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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



LEVITICUS 22

 

CHAPTER XXII.

 

Ver. 2.  Offer.  He does not speak of such things as fell to the share of the priests; (M.) but orders them to behave with great reverence when they perform their sacred offices, lest others should take occasion to treat the name of God and holy things with disrespect.  Heb. and Sept. "let them not profane my holy name, which they are bound to sanctify; or in what they consecrate to me."  Such things must not be used for ordinary purposes.  S. Bas. ser. de bapt. ii. 2. and 3.

 

Ver. 3.  Approacheth, &c.  This is to give us to understand, with what purity of soul we are to approach to the blessed sacrament, of which these meats that had been offered in sacrifice were a figure. Ch. --- Such as were unclean either fasted till the evening, or ate unconsecrated meats till they were purified. --- Perish.  The Rabbins say, by the hands of the other priests.  The judges could only condemn him to be whipped.  If his crime were secret, the punishment was left to God.  Seld. syn. ii. 1.

 

Ver. 4.  And he, &c.  Hence it is plain, even the Jewish priests were bound to observe continence during the time of their ministry.  C. --- For the same reason, the priests of the new law, who may be called at any time to perform their more sacred functions, engage voluntarily in the state of perpetual celibacy.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Or any.  Heb. "or a man who may contaminate," as lepers, &c.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  That.  See C. xvii. 15.

 

Ver. 9.  In the sanctuary, is not found in Heb. which is difficult to explain.  "They shall observe my precepts, (or "watches," entering upon the ministry at 17.  Josep.  M.) and not bear sin for it, and die in it, because they have profaned it;" which it, may be understood either of the consecrated food, (v. 7,) or of the sanctuary.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Sojourner.  "Guest," or friend.  Syriac.  None but priests could taste this meat, except they were going to remain in the family for ever.  Hence servants and slaves of the Jewish nation, who would one day regain their liberty, are excluded.

 

Ver. 13.  Children.  If she had any, she remained with them.  Philo. Monar. 2.

 

Ver. 14.  He.  A layman, who, through mistake, eat of any of the tithes, &c. was obliged to give the capital, and a fifth part besides, with a sacrifice, mentioned C. v. 15. --- Sanctuary.  Heb. and Sept. "He shall give to the priest the holy thing."  But if he ate it on purpose, he was to be slain.  Mum. xv. 30.

 

Ver. 15.  They; the common people shall not profane, by touching them afterwards, or by retaining any part.  C. --- The priests shall answer for the profanation, if it be committed through their neglect.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Strangers: proselytes of justice, or converts of the Jewish religion.  See v. 25.

 

Ver. 19.  Without blemish.  To teach us to aim at perfection in all our offerings and performances.

 

Ver. 22.  Scar.  Sept. "If its tongue be cut out, or slit." which was a blemish among the heathens.  Servius in Æn. vi.; lectas de more bidentes.  They also required the victims to be perfect.  The Egyptians had officers called Sealers, who were directed by many books how to choose the proper victims.  The Hebrew priests had to examine such as were offered to them, with the utmost nicety.  See the Misna of Babylon.  The idea of God's perfection, has taught all nations to present to Him nothing but what is perfect, particularly when they offer victims.

 

Ver. 23.  Ear...cut.  Heb. saruang, which is translated a crooked nose.  C. xxi. 18.  The Sept. and Syriac agree here with the Vulg.: but the moderns generally adopt the interpretation of the Rabbins, who say the word is applied to those animals whose double members, feet, ears, &c. are disproportionately long; as kolut, means too short.  Bochart.  C. --- Voluntarily, for the use of the priests, but not for any sacrifice, v. 21.  D.

 

Ver. 24.  Bruised.  Heb. does not specify what part, no more than the Syr. or Arab. versions; but the Sept., Chal., Rabbins, and most commentators agree with us. --- Do any, &c. (faciatis.)  You shall not sacrifice (Syriac) any thing that is rendered unfit to propagate its kind: neither shall you reduce either man or beast to that condition.  Josephus c. Apion ii.  Rabbins.

 

Ver. 25.  Bread, which always accompanies the sacrifices for sin.  Holocausts might be offered by the Gentiles, 2 Mac. iii. 3.  1 Esd. vi. 9.  Josep. Ant. xviii. 7.  Seld. Jur. 4. 7. --- Them.  To reconcile this with v. 18, we must understand because in the sense of in as much as; they are all corrupted, when contrary to these regulations.  The strangers shall not be allowed to offer any blemished victim.  Heb. "Neither from the hand of a stranger shall you offer the bread (or victims) of your God of any of these; because...blemishes are in them: they shall not be accepted (by God) for you (or them)."  The Chal. and other versions explain it in the same sense.  Presents of gold, &c. were accepted, and kept in the temple.  The family of Augustus shewed their generosity in this respect.  Philo Legat.  C. --- Strangers, or pagans, could not offer victims, but they might give money to purchase them.  T.

 

Ver. 27.  Lord.  In this and the following verses, we are taught a lesson of humanity.  Tert. --- The Romans did not offer sheep or goats till they were eight days old: though the Jews were at liberty to sacrifice them after that term, they generally waited till they were thirty days old.  C.

 

 








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