I am the Lord
In this chapter, there are several sub-divisions. The first section is directed to the responsibilities of the priests. Then comes a short section on the rights of the priesthood and those who may, to some extent, join in those rights. After that is a section on suitable offerings, and those which are to be rejected. And finally, there is a short section which further defines sacrificial parameters.
These are certainly not the end of the sacrifices mentioned in Leviticus, but they are a necessary part prior to what lies ahead. One would think that with all of the detail, and all of the repetition in this book, the people would have not only known what to do, but would have done it. Or if they did those things, they would at least have done them properly.
Think it through, we have the Lord. He has established a priesthood which performs at a specific sanctuary, and what they do is based on specific guidelines. The things that are brought to them are based on minute details of what is acceptable and what is not. The people were aware of these things, and so if they didn’t want to do them, as detailed, then why do them at all?
Again, think it through… in order for the offering to be accepted, it had to meet all of these specific criteria. As the offering is to the Lord, and as mandated by the Lord, then it would make no sense to offer anything at all unless it was properly done. Right? Why would you go to work if you knew you were not only going to not be paid, but that you would also be beaten for showing up? And the reason for this is that you refused to wear the right uniform.
If you did, you would get paid and not beaten up. But as long as you wear the wrong one, there is no benefit in even going, much less going inappropriately. This is what Israel is being instructed on, and so they knew what to expect if they didn’t pay heed to what they were supposed to do. And yet, they still didn’t do… what they were supposed to do!
Text Verse:“Your first father sinned,
And your mediators have transgressed against Me.
28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary;
I will give Jacob to the curse,
And Israel to reproaches.” Isaiah 43:27, 28
This isn’t just an arbitrary verse about Israel failing to pay heed. Instead, they had been told, such as here in Leviticus. They were warned again, such as in Deuteronomy. And they were continuously warned throughout their history. On one page, there is disobedience, on the next there is punishment, and on the next there is mourning and repentance. What a bunch of dolts, yes?
Well… let’s not be too finger pointy in that. In the church, we have a far better covenant, based on far betters promises, and much more latitude in what we can and cannot do. And yes, we also have exacting specifications laid out for us to do them. And yet, with a Bible in every house, and a church on every corner, we can’t seem to do any better than Israel did.
We have perverts in the pulpit, we have sacrifices which are tainted with immorality, and we have flowing discharges of licentious behavior oozing out of the pews of church after church. It’s hard to imagine how this can be.
In particular, the churches which today openly condone homosexuality and every other perverse type of behavior one can imagine. Like Israel of old, do they somehow think the Lord will ignore this? Do they think Israel’s bringing a maimed, blind, or stolen animal to the altar is somehow different than their tainted spiritual offerings?
And what about each one of us. Where are we in our devotion to Christ? Where are we in our holy and acceptable offerings? If He were reading your heart right now (and He is), do you think what He pries out of it will be pleasing to Him?
What are you doing here today? If it is to supposedly be pleasing to the Lord… well then, you’d better be working on being pleasing to the Lord. A standard was given to Israel; a standard is given to us. You shall therefore be holy because the Lord Your God, named Jesus, is holy. This is the lesson we are to see in these passages. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. For and Of the Priesthood (verses 1-16)
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
Here we have the standard formula for introducing a new section of thought by the Lord. The Lord speaks to Moses, indicating a new set of instructions and laws are forthcoming. The last section dealt with that which made a priest suitable for ministering to the Lord, or excluding him from his duties. This will continue with that.
There are times when they would naturally become unclean. When such times arose, they were to abstain from their duties, and to even keep away from partaking of the holy portions. This is set in contrast to a priest with a defect which closed out the previous chapter. He could not perform the duties of a priest, but he was allowed to partake of the holy portions. The restrictions on uncleanness are stricter than those of mere physical defect. This is now seen in the following words…
2 “Speak to Aaron and his sons,
The words of this section are directed only to the priests of Israel, and not to the common people. They have a particular set of instructions which are expected to be followed.
2 (con’t) that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they do not profane My holy name by what they dedicate to Me: I am the Lord.
These words are looking forward to what will be said. The holiness of the Lord, and ensuring that His name is glorified, is so important that it is highlighted even before the ways in which it can be profaned are given. To understand this, it would be like saying to those being commissioned as officers in the Air Force, “You will separate yourselves from the uniform of the service so that you do not bring disgrace upon it.” One might immediately say, “But I am being given this commission. Why would I separate myself from the uniform which signifies my commission?”
He has prematurely asked what will next be answered with the occasions for doing what has just been stated. Thus, for the priests of Israel, this is an emphatic statement, given in advance of the details. The honor of the Lord is preeminent. The ways for maintaining the honor of that name are now to be defined…
3 Say to them: ‘Whoever of all your descendants throughout your generations, who goes near the holy things which the children of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has uncleanness upon him, that person shall be cut off from My presence: I am the Lord.
These words begin to explain how a priest can defile the holy name of the Lord. This first example is if he were to go near the holy things dedicated by the people while in a state of uncleanness. The holy things include the portions of the sacrifices which the priests were to receive as their food for sustenance. Any instance which renders a person unclean, of the many which have been detailed so far in Leviticus, had to be purified first. For some things, it simply meant that they had to wait until evening, for others, they may have had to wash themselves and/or their clothes, etc. Whatever was required to purify them, and which was not exactingly followed, meant their uncleanness remained. In such a state, if they partook of the holy things, they were to be cut off from the Lord’s presence.
This is the only time in the five books of Moses that this term, mil-lephanay, or “from My presence,” is used in this way. The normal term for excision is, “that soul shall be cut off from among his people.” But here, because it is dealing with the priests, they would be cut off from His presence. It is a solemn warning which would have served Nadab and Abihu well if they had known it, and it is a solemn warning which will be ignored by the sons of Eli in 1 Samuel, and which will result in disaster for them.
4 ‘Whatever man of the descendants of Aaron, who is a leper or has a discharge, shall not eat the holy offerings until he is clean.
The leper is specified in Chapter 13, the one with a discharge is specified in Chapter 15. Two things in particular are to be considered here. The first is that a person who is unclean is in a different category than a person who has a defect. As I said earlier, a person with a defect could eat of the holy things, but they could not minister before the Lord. But a person with uncleanness could not eat of the holy things. And yet, the unclean person was not permanently banned. Once he was cured, he could resume his duties and partake of the holy things. On the other hand, a person with a permanent defect was permanently banned from ministering because of the defect. It is the holiness of the Lord which is on preeminent display here.
4 (con’t) And whoever touches anything made unclean by a corpse, or a man who has had an emission of semen,
Touching a corpse, or anything made unclean by a corpse, will be explained in Numbers 19. The emission of semen was detailed in Chapter 15. Such things made a person unclean for set periods of time, and they required exacting rites for purification.
5 or whoever touches any creeping thing by which he would be made unclean, or any person by whom he would become unclean, whatever his uncleanness may be—
Leviticus 11 detailed the creeping things which defiled. The second clause, that of touching a man by whom he would become unclean sums up a host of the things already detailed, such as a leper, a person with an emission, on so on. Such things as these brought about defilement which required purification.
6 the person who has touched any such thing shall be unclean until evening, and shall not eat the holy offerings unless he washes his body with water.
In this case, there are two stipulations. The first is that he is unclean until evening. One would assume that this would mean that he is clean after that time, as has been the case at other times for various types of contact. However, for the priest, unless he washes his body, he shall not eat of the holy offerings.
John Gill takes this as a type for the New Testament that a person who comes to Christ shall not take part in the Lord’s Supper until they are first baptized. That isn’t found in the New Testament, but it is an insightful exhortation nonetheless. Both are commanded by the Lord, and to do one without the other leaves a bit of a void in one’s full obedience to Christ. If you haven’t been baptized as an open profession of your faith, it is right that you do so.
7 And when the sun goes down he shall be clean; and afterward he may eat the holy offerings, because it is his food.
The previous verse required washing, but he remained unclean until the going down of the sun, at which time the new day began. With the coming of the new day, he was again recognized as clean. It was only after this that he could eat of the holy offerings. In essence, he was on a forced-fast due to his uncleanness for the duration of that time. This was then an important consideration for the priests to live holy, and to watch their conduct at all times.
The reason for the specificity here is because in general, priests were to be held to the highest standards at all times. But, in the case of such uncleanness, what might otherwise carry a greater penalty due to the office was mitigated. Nothing greater was imposed upon them than upon the common people because they needed their daily food. This is something that would have otherwise been deprived them.
8 Whatever dies naturally or is torn by beasts he shall not eat, to defile himself with it: I am the Lord.
To die naturally, or to die from being torn by beasts, meant that the animal had not been properly bled. This was already prohibited to the people of Israel in 17:15. In such a case for the common people, it says there that they were to wash their clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. However, for the priest, they were strictly forbidden from this at any time. If they disobeyed, they would defile themselves as priests. In Ezekiel 4:14, he adamantly proclaims that he had never done such a thing, and found any such thing completely abhorrent. He would never presume to do such a thing, especially because the priests had a greater weight of penalty to face if they presumed to do so…
9 ‘They shall therefore keep My ordinance, lest they bear sin for it and die thereby, if they profane it: I the Lord sanctify them.
Here, the term mishmarti, or “My watch” is translated as “My ordinance.” It says, “They shall therefore keep My watch.” It is a way of saying, “They shall always be on guard concerning this.” Unlike the common people who may accidentally eat of meat which was not properly bled, the priests had no excuse.
They received their food from the offerings of the people, they were the ones who were in charge of the offerings, and they were responsible for the blood rituals. There was actually no excuse for a priest to ever violate this. If they did, the Lord says that they would bear sin and die. To profane the watch of the Lord was to ignore the Lord who sanctified them. In verse 8, the Lord proclaimed His name, ani Yehovah. Now He proclaims His authority over them, ani Yehovah meqadesham, “I am Yehovah who sanctifies them.”
10 ‘No outsider shall eat the holy offering; one who dwells with the priest, or a hired servant, shall not eat the holy thing.
The word translated as “outsider” here is zur. It is elsewhere translated as a layman. It comes from a root which means “to turn aside,” as if in lodging. If the priest had someone like an old friend from high school, or the like, stop by for a visit, this person was not allowed to partake of the holy portions. The second class is a toshav, or sojourner. This might be someone who actually lives with the priest, even a non-permanent slave. The third class is a sakir, or hired servant. This is a wage earner under a priest. None of these would likewise be allowed to eat of a holy thing. They were not a permanent part of the house, and thus they were excluded from partaking. On the other hand…
11 But if the priest buys a person with his money, he may eat it; and one who is born in his house may eat his food.
In both these cases, the people became permanent members of the household. According to Genesis 17, circumcision for such people was mandatory, and thus they became as Israelites in this regard. Because of this, it would not be right to deprive them of partaking in what the household itself was entitled to. If they were excepted from this, then the priest would otherwise be under obligation to provide two separate sources of food each day for his home. This was a burden the Lord did not levy upon them. Instead, they were accepted into the rights of the covenant people, and into the rights of the priestly household.
12 If the priest’s daughter is married to an outsider, she may not eat of the holy offerings.
When a woman married, she joined a new house. Unless her husband was a priest, she was no longer deemed as a member of a priest’s household. Again, the word zur is used. He is other than of the priestly caste, and is not included in its privileges. In such a case, she gave up her right to partake of the holy offerings.
13 But if the priest’s daughter is a widow or divorced, and has no child, and has returned to her father’s house as in her youth, she may eat her father’s food; but no outsider shall eat it.
In losing her means of household through widowhood or divorce, she could again be brought under the household of her father and once again partake of the offerings. However, if she bore children, a new household was established with children of a non-priestly father. Thus, she could no longer be brought under his household. She was therefore excluded from the offerings. The verse ends with the same warning as in verse 10 to show the stringent nature of not allowing outsiders to eat of the offerings. However…
14 ‘And if a man eats the holy offering unintentionally, then he shall restore a holy offering to the priest, and add one-fifth to it.
This is a precept which finds its origin in verse 5:16. In this case, a person somehow unintentionally ate of a holy offering. As we know, ignorance of the law does not excuse guilt. In order to make restitution, he was required to restore the original value through a holy offering, and then add a fifth to its value. This was to instruct Israel to carefully watch how they conducted their affairs in regards to that which was deemed holy.
15 They shall not profane the holy offerings of the children of Israel, which they offer to the Lord,
The major question of this verse is, “Who is ‘they’ referring to?” Some translations just insert the word “priests,” assuming they are the subject. However, the preceding verses pertain to the laymen, not the priests, and so it is surely referring to them. Should they partake of the offerings when not so authorized, it is they who profane the offerings which have been raised up to the Lord.
16 or allow them to bear the guilt of trespass when they eat their holy offerings; for I the Lord sanctify them.’
Again, this is surely speaking of the people and not the priests, and so it should say something like “…and bring the burden of the guilt of trespass in their eating.” And then again, we read words almost identical to verse 9, ki ani Yehovah meqadesham, “for I am Yehovah who sanctifies them.” That was spoken about the priests, now it is about the people. It is the Lord who sanctifies both.
Unfortunately, the people failed to sanctify themselves. It was a chronic problem in Israel, one which led to two exiles, and much grief. The witnesses for their first exile called, and they didn’t listen, and so off to Babylon they went. The witnesses for their second exile called out, and they continued to ignore the Lord. Malachi, 430 years before the coming of Christ, spoke of Israel’s constant disobedience of the very precepts found in this chapter.
The entire book speaks against them, but chapter 1 is like reading a line by line indictment against them for infractions against these chapters of Leviticus. Let’s take a moment to read it…
“A son honors his father,
And a servant his master.
If then I am the Father,
Where is My honor?
And if I am a Master,
Where is My reverence?
Says the Lord of hosts
To you priests who despise My name.
Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’
7 “You offer defiled food on My altar,
‘In what way have we defiled You?’
‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’
8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice,
Is it not evil?
And when you offer the lame and sick,
Is it not evil?
Offer it then to your governor!
Would he be pleased with you?
Would he accept you favorably?”
Says the Lord of hosts.
9 “But now entreat God’s favor,
That He may be gracious to us.
While this is being done by your hands,
Will He accept you favorably?”
Says the Lord of hosts.
10 “Who is there even among you who would shut the doors,
So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain?
I have no pleasure in you,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.
11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down,
My name shall be great among the Gentiles;
In every place incense shall be offered to My name,
And a pure offering;
For My name shall be great among the nations,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
12 “But you profane it,
In that you say,
‘The table of the Lord is defiled;
And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’
13 You also say,
‘Oh, what a weariness!’
And you sneer at it,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick;
Thus you bring an offering!
Should I accept this from your hand?”
Says the Lord.
14 “But cursed be the deceiver
Who has in his flock a male,
And takes a vow,
But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished—
For I am a great King,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“And My name is to be feared among the nations. Malachi 1
Walking holy before the Lord
For it is He who has sanctified us by His great name
And so in obedience to His word
We will offer nothing blemished, or that which is lame
Our sacrifices will be pure and undefiled
What we offer will be of the very best
For through His redemption we have been reconciled
And in His goodness alone, we find our place of rest
Yes, we shall walk in a holy and righteous way
We shall bring honor to the name of our Lord
For all our lives, through each and every day
We shall be obedient, to His magnificent, superior word
II. Acceptable and Unacceptable Offerings (verses 17-33)
17 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
We have gone through the physical requirements to be a practicing priest, and also through the requirements for purity among them. Now the same type of precepts will be explained for the animals which are to be acceptable as offerings. Here the words of this verse introduce this new direction.
18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, who offers his sacrifice for any of his vows or for any of his freewill offerings, which they offer to the Lord as a burnt offering—
The directions here are for both Aaron and his sons, as well as for all of Israel. What is to be offered by the people is to come with a right heart towards the Lord, and what is accepted by the priests is to be acknowledged as right and proper towards Him. The people’s offerings also include strangers, or proselytes. Any person who came to offer to the Lord was under the same obligations. The guidelines for the offerings themselves were detailed in Chapter 7.
19 you shall offer of your own free will a male without blemish from the cattle, from the sheep, or from the goats.
The wording here, rather that “of your own free will” should say, “that it may be accepted.” In other words, the verse is saying that the sacrifice must be a male for it to be accepted. This was to be from the cattle, sheep, or goats. Each of these, as detailed in past sermons, picture Christ in their own unique way. Not only did they do so in their nature, but also in that they are to be without blemish, just as Christ was without spot or blemish in His earthly ministry.
20 Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it shall not be acceptable on your behalf.
Just as the priests were to be without any defect, the same is true with the offering. In each point, we are to learn that we are to only give that which is perfect to the Lord. In today’s world, this does not mean our bodies must be perfect as then, nor must our offerings be perfect in their make up, but rather, both are to be perfect in that they are devoted to God through Christ, who perfectly passes them on to His Father. Each physical application now carries a spiritual meaning in the church age.
21 And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, to fulfill his vow, or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it.
This verse seems to just be a repetition of the previous verses, but it is not. In the instructions for a peace offering found in Chapter 3, it says that it could be either of a male or a female. Thus, this verse is given to distinguish it from what has already been said of the other offerings. The peace offering to fulfill a vow would be based on some type of promise made to the Lord if He acted, such as in making a vow when facing danger. One made as a freewill offering would normally be presented to acknowledge mercies which had been received. In any such offerings, perfection was required. Again, they look forward to what God has done in Christ for us.
22 Those that are blind or broken or maimed, or have an ulcer or eczema or scabs, you shall not offer to the Lord, nor make an offering by fire of them on the altar to the Lord.
The verse is rather plan to understand, but a couple curiosities. First, the word “blind” is actually a noun used for the first of but three times, ivaron. As a noun, it would better be translated “blindness.” Secondly, the word “maimed” is more often translated as “determine” or “decree.” The idea is of pointing out sharply in a figurative sense. However, in a literal sense, when one points sharply, it will lead to maiming another, such as an animal. Third, the word yallepheth, or scabs which was introduced in Chapter 21 is now seen for the last time. Goodbye to it.
The repetition of “you shall not offer” and “nor make an offering of fire by them,” point to the responsibilities of both the layman and of the priest. They were to both be attentive to what they were offering to the Lord. If you remember from the last chapter, such defects also disqualified one as a priest to the Lord.
23 Either a bull or a lamb that has any limb too long or too short you may offer as a freewill offering, but for a vow it shall not be accepted.
In this verse, a word used only once in the Bible is seen, qalat, or “too short.” This was considered a defect as much as a limb which was too long. The same type of defects seen in the priests are also seen in the animals here. However, this verse seems to contradict what was just said in verses 18-22, where this was prohibited as a free-will offering. Some say the verse has been corrupted, and it should say, “you may not offer.” The Greek translation of the OT says that you can slaughter them for yourself, but they are not to be offered. During the second temple period, it was said that they could be consecrated for the upkeep of the sanctuary, but they could not be sacrificed on the altar. Whichever is correct, the Hebrew of this verse presents difficulties.
24 ‘You shall not offer to the Lord what is bruised or crushed, or torn or cut; nor shall you make any offering of them in your land.
The maak, or bruised, is introduced. It comes from a root meaning “to press.” One can see how that then results in a bruise. After that is a second new word, kathath, or crushed. It means “to crush by beating. A third new word, nathaq, or “torn away,” is seen. It would indicate some part of the animal was torn off. These, along with animals which were cut, could not be offered to the Lord.
25 Nor from a foreigner’s hand shall you offer any of these as the bread of your God, because their corruption is in them, and defects are in them. They shall not be accepted on your behalf.’”
As with the people of Israel, so it was to be with the foreigner. The word here is not the same as that of verses 10 and 18. This word gives the sense of “son of the unknown.” It would be a person from another land looking to honor the God of Israel. No offering was to be made to the Lord with such defects because in order to represent what is acceptable to a perfect God, there must be perfection in what is offered to Him. This is then to be directly relayed to moral issues for those in Christ. All morality among His people must be in line with perfect righteousness.
One remarkable aspect of this verse is that a new word is introduced here, and which is used but two times in Scripture, miskhath, meaning disfigurement or corruption. The only other time it is seen is when speaking of Christ in Isaiah 52:14 –
“Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;” Isaiah 52:14
What was considered unacceptable in these animal offerings is that which made us acceptable to God because of the work of Christ. It was His wrath poured out on the perfect Christ, not the corruption of the fallen world in an animal’s defect, which brings us close to Him once again. The offering of Christ was marred, but the mars were for our defects, not His.
26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
The final section of the chapter commences with these words. In what is a break from most introductions, the words are spoken to Moses alone. There is no command to relay them to Aaron or to Israel, even though all would hear them when they were read.
27 “When a bull or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall be seven days with its mother; and from the eighth day and thereafter it shall be accepted as an offering made by fire to the Lord.
Any of the three types of sacrificial animals was required to be with its mother for seven days. There are several suggested reasons for this. The first is that it is still weak in its first seven days, and thus is not a suitable offering to God. An animal of eight days would begin to be alert, able to get out and about, and the like.
Secondly, the animal had not yet been given a chance to exist, and the mother had not had a chance to enjoy her child. Thus it is a verse of mercy on both. Thirdly, the eighth day, like for circumcision of a child, signifies new beginnings. The old life is gone, and that which is new lies ahead, even if it is a life of sacrifice. This then would tie in with 1 Corinthians 7:14 where a child is sanctified by his believing parent. Otherwise it would be unclean. At a certain point, this would no longer be the case, and the child must come to God through Christ.
And finally, as a type of Christ, He being the Antitype of all suitable sacrifices, was not suffered to die in His infancy, which is what Herod wanted, but He died as a Man. Likewise, no man can be an acceptable sacrifice to God because of the infancy of their weakness and failings. Rather all must stand before God in the strength of Christ alone who is the perfection of that virtue and who was sacrificed on our behalf, if we so choose that most glorious option.
28 Whether it is a cow or ewe, do not kill both her and her young on the same day.
A second prohibition is now levied on the sacrifice. However, the word for “kill” here is a general word, and doesn’t necessarily mean either, or both, are sacrificed, even though the tenor of the whole passage points to that, at least for one of the animals. It is generally accepted that this is a verse of mercy. For the animal, yes, but more so it is written for the bond of mother and child, and for the moral feelings of all who would understand the inappropriate nature of killing both in one day. To do so would blunt the natural sentiments of kindness and mercy in the heart.
29 And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, offer it of your own free will.
Again, as earlier, the word ratson in this verse means it should be translated as, “offer it for your acceptance.” This is not speaking of a free will offering, but of what follows next which will make the sacrifice acceptable.
30 On the same day it shall be eaten; you shall leave none of it until morning: I am the Lord.
This is a command repeated from Leviticus 7:15. It is a prohibition similar to that of the Passover lamb in Exodus 12, and of the Manna in Exodus 16. Both were types of Christ, and this is as well. A thanksgiving offering is for something which has been accomplished, such as deliverance from affliction of some sort. God delivered, or provided, and so it wouldn’t be appropriate for an acknowledgment of it to be dragged out.
To consume the offering over more than one day would be to do just that, thus one would be benefiting off of the Lord’s deliverance instead of being grateful for it. If there was too much for one person to eat it, he should then share the offering with others, such as is explicitly prescribed in Deuteronomy 12. To not do so would not be showing the thanks that the offering implied. And to not share Christ, follows in the same self-centered way. Who is saved, truly grateful for that salvation, and yet unwilling to share what they have been given in Christ! This then is a theme fully developed by the author of Hebrews in verses 13:15, 16 –
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
31 “Therefore you shall keep My commandments, and perform them: I am the Lord.
This, and the final two verses of the chapter, form the conclusion of the section. Everything that has been submitted is expected to be kept and performed. This is the same pattern which was seen at the end of Chapters 18 and 19. What is probable then, is that this concluding section covers everything in Chapters 20-22. They each build upon one another – conduct of the people; conduct of the priests; and acceptability of the priests and of the offerings. In order to impress upon them the importance of this, He repeats ani Yehovah, I am Yehovah.
32 You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you,
The name is what everything centers on. To honor the Lord and to follow His commands is to hallow His name. To do otherwise is to profane His name. And thus He says that He will be hallowed among the people. He will either be hallowed among them, or he will be hallowed upon them. The choice is theirs. In verse 9, speaking of the priests, He said, “I Yehovah sanctify them.” In verse 16, speaking of the common people, He said, “…for I Yehovah sanctify them.” Now, he speaks to all collectively, ani Yehovah meqadishkem, “I am Yehovah who sanctifies you.” It is a note that all are to be holy, as He is holy.
33 who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God:
Again, as in Chapter 11, He ties His redemptive act of bringing the people out of Egypt into their need for sanctification. He redeemed; the people need to act on that redemption. It is the exact same thought we are given in the New Testament. The Lord saves, and so we are to respond to that salvation by being obedient, faithful followers of Him. We are to conduct our lives in the holy fear of the redemption in which we stand.
*33 (fin) I am the Lord.”
ani Yehovah. I am Yehovah. The divine name has been used 21 times in this short chapter. Nine of those times, He proclaimed His name as who He is. His name represents His nature and being. In the coming chapter, He will take that name and define the way in which Israel is to honor and celebrate it throughout their year. Each of the ways that He reveals is a picture of Christ Jesus to come.
As this is so, then the divine name, Yehovah, is an anticipatory name, given to be used until the coming of Christ. This is an important precept to remember, and one which is missed by many in various off-shoots of Christianity which have arisen in the recent past. There is a move away from the name of Christ Jesus, or Yeshua, to the sanctifying of names which only looked forward to His completed work. It is the name of Christ Jesus which Paul says is above every name, and it is that name which he says every tongue should confess.
Let us not be found deficient in our theology by incorrectly esteeming any other name than that of Christ Jesus. Yehovah has revealed Himself, and He is our Lord. He is Jesus. When we read about the Lord’s desire for us to be holy as He is holy, all we need to do to get started is to look unto Jesus and emulate Him. It is in this way that we honor God the Father, and in no other. If you have been caught up in one of these sects which deviates from this teaching, pull yourselves up and out of it. Commit to Christ Jesus, and proclaim His name alone as Your hope.
“Let us recollect with gratitude that our great High Priest cannot be hindered by any thing from the discharge of his office. Let us also remember, that the Lord requires us to reverence his name, his truths, his ordinances, and commandments. Let us beware of hypocrisy, and examine ourselves concerning our sinful defilements, seeking to be purified from them in the blood of Christ, and by his sanctifying Spirit. Whoever attempts to expiate his own sin, or draws near in the pride of self-righteousness, puts as great an affront on Christ, as he who comes to the Lord’s table from the gratification of sinful lusts. Nor can the minister who loves the souls of the people, suffer them to continue in this dangerous delusion. He must call upon them, not only to repent of their sins, and forsake them; but to put their whole trust in the atonement of Christ, by faith in his name, for pardon and acceptance with God; thus only will the Lord make them holy, as his own people.” Matthew Henry
Closing Verse: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8
Next Week: Leviticus 23:1-3 Six you work, one you rest – do the math… (The Feasts of the Lord, The Sabbath) (36th Leviticus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
I Am the Lord
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying
These are the words He was then relaying
“Speak to Aaron and his sons
That they from the holy things themselves separate
Of the children of Israel
And that they do not profane My holy name; get this straight
By what they dedicate to Me:
I am the Lord; so it shall be
Say to them: ‘Whoever of all your descendants
Throughout your generations, according to this word
Who goes near the holy things
Which the children of Israel dedicate to the Lord
While he has uncleanness upon him, as you have heard
That person shall be cut off from My presence: I am the Lord
‘Whatever man of the descendants of Aaron
Yes any of them that is seen
Who is a leper or has a discharge
Shall not eat the holy offerings until he is clean
And whoever touches anything made by a corpse unclean
Or a man who has had an emission of semen; if such is seen
Or whoever touches any creeping thing
By which he would be made unclean before Me
Or any person by whom he would become unclean
Whatever his uncleanness may be—
The person who has touched any such thing
Shall be unclean until evening, so shall it be
And shall not eat the holy offerings
Unless he washes with water his body
And when the sun goes down
He shall be clean; a reason for a happy mood
And afterward he may eat the holy offerings
Because it is his food
Whatever dies naturally or is torn by beasts, according to My word
He shall not eat, to defile himself with it: I am the Lord.
‘They shall therefore keep My ordinance
Lest they bear sin for it and die thereby
If they profane it
I the Lord sanctify them; this is why
‘No outsider shall eat the holy offering
One who dwells with the priest, or a hired servant too
Shall not eat the holy thing
So I am instructing you
But if the priest buys a person with his money
He may eat it; with this right he is imbued
And one who is born in his house
May eat his food
If the priest’s daughter is married to an outsider
She may not eat of the holy offerings; it is to be denied-her
But if the priest’s daughter is a widow or divorced
And has no child, and has to her father’s house returned
As in her youth, she may eat her father’s food
But no outsider shall eat it, this right he has not earned
‘And if a man eats the holy offering unintentionally
Then he shall restore a holy offering to the priest
And add one-fifth to it
And then the debt is ceased
They shall not profane the holy offerings
Of the children of Israel, which they offer to the Lord
Or allow them to bear the guilt of trespass
When they eat their holy offerings; for I the Lord sanctify them
———- So shall they heed this, My word
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying
These are the words he was then relaying
“Speak to Aaron and his sons
And to all the children of Israel, and to them say:
‘Whatever man of the house of Israel
Or of the strangers in Israel, as I now relay
Who offers his sacrifice for any of his vows
Or for any of his freewill offerings
Which they offer to the Lord as a burnt offering
Yes, any of these profferings
You shall offer of your own free will
Be sure to take careful notes
A male without blemish
From the cattle, from the sheep, or from the goats
Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer
———-do not make this gaffe
For it shall not be acceptable on your behalf
And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering
To the Lord, to fulfill his vow
Or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep
It must be perfect to be accepted; as I tell you now
There shall be no defect in it
This command I do to you submit
Those that are blind or broken or maimed
Or have an ulcer or eczema or scabs; heed now this word
You shall not offer to the Lord
Nor make an offering by fire of them on the altar to the Lord
Either a bull or a lamb
That has any limb too long
Or too short you may offer as a freewill offering
But for a vow it shall not be accepted; do not get this wrong
You shall not offer to the Lord
What is bruised or crushed, or cut or torn
Nor shall you make any offering of them in your land
This to you I do now warn
Nor from a foreigner’s hand
Shall you offer any of these as the bread of your God
Because their corruption is in them, and defects are in them
They shall not be accepted on your behalf
———-In this there can be no approval nod
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
These continued words He was then relaying
“When a bull or a sheep or a goat is born
It shall be seven days with its mother, according to this word
And from the eighth day and thereafter
It shall be accepted as an offering made by fire to the Lord
Whether it is a cow or ewe, as to you I say
Do not kill both her and her young on the same day
And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord
Offer it of your own free will, heed now this word
On the same day it shall be eaten
You shall leave none of it until morning: I am the Lord
“Therefore you shall keep My commandments
And perform them: I am the Lord, so to you I do these things tell
You shall not profane My holy name
But I will be hallowed among the children of Israel
I am the Lord who sanctifies you
Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God
I am the Lord
Therefore walk circumspectly as before Me you trod
Lord God, You have sanctified us
And so now help us to sanctify ourselves as well
To ever emulate Jesus
Yes, our hearts we ask that You so impel
May we walk in a manner honorable and right
Never deviating from this noble way
May Christ Jesus be our ever-guiding Light
May He lead us in the bright, eternal day
And we give glory to You in the highest
Yes our voices raised
We bless Your glorious name
And forever it shall be praised
Hallelujah and Amen…