sources of illustration for this portion of the Mosaic writings, I can do little more than recite the authorities already specified in my preceding volumes. They will be found enumerated at considerable length in the prolegomena to the work on Exodus, with critical estimates of the character and value of each. These it will be unnecessary to repeat at length in the present connexion, but it may sub. serve the convenience and information of the reader, to be surnished with the titles of those works, from which he may hope to derive the most essential aid in the study of the scope and genius of the Levitical law. The following may be cited as claiming perhaps the first place in this relation :
Outram's Dissertations on the Jewish Sacri- | Saurin's Dissertations. fices,
Michaelís' Comment. on Laws of Moses, Lowman on the Hebrew Ritual,
Spencer de Legibus Hebræoruin. J. P. Smith on the Sacrifice and Priesthood Graves on the Pentateuch. of Christ.
Warburton's Divine Lcgation.
Davison on Sacrifices.
Sykes on do.
Bahr's Symbolik of the Mosaic Worship Pictorial Bible.
(Germ.) Lightfoot's Works.
Owen's Prelim. Dissert. on Epistle to the Magee on the Atonement.
Hebrews. Witsius' Miscellanea Sacra.
| Ainsworth on the Pentateuch
To most of the above works I have had recourse in the preparation of the en. suing Notes, but to one of the number-The Pictorial Bible I feel constrained on this, as on former occasions, to express my indebtedness in a more particular manner. The Notes of the Editor, Mr. Kitto, can scarcely be consulted on any point of which he treats without advantage, but it is more especially in the department of modern oriental manners and usages, that his work is so signally in advance of any other Biblical Commentary. From having himself spent sev. eral years as a traveler in the East, he has been enabled to make the existing institutions, laws, and customs of those ancient regions of the globe most happily tributary to the explanation of a multitude of passages which had never before the light of a satisfactory solution cast upon them. On all subjects of this nature, it will be perceived that I have drawn largely upon his pages, and so also in the natural history of the beasts, birds, and fishes mentioned in the eleventh chapter, in laying down the distinction between the clean and the unclean. For a very large part of the annotations on that chapter, requiring a species of knowledge to which a mere critical or practical expositor can seldom be expected to lay claim, I have been indebted to the results of his accurate inquiries. Being conscious of the necessity, in this province of my work, of
entering into other men's labors,' I trust the reader, instead of objecting to my copious extracts, will rather be grateful that I have provided so liberally from this source for his information in a field of comment, into which he has probably often come seeking fruit, and finding none.'
In referencc to the work now offered as a new korban on the altar of Biblical learning, a few words will be permitted. The book which I have here under. taken to illustrate on the plan of my previous volumes, constitutes a part of the sacred canon less read, and usually accounted less interesting and important, than almost any other. Although not omitted, of course, in any regular reading of the Scriptures entire from beginning to end, yet it is seldom relurned to on any other occasion ; and in Bible-dass and Sunday-school instruction is almost invariably passed by. May I be allowed to express the hope, that the present volume will be found, in no small measure, to have redeemed this book from the comparative disparagement which has fallen upon it? If the ensuing notes shall have the effect of transferring to the reader, in any good degree, the feel. ing of intense interest which has pervaded the mind of the author in the prose. cution of his labors, the book will rise in his estimation with the perusal of every successive chapter, till at the close he shall acknowledge that revelation is rich even in its poorest parts, and that without the accurate knowledge of the Law which he here acquires, he never could so fully have understood the nature and value of the Gospel.
No apology will be required by the thorough student of the Bible for the very frequent citation of the original in its appropriate type. The sentences are always translated, and I doubt not they will in many instances verify to the reader's mind the remark, which has so often occurred to my own, that a strictly literal rendering of a passage of Scripture is, in multitudes of cases, the very best commentary that can be offered upon it. The Hebrew is given without points, not from any slight esteem of the value of that appendage to the language, but simply in order to preserve the symmetry of the page by preventing the lines from being thrown unduly asunder.