New European Commentary

 

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Deeper Commentary

 

Lev 6:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

Lev 6:2 ’If anyone sins, and commits a trespass against Yahweh, and deals falsely with his neighbour in a matter of deposit, or of bargain, or of robbery, or has oppressed his neighbour,
Lev 6:3 or has found that which was lost, and dealt falsely therein, and swearing to a lie; in any of all these things that a man does, sinning therein;
Lev 6:4 then it shall be, if he has sinned, and is guilty, he shall restore that which he took by robbery, or the thing which he has gotten by oppression, or the deposit which was committed to him, or the lost thing which he found-

Robbery  was effectively was what the exaggeration, mind games, manipulation, white lies and deceitful dealing of :2 was reckoned as. These things creep in so easily into any business dealings between people; and God sees them as robbery.


Lev 6:5 or any thing about which he has sworn falsely; he shall restore it even in full, and shall add a fifth part more to it. To him to whom it belongs he shall give it, in the day of his being found guilty-

Broken relationships were to be restored as quickly as possible "in the day", so the restoration was to be made immediately. In all human failure, reconciliation involves some level of restoration, be it verbal or material.


Lev 6:6 He shall bring his trespass offering to Yahweh, a ram without blemish from the flock, according to your estimation, for a trespass offering, to the priest-

No animal actually is without blemish. God recognizes that we will not attain perfection in this life, but we are to do our best towards it; and His love imputes righteousness to us, counting us as unblemished because of our status in Christ. For only Christ was the sacrifice totally without moral blemish (1 Pet. 1:19).

This looked ahead to the unblemished character of the Lord Jesus. The offering of sacrifices "without blemish" uses a word which is used about Abraham and Noah being "without blemish" (AV "perfect") before God (Gen. 6:9; 17:1). Although the word is used about the sacrifices, it is really more appropriate to persons- "you shall be perfect with Yahweh your God" (Dt. 18:13), "serve Him in sincerity (s.w. "without blemish")" (Josh. 24:14). The idea, therefore, was that the offerer was invited to see the animal as representative of himself. Our lives too are to be as "living sacrifices" (Rom. 12:1). And yet in practical terms, no animal is without blemish. They were to give the best they could, and God would count it as without blemish; as He does with us. David frequently uses the term in the Psalms about himself and the "upright", even though he was far from unblemished in moral terms.

Lev 6:7 The priest shall make atonement for him before Yahweh, and he will be forgiven concerning whatever he has done to become guilty’.

Lev 6:8 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 6:9 Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law of the burnt offering: the burnt offering shall be on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning; and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it.
Lev 6:10 The priest shall put on his linen garment, and he shall put on his linen breeches upon his body; and he shall remove the ashes from where the fire has consumed the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.
Lev 6:11 He shall take off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place.
Lev 6:12 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it, it shall not go out; and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning: and he shall lay the burnt offering in order upon it, and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings.
Lev 6:13 Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out’-

There was fair emphasis on this, that always a bullock should be smouldering as a burnt offering to God. Our devotion to God, as a community of believers and as individuals, must be 24/7; it’s not a matter of occasional flashes of devotion, weekly attendance at meetings etc.


Lev 6:14 ‘This is the law of the grain offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before Yahweh, before the altar.
Lev 6:15 He shall take from there his handful of the fine flour of the grain offering, and of its oil, and all the frankincense which is on the grain offering, and shall burn it on the altar for a pleasant aroma, as its memorial, to Yahweh-

“A pleasant aroma” is a very common phrase. This concept is important to God. It first occurs in Gen. 8:21 where it means that God accepted Noah's sacrifice and vowed that the pole of saving mercy in His character was going to triumph over that of necessary judgment. Under the new covenant, it is persons and not sacrifices or incense which are accepted as a "pleasant aroma" (Ez. 20:41). The word for "pleasant" means strong delight; this is how God's heart can be touched by genuine sacrifice. Those pleasing offerings represented us, the living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1). And so it is applied to us in 2 Cor. 2:15- if we are in Christ, we are counted as a pleasant aroma to God. The offering of ourselves to Him is nothing of itself, but because we are in Christ and counted as Him, we are a delight to God. Hence the colossal importance of being “in Christ”. "Aroma" or "smell" is a form of the Hebrew word ruach, the word for spirit or breath. God discerns the spirit of sacrifices, that was what pleased Him rather than the burning flesh of animals. Our attitude of mind in sacrifice can touch Him. Sacrifice is therefore accepted, Paul says, according to what a person has to give, but the essence is the attitude of mind behind it. We think of the two coins sacrificed by the widow.


Lev 6:16 That which is left of it Aaron and his sons shall eat. It shall be eaten without yeast in a holy place. They shall eat it in the court of the Tent of Meeting-

The priests had no inheritance amongst Israel, they survived by eating parts of the offerings. Their eating of them represented God’s ‘eating’ of the sacrifices, the altar being described as His table (Mal. 1:7,12), His acceptance of the offerer and fellowship with them- for eating what had been brought to you was a sign of acceptance and religious fellowship with the donor.


Lev 6:17 It shall not be baked with yeast. I have given it as their portion of my offerings made by fire. It is most holy, as the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.
Lev 6:18 Every male among the children of Aaron shall eat of it, as their portion forever throughout your generations, from the offerings of Yahweh made by fire. Whoever touches them shall be holy’.
Lev 6:19 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 6:20 ’This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer to Yahweh in the day when he is anointed: the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering perpetually, half of it in the morning, and half of it in the evening-

An ephah is about 22 litres.


Lev 6:21 It shall be made with oil in a griddle. When it is soaked, you shall bring it in. You shall offer the grain offering in baked pieces for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh.
Lev 6:22 The anointed priest that will be in his place from among his sons shall offer it. By a statute forever, it shall be wholly burnt to Yahweh-

The priests were not to eat parts of their own offering, as they usually did with the offerings of others. We as the new priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5) shouldn’t take any personal benefit from what we give to God, otherwise the concept of personal sacrifice to God is somewhat lacking in meaning. The priests were so used to dealing with the needs of others for atonement and acceptability with God- but they were not to forget that they too needed this, hence they too had to offer sacrifice. Our dealings with the unsaved world shouldn’t lead us to forget our own personal need for reconciliation with God.


Lev 6:23 Every grain offering of a priest shall be wholly burned. It shall not be eaten’.

Lev 6:24 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 6:25 Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘This is the law of the sin offering: in the place where the burnt offering is killed, the sin offering shall be killed before Yahweh. It is most holy.
Lev 6:26 The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. It shall be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the Tent of Meeting.
Lev 6:27 Whatever shall touch its flesh shall be holy. When there is any of its blood sprinkled on a garment, you shall wash that on which it was sprinkled in a holy place.
Lev 6:28 But the earthen vessel in which it is boiled shall be broken; and if it is boiled in a bronze vessel, it shall be scoured, and rinsed in water.
Lev 6:29 Every male among the priests shall eat of it: it is most holy-

When Jesus presented Himself as the sin offering and invited His people to eat the symbol of it in the breaking of bread meeting, He was inviting us to see ourselves as a new priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5,9), no longer assuming some group of specialists would look after the spiritual concerns of others, but everyone, male and female, taking responsibility. This was a radical, difficult idea to accept for 1st century Jewish Christians, and it is hard for us today too, accustomed as we are to assigning responsibility to others rather than taking it ourselves.


Lev 6:30 No sin offering, of which any of the blood is brought into the Tent of Meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place, shall be eaten: it shall be burned with fire’.