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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



LEVITICUS 17

 

CHAPTER XVII.

 

Ver. 3.  If he kill, &c.  That is, in order to sacrifice.  The law of God forbids sacrifices to be offered in any other place but at the tabernacle or temple of the Lord: to signify that no sacrifice would be acceptable to God, out of his true temple, the one, holy, Catholic Apostolic Church.  Ch. --- On other occasions, many believe that the blood of oxen, sheep, and goats, was to be poured out in honour of God by the priest, who received a part of each.  Deut. xviii. 3. xii. 15, 22.  Theod. q. 23.  Perhaps this law regards the time when the Hebrews sojourned in the desert; and that of Deuteronomy has a reference to those times when they should obtain possession of Chanaan.  C. --- We read of some private people like Manue and Elias, who offered sacrifice at a distance from the tabernacle.  But this was done by a particular inspiration of God, who dispensed with his own law.  S. Aug. q. 56.  3 K. xviii. 23.  Judg. xiii. 19.  M.  See Jos. viii. 31.

 

Ver. 5.  They.  The Egyptians and other nations, kill in the field, as the Hebrews had also done, till it was now prohibited.  Some were, perhaps, still much inclined to adore, (C.) and to offer sacrifices privately to devils; (v. 7,) and therefore God forbids any sacrifice, but such as was performed by his priests at the tabernacle.  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Devils.  Heb. schirim: which some translate goats, (the hairy ones,) satyrs, &c.  The Egyptians adored the goat, (which they represented like the god Pan) particularly in the territory of Mendes, near which the Hebrews had dwelt.  Its worship was very abominable and obscene.  Strabo xvii.  C. --- Ezechiel (xvi. 22) intimates that the Hebrews were given to idolatry in Egypt.  They had also recently adored the calf.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Eat blood.  To eat blood, was forbidden in the law; partly because God reserved it to himself to be offered in sacrifices on the altar, as to the Lord of life and death; and as a figure of the blood of Christ; and partly to give men a horror of shedding blood.  Gen. ix. 4, 5, 6.  Ch. --- Some barbarians feast on human blood.  The Massagetes drunk the blood of horses, and the Gelonians of Pontus mixed it with milk.  Georg. iii. 463.  If the Hebrews did any such thing, and it became public, they were put to death.  But if it remained private, God threatens to take vengeance himself of their cruelty and disobedience.  The face often denotes anger.

 

Ver. 11.  Life, (anima).  The sensitive soul depends on the blood.  The soul and the blood are often used in the same sense.  Deut. xii. 23.  Ps xxix. 10.  Sanguine quærendi reditus animaque litandum---Argolica.  Æneid ii.  C. --- If any one think that blood is the soul of cattle, we need not examine this question very nicely.  S. Aug. q. 57.  D.

 

Ver. 13.  Hunting, with nets, or with bow and arrow.  If a dog had killed the prey, it would have rendered it unclean.  Tostat.  But perhaps dogs were not employed in hunting by the Hebrews.  The Persians use lions, &c.  Chardin.  C. --- Earth, to prevent any abusive custom, such as that of the magicians, who pretended to raise spirits by blood.  Tiresias would not disclose the truth to Ulysses, till he had drunk some blood.  Odys. xxii.  The Jews abhorred things strangled, and the apostles forbade the primitive Christians to use them.  Acts xv.  Phocilides, the pagan, says, "abandon such remains to dogs; beasts eat the leavings of beasts."  Euseb.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Stranger.  Perhaps the proselyte of justice, not simply of the gate, for the latter were allowed to eat and purchase what had died of itself.  Deut. xiv. 21. --- Clean, having offered the sacrifice.  C. iv. 27.  But if he eat such things knowingly, or neglected these regulations, he was more severely punished.  H.

 

 








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