Leviticus 22 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Leviticus 22)

Verse 2

[2] Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the LORD.

Separate themselves — When any uncleanness is upon them, as appears from Leviticus 22:3,4.

From the holy things — From eating of those parts of the offerings, which belong to them. Only of the tithes they might eat.

They — The children of Israel. And it ill became the priests to profane or pollute what the people did hallow.

Verse 3

[3] Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD.

Goeth unto the holy things — To eat them, or to touch them; for if the touch of one of the people having his uncleanness upon him defiled the thing he touched, much more was it so in the priest.

Cut off — From my ordinances by excommunication: He shall be excluded both from the administration, and from the participation of them.

Verse 7

[7] And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food.

His food — His portion, the means of his subsistence. This may be added, to signify why there was no greater nor longer a penalty put upon the priests than upon the people in the same case, because his necessity craved some mitigation: tho' otherwise the priests being more sacred persons, deserved a greater punishment.

Verse 9

[9] They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the LORD do sanctify them.

Lest they bear sin — Incur guilt and punishment.

For it — For the neglect or violation of it.

Verse 10

[10] There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing.

No stranger — Of a strange family, who is not a priest; but there is an exception to this rule, Leviticus 22:11.

A sojourner — One that comes to his house and abides there for a season, and eats at his table.

Verse 12

[12] If the priest's daughter also be married unto a stranger, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things.

A stranger — To one of another family, who is no priest. Yet the priest's wife, though of another family, might eat. The reason of which difference is, because the wife passeth into the name, state and privileges of her husband, from whom the family is denominated.

Verse 14

[14] And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing.

Unto it — Over and above the principle, and besides the ram to be offered to God, Leviticus 5:15.

And shall give unto the priest the holy thing — That is, the worth of it, which the priest was either to take to himself or to offer to God, as the nature of the thing was.

Verse 15

[15] And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the LORD;

They — The people shall not profane them, by eating them: or the priests shall not profane them, that is, suffer the people to profane them, without censure and punishment.

Verse 16

[16] Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the LORD do sanctify them.

They — That is, the priests, shall not (the negative particle being understood out of the foregoing clause) suffer them - That is, the people, to bear the iniquity of trespass - That is, the punishment of their sin, which they might expect from God, and for the prevention whereof the priest was to see restitution made.

Verse 18

[18] Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering;

Strangers — Such as were proselytes.

Verse 19

[19] Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.

A male — For a burnt-offering, which was always of that kind: but the females were accepted in peace-offerings, and sin-offerings.

Verse 25

[25] Neither from a stranger's hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these; because their corruption is in them, and blemishes be in them: they shall not be accepted for you.

A stranger's hand — From proselytes: even from those, such should not be accepted, much less from the Israelites.

The bread of your God — That is, the sacrifices.

Verse 28

[28] And whether it be cow or ewe, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day.

In one day — Because it favoured of cruelty.

Verse 32

[32] Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you,

Hallowed, or sanctified, either by you in keeping my holy commands, or upon you in executing my holy and righteous judgments. I will manifest myself to be an holy God that will not bear the transgression of my laws.