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burned, except the portions designed for food. None was thrown aside, to putrefy ; and especially those parts were consumed, which might have served the superstitions of diviners.
Drink Offerings, of which little is said, do not appear, in any case, to have been presented by themselves.* Part of the wine brought for a libation was probably poured upon the head of a victim, or, as Josephus says, merely at the foot of the altar.f The rest may have belonged to the officiating priest.
3. The place of sacrifices was always the Altar of Burnt Offerings, by the gate of the Tabernacle. This is insisted on with great reiteration and emphasis.I And the leading reasons for the arrangement occur to the mind at the first view. . Whatever sacrifices the law allowed, were to be offered to Jehovah ; and however right might be the previous state of the worshipper's mind, they would not have their full effect upon it, unless presented at the place where his peculiar presence was understood to reside, and surrounded by all the moving associations of that spot. Further; this rule insured that whatever sacrifice was offered at all, was offered under responsible public superintendence, and thus prevented the very act of devotion from being abused to idolatrous uses. If an Israelite might sacri
* E. g. Ex. xxix. 40; xxx. 9; Lev. xxiii. 13. † Antiq. lib. 3, cap. 9, § 4.
| E. g. i. 3, 5; xvii. 1-9. Repeatedly, as in these passages, directions are given to “sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar”; and in the Sin Offerings for the high priest and the congregation, some of it was to be put “ upon the horns of the Altar of Sweet Incense,” the rest to be poured “at the bottom of the Altar of Burnt Offering." iv. 7, 18. Since blood would coagulate, unless used when fresh and warm, such provisions, whatever other import they may have had, secured the point of place.
$ xvii. 7. The word “ devils,” here, is a bad translation, that term belonging to a mythology with which the Jews were not yet acquainted. nyv means a goat, and the reference is to the goat-worship of Egypt, one of the forms of its idolatry. Compare Amos v. 25, 26.
fice at his home without a priest's presence, idolatry might become rife, without detection. If he might sacrifice at his home in a priest's presence, the danger would be less, but still it would be serious; since the priesthood, in different parts of the territory, might insensibly run into different practices, and thus the unity, and so the purity and interest, of the national worship be gradually impaired.
The necessity, under which an Israelite was, on all occasions of formal religious duty, to repair to the central spot occupied by his nation, caused a circulation of the people, which brought them acquainted with one another, made every individual acquainted with, and concerned for, the common concerns, and in every way tended to cherish the sentiment of love of country.
Could an Israelite have presented his offering wherever he would, there would have been no security for the collection of the sacred revenue. If the national worship was to be supported, it must be by the actual reception of the revenues designated for that purpose. These were, in great part, specified portions of victims sacrificed, which would be liable to be extensively withholden, if sacrifices might take place anywhere but under the eye of him to whom, or to whose fraternity, the proceeds of such imposts belonged.
I think it probable, again, that, in the crowded state in which the Jews were living together in the wilderness, the rule in question had the effect of a health law. The flesh and offal of slaughtered animals might breed a pestilence, if not disposed of with proper care, such as the priest was required to exercise.*
* An Israelite might eat animal food at other places than the Tabernacle. But it was not till the people were going into Palestine, and were no longer to live in a crowded camp,- in short, till the danger just referred to was over, and other reasons for the prohibition were less urgent, that they were permitted to eat tame meat at their homes. (Compare Lev. xvii. 3, 4; Deut. xii. 15, 20 - 22.) The animal food, which, from the first, they might eat, while absent from the Tabernacle, was game; wild-meat, “the roe-buck, and the hart”; and this was food which they would only make use of on hunting excursions ;— that is, when, being out of the way of a crowd, no one could be harmed by their carelessness. And wild animals were never used in sacrifices.
Once more; the rule had obviously the all-important effect of preserving the unity and integrity of the nation. In the care of their flocks and herds, there can be no reasonable doubt that the Israelites often wandered far from the central camp. It was of the first consequence that there should be methods of occasionally recalling them, lest the nation should be annihilated by dispersion. The roving shepherd, as often as he proposed to perform one of the solemn acts of devotion, was required to appear in the midst of his brethren for the purpose. On his distant expedition, he might taste freely such animal food as the chase afforded, but as often as he desired to vary his diet, or enjoy more sumptuous fare, he was drawn back to the central spot of the people's temporary occupation. And, I add, that, as the camp itself was shifting its place from time to time, such arrangements were the more necessary, both to keep the citizens within reach of its protection, and to prevent them from losing its track.
The last three quarters of the sixth chapter, and almost the whole of the seventh, relate to the sacrificial ritual, and comprehend particulars, which, for the most part, have already come under our notice in the earlier portion of this Lecture, in connexion with the different kinds of offerings.* We have not yet arrived at that part of the Law, which made complete and permanent arrangements for the support of the sacerdotal order. But it may be well here to observe, that the system only grew up by degrees to its final wholeness, or at least was communicated gradually to the people, and that we have already read of some of the sources of the sacred revenue. The priests were to have a present from the first-fruits after harvest and vintage, the quantity being probably left to the discretion of the giver, and thus a motive addressed to them to execute their office in a conciliatory manner.* They were to have the avails of fines for neglects of religious observances ; a circumstance which would make them watchful to detect such neglects.f They were also to have the skins of Burnt Offerings, and large portions of Feast, Sin, and Trespass Offerings, respectively. I And most of these they were directed to eat without other society, and only “in the court of the Tabernacle of the Congregation," an arrangement which secured, both that they should be on terms of familiar intercourse together, and that they should only enjoy the fees of office while actually present for the execution of its duties.
* The division between the fifth and sixth chapters is not the same in the English as in the Hebrew. But here, as in other cases of such difference, my references are made to the English, for the convenience of the general reader. — The provisions in Lev. vi. 28, and vii. 22 - 27, connect themselves with subjects of the next Lecture.- vii. 13, is no contradiction to what has been said of the exclusion of leaven from offerings. In the offering, strictly so called, unleavened cakes were used. Those prepared with leaven belonged to the provision made in Feast Offerings for hospitality.
* These did not make a proper offering, as no part of them was to be burned, Lev. ii. 12.
f v. 14-16.
# Some Meat Offerings were to be thrown into a common stock. vii. 10. Others, with the avails of Burnt, Sin, and Trespass Offerings, belonged to the individual priest officiating, vi. 26 ; vii. 7, 8, 9. The same was true in respect to Peace Offerings, (vii. 14, 33,) unless the omission of an explicit statement in vii. 30, 31, should lead us to suppose, that the Wave-Breast was distinguished in this respect from the Heave-Shoulder.
§ vi. 16, 18, 26, 27, 29; vii. 6. On account of the peculiar character and object of Feast Offerings, the rule in respect to these was different. The priest might take his share of them to any “clean place,” and admit the female members of his family to the repast, Lev. x. 14.
After the institution of Aaron in the pontificate, Moses would have had no right to assume any sacerdotal function ; on the contrary, I suppose that, with all his dignity, he would then have been chargeable with the same offence for which Saul and Uzziah were in later times so severely blamed and punished. But it belonged to him, through whom the Divine Being made his communications, to induct Aaron into the station which afterwards no man might invade, and to guard against all future mistake by exhibiting to his view, as well as explaining to him in words, the proper manner of performing his sacrificial duties. Accordingly, on the first day of the week, during which the solemnities of Aaron's inauguration lasted, we find Moses going through the forms of the sacrificial ritual,* when he had first bathed, clothed, and anointed Aaron and his sons, f after the manner prescribed in the twenty-ninth and fortieth chapters of Exodus.
For the sake of greater pomp, and of giving to the priests a greater familiarity with their duties, and perhaps also to exhibit these first observances of the ritual to a larger number of the nation, the same cere
viii. 14-29. The precise time of the consecration week is not recorded. The Tabernacle, we have seen, was erected on the first day of the first month. If we suppose the rest of that week to have been occupied in promulgating the regulations in i. – vii. the consecration week began on the eighth day of the month. Accordingly, it ended on the fourteenth; and, on this scheme, Aaron assuined his trust on the very day, on the evening of which the first Passover was to be killed. This view presents an interesting coincidence.
'† viii. 6-13. I understand 10-12, in the following sense ; “Moses took the anointing oil, with which he had anointed (literally, and he had anointed] the Tabernacle and all that was therein, (compare Ex. xl. 9, &c.). .. .. and he poured of that same anointing oil upon Aaron's head,” &c. The same form of reference to an incident before related, occurs a few verses further on. See Lev, viii. 30; compare 12.