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THE Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Whosoever shall sin, and despising the Lord, shall deny to his neighbour the thing delivered to his keeping, which was committed to his trust; or shall by force extort any thing, or commit oppression;

Ver. 2.  Despising: interpretatively; not formally, as Num. xv.  Estius.


--- The Lord, who knows the truth, and is an avenger of all injustice, even the most secret.  H.


--- The law inflicts indeed a smaller punishment, as these offences are supposed to be secret, and the offender is thus invited to repent, and to repair the injury done.  When the crime is public, the law is more severe.  C.


--- Heb. "if a soul transgress and sin against the Lord."  Sept. "If any one wilfully despise the commands," &c.  H.


--- Trust.  Heb. and Sept. "or a sum given for traffic for their common benefit."


--- Oppression, by any means whatsoever, detaining the wages of the labourer, &c.

3 Or shall find a thing lost, and denying it, shall also swear falsely, or shall do any other of the many things, wherein men are wont to sin:

Ver. 3.  Lost.  We acquire no title to the thing by finding it.  The Roman law, as well as divines, condemn those who appropriate the thing found to their own use, as guilty of theft, whether they knew to whom it belonged or not; and Plato greatly commends the law of Solon, "Take not what thou didst not put down," a rule which the Dyrbeans and the people of Biblos rigorously observed.  We may, however, take up what is lost, (C.) and endeavour to find the owner, who must indemnify us for our trouble; and, if we never find him, we are directed to give the price to the poor, for the owner's welfare.  H.

4 Being convicted of the offence, he shall restore

Ver. 4.  Convicted, by his own conscience, and by the judgment of the priest to whom he has confessed his sin.  The Heb. expresses the different sorts of sins specified above, which the Vulgate denotes by the word offence.

5 All that he would have gotten by fraud, in the principal, and the fifth part besides to the owner, whom he wronged.

Ver. 5.  Wronged.  Heb. and Chaldee add, "in the day of his sin-offering;" and the Sept. "in which he has convicted."  No unnecessary delay in making restitution can be allowed to the sincere penitent, who wishes to make his peace with God.


6 Moreover for his sin he shall offer a ram without blemish out of the flock, and shall give it to the priest, according to the estimation and measure of the offence:

Ver. 6.  The.  Heb. "thy estimation for a sin-offering."  H.


--- Wilful sins require a more noble victim than those of ignorance, which were expiated by the sacrifice of a goat.  M.

7 And he shall pray for him before the Lord, and he shall have forgiveness for every thing in doing of which he hath sinned. 8 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 9 Command Aaron and his sons: This is the law of a holocaust: It shall be burnt upon the altar, all night until morning: the fire shall be of the same altar.

Ver. 9.  Holocaust.  The regulations respecting it, as they regard the priests, are here given, as C. i. directions were given to those who represent the victims.


--- Morning.  All the parts of the victim were not laid on at the same time.  The like was observed during the day also, when no other sacrifices were to be offered on this altar.


--- Of the same, not strange, unhallowed fire, but such as was kept continually burning on the altar of holocausts, as the Heb. intimates; "the fire of the altar shall be burning in it."  During the marches in the desert, it is not written how this fire was preserved.  The Persians believed that their eternal fire came down from heaven, and the vestal virgins kept their sacred fire at Rome, with superstitious care.  Theophrastus (ap. Euseb. præp. i. 9,) mentions the keeping of fire in the temples, as one of the most ancient rites of religion.

10 The priest shall be vested with the tunick and the linen breeches, and he shall take up the ashes of that which the devouring fire hath burnt, and putting them beside the altar, 11 Shall put off his former vestments, and being clothed with others, shall carry them forth without the camp, and shall cause them to be consumed to dust in a very clean place,

Ver. 11.  Others; such as were worn on common occasions, out of the tabernacle.


--- And shall, &c.  Heb. has only, "unto a clean place," as the other versions and some Latin copies read.  The meaning of the addition is, that all the bones, &c. must be perfectly reduced to dust, before they be carried out of the camp.  C.

12 And the fire on the altar shall always burn, and the priest shall feed it, putting wood on it every day in the morning, and laying on the holocaust, shall burn thereupon the fat of the peace offerings.

Ver. 12.  Fat, along with the whole burnt-offering. M.

13 This is the perpetual fire which shall never go out on the altar.

Ver. 13.  The perpetual fire.  This fire came from heaven, (infra chap. ix. 24,) and was always kept burning on the altar: as a figure of the heavenly fire of divine love, which ought to be always burning in the heart of a Christian.  Ch.


--- It must be fed by assiduous meditation on the Scripture and holy things.  D.

14 This is the law of the sacrifice and libations, which the children of Aaron shall offer before the Lord, and before the altar.

Ver. 14.  Sacrifice of flour, monee.  C. ii. 1.


--- And libations.  These words are added, to shew that oil and wine accompanied this sacrifice.

15 The priest shall take a handful of the flour that is tempered with oil, and all the frankincense that is put upon the flour: and he shall burn it on the altar for a memorial of most sweet odour to the Lord: 16 And the part of the flour that is left, Aaron and his sons shall eat, without leaven: and he shall eat it in the holy place of the court of the tabernacle.

Ver. 16.  He.  Only the priests, who were actually officiating, could partake of it.  C.

17 And therefore it shall not be leavened, because part thereof is offered for the burnt sacrifice of the Lord. It shall be most holy, as that which is offered for sin and for trespass. 18 The males only of the race of Aaron shall eat it. It shall be an ordinance everlasting in your generations concerning the sacrifices of the Lord: Every one that toucheth them shall be sanctified.

Ver. 18.  Lord.  As long as this law shall be enforced.  M.


--- Sanctified.  Theodoret (q. 5,) seems to assert, that all such were obliged to serve the altar in some function or other.  If any unclean person touched the victims wilfully, he was slain; if, by mistake, the blood sprinkled a garment, it was to be washed, v. 27.

19 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 20 This is the oblation of Aaron, and of his sons, which they must offer to the Lord, in the day of their anointing: They shall offer the tenth part of an ephi of flour for a perpetual sacrifice, half of it in the morning, and half of it in the evening:

Ver. 20.  Evening.  And this shall continue as long as they are high priests, from the day of their consecration, (Josep.  iii. 20.; Cajetan,) a perpetual sacrifice.  C.

21 It shall be tempered with oil, and shall be fried in a fryingpan. 22 And the priest that rightfully succeedeth his father, shall offer it hot, for a most sweet odour to the Lord, and it shall be wholly burnt on the altar.

Ver. 22.  Rightfully.  According to the law, which decides that, if the first-born be deformed, the next shall succeed.  C. xxi. 18.  Heb. "the priest, of his sons, who is anointed in his stead, shall offer it."  No mention is made of its being hot, either here or in the Sept.  H.

23 For every sacrifice of the priest shall be consumed with fire, neither shall any man eat thereof.

Ver. 23.  Sacrifice of flour, not of animals.  Ex. xxix. 28.

24 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
25 Say to Aaron and his sons: This is the law of the victim for sin: in the place where the holocaust is offered, it shall be immolated before the Lord. It is holy of holies.

Ver. 25.  Sin of individuals.  The victims offered by the priest, or by the whole people, were to be burnt.  C. iv. 7.

26 The priest that offereth it, shall eat it in a holy place, in the court of the tabernacle.

Ver. 26.  Tabernacle.  No part shall be given to those who are not of the sacerdotal race.  C.

27 Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof, shall be sanctified. If a garment be sprinkled with the blood thereof, it shall be washed in a holy place.

Ver. 27.  Place, in the court, that so it may be worn again. M.

28 And the earthen vessel, wherein it was sodden, shall be broken, but if the vessel be of brass, it shall be scoured, and washed with water.

Ver. 28.  Sodden, or boiled.  Such vessels, of private people, as had been used to boil part of the victim, (1 K ii. 13,) were either to be abandoned to the service of the altar, or broken, &c.  C.


--- Earthen vessels might imbibe some part of the consecrated juice.  M.


29 Every male of the priestly race shall eat of the flesh thereof, because it is holy of holies. 30 For the victim that is slain for sin, the blood of which is carried into the tabernacle of the testimony to make atonement in the sanctuary, shall not be eaten, but shall be burnt with fire.

Ver. 30.  Fire.  As they are the victims for the sins of the priest and of the people.  C. iv. 6. 18.  M.


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