Leviticus 6 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Leviticus 6)

Verse 2

[2] If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;

If a soul sin — This sin, though directly committed against man, is emphatically said to be done against the Lord, not only in general, for so every sin against man is also against the Lord, but in a special sense, because this was a violation of human society, whereof God is the author, and president, and defender: and because it was a secret sin, of which God alone was the witness and judge: and because God's name was abused in it by perjury.

To keep — In trust.

Or in fellowship — Heb. Or in putting of the hand: that is, commerce or fellowship in trading, which is very usual when one man puts any thing into another's hand, not to keep it, but to improve it for the common benefit of them both, in which cases of partnership it is easy for one to deceive the other, and therefore provision is made against it. And this is called a putting of the hand, because such agreements used to be confirmed by giving or joining their hands together.

By violence — Secretly; for he seems to speak here of such sins as could not be proved by witness.

Or hath deceived — Got any thing from him by calumny, or fraud, or circumvention; so the word signifies.

Verse 3

[3] Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:

Swear falsely — His oath being required, seeing there was no other way of discovery left.

Verse 4

[4] Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,

Is guilty — This guilt being manifested by his voluntary confession upon remorse, whereby he reapeth this benefit, that he only restores the principal with the addition of a fifth part; whereas if he were convicted of his fault, he was to pay double, Exodus 22:9.

Verse 5

[5] Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.

In the day — It must not be delayed, but restitution to man must accompany repentance towards God. Wherever wrong has been done, restitution must be made, and till it is made to the utmost of our power we cannot look for forgiveness; for the keeping of what is unjustly got, avows the taking: And both together make but one continued act of unrighteousness.

Verse 9

[9] Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it.

And the Lord spake — Hitherto he hath prescribed the sacrifices themselves; now he comes to the manner of them.

The burnt-offering — The daily one, which Exodus 29:38; Numbers 28:3, as the following words shew. This was to be so managed and laid on piece after piece, that the fire might be constantly maintained by it. The morning burnt-offerings were to be kept burning all the day from morning to night also; but he mentions not that, because there was such a constant succession of sacrifices in the day-time that there needed no law for feeding and keeping in the fire then; the only danger was for the night, when other sacrifices were not offered, but only the evening burnt-offering, which if it had been consumed quickly, as the morning burnt-offering was, there had been danger of the going out of that fire, which they were commanded diligently and constantly to keep in.

Verse 10

[10] And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.

The ashes which the fire hath consumed — That is, the wood consumed into ashes.

Verse 11

[11] And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place.

Other garments — Because this was no sacred, but a common work.

A clean place — Where no dung or filth was laid. The priest himself was to do all this. God's servants must think nothing below them but sin.

Verse 12

[12] And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.

It shall not be put out — The fire coming down from heaven, was to be perpetually preserved, and not suffered to go out, partly that there might be no occasion or temptation to offer strange fire; and partly to teach them whence they were to expect the acceptance of all their sacrifices, even from the divine mercy, signified by the fire that came down from heaven which was an usual token of God's favourable acceptance.

Every morning — Though the evening also be doubtless intended, yet the morning is only mentioned, because then the altar was cleansed, and the ashes taken away, and a new fire made.

Thereon — Upon the burnt-offering, which thereby would be sooner consumed, that the way might be made for other sacrifices.

Verse 13

[13] The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.

Thus should we keep the fire of holy love ever burning in our hearts.

Verse 14

[14] And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar.

Of the meal-offering — Of that which was offered alone, and that by any of the people, not by the priest, for then it must have been all burnt. This law before delivered, is here repeated for the sake of some additions made to it.

Verse 16

[16] And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it.

His sons — The males only might eat these, because they were most holy things; whereas the daughters of Aaron might eat other holy things.

In the court — In some special room appointed for that purpose. The reason why this was to be eaten only by holy persons, and that in an holy place, is given Leviticus 6:17, because it is most holy.

Verse 17

[17] It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.

It — That part which remains to the priest; for the part offered to God seems not to have been baked at all.

Verse 18

[18] All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the LORD made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy.

Every one — That is, none should touch, or eat them, but consecrated persons, priests, or their sons.

Verse 20

[20] This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.

When he is anointed — For high-priest for he only of all the priests was to be anointed in future ages. This law of his consecration was delivered before, and is here repeated because of some additions made to it.

Perpetual — Whensoever any of them shall be so anointed.

At night — Or, in the evening; the one to be annexed to the morning-sacrifice, the other to the evening-sacrifice, over and besides that meal-offering which every day was to be added to the daily morning and evening sacrifices.

Verse 21

[21] In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the LORD.

Thou — Who art so anointed and consecrated.

Verse 23

[23] For every meat offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten.

It shall not be eaten — No part of it shall be eaten by the priest, as it was when the offering was for the people. The reason of the difference is, partly because when he offered it for the people, he was to have some recompence for his pains; partly to signify the imperfection of the Levitical priest, who could not bear their own iniquity; for the priest's eating part of the people's sacrifices did signify his typical bearing of the people's iniquity; and partly to teach the priests and ministers of God, that it is their duty to serve God with singleness of heart, and to be content with God's honour though they have no present advantage by it.

Verse 26

[26] The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.

For sin — For the sins of the rulers, or of the people, or any of them, but not for the sins of the priests; for then its blood was brought into the tabernacle, and therefore it might not be eaten.

Verse 27

[27] Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place.

Upon any garment — Upon the priest's garment; for it was he only that sprinkled it, and in so doing he might easily sprinkle his garments.

In the holy place — Partly out of reverence to the blood of sacrifices, which hereby was kept from a profane or common touch; and partly that such garments might be decent, and fit for sacred administrations.

Verse 28

[28] But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water.

Broken — Because being full of pores, the liquor in which it was sodden might easily sink into it, whereby it was ceremonially holy, and therefore was broken, lest afterwards it should be abused to common uses.

Rinsed — And not broken, as being of considerable value, which therefore God would not have unnecessarily wasted. And this being of a more solid substance than an earthen vessel, was not so apt to drink in the moisture.