Leviticus Chapter 22 Continued
Verses 24-25: Castration of animals was not to be practiced in Israel, and no castrated animals were to be offered under any circumstance, even those brought from foreigners (verse 25). Men in similar condition were forbidden even to worship with the congregation in ancient Israel (Deut. 23:1). Castration damaged God’s good creation. Holiness was symbolized in wholeness (Gen. 1:22, 28; 8:17).
Leviticus 22:24 “Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make [any offering thereof] in your land.”
The Targum of Jonathan is, whose testicles are pressed and bruised, and whose nerves are corrupted and bruised, and so most Jewish writers interpret it.
“Neither shall you make any offering thereof in your land”: Any offering of any sort, either burnt offering or peace offering, or any other. Or ye shall not do, that is, any such thing as here suggested, not bruise, or crush, or break, or cut the testicles of any creature. So the above writers.
You can easily see how it would be no sacrifice at all, to give an animal that was already ruined. God will accept only the very best. All of these offerings, in one sense or another, shadow the offering that Jesus made of Himself for all mankind. Jesus was without blemish. Anything that shadowed Jesus, would also have to be without blemish.
Leviticus 22:25 “Neither from a stranger’s hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these; because their corruption [is] in them, [and] blemishes [be] in them: they shall not be accepted for you.”
That is, from a Gentile, a proselyte of the gate, who had renounced idolatry, and was willing to offer sacrifice to the true God. But what had such defects and blemishes in them as before described the priest might not take of his hands, and offer on the altar of God. And this is the rather observed, because on the one hand the Gentile might think such sacrifices would be acceptable, since he might have been used to offer such to idols. And on the other hand, the priest might think such would do well enough for Gentiles, though not for Israelites.
“Because their corruption is in them”: Or they are corrupt through being bruised, crushed, broken, or cut.
“And blemishes be in them”: Which seems to be added to explain the former, and may have respect to all the blemishes before named, and whatsoever is included in them. For though there are but here mentioned, the Jews reckon no less than fifty.
“They shall not be accepted for you”: To make atonement for you; Jarchi says, or “from you”, the priests. They shall not be accepted of the Lord from their hands, and so be of no avail to the offerors, nor to those for whom they are offered.
Strangers were permitted to make offerings to the Lord, but they must observe the same instructions as the Israelites when they made an offering. I believe also that in the verse above, there is an indication that an Israelite was not to bring an offering that he had received from a stranger, because he would not be familiar with the offering. He would not possibly know whether this animal was of the quality required of God. Just because this offering was from a stranger did not eliminate the fact that it must be the very best he had.
Leviticus 22:26 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,”
At the same time, as before, in a continued discourse, the subject being of the same kind, relating to sacrifices.
“Saying”: As follows.
Again, we must note that every time a new subject is brought up, Moses reminds us again, where these instructions came from.
Verses 27-28: No animals younger than eight days were to be offered in sacrifice (compare Exodus 22:30), nor was a cow or an ewe to be killed with her young on the same day, whether for sacrificial purposes, as in some pagan cults, or for ordinary food consumption. This was in harmony with law prohibiting such wasteful practices as taking a bird as well as its eggs (Deut. 22:6-7), or the indiscriminate destruction of trees (Deut. 20:19-20). In all these matters the main purpose was that God’s name should be hallowed (Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2), by His elect people.
Leviticus 22:27 “When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”
Those three are only mentioned, because they were only made use of in sacrifice, to which this law refers.
“Then it shall be seven days under the dam”: Whether a calf, or a lamb, or a kid of the goats; it was not to be taken from its dam and killed, either for food or sacrifice, before it was seven days old. A good reason is to be given, namely, that Christ, the type of all the sacrifices, was not to be offered, or suffer death in his infancy. Which Herod contrived, but at man’s estate. And to show that no man is fit to be a propitiatory sacrifice, through weakness and inability, being unable to stand before the justice of God, only Christ, in whom is perfection of strength.
“And from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the Lord”: Become an acceptable burnt offering to God. So Pliny says, that the young of sheep are fit for sacrifice on the eighth day, and of an ox on the thirtieth day (see Exodus 22:30).
Dam in the verse above was translated from a word that means mother. Then what we see in this is that any of the above mentioned animals could be offered from the time they were 8 days old. It does not mean that the animal must be very young. It just means that any time after it is 8 days old, it is old enough.
Leviticus 22:28 “And [whether it be] cow or ewe, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day.”
Or “an ox or sheep”, for this law, as Aben Ezra says, respects both male and female, and neither the one nor the other with their young might be slain. Though Jarchi says, the custom is concerning the female, for it is forbidden to slay the dam and its son, or daughter. But it is not the custom concerning males, wherefore it is lawful to slay the father and the son.
“Ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day”: Or, “it and its son”, the young, whether of a cow or ewe, and whether it be male or female. Though Gersom observes, that this law takes place only in the dam and its female young, and not in the father and the son. For it is not manifest, in many animals, who is their father, wherefore he is not guilty of stripes, if the father and his son are slain in one day, even though it is known it is its father. The reason of the law seems to be, to encourage mercy and pity, and to discourage cruelty.
This is simply being kind, not to kill the baby and the parent at the same time. Even though animals are for the use of man upon the earth, we should not be cruel to them.
Leviticus 22:29 “And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer [it] at your own will.”
Which was a sort of peace offering, distinct from freewill offerings and vows before spoken of.
“Offer it at your own will”: Just what they pleased, whether a bullock, a sheep, or a goat, and whether a male or female. These were left to their own option, or for acceptation to you, as the Targum of Jonathan, and so Jarchi. That is, it was right in them, and they ought to be careful to offer it in such manner, that it might be acceptable to God. By observing the rules given concerning it, particularly what follows.
This type of offering is not an obligation, but an offering of thanks to God. Any offering that is not an obligation, would be of the person’s own free will.
Leviticus 22:30 “On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I [am] the LORD.”
Which is the law concerning it (see notes on Lev. 7:15).
“Ye shall leave none of it till the morning”: Of another day, as the Vulgate Latin version adds. And much less the fat of them, and the most holy things, as Ben Gersom observes. The one being to be burnt upon the altar, the other to be eaten by the priests.
“I am the Lord”: Who has made this law, and expect it will be observed.
Let us look back at the offering for thanksgiving in an earlier chapter.
Leviticus 7:15 “And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.”
We remember from a previous lesson, that the meat of this offering was shared by the priests and the person making the offering. The blood, fat and innards belonged to God. This offering was not to restore fellowship with God, but to thank Him for the fellowship they already had. I want to say one more time, this is not an obligation, but a freewill offering. This type offering is rated with the peace offering. Certainly, this will bring peace to the offeror.
Verses 31-33: The motive behind obedience to God was His holy nature and grace in delivering the nation.
Leviticus 22:31 “Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I [am] the LORD.”
Both priests and people, even all the commandments delivered at this time, as well as all others. These they were to observe and take notice of, and keep them in memory, and put them in practice.
“I am the Lord”: (see note on Lev. 22:30).
We see in this very short verse, that God requires obedience. He not only says (keep His commandments), but He says why it is necessary. He is the LORD. We find an interesting Scripture that says even above sacrifice, we must obey God.
1 Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.”
Leviticus 22:32 “Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I [am] the LORD which hallow you,”
“I will be hallowed among the children of Israel”: Jesus makes hallowing, or keeping God’s name holy and revered, the first request in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2).
By transgressing the laws of God, particularly by offering blemished sacrifices, or before the proper tithe. Or by slaying the dam and its young on one day; for, as Aben Ezra observes, this is said to the sons of Aaron.
“But I will be hallowed among the children of Israel”: By his priests among them, and by themselves. Conforming to all the precepts, and particularly the last mentioned, which respects them, and their eating up the peace offerings the same day.
“I am the Lord which hallowed you”: Had separated them from all other people, and had given them holy laws to walk by, through the observance of which they would be at least externally holy.
There are so many ways to profane His holy name. We found very quickly what happened to the two sons of Aaron who profaned His name in the holy place. Fire came from the altar and destroyed them. This is a vivid example of that, but in our day, in our churches we are profaning the holy name. We have gotten into this so many times before, but we must remember, so I will say it again. There are 2 houses of Israel. The Hebrews are the physical house of Israel, and all believers in Christ are the spiritual house of Israel. The physical house of Israel was punished many times for forgetting to hold the name of the LORD above all others. God would be with them, as long as they remembered to follow Him alone, and to reverence Him alone. So many times, they would turn away from worshipping the true God, and then the LORD would allow them to get into all sorts of problems, so they would seek Him again. Every time they repented, God forgave them and blessed them again.
Our churches today have forgotten that we serve a holy God. Are we profaning His name, when we give Him less than our very best? The most important question I might ask all of us, are we doing it God’s way or our way? Are we guarding the Word of God, making sure it is not changed in any way? Do we have a reverent fear of the LORD? Are the services in the church, a sweet, sweet sound in His ear? Would God be pleased with the amount of time we spend finding out what His will is in our life, by studying the Bible daily? Does God feel welcome in our services? Are we aware of His presence in every service?
We must not play games with God. The only reason a person should go to church is to fellowship with God and His people, and to study His Word, so that we will know His will. We should look forward to that fellowship, and not dread going to church. Is the LORD really the love of your life? We must all examine ourselves and make sure Jesus Christ is not only our Savior, but our LORD as well.
Leviticus 22:33 “That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I [am] the LORD.”
Whereby he showed himself to be their covenant God and Father, who had a kind and gracious regard unto them. And which laid them under obligation to fear, serve, and worship him as their God.
“I am the Lord”: That hath sovereign right unto them, and claim upon them, and therefore they ought to be subject to his will, and observe his laws ordinances.
The Hebrew descendants of Jacob (Israel), were brought out of Egypt with the mighty hand of God, to serve Him. The verse above specifically says why they were brought out. They were in captivity in Egypt for about 400 years. There is another side to this verse above. Egypt is symbolic of the world. As we said above, the spiritual house of Israel is (all believers in Christ). Christians, as well as these Hebrews, must leave Egypt (the world), behind before they can head for the Promised Land. Christians, we must not stay caught up in the things of this world, if we plan to make it to our Promised Land (heaven). We must realize that our home is no more this earth. We should be like Abraham, who was looking for a city whose maker is God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
We need to leave the old life behind and let Christ live in us. When we are baptized in water, we bury the old man, and rise to new life in Christ.
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
I will ask just one more question. What is more important to you, what the world thinks, or what God thinks? Think on this.
Leviticus Chapter 22 Continued Questions
1. In verse 24, what were things they were not to offer?
2. Why would this not be a correct offering?
3. Were strangers permitted to offer to God?
4. What was the difference in the offering for a stranger?
5. Why does Moses keep saying who this message comes from?
6. What does the word that dam was translated from, mean?
7. How old was the minimum age an animal had to be to be offered?
8. What was the restriction mentioned in verse 28?
9. What lesson can we Christians learn from this restriction?
10. This offering was to be made of their ____ _______ ______.
11. Who eats of this thanksgiving offering?
12. This offering was not to bring the person offering back into fellowship with God, but was for what?
13. Why were all of these Hebrews to keep God’s commandments?
14. What is better than sacrifice?
15. What are some of the ways they profaned the name of God?
16. Are we doing it God’s way, or our way?
17. Would God be pleased with the time we spend studying our Bible each day?
18. What are the only reasons a person should go to church?
19. Is Jesus Christ your ________, as well as your Savior?
20. Why did God bring them out of Egypt?
21. What is Egypt a symbol of?
22. Christians must leave Egypt, before they can go to the ____________ _______.
23. Where is the Christian’s Promised Land?
24. If any man be in Christ, he is a new ____________.