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of satyrs.* No doubt the Lord called heathen gods by this name, to cast contempt upon them; and also the devils, or fallen angels, who suggested and fostered the idolatry of the heathen, were denominated by this terin. Besides; goats were worshipped in Egypt. Various passages show that the Jews had gone aside to such idolatry during their sojourn in Egypt; and that they manifested a tendency to this same apostasy still.
The Lord who says of disciples, “Inasmuch as ye have done unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me,” says in like manner, “ If ye sacrifice to one of these idolatrous gods, ye sacrifice to the devils who have suggested them.” The Lord saw, at the same time, how the devils allured Israel to make this idolatrous use of the blood, in order to bring atonement into disregard; or, in order to get them to suppose that devils needed to be, and could be, thus appeased and bribed to leave them unhurt.
Vers. 8, 9. "And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be
of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt-offering or sacrifice, and bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the
Lord; even that man shall be cut off from among his people.” This law is different from the foregoing. It refers to animals offered in sacrifice. All sacrifice must be offered " at the door of the tabernacle," that is, in the presence of Jehovah, and to him alone. Some might have tried to evade the law already given by pretending that they killed their animals for sacrifice, and so were free to pour out the blood at the spot where they offered sacrifice;
* Robertson in his Clavis Pent. adds "monkeys" to the class of hairy deities.
+ See Deut. xxxii. 16, Ps. cvi. 37, Amos v. 25, Ezek. xx. 7.
therefore, the Lord commands all sacrifices to be offered at one spot, viz., his own presence. And, lest strangers should mislead them, the law is laid on strangers too. The Lord is full and sincere in all he enjoins; he never intends reserve or mystery in his demands. His name is glorious. We can trust his heart; for he tells us plainly all he means. And surely not less true are his promises of life-his life-giving offers.
Vers. 10, 11, 12. “ And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel,
or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood, I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls :* for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger
that sojourneth among you eat blood.” A former law is re-instituted or enforced afresh. (See chap. iii. 17, and vii. 26.) While they must guard against pouring out the blood to idols, they must equally guard against using it for themselves, in the haste of hunger, doing as Saul's soldiers are related to have done. (1 Sam. xiv. 32.)
The grand reason for this jealousy over the use of the
* Sykes on Sacrifices has collected some interesting quotations to show the general prevalence of the idea of substitution. The Egyptians said over the victim,“ cis kopalnu tavanu TO KAKOV Tparcobal.” Herod. ii. 39. In Ovid Fast. vi. 161, we read, “Cor pro corde precor, pro fibris sumite fibras ; Hanc animam vobis pro meliore damus.” Cæsar says of the Gauls, " Pro vitâ hominis nisi vita hominis reddatur non posse deorum immortalium numen placari arbitrantur.” (B. G. vi. 15.) Magee quotes from Plautus Epid.
"Men' piaculum oportet, fieri propter stultitiam tuam,
Ut meum tergum stultitiæ tuæ subdas succedaneum." And Porphyry uses “ψυχην αντι ψυχης.”
blood is, “ The blood is the life.” When poured out, it shows atonement; for it expresses the life taken; “ Thou shalt die.” To you, sinner, what should be more tremendous than the sign of your own life taken? And to your God, 0 sinner, nothing is more solemnly glorious than the blood of his own Son. Earth and heaven stand still when blood is poured out.
When the spear reached the heart of Jesus, the blood was poured out from the very seat of life. The heart and the pericardium were both pierced, and, therefore, the blood that then gushed forth with the liquid fluid of the pericardium was blood from the warm seat of vitality. See John xix. 31. And as such was the type, so the reality. Jesus did then pour forth his whole soul; affections, feelings, faculties, and every power of his soul, all were laid down in suffering obedience to his Father. The heat of wrath melted all; and all thus melted flowed forth in that wondrous stream. The law took out its penalty from the very source of life.
But why life taken? Why “death” required ? Because the essence of sin is an attack on God's holy throne and his very existence. It is, therefore, repelled by God crushing the sinner's life. And Jesus bore even this for man! “Ye have slain the Prince of Life!"
Yet more, however. How astounding must our Lord's words have been to the Jews : “ E.ccept ye ... drink the blood of the Son of Man, ye have no life in you." (John vi. 53.) He abrogates the law, for he fulfils the type! You must live by blood now! You are to drink the poured out life of the Son of Man.
Vers. 13, 14. “And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel,
or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth, and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour
out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”
Another opportunity is taken of solemnly charging Israel to remember the blood of atonement. The hunter in his full career must keep atonement in his eye; and, when he has his prey in his hand, must reverently stand still and pour out its blood to Jehovah, to cover it from the gaze of men and the ravenous appetite of creatures of prey. God would have the sinner's soul send up its adoring thanks to him for atonement amid their forests, and in their wilds. Redemption should be sung of by every man in every situation; and none should be found in a situation wherein he cannot sing the song of Moses and the Lamb.
Israel's huntsmen were to be men of faith. They were not to hunt for the gratifying of wild fiery passions; but for food and necessity. The chastening solemnity of “pouring out the blood” was a check on the huntsman. None who would not stay, in their vehement, eager, keen pursuit, to realize redemption must engage in this employment. It is not for the gay, wild spirits of youth; or, if fiery youth engage therein, it must lead them to the most solemn views of sin and righteousness. Yea, it shall be even a way of life to them. Let them go—let them ride furiously over rock and chasm-let them shoot the arrow-but, lo! the field becomes an avenue to lead them to the presence of the Holy God. They must stand still at the blood ! " He taketh them in their craftiness.” After his most ardent chase, in the recess of the forest, the huntsman of Israel meets with God!
Vers. 15, 16. “And every soul that eateth that which died of itself,
or that which was torn with beasts, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even : then shall he be clean. But if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh, then he shall
bear his iniquity.' The reason of this law is, that the blood is left in the body, if the animal die of itself or be torn to death. So also, if strangled ; see Acts xv. 20, the blood coagulating in the veins and arteries. He that violates this law, even ignorantly, is guilty. He must forth with wash in water and be unclean till evening. And the reflection awakened—the jealousy begotten—the view of atonement given—by his being that day set apart, will leave its indelible impressions on the man of Israel, that he may ever after walk with his eye solemnly resting on atoning blood.