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solemnly, coming up “before the altar," i.e. in front of it, in sight of all the people who stand by. For thus the dedication of all that the man has-body and property, as well as soul—is publicly declared. All are witnesses that now he is not his own.
Ver. 15. “And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the ment
offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat-offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord.”
When the memorial (see chap. ii. 2) was taken and burned, the offerer saw a sight that refreshed his soul. He saw the altar smoking, and felt the air breathing with his accepted gift, "a savor of rest.” It was on such occasions as these that the priests exhibited salvation and its results so fully to the comfort of the worshippers, that “the saints shouted for joy.” (Psalm cxxxii. 16.)
Ver. 16. " And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat;
with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the
court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it.” It ought to be rendered, “unleavened shall it be eaten;"* that is, the remainder which Aaron and his sons received as their part, shall be eaten in the form of unleavened bread. There must not be anything in it that would intimate sin and corruption; for since the memo rial has been offered, the remainder is reckoned pure, so pure that it may be put into the hands of the priests as food, and eaten on holy ground. It may present to us the fact, that when Jesus was once offered as a “sweet savor of rest," then what remained, viz., his body the
* og vua Bpwongerai, Sept., caten as unleavened, “comedet absque fermento,” Vulgate.
Church, was pure, and might be freely admitted to holy ground, to heaven and to all heavenly employments.
The "holy place” here is the court of the tabernacle, ver. 26, where the altar and laver stood. It is “holy” on the same principle that Peter calls the hill of transfiguration “the holy mount” (2 Pet. i. 18); and because the same God was present there who made the place “holy ground" to Moses at the bush. (Exod. iji. 5.) There is a passage in Numbers xviii. 10, where the court seems to be called "most holy:" “ In the most holy place shalt thou eat it"-unless we render the words (as Horsley proposes) “ Among the most holy things thou shalt eat it.” Patrick's explanation of it, by a reference to the holy chambers in Ezekiel xlii., is altogether out of the question. It seems to be simply the Lord's presence hallowing the courts where such offerings were made that is meant.
Leviticus xxiv. 9, and elsewhere, again, calls it “ the holy place.” And no wonder ; for it was " at the door of the tabernacle” (viii. 31), which seems to mean opposite the altar, which was the prominent object in the view of all in the courts, but specially of any at the entrance. To this allusion is made in Isa. lxii. 9, when thank-offerings of corn and wine are spoken of as feasted “ in the courts of my holiness.”
Ver. 17. “It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it unto
them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin-offering, and as the trespass-offering.”
They are directed not to use it as they might do bread at their own dwellings : “ There must be no leaven in it, for it is a gift to them from me. Let it, then, derive its sweetness and relish to their taste from the consideration that it is my gift to them.” This is truly like Hannah, Samuel's mother; when rejoicing after her son's birth she sings, not of her joy in her first-born, but of her joy in Him who gave her the rich gift, “ My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord.” (1 Sam. ii. 1.) There is here, also, a cheering notice of the full communion that subsists between God and his people. “ I have given it for their portion, out of my offerings.” As if there was an intercommunity of goods —of blessings-between God and his people. He and they alike feast upon the same holiness and purity found in the Righteous One.
Ministers, and indeed all God's people, are here taught not to consider the smallest service or offering as unimportant. Lest these " cakes,” and “ flour," and "baken things" should be treated slightly, the Lord as solemnly declared, " It is most holy, as is the sin-offering, and as the trespass-offering."
Ver. 18. “ All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it.
It shall be a statute forever in your generations concerning the offerings of the Lord made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy."
While all the males of Aaron's line might eat thereof, every one must remember in all generations to do so with deep reverence; for "every one (or everything) that toucheth them shall be holy.” Any person or thing touching them was to be reckoned as set apart to holy purposes, to be treated accordingly. Garments, vessels, or the like, must be then considered as on holy ground; and accordingly, must be washed in clean water, as an emblem of setting apart from common use. Persons, too, that came in contact, must wash themselves, being, like Moses at the bush, suddenly drawn into God's pres. ence, where they must put off the shoe.
What a circle of deep awe was thus drawn round the altar and its offerings! “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of his saints, and to be had in reverence of all that are about him.” (Psalm lxxxix. 7.) Nothing is more blissful than God's presence, yet nothing more solemnizing. Bethel was "the gate of heaven,” and yet “how dreadful!'' This is holy bliss; it is not as the world's joy.
Vers. 19, 20. “ And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, This is the
offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the Lord in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat-offering perpetual, half of it in the morning,
and half thereof at night.” “ A meat-offering perpetual” means that this shall be in all ages the manner of the priest's meat-offering. The common priests and Aaron offered it at their first entering on office, and that is “the day when he is anointed.” They had been already told what to bring, in Exod. xxix. 2, but they are told how to bring it,what ceremonies to use in the bringing of it.
The priest's meat-offering was of “fine flour," in “cakes and wafers” (Exod. xxix. 2), and “baken in the pan." (ver. 21.) It thus contained a reference to the two most common sorts of meat-offering mentioned in chap. ii. 1-6. It was neither the richest nor the poorest.
The omer, or tenth part of the ephah, is fixed on as the measure. It might remind them of the omer of manna which they used daily to gather; and the omer of it kept in the golden pot. When they remembered that manna, would not their hearts naturally feel their obligations to devote all their substance to him who gave them bread from heaven, and was still commanding the blessing on their fields and dwellings?
Ver. 21. "In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken,
thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat-offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savor unto the Lord.”
They were to bring it ready-baken, that is, prepared in the form of cakes and wafers, as Exod. xxix. 2 directed, and as chap. ii. 5 appoints in regard to things baken in the pan.
The oil, and other particulars, have been noticed above. The bringing it to the altar, all ready, may have been meant to teach the need of a fully prepared offering—nothing imperfect--if presented to the Lord for acceptance.
Vers, 22, 23. “And the priest of his sons that is anointed in his stead
shall offer it: it is a statute forever unto the Lord: it shall be wholly burnt. For every meat-offering for the priest shall be
wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten.” The ministering high-priest already in office presented this offering of the sons of Aaron on the day of their consecration.
It is particularly declared that it must be “ wholly burnt"_" not eaten"--because it was a priest's offering. (See ver. 30, also.) This prefigured, no doubt, the truth that Christ gave himself, entirely and completely, as the offering. This type refers to the Saviour alone, not to his people. It is speaking only of the Head, not of the members. He who was his people's priest, in giving himself, gave himself wholly, soul and body, to the consuming flame. “Our God is a consuming fire;" and that fire withered his spirit as he bore the curse. This