Chapter 3.


As the first part of the book of Exodus is similar in character to, and links closely with, the closing part of Genesis, so also the end of Exodus, in which the tabernacle and priesthood are described, prepares the way for the opening of the third book of the Bible. As a third, its place suggests the full manifestation of God, the way of approach to Him in His glory, and the corresponding holiness which must result from this. It will be found that the contents of the book bear this out, and at these we will now look in their order.

Division 1. (Lev. 1 — 7).

The foundation of all approach to God — the sacrifices.

At the beginning of the second part of Genesis, which recounts the history of God's dealing with His people, we have the sacrifice of Abel, evidently furnishing the example for his successors, as we saw for instance in Noah, and later in Abraham. Similarly, in the book of Exodus, the sacrifice of the passover lamb is at the beginning of their whole redemption history. In Leviticus, the entire first division of the book is devoted to this subject, enlarging that of which partial views are given in the earlier books.

We see here the prominent place occupied by sacrifice in the mind of God. There is perhaps in no other portion of Scripture so full and detailed a description of this great fundamental necessity. It is, of course, the one perfect sacrifice of Christ which is typified throughout. He was the antitype of Abel's offering, of Noah's burnt sacrifice and of Abraham's. He was the true Passover Lamb whose blood was shed for us, and His sacrifice alone is set forth in all its varied aspects, perfections and adaptations as we have it here. There is, of course, no direct doctrinal teaching. All is in the language of shadow and type; this does not mean that there is inaccuracy of detail however, or that we cannot glean precious truth from every element of what God puts before us in the type. This will appear as we take up each of the different sacrifices.

There are five of these offerings, one of which, however, the meat offering, is not an animal sacrifice, and is always considered in conjunction with the burnt offering: "The burnt offering and its meat offering." These have been divided into two general classes, called the "sweet savor" and the "sin offerings." In the first, the thought prominent is of God being glorified through the death of Christ; in the second, of sit being met.

The Burnt Offering (Lev. 1). We saw in the provision for the tabernacle that God began with the ark, symbolic of His throne so here the sacrifices begin with that which is more directly connected with God Himself and His acceptance of the work of Christ. The burnt offering was the chief of the sweet savor sacrifices, being offered up completely to God, and going up in all its savor to Him. Primarily, it was wholly for Him, although the offerer could see in it the measure of his own acceptance. It typified Him who offered Himself to God for a sacrifice, "a sweet smelling savor." It gives us that aspect of the death of Christ in which He is seen in the full obedience of a love which would glorify His Father in all things, presenting Himself in death to God. There would, of course, have been no possibility, no necessity for this apart from our sin. Therefore it was with reference to sin that the offering was made, and yet sin is not directly spoken of in it, but the devotion of a love strong as death. Thus the measure of Christ's obedience was "unto death."

There were three classes of the burnt offering, giving us three aspects of the death of our Lord in thus offering Himself to God. The offering could be of the herd, a bullock; of the flock, a lamb or goat; of birds, a dove.

The bullock suggests the full strength of a service which spent itself even unto death. The lamb or ram of the flock suggests not so much the strength, but the complete yieldingness which marked our blessed Lord, who was "led as a lamb to the slaughter;" while the bird speaks rather of His heavenly character, "the Son of Man who is in heaven," One who came down to do the will of God through the offering up of His body once for all."

This last aspect of the sacrifice of our Lord, while in some sense higher than either of the other two, is from this very fact, necessarily not capable of such complete analysis as the other two kinds of burnt offering. There were certain details common to both the sacrifice from the herd and that from the flock. Each one unquestionably has its fulfilment in Christ. The offering was to be a male, suggesting headship, responsibility and strength. It was to be of the first year, in all the vigor of a life in which there was no sign of decrepitude or of hardness. It was to be "without blemish," for that which typifies the Son of God must emphasize the fact of His absolute and intrinsic holiness.

The offerer laid his hand on the head of the the victim, thus identifying himself with it, and henceforth all that the victim passed through was as his substitute. Faith, of course, is the identification of the sinner with Christ, who thereafter takes the place of the offerer, both in the sufferings through which He passes and in the infinite sweet savor of His sacrifice before God. The animal is then slain, for death must come in. No dedication to God, no perfection of personal obedience on the part of Christ could set aside the awful fact that sin had made an impassable separation, and it this chasm were to be bridged, it must be by the bearing of the identical penalty which the sinner deserved.

The blood is then sprinkled upon the altar, in token of God's acceptance of the sacrifice which has been presented to Him. The animal is flayed, its outer covering removed, just as our Lord's inmost motives were laid bare before the holy eye of God in His cross. The pieces were then laid in order upon the altar. There was to be no confusion here. The head, the fat, the inwards, the legs, were all distinguished the one from the other. The sacrifice was divided into its parts. No mutilation was to take place — "a bone of Him shall not be broken," but everything was distinguished. Its head, the thoughts, which were only those of obedience; the legs, the walk; the inwards, the affections, desires and secret motives, all were discerned and recognized by God, who could find nothing but that which perfectly glorified His every attribute in each department of our Lord's life.

The washing of the inwards and legs with water suggests that perfect testing of all things by the word of God to which our Lord was subjected. At death, all had to be done "that the Scriptures might be fulfilled." There is no intimation that these parts needed cleansing — none in the Antitype, of course, for all was essentially pure; but our Lord ever subjected Himself to the fullest tests of the holy word of God, thus proving that "in Him was no sin."

All was then burnt with fire upon the altar; the fire of divine holiness consuming completely the sacrifice. So our Lord not merely presented Himself to God, but in His death the fire of righteous judgment consumed all; all went up in eternal fragrance unto God, declaring forever that His beloved Son had in Him absolutely nothing that was not perfectly glorifying to infinite holiness, righteousness, wisdom, truth and love.

In a similar way the offering from the flock was treated. It is notable that the fat is particularly spoken of in each of these, typical of that energy of the will which in man is so often arrayed against God — "Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked" — but which in our Lord was willingly yielded up to God in death.

In the sacrifice of the bird, as has been said, we have not the dividing of the offering into its parts. All that would be in any way suggestive of earthly food or connection was first removed, that the type might thus speak exclusively of Him who came down from heaven. The bird was partly cloven, as laying bare its inward parts, but not divided, for the reason already suggested. Its blood was pressed out against the side of the altar. How wondrous to think of Him, every drop of whose blood coursed through His veins for His Father's glory, having all wrung from Him at the cross; still, however, infinitely acceptable — never more so to the One who had laid upon Him this great work to be accomplished!

Two points of the compass are mentioned in connection with the burnt offering which it may be well to notice, as details, every detail, should have a voice for us. The offering from the flock had to be killed on the side of the altar "northward before the Lord." The north is literally "the hidden," as being that part of the sky in which the sun is not directly visible. It is thus in contrast with the south, which always lies under the full rays of the sun. It suggests the withdrawal of the light which we find at the cross. It is not emphasized here by absolute darkness, but shows that judicial feature of our Lord's death which could not be lacking even in the burnt offering. In the offering of the bird, the crop is put with the ashes on the east side of the altar, the side nearest the gate, for the tabernacle faced eastward. The ashes are the witness that the fire has done its work completely.*

{*The reader is referred to the Notes in the Numerical Bible for a somewhat different view as to both the washing of the bullock and lamb, and the removal of the crop from the bird. These are considered as necessary for the removal of whatever would not be a type of our Lord. There is much in this view to commend it, but there seems a difficulty in the thought of thus preparing a type to be really that. The washing of the legs and inwards seems to yield a consistent meaning as we have indicated; the removal of the crop, as also explained, may suggest the link with earth — the earth-life of our Lord from which He was separated by the very act of laying down His life. But we do not wish to press our thought unduly.}

In the 20th psalm, suggestively near to the great sacrificial 22nd (the sin offering psalm) we have the expression, "Remember all thine offerings and accept thy burnt sacrifice." The word "accept" is, literally, "turn to ashes." Here, also, the word for "ashes" is a peculiar one, different from the suggestion of barrenness in the ordinary word, as for instance, "He feedeth on ashes — a deceived soul." In connection with the sacrifice the word is really "fat ashes" — suggesting the richness of that of which they speak. In looking upon the ashes, one could say, "The fire has fully done its work" so in looking upon the death of our blessed Lord, we can say, All is finished divine justice can ask no more; therefore, fittingly, this witness of a perfect work is placed on the east side of the altar, toward the sun rising, suggesting that nothing remains now after the cross but our Lord's resurrection, which is also the dawning of a new eternal day for all who avail themselves of the infinite value of His finished work.

When we come to speak of the sin offering we shall find that special emphasis is laid upon the different grades, a distinction of which we have not spoken directly in the burnt offering, although there is an evident gradation in the sacrifices from the bullock down to the bird. The bullock is in one sense the chief, superior in many ways to the lamb, which in its turn exceeds the bird in value. Thus while each aspect of the death of Christ is perfect in itself, and has a preciousness all its own which must not be allowed to suffer by comparison with some other aspect, yet there is a gradation in order, suggesting the kind of apprehension in the offerer corresponding to the aspect of each class of sacrifice. A full measure of apprehension will include all three classes of these sacrifices.

The Meat Offering (Lev. 2.) This bloodless offering was always associated with the burnt offering or some other animal sacrifice. It typifies that aspect of our Lord which, while not including His atoning death, must ever be linked with it. It speaks thus of His life, which throughout furnished a fit accompaniment to the infinite value of His atoning death. Details here are many and significant. The more general are first spoken of, then the various classes of meat offering are described.

It was to be of "fine flour," showing that subjection of the "corn of heaven" to the grinding action of the stones to which He submitted here. Truly our Lord humbled Himself in order that He might become our food; yielding that perfect life of His to every form of trial which would reduce it to proportions easily apprehended by us and thus capable of assimilation by faith. The fine flour was ground to a uniform consistency in which no unevenness was to appear. So was our Lord's entire life uniform. There were no undue prominences in it, in which one characteristic predominated over another.

Oil was poured upon it, suggesting the presence and power of the Holy Spirit; and the frankincense speaks of the fragrance to God in His earthly life. All this fragrance went up to God along with the burnt offering, and a portion of the meal and oil also. The remainder was the priest's. This is all in harmony with the typical teachings already gathered from the burnt offering. In our Lord's death we see the culmination of the perfect fragrance of His entire life; the Spirit of God witnesses to this in His death, while the details of His life in the power of the Spirit are for priestly faith to feed upon.

A word must suffice as to the various classes of the meat offering when prepared in the form of food. If baked "in the oven," it was made of cakes, literally," pierced cakes," suggesting the opening of His inmost heart to the action of the heat; "mingled with oil," speaks of our Lord's perfect humanity as conceived by the Holy Ghost; while the "wafers" or cakes, rolled out by pressure, and anointed with oil, suggest that anointing of the Spirit in whose power He went through His ministry.

The "oven" suggests the heated atmosphere of the scene into which our Lord came in grace. The whole world was to Him an oven, in which the heat of trial to which He was subjected was a strange atmosphere to One who had always lived in the freshness of heaven. His entire life here was spent in the oven.

The "pan," literally, "frying pan," seems to speak of the more direct action of the fire to which our Lord was subjected, more particularly during His public ministry. Here, the pressure of circumstances rolling over Him, and the fierce flames of opposition and persecution to which He was subjected, manifested a special excellence in Him which the Spirit of God declared was well pleasing to the Father.

In the "frying pan," or more correctly, "caldron," we have the action of boiling water upon the flour, suggesting that the very perfection of His obedience to the word of God in circumstances like those through which He passed, exposed Him to special trial and persecution. In whatever way He was tested — by His very presence in the world, by the opposition of men, or the testing of the word of God — all brought out the perfection of our Lord's human nature.

No leaven was to be mingled with any meat offering offered to God. Leaven speaks of the corruption of the flesh, which had no place in Him. Neither was honey to be put in, for it speaks of a mere natural amiability which can easily ferment into its opposite, if subjected to the heat of trial. Salt however was not to be lacking; for "salt is good" and speaks of that energy and faithfulness, the savor of which characterized the covenant of our God, and is the very opposite of the honey.

The offering of the firstfruits suggests the resurrection, Christ being the firstfruits of them that slept, the Head of a new race which, while begun here, shall enjoy throughout eternity all the freshness of that which He who went through the heat and trial of this life secured for us by His death upon the cross.

The Peace Offering (Lev. 3). The peace offering differs from the burnt offering, in that a part of it only was consumed upon the altar, while another part was reserved for the priest, and the offerer himself had a share in the sacrifice which he had presented. The word is a plural, as though suggesting various aspects of peace. In the shedding of His blood, we are reminded how peace is effected by the blood of His cross. This peace, however, includes our nearness to God, and communion, which we are now privileged to enjoy, a communion of which Christ is the theme; for true communion is a joint participation in, and enjoyment of a common object. We are apt to think of it in its effects upon us, of joy, worship, etc.; but these are not the basis of communion. If I am feeding upon Christ, I am sharing in the thoughts of God, and thus have communion with Him, a communion which surely will express itself in delight, worship and thanksgiving.

These are thoughts suggested by the peace offering, and at once we find an enlargement in the character of the offering. It can be either a male or a female of the herd or of the flock, provided it is "without blemish." The details are similar to the burnt offering, and their significance need not be reiterated. We speak simply of what is distinctive.

As the male suggested headship, strength and responsibility, the female suggests nature and dependence. Our Lord was the woman's Seed, "made of a woman, made under the law." In His genealogy in Matthew, the four women who are spoken of are in one way or another connected with the presence of sin in the world, either personally or by their relationship. Thus our Lord as the peace offering, and as we shall see more fully in the sin offering, was willing to be "made sin" for us. He would also take the place of absolute dependence upon God, relinquishing any rights of his own. Thus, while the female may suggest a lower grade, as being of less value, there are special features peculiar to it which could not have been conveyed by the higher aspect suggested in the male.

The part that was offered up to God was the fat within — all the energy of a perfect will, which was not lacking, but willingly offered up to God; the vital, inward organs, also suggesting, as we have already seen, an inward devotion to God, were also offered to Him in sacrifice. Special attention is called to the kidneys, "the reins," our Lord's inward judgment and refusal of all evil. This could be laid upon the altar in token of His perfect sinlessness, while "the caul above the liver" (possibly the diaphragm which separates between the lungs and the liver, what we might call the nobler vital organs as distinct from the viscera, those connected more with earth) was removed and consumed, as though suggesting there could be no such distinction in the holy life of our Lord. With Him, there was no separation between sacred and common. He was as much for God in the lowliest details of life as in His very breath and the beating of His holy heart of affection for Him. These were distinctively the Lord's portion in the peace offering.

Fat and blood were ever prohibited, the blood as the life being poured out to the Lord in death, and the fat consumed upon the altar. The other portions of the peace offering were shared by the priest and the offerer, and this is enlarged upon in the law of the offerings which comes a little later.

The Sin Offering (Lev. 4 — 5:13). We now come to the sacrifices which speak more particularly of atonement, man's need met rather than the sweet savor offerings in which the death of our Lord is looked upon as devotion to God. Here at once we are introduced into a fulness of detail suggesting the grace of God which would meet man's need in whatever measure he had apprehended his sinfulness. There are, therefore, many grades of the sin offering, not indeed of God's apprehension, but of the offerer's. One remark covers all these grades: they show the exceeding sinfulness of sin. The lowest form that is mentioned, the sin through ignorance, reminds us that ignorance is never an excuse which could be pleaded with the infinite holiness of God. Of course, presumptuous sins are, in man's judgment, more heinous; and, significantly, under the law, there was no provision for these; but sin is essential alienation and separation from God, which requires the atoning sacrifice of Christ if man is ever to be brought back to the One against whom he had revolted.

The first aspect of the sin offering gives us the fullest view of sin in its separation from God. It is the sin of the priest, reminding us that man was intended for priestly nearness to God, and that by his sin he has forfeited this. Our Lord in His death has met the guilt of this; and in the offering provided for it, the highest, a young bullock, we see how perfectly His sacrifice has met the heinousness of our sin.

Details here are significant. The blood is sprinkled seven times before the Lord, before the veil, while some of it is put upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense, showing the basis of our access to God and of worship before Him. The remainder poured out at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering shows how the blood of the cross has effected all this. The fat and other portions that were offered upon the altar in the peace offerings are burned, but the remainder of the body is removed without the camp and burned in the place of distance, showing God's wrath against sin which puts at a distance from Himself.

The next grade is sin of the whole congregation, in which the details are the same. Our attention is more particularly called to the fact that it is the entire congregation who have sinned. In the first grade, it was the priest himself. Here we see, as it were, our Lord taking His place before God as the confessor not merely of His people's sins, but in a certain sense as their Representative, centering in Himself the entire responsibility that was theirs. Thus we find in the 69th psalm He says: "My sins are not hid from Thee." He is therefore the Priest seen as the Surety for His people. This explains why the sacrifice for the entire congregation is similar to that for the priest. It gives its just the other side of this truth. Surely our Lord could not answer for sin which He did not have; so when He says, "Mine iniquities" (Ps. 40:12) it is as our Surety alone that He speaks. The whole congregation are those for whom He is the Surety; we thus have a twofold view of the sin offering in its highest characteristics.

The next is the sin of the ruler, where a thought similar to that of the priest is expressed, but now rather in administration than in communion. Priesthood is a higher thought even than rule. Christ is here again the Surety for the sin in administrative order, of which all men have been guilty. Here we have that which is perhaps the most distinctive sin offering, in that it speaks of the highest form of what is most common, man's failure in government. The goat by its energy and will suggests, as we find throughout Scripture, the thought of independence. Here, that which recalls the independence and insubordination of man is seen in the lowliness of perfect abasement, bearing the consequences of sin. Our Lord was made "in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin."

The blood of this sacrifice goes no further than the altar of burnt offering, suggesting the lower view of sin already intimated; while the disposition of the remainder of the body is entirely different from that of the bullock of the sin offering.

In the fourth grade of the sin offering, we come to the sin of one of the people. That is the view of sin which is, alas, common to each individual. Here again the blessed fact of substitution is ever present, and of atoning death by our Substitute. It is again a goat, reminding us of Him who was "made sin;" now a female, recalling what we saw previously.

The sheep furnishes another grade not far removed from the previous one which it resembles in every detail. In the sheep we are reminded rather of the submission and meekness of the Offerer than the exceeding sinfulness of sin.

The remaining grades of the sin offering are marked off in distinction from those at which we have already looked, suggesting an evident poverty of apprehension of the true nature of sin or of the full value of that which has put it away. This last indeed is not manifest in the sacrifice offered, but rather in the nature of the sin which he has committed. It is not looked upon in its true essence, which has effected a separation from God, but rather in its detail. Indeed, there is so much of the trespass offering about it that it has been thought by some to have been simply a trespass offering. Its position, however, forbids this thought , and we are evidently reminded that there is a view of sin which is far less complete and radical than God knows it to be. We think of the guiltiness connected with isolated acts, or with some form of trespass. Thus the soul fails to reach the deep seat of sin; he judges rather its fruits than the root. How good is the grace of our God in showing that the sacrifice of Christ meets sin not according to our conception, but according to His knowledge of it.

In the next sin offering, we have a still feebler apprehension. The bird furnishes the special aspect of the lowest grade of the burnt offering; in a general way, it presents Christ as the One come down from heaven to meet our sin in His cross. How few rise above this general thought of the sacrifice of our Lord.

Lastly, a still feebler apprehension both of the sin and that which alone puts it away is seen in the meat offering which is presented without oil or frankincense, and a memorial of it burnt upon the altar. As we saw, the meat offering was never to be used alone; but here we see divine grace providing for a poverty of apprehension. Thus, a soul may not realize the meaning of the cross; there may be a consciousness of sin and need, and the general belief that the Lord Jesus is the Saviour of sinners. How many are in this state of spiritual poverty — failing to apprehend the fulness of the provision of divine grace!

The Trespass Offering (Lev. 5:14 — 6:7). We come now to the last offering, whose significance we have already seen. Here, sin is looked at more as injury; thus the thought of restitution is prominent, as well as expiation. Probably, in most cases this is where God begins — His work awakening the conscience to a sense of wrong done; it may be, perhaps, wrongs to our fellow men, or the failure to have rendered to God His due. It is, as we have said, the fruits of sin rather than the root that are here before us. In the trespass offering, therefore, we have not only the provision of atonement, but the restitution of that which has been taken away. How blessedly has our Lord, as in the 69th psalm, become not merely the sacrifice for our trespass, but restored that which we have wrongfully taken away! In His confession of His people's sin, He says, "Then I restored that which I took not away." Apart from this feature, the trespass offering is doubtless like the sin offering already considered.

The remainder of this division of the book (Lev. 6:8-7) stands somewhat by itself, forming a kind of supplement to the first part under the general title of "The law of the offering," where certain details are presented referring more particularly to the disposition of those parts of the offering which had not been specified before. In general the priest's portion is what is emphasized. The perpetuity of the burnt offering (Lev. 6:8-13), referred to in its continual burning, reminds us of the eternal efficacy of the work of Christ. Whenever an Israelite turned his eyes toward the altar during the whole year, he could see the glow of fire which reminded him that the sacrifice was ever before God. So is our Lord's sacrifice — of eternal value. There is never a time when the holiness of God ceases to be satisfied by that which Christ has offered.

In the meat offering (Lev. 6:14-18), the priest's share in it is presented. Our Lord's life is for the enjoyment of His people, although the memorial of that life went up in sweet savor to God upon the cross. When the meat offering is the priest's alone (Lev. 6:19-23), it is all consumed. Thus our Lord offered up his whole life to God, reserving nothing to be enjoyed by Himself apart from His Father.

The law of the sin offering comes next (Lev. 6:24-30), in which the participation by the priest is emphasized. Again and again we are reminded that it is "most holy." How God would guard the sin-bearing by His Son from any thought of inherent evil in Him, and would bear witness also how perfectly His holiness has been secured through that sacrifice! All that it touches is "holy." The earthen vessel wherein the flesh of the sin offering was prepared, which the priest had eaten, was to be broken and if a metal vessel were used, it had to be rinsed and scoured. The sacrifice of Christ stands out unique. It is for God alone, and cannot be applied to any other use. Solemn indeed is the thought that man should use the sin offering of our Lord as a mere salve to his conscience to enable him to go on carelessly in the world again.

Details as to the trespass offering (Lev. 7:1-10) show its similarity of treatment to the sin offering, the priest here partaking of that which is not presented to God. The priest gets the skin of the burnt offering, together with the meat offering, as we have already seen. The skin of the burnt offering seems to speak of the outward manifestation of the life of our Lord as it appeared in all its perfection to God. The priest, typical of the offerer now in the place of nearness to God, apprehends this perfection outwardly, which is known in its inward depths perfectly by God alone. How sweet to think we stand, as we might say, covered with a perfection whose depths God realizes perfectly.

Under the peace offering (Lev. 7:11-38), we have certain details which emphasize the fulness of the communion into which our Lord's death has brought us. There seem to be two general kinds of peace offering; one a thanksgiving, all of which had to be eaten the day it was offered, in this resembling the roast lamb of the pass-over; while a vow or a free will offering might remain until the morrow, although the third day any remnants were to be consumed with fire. The thought seems to be here that those apprehensions of our Lord which stir the heart to gratitude are matters for immediate enjoyment alone, while in those apprehensions of Him which are connected with a purpose of heart we have what is of more lasting enjoyment. Thus, for instance, the praise that springs to the lips from some sudden view of our Lord's love and work ceases with the occasion which brought it forth, while a constant feeding upon Him insures a more abiding communion. This however cannot be taken for granted, for there must be perpetual freshness in the peace offering. Thus even a constant habit of mind cannot be taken as a guarantee for communion. On the third day all must be renewed afresh.

It is also in connection with the peace offering that uncleanness is shown to debar from communion with God; neither fat nor blood were to be allowed the offerer; Christ's devotedness and His atoning work were for God. The priest's portion in the peace offering is also dwelt upon. This is more particularly the wave breast and the heave shoulder; the breast speaking of the affections, and the shoulder of the strength of Christ. It is as in priestly communion we share in the thoughts of God, that what has been waved before Him in its wondrous perfectness, "the love of Christ which passeth knowledge," is ours to enjoy, and that strength which supports His feeblest ones can never fail.

Division 2. (Lev. 8 — 15).

Priestly fellowship, its nearness, hindrances and responsibilities. This portion of the book, as we are constantly seeing, is intimately connected with the closing part of the former division. First (Lev. 8, 9), we have the rites connected with the consecration of Aaron and his sons to the priestly office. They are seen in the closest association — Christ as Head of the priestly family, with those whom He is not ashamed to own as brethren. The garments of glory and beauty which have been described in the book of Exodus, together with the special sacrifices, show us our Lord before God as His people's representative in all the varied and full value of His work and of His person. Thus we find blended together the sin offering and the consecration, which is also a peace offering, all to be enjoyed by the priestly family. In connection with all this, the sin offering for the people is presented, and as a result, Aaron comes out with blessing for them (Lev. 9:22-24).

The sin of Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10) follows in solemn contrast with all this, reminding us somewhat of the sin of the golden calf, though different in character. They presented strange fire, that which the Lord did not command, and therefore the fire of His holiness which had not fed upon the sacrifice which they ought to have presented, falls in judgment upon them.

The prohibition against using strong drink immediately following, suggests that these misguided men, the eldest of the sons of Aaron (for the firstborn frequently stands for the failure of the flesh), were under the influence of strong drink. The stimulus and exhilaration of nature has no place in priestly worship. It can only meet the chastening hand of God. On the contrary, the privilege of the priest to feed upon his portion is emphasized. He can even identify himself with the sin of others, in feeding upon the sacrifice which has put it away.

The second part of this division dwells upon the conditions of the fellowship indicated in the place of priestly nearness already shown. Leviticus 11 gives us the distinctions between clean and unclean beasts, the details of which furnish many a valuable lesson at which we can barely glance. In general, clean beasts were such as both chewed the cud and divided the hoof. That which produces inward exercise and outwardly affects the walk must combine in what truly feeds us. This is seen in its perfection in Christ alone; and it is as we feed upon Him that these characteristics are reproduced in us.

As to fish, the scales and fins which marked the clean ones suggest that separation of life and energy in pressing onward which marked our Lord, and which a true feeding upon Him will also produce in us. Similar thoughts are suggested as to the birds and creeping things, though here the classification is less distinct. In general, birds of prey or manifestly unclean ones are prohibited, as also is the case with insects.

The necessity for absolute purity, both in nature and practice, is seen in the provisions made in connection with birth, and the plague of leprosy (Lev. 12 — 14) . Leprosy indeed is a complete type of sin, and so is gone into in marked. detail, with the rules for its detection and isolation, and the rites connected with the restoration of the leper after his cleansing. It must suffice to say that it requires priestly discernment to detect the disease, sometimes under an apparently harmless blemish, and at other times suspected where it does not really exist. Banishment from enjoyment of communion with God and His people is the necessary treatment for this loathsome disease, and it is only divine power which can heal the leper. Leprosy doubtless is a type of sin in the believer as well as in one who has never known God. Indeed, sin is sin wherever manifested, and if we go back far enough, there is but one remedy for it in saint and in sinner alike.

As to the restoration, as has been said, there are many most profitable lessons. All speaks of the sacrificial work of Christ, the cleansing of the water by the Word, and the keen, unsparing self-judgment suggested in shaving off all hair, one's honor laid in the dust; while in the recovery the blood first applied with the oil put upon it speaks of the seal of the Spirit upon the sacrifice of Christ, in connection with the apprehension of the fulness of the value of that sacrifice seen in the subsequent offerings. All furnishes most rich and profitable material for entering into the reality of what true communion is.

Leprosy in the garment, which follows, speaks of a defilement which has not as yet directly laid hold of the person, but rather upon the details of the walk. It suggests those questionable employments and habits in which the child of God may engage, perhaps, before his conscience is involved. These must be subjected to the testing action of the word of God, and if aught is found which is a spreading leprosy, it must be rent from the garment, and if this does not correct the trouble, the whole must be burnt with fire. The spiritual application is obvious.

The leprosy in the house carries the same thought to the wider questions of association and corporate responsibility. The teaching here has marked and distinct value in connection with the responsible relationships of fellowship with others. Here again all must be detected by priestly communion, indeed by the one great Priest who, with "eyes as a flame of fire," walketh in the midst of the candlesticks. Here, evil which can be checked and controlled is not leprosy; but where it permeates a portion of a company, the evil person must be put away; and if a fretting leprosy still continues, as, for instance, false doctrine amongst a company of professed Christians, the whole house must be pulled down, fellowship is broken, and those who are true to the Lord will depart from iniquity. Even here, however, souls are not to be needlessly considered as defiled; the open vessels in the house must all be covered up before the priest enters.

Another aspect of defilement and cleansing is before us in Leviticus 15. The humbling fact that from an unclean source nothing but uncleanness can come is here emphasized. "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders," etc. Thus, God would close this part of the subject by pressing upon us the great lesson that holiness becometh His presence, and there can in no wise enter there that which defileth. How all constantly leads up to the great central necessity of the sacrifice of our Lord, in order to open the way for sinful men to draw near to God!

Division 3. (Lev. 16, 17).

Access to God in the Holiest, by the blood of Jesus. Perhaps nowhere in Scripture is the great truth of access to God brought out more distinctly than in this portion. The veil, as we saw, separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy, where were the ark and the mercy-seat shadowed by the cherubim of glory, typical of the throne of God. We might in one sense say that this third division is a contrast to, as well as a type of, the way to God. The veil remains down, and as we learn in the epistle to the Hebrews, the way into the Holiest of all was not made manifest, the high priest alone entering in once every year with the blood of bulls and goats. Indeed, the epistle to the Hebrews, occupying a third or sanctuary place in the epistles of Paul which speak of relationship, reminds us of this third division of the book of Leviticus, speaking of access into the presence of God.

The high priest draws not nigh in the garments of glory and beauty speaking of his official character and prerogatives, but in that simple white garment which tells of His spotless purity. The bullock for the sin offering, the ram for the burnt offering, and the two goats for the children of Israel for a sin offering, all show that the entrance was to be "not without blood;" while the incense tells of the fragrance of Christ which was ever before God. In the sin offering, first for himself and then for the people, we have perhaps a combination of the two thoughts which have been already gathered in the sin offering for the priest and the whole congregation on the one side, and on the other a contrast to the reality; for surely our Lord needed not to offer first for Himself and then for the errors of the people. The whole imagery is, of course, directly applicable to Israel, and those truths which apply more specifically to us as Christians are not so prominent.

Thus, after Aaron had carried the blood of the sin offering for the people within the veil, he came out with a benediction for them. Israel stands thus, we might say, between the time when our Lord entered into the Holiest as Priest and when He shall come forth with blessing for them; but meanwhile we have boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, and see there how perfectly God has accepted His sacrifice as typified by the sprinkling of the blood once upon the mercyseat, showing how God is eternally glorified by the death of His Son; and seven times before it, showing the perfection of that standing which we have on the ground of the blood of Christ. Both the body of the bullock and of the goat of the sin offering were carried without the camp and burnt — emblematic of the banishment of our Lord from the presence of God when He was made sin for us, as expressed in those awful words, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Thus, His suffering without the gate, in the outer darkness, has opened the way for us into the innermost presence of God, as typified by the rending of the veil at the time of His death. The scapegoat, upon whom the sins were confessed, putting them away, although it had apparently been spared from judgment by the lot which had fallen upon its companion who was sacrificed in its stead, furnishes an additional figure of the complete results of the atoning, work of Christ. The sins of the people are removed into a land of forgetfulness. "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." Thus, in this wondrous service of the day of atonement, we have the various aspects of the work of Christ presented; God's wrath borne; the way into His presence opened, and the sins of His people eternally put away.

Connected with the service of the day of atonement, we have (in Lev. 17) the essential sacrificial nature of all blood-shedding, reminding the people that the service which once a year was enacted in the holy place was suggested whenever they shed the blood of an animal to be used as their food. God would have us remember, not merely the one great sacrifice by which we draw near to Him, but that in every blessing we enjoy we recall the fact that it has been purchased for us at the cost of the death of His beloved Son, and that it should be enjoyed in priestly communion with Himself.

Division 4. (Lev. 18-22).

The walk resulting from priestly communion.

As we approach the book of Numbers, we find anticipations of its character in the close of the present book. The walk must result from the standing — never the reverse. There are many details here into which we will not enter. We are reminded of the multiplicity of exhortations in the fourth division of the epistle to the Romans (Lev. 12-16), corresponding to this section of our book.

Leviticus 18 speaks of that purity which separates the people of God from the corruptions of Egypt and of Canaan. "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

Leviticus 19 dwells upon those gracious activities and responsibilities flowing from our relationships. How truly, if we realize that we are members one of another, shall we manifest a godly care one for another!

Leviticus 20 speaks of the certainty of punishment upon iniquity, something much forgotten in these easy-going times. God will manifest however the certainty of it, whether it be in the chastening of His people or the judgment which is to fall upon the ungodly.

Leviticus 21 and 22 speak more specifically of holiness of walk amongst the priesthood. By their position these have a special responsibility, greater than that of the common people. Both responsibilities, while distinct, are merged for us who are both "a peculiar people" and "a holy priesthood."

Division 5. (Lev. 23 — 27).

Looking forward to the end, promises and assurances. As the fourth division suggested the book of Numbers with its provision for our walk through the wilderness, so the fifth gives us a foretaste of the book of Deuteronomy, dwelling, as it does, upon the fulfilment of God's ways and the responsibilities which rest upon His people.

Leviticus 23 carries us forward to the end. We have the feasts of Jehovah, beginning and ending with the Sabbath. Here we have the whole course of God's ways with His people set forth. How blessed it is to see that He begins and ends with the Sabbath! All is in view of the rest of God. It is this which governs all.

Next, we have the set times or special seasons which stand out in marked distinctness throughout the year typifying it all. Here we have first the passover, emphasizing the great truth of redemption, which is God's beginning (Lev. 23:4-8).

Linked with this is the feast of unleavened bread to be kept for seven days, typical of that holiness which is to mark the people of God throughout their entire earthly walk.

Next (Lev. 23:9-14) we have the feast of first-fruits, typical of the resurrection of our Lord; and in connection with that, there is the presentation of the sacrifice upon which it was based.

Following this, we have (Lev. 23:15-22) the feast of weeks or Pentecost, when the meat offering of a new beginning is presented to God. We cannot fail to remember its remarkable antitype, the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came down and vast multitudes of souls were saved. In the two loaves which were waved before the Lord, baked with leaven, we have a marked suggestion of the presentation of the Church to God, composed of Jew and Gentile, in both of whom indeed is the leaven of the old nature, but who are presented to God not in themselves, but in connection with that perfect sacrifice which is typified in the seven lambs, one bullock, and two rams which are offered as a burnt offering to God, and the sin offering of the goat, together with the peace offering. This multiplication of the offerings in connection with the presenting of these two loaves with leaven is most suggestive.

In connection with the service of the feast of weeks we have the gleanings of the harvest which are left for the poor. The Gentiles, during the whole of the present period, have indeed profited wondrously by the harvest left by Israel.* This bounty still goes out to the nations in the period succeeding the Church, and it is of this that we have a glimpse in the latter part of this portion.

{*This refers only to the earthly aspect of Christian blessing. As the destined bride of Christ in heavenly glory, the Church occupies a place far above Israel.}

We pass next (Lev. 23:23-44) to those feasts which have more specific reference to Israel nationally. Here, in the blowing of trumpets in the seventh month, we have the set time to favor Israel. Connected closely with this, is the great day of atonement — in one sense, we might almost say, a repetition of the passover, but with specific features which were associated with the service already described in the third division of this book, the entrance of the high priest into the holiest. It is here alone that Israel sees her sins put away by Him who, though offered long before, has hitherto been rejected oy her during all the ages of the present period; but after that she has been called to repentance, they look upon Him whom they pierced. Thus it is that the way is opened for the feast of ingathering, when the people can enjoy to the full the triumph of grace and see the consummation of all God's ways with them in the great feast of tabernacles. This closes the cycle of time which fittingly merges into the final Sabbath. The Millennium thus is succeeded by the eternal rest of God.

In Leviticus 24, we are introduced again into the sanctuary, where we are reminded that the light and the shewbread are perpetually preserved. This suggests what we have already seen in the feasts of Jehovah, that the gifts and calling of God with respect to Israel are without repentance. Meanwhile, however, evil must be judged, and especially that apostasy which results from the mixture of the professed people of God with the world.

Leviticus 25 is one of great interest, being evidently of a prophetic, as well as of a typical character. In the Sabbath of rest for the land and the jubilee Sabbath at the end of fifty years, we have the evident provision of God for the Millennium. God's eye is upon His inheritance. If His people fail to let the land enjoy her Sabbaths, typical of the rest of God in His inheritance, He Himself must intervene, as we see later, in chastening. The land however is never to be finally alienated from those to whom it has been given. The provision for the year of jubilee, the year of release, shows this. Liberty throughout the land is to be proclaimed on the great day of atonement; when blessing comes forth from the presence of God through the Priest, the people's inheritance will be restored to them. God will remember His covenant and remember the land. So also where bondage has come in, and through poverty one has sold himself to another, this bondage is to be removed in the year of jubilee. There is also the right of release and recovery of property, all of which is of intense interest. The prophet Jeremiah carries out some of the provisions of this law of redemption when he purchased, in the very face of the Chaldean occupation of the land, his inheritance in Anathoth (see Jer. 32).

Provision having thus been made for both the inheritance and the people, we have (Lev. 26) the promises for obedience and solemn warnings if the people depart from God. There is even here however, the assurance that forgiveness will follow their repentance. Thus we have prophetic intimations of what had evidently been in the mind and heart of God from the beginning.

The closing chapter shows how God provided for the failure of Israel under the first covenant — they having utterly failed to keep their vow of obedience to God by which they were bound. In this chapter God gives intimations of His provision for them in grace, not for the setting aside of the vow, but a redemption from it by the payment of the divine estimation. We know well who has paid that pledge which they had engaged to render, but utterly failed to do. Throughout the entire chapter, this truth of redemption by substitution for dedicated objects of person or property is emphasized. Only one dedicated thing could not be redeemed, for the precious reason that it was the type of Him who set His face like a flint and would accept no exemption, who could say in the anguish of His holy soul, as He looked forward to the payment of that awful vow which He had taken upon Himself in love to man, "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." Thus the book closes with the seal of redemption upon it, and in a different form reiterates the precious truth of substitution which so largely occupied the opening. Truly, sanctification to God must rest upon the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.