Leviticus 1:3
(3) If his offering be a burnt sacrifice.--Having stated what is meant by animals, the directions now treat upon the different kinds of the offerings them-selves. First in order comes the burnt offering, which is divided into burnt offering from the beeves (Leviticus 1:3-9), and burnt offering from the flock (Leviticus 1:10-13). The ox takes precedence because it is the more costly and more important sacrifice. It had to be without disease or blemish of any kind. To offer a defective sacrifice was an insult and a deception. Hence the exclamation of the prophet, "cursed be the deceiver which hath in his flock a male and voweth and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing" (i.e., an animal with a blemish), Malachi 1:14. The offerer is to bring the animal to the entrance of the tent of meeting, as it should be rendered, that is, to the front of the Tabernacle where the brazen altar stood (Exodus 40:6).

Of his own voluntary will.--The whole passage is better rendered, at the entrance of the tent of meeting shall he offer it, that he may be accepted before the Lord. (Comp. Exodus 28:38; Leviticus 19:5; Leviticus 22:19-20; Leviticus 22:29; Leviticus 23:11.) This meaning is unmistakably set forth in Leviticus 22:19-21, where it is explicitly declared, "ye shall offer for your acceptance a male without blemish of the beeves, of the sheep or of the goats, but whatsoever hath a blemish that ye shall not offer, for it shall not be acceptable for you." It is to be remarked that the phrase "for your acceptance," or "acceptable for you," is only used in connection with burnt offerings and peace offerings, but never with sin offerings.

Verse 3. - If his offering be a burnt sacrifice. The Hebrew term for "burnt sacrifice" is olah, meaning "that which ascends;" sometimes kaleel "whole offering," is found (Deuteronomy 33:10); the LXX. use the word ὁλοκαύτωμα, "whole burnt offering." The conditions to be fulfilled by an Israelite who offered a burnt sacrifice were the following: -

1. He must offer either

(1) a young bull without blemish, or

(2) a young ram, or

(3) a young he-goat, or

(4) a turtle-dove, or

(5) a young pigeon. 2. In case it were a bull, ram, or goat, he must bring it to the door of the tabernacle, that is, the entrance of the court in front of the brazen altar and of the door of the holy place, and there after or present it.

3. In offering it he must place his hand firmly on its head, as a ceremonial act.

4. He must kill it, either himself or by the agency of a Levite.

5. He must flay it.

6. He must divide it into separate portions.

7. He must wash the intestines and legs. Meantime the priests had their parts to do; they had

1. To catch the blood, to carry it to the altar, and to strike the inner sides of the altar with it.

2. To arrange the fire on the altar.

3. To place upon the altar the head, and the fat, and the remainder of the animal, for consumption by the fro.

4. To sprinkle or place a meat offering upon them.

5. The next morning, still dressed in their priestly garments, to take the ashes off the altar, and to place them at the east of the altar (chapter 6:10).

6. To carry them outside the camp to a clean place, the bearer being dressed in his ordinary costume (Leviticus 6:11). There were, therefore, four essential parts in the ritual of the burnt offering - the oblation of the victim (verses 3, 4), the immolation (verse 5), the oblation of the blood, representing the life (ibid.), and the consumption (verse 9) - the first two to be performed by the offerer, the third by the priest, the fourth by the fire representing the action of God. The moral lesson taught by the burnt offering was the necessity of self-surrender and of devotion to God, even to the extent of yielding up life and the very tenement of life. As the offerer could not give up his own life and body and still live, the life of an animal belonging to him, and valued by him, was substituted for his own; but he knew, and by laying his hand on its head showed that he knew, that it was his own life and his very self that was represented by the animal. The mystical lessons taught to those who could grasp them were -

1. The doctrine of substitution or vicarious suffering.

2. The fact that without the shedding of blood there was no acceptance.

3. The need of One who, being very man, should be able to perform an action of perfect surrender of his will and of his life. The fulfilment of the type is found in the perfect submission of Christ as man, throughout his ministry, and especially in the Garden of Gethsemane, and in the offering made by him, as Priest and willing Victim, of his life upon the altar of the cross. the burnt offering is to be without blemish, for had not the animal been perfect in its kind, it would not have served its moral, its mystical, or its typical purpose. The word ἄμωμος, used by the LXX. as equivalent to the Hebrew term, is applied to Christ in Hebrews 9:14 and 1 Peter 1:19; and St. Paul teaches that it is the purpose of God that those who are adopted in Christ should also be "holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 1:4). A priest had to certify that the victim was free kern all defects. He shall offer it of his own voluntary will should rather be translated, He shall offer it for his own acceptance. The animal, representing the offerer, was presented by the latter in order that he might be himself accepted by the Lord. This aspect of the offering is brought out more clearly by the minchah, or meat offering, which always accompanied the burnt offering. The place where the presentation took place was the door of the tabernacle, that is, the space immediately within the eastern entrance into the court of the tabernacle, immediately facing the brazen altar, which stood before the east end of the tabernacle, where was the door or entrance which led into the holy place. "The presenting of the victim at the entrance of the tabernacle was a symbol of the free will submitting itself to the Law of the Lord" (Clarke). Cf. Romans 12:1: "I beseech you that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

1:3-9 In the due performance of the Levitical ordinances, the mysteries of the spiritual world are represented by corresponding natural objects; and future events are exhibited in these rites. Without this, the whole will seem unmeaning ceremonies. There is in these things a type of the sufferings of the Son of God, who was to be a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world? The burning body of an animal was but a faint representation of that everlasting misery, which we all have deserved; and which our blessed Lord bore in his body and in his soul, when he died under the load of our iniquities. Observe, 1. The beast to be offered must be without blemish. This signified the strength and purity that were in Christ, and the holy life that should be in his people. 2. The owner must offer it of his own free will. What is done in religion, so as to please God, must be done by love. Christ willingly offered himself for us. 3. It must be offered at the door of the tabernacle, where the brazen altar of burnt-offerings stood, which sanctified the gift: he must offer it at the door, as one unworthy to enter, and acknowledging that a sinner can have no communion with God, but by sacrifice. 4. The offerer must put his hand upon the head of his offering, signifying thereby, his desire and hope that it might be accepted from him, to make atonement for him. 5. The sacrifice was to be killed before the Lord, in an orderly manner, and to honour God. It signified also, that in Christians the flesh must be crucified with its corrupt affections and lust. 6. The priests were to sprinkle the blood upon the altar; for the blood being the life, that was it which made atonement. This signified the pacifying and purifying of our consciences, by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ upon them by faith. 7. The beast was to be divided into several pieces, and then to be burned upon the altar. The burning of the sacrifice signified the sharp sufferings of Christ, and the devout affections with which, as a holy fire, Christians must offer up themselves, their whole spirit, soul, and body, unto God. 8. This is said to be an offering of a sweet savour. As an act of obedience to a Divine command, and a type of Christ, this was well-pleasing to God; and the spiritual sacrifices of Christians are acceptable to God, through Christ, 1Pe 2:5.If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd,.... So called, because consumed by fire, see Leviticus 6:9 even all of it except the skin, and therefore its name with the Greeks is "a whole burnt offering", as in Mark 12:33 its name in Hebrew is which comes from a word which signifies to "ascend" or "go up", because not only it was carried up to the altar by the priest, which was common to other sacrifices, but being burnt upon it, it ascended upwards in smoke and vapour; it was typical of Christ's dolorous sufferings and death, who therein sustained the fire of divine wrath, and his strength was dried up like a potsherd with it. Jarchi on Leviticus 1:1 says, there were in the burnt offerings mysteries of future things:

let him offer a male; and not a female, pointing at the Messiah's sex, and his strength and excellency, the child that was to be born, and the Son to be given, whose name should be Immanuel:

without blemish; or perfect, having no part wanting, nor any part superfluous, nor any spot upon it, see Leviticus 22:19 denoting the perfection of Christ as man, being in all things made like unto his brethren, and his having not the least stain or blemish of sin upon him, either original or actual, and so could, as he did, offer up himself without spot to God, Hebrews 2:17,

and he shall offer it of his own voluntary will; not forced or compelled to it, or with any reluctancy, but as a pure freewill offering; so our Lord Jesus Christ laid down his life of himself, and freely gave himself an offering and a sacrifice, and became cheerfully and readily obedient unto death:

at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the Lord; it was to be done openly and publicly, and in the presence of the Lord, to whom it was offered up; showing, that Christ's sacrifice would be offered up to God, against whom we have sinned, by which his law would be fulfilled, his justice satisfied, and wrath appeased, and that his death would be public and notorious; see Luke 24:18.

Leviticus 1:2
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