Leviticus 6:8-15, 23-25, 30
8. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
8. Loquutus est etiam Jehova ad Mosen, dicendo:
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 he burning in it.
9. Praecipe Aharon et filiis ejus, dicendo, Haec est lex holocausti, (holocaustum est, quod aduritur super altare tota nocte usque mane, ubi ignis altari accensus fuerit in eo.)
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.
10. Induet se sacerdos veste linen, femoralibus item lineis induct se super carnem suam, tolletque cinerem quum absumpserit ignis holocaustum ex altari, et ponet eum secus altare.
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.
11. Postea exuet se vestibus suis, et induet se vestibus allis, efferetque cinerem extra castra ad locum mundam.
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.
12. Et ignis super altare ardebit in eo, non extinguetur, et accendet in eo sacerdos ligna quotidie mane, et disponet super illud victimam holocausti, adolebitque super illud adipes prosperitatum.
13. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.
13. Ignis perpetuo ardebit in altari, non extinguetur.
14. And this is the law of the meat-offering: The sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, before the altar.
14. Ista est lex minha quam offerent filii Aharon coram Jehova ad altare.
15. And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat-offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat-offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord.
15. Tollet ex ea pugillo suo ex simila minha, et oleo ejus, et totum thus quod erit super minha: adolebitque super altare odorem quietis odorem ejus apud Jehovam.
23. For every meat-offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten.
23. Omnis minha sacerdotis tota eremabitur, non comedetur.
24. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
24. Loquutus est Jehova ad Mosen, dicendo:
25. Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin-offering: In the place where the burnt-offering is killed shall the sin-offering be killed before the Lord: it is most holy.
25. Alloquere Aharon et filios ejus, dicendo, Ista eat lex hostile pro peccato, In loco in quo mactabitur hostia holocausti mactabitur hostia pro peccato coram Jehova, quia sanctificatio sanctificationum est.
30. And no sin-offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation, to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten; it shall be burnt in the fire.
30. Omnis autem hostia pro peccato, de cujus sanguine inferetur aliquid in tabernaculum conventionis, ad expiandum in sanctuario non comedetur, igni comburetur.
The intent of this perpetuity was, that the offerings should be burnt with heavenly fire; for on the day that Aaron was consecrated, the sacrifice was reduced to ashes not by human means but miraculously, in token of approbation. True that God did not choose daily to exert this power; but He interposed the hand and labor of men in such a manner that the origin of the sacred fire should still be from heaven. The same thing afterwards happened at the dedication of Solomon's temple, because that alteration of the divine decree demanded a sign (tesseram,) lest any should think that it was at the will of man that the splendor of the temple should outvie the tabernacle. Finally, the sacrifice of Elijah was graced by the same privilege when he restored the abolished legal service; and then also God upheld what He had ordained in His Law, in opposition to all corrupt and degenerate rites. Meanwhile, in order to prevent any adulterations, He chose to have the fire continually burning on the altar day and night, nor was it allowable to take it from elsewhere. There was, indeed, amongst the Persians2 a perpetual fire, and at Rome also under the guardianship of the Vestal virgins;3 and it may be, that in foolish mimicry they transferred to themselves the custom which they had heard of being observed by the Jews; for thus it is that, for the purpose of deceiving unbelievers, the devil often falsely makes a pretense of something divine, and imitates God just as an ape imitates man: but the purpose of God in rejecting strange fire was to retain the people in His own genuine ordinance prescribed by the Law, lest any inventions of men should insinuate themselves; for the prohibition of strange fire was tantamount to forbidding men to introduce anything of their own, or to add to the pure doctrine of the Law, or to decline from its rule. Meanwhile, since God had once testified, as if by stretching forth His hand from heaven (to receive them,4) that the sacrifices were acceptable to Him, believers were confirmed in their confidence of this by the pledge of the perpetual fire.
1 Or peace-offerings, vide supra, p. 105.
2 "The Persians regarded with reverence the sun and every kind of fire. The fire continually kept alive in their temples, was considered as sacred. It had been kindled from fire, which Zoroaster pretended to have brought down from heaven. It was fed by a particular kind of wood, and was supposed to be polluted even by the breath of those who approached it." -- Hill's Essays on Ancient Greece, Essay 20. The sacred fire was kept alive even in their marches. -- Curt, 3 3; Ammian Marcel., 23:6.
3 "Virgines Vestales in urbe custodiunto ignem loci publici sempiternum." -- Cicero de Legg. 2:8.
4 Added from Fr.
5 "Omettant les gasteux, et les tourtes, et bignets, tant cuits au four que frits;" omitting the cakes, and the tarts, and fritters, both cooked in the oven and fried. -- Fr.
6 "Leurs belles parades." -- Fr.
7 A. V., "The sin-offering and the trespass-offering." Michaelis has affirmed that the former was a sacrifice for sins of commission, and the latter for sins of omission: but the Hebrew lexicographer, J. Simons, has observed that this distinction is by no means compatible with the text in all instances. Professor James Robertson, "Clavis Pentat.," in a note on Leviticus 4:3, gives other opinions about the distinction, but expresses himself as most approving of that which supposes the first to be an offering for offenses against the First Table of the Decalogue: the second for those against the Second Table. -- W.
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