Leviticus xxii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. Offer. He does not speak of such things as fell to the share of the priests; (Menochius) but orders them to behave with great reverence when they perform their sacred offices, lest others should take occasion to treat the name of God and holy things with disrespect. Hebrew and Septuagint, “let them not profane my holy name, which they are bound to sanctify; or in what they consecrate to me.” Such things must not be used for ordinary purposes. (St. Basil, ser. de Bapt. ii. 2, and 3.)

Ver. 3. Approacheth, &c. This is to give us to understand, with what purity of soul we are to approach to the blessed sacrament, of which these meats that had been offered in sacrifice were a figure. (Challoner) — Such as were unclean, either fasted till the evening, or ate unconsecrated meats till they were purified. — Perish. The Rabbins say, by the hands of the other priests. The judges could only condemn him to be whipped. If his crime were secret, the punishment was left to God. (Selden, syn. ii. 1.)

Ver. 4. And he, &c. Hence it is plain, even the Jewish priests were bound to observe continence during the time of their ministry. (Calmet) — For the same reason, the priests of the new law, who may be called at any time to perform their more sacred functions, engage voluntarily in the state of perpetual celibacy. (Haydock)

Ver. 5. Or any. Hebrew, “or a man who may contaminate,” as lepers, &c. (Menochius)

Ver. 8. That. See chap. xvii. 15.

Ver. 9. In the sanctuary, is not found in Hebrew which is difficult to explain. “They shall observe my precepts, (or “watches,” entering upon the ministry at 17; Josephus; Menochius) and not bear sin for it, and die in it, because they have profaned it;” which it, may be understood either of the consecrated food, (ver. 7,) or of the sanctuary. (Calmet)

Ver. 10. Sojourner. “Guest,” or friend, Syriac. None but priests could taste this meat, except they were going to remain in the family for ever. Hence servants and slaves of the Jewish nation, who would one day regain their liberty, are excluded.

Ver. 13. Children. If she had any, she remained with them. (Philo, Monar. 2.)

Ver. 14. He. A layman, who, through mistake, ate of any of the tithes, &c., was obliged to give the capital, and a fifth part besides, with a sacrifice, mentioned [in] chap. v. 15. — Sanctuary. Hebrew and Septuagint, “He shall give to the priest the holy thing.” But if he ate it on purpose, he was to be slain, Numbers xv. 30.

Ver. 15. They; the common people shall not profane, by touching them afterwards, or by retaining any part. (Calmet) — The priests shall answer for the profanation, if it be committed through their neglect. (Haydock)

Ver. 18. Strangers: proselytes of justice, or converts of the Jewish religion. See ver. 25.

Ver. 19. Without blemish. To teach us to aim at perfection in all our offerings and performances.

Ver. 22. Scar. Septuagint, “If its tongue be cut out, or slit.” which was a blemish among the heathens. (Servius in ├ćneid vi.; lectas de more bidentes.) They also required the victims to be perfect. The Egyptians had officers called Sealers, who were directed by many books how to choose the proper victims. The Hebrew priests had to examine such as were offered to them, with the utmost nicety. See the Misna of Babylon. The idea of God’s perfection, has taught all nations to present to Him nothing but what is perfect, particularly when they offer victims.

Ver. 23. Ear….cut. Hebrew saruang, which is translated a crooked nose, chap. xxi. 18. The Septuagint and Syriac agree here with the Vulgate: but the moderns generally adopt the interpretation of the Rabbins, who say the word is applied to those animals whose double members, feet, ears, &c., are disproportionately long; as kolut, means too short. (Bochart) (Calmet) — Voluntarily, for the use of the priests, but not for any sacrifice, ver. 21. (Du Hamel)

Ver. 24. Bruised. Hebrew does not specify what part, no more than the Syriac or Arabic versions; but the Septuagint, Chaldean, Rabbins, and most commentators agree with us. — Do any, &c. (faciatis.) You shall not sacrifice (Syriac) any thing that is rendered unfit to propagate its kind: neither shall you reduce either man or beast to that condition. (Josephus, contra Apion ii.; Rabbins)

Ver. 25. Bread, which always accompanies the sacrifices for sin. Holocausts might be offered by the Gentiles. (2 Machabees iii. 3.; 1 Esdras vi. 9.) (Josephus, Antiquities xviii. 7.; Selden, Jur. iii. 4, 7.) — Them. To reconcile this with ver. 18, we must understand because in the sense of in as much as; they are all corrupted, when contrary to these regulations. The strangers shall not be allowed to offer any blemished victim. Hebrew, “Neither from the hand of a stranger shall you offer the bread (or victims) of your God of any of these; because….blemishes are in them: they shall not be accepted (by God) for you (or them).” The Chaldean and other versions explain it in the same sense. Presents of gold, &c., were accepted, and kept in the temple. The family of Augustus shewed their generosity in this respect. (Philo, Legat.) (Calmet) — Strangers, or pagans, could not offer victims, but they might give money to purchase them. (Tirinus)

Ver. 27. Lord. In this and the following verses, we are taught a lesson of humanity. (Tertullian) — The Romans did not offer sheep or goats till they were eight days old: though the Jews were at liberty to sacrifice them after that term, they generally waited till they were thirty days old. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Who may eat the holy things: and what things may be offered.

1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, *saying:

2 Speak to Aaron and to his sons, that they beware of those things that are consecrated of the children of Israel, and defile not the name of the things sanctified to me, which they offer. I am the Lord.

3 Say to them, and to their posterity: Every man of your race, that approacheth to those things that are consecrated, and which the children of Israel have offered to the Lord, in whom there is uncleanness, shall perish before the Lord. I am the Lord.

4 The man of the seed of Aaron, that is a leper, or that suffereth a running of the seed, shall not eat of those things that are sanctified to me, until he be healed. He that toucheth any thing unclean by occasion of the dead, and he whose seed goeth from him as in generation,

5 And he that toucheth a creeping thing, or any unclean thing, the touching of which is defiling,

6 Shall be unclean until the evening, and shall not eat those things that are sanctified: but when he hath washed his flesh with water,

7 And the sun is down, then being purified, he shall eat of the sanctified things, because it is his meat.

8 *That which dieth of itself, and that which was taken by a beast, they shall not eat, nor be defiled therewith. I am the Lord.

9 Let them keep my precepts, that they may not fall into sin, and die in the sanctuary, when they shall have defiled it. I am the Lord who sanctify them.

10 No stranger shall eat of the sanctified things: a sojourner of the priest’s, or a hired servant, shall not eat of them.

11 But he whom the priest hath bought, and he that is his servant, born in his house, these shall eat of them.

12 If the daughter of a priest be married to any of the people, she shall not eat of those things that are sanctified, nor of the first-fruits.

13 But if she be a widow, or divorced, and having no children return to her father’s house, she shall eat of her father’s meats, as she was wont to do when she was a maid; no stranger hath leave to eat of them.

14 He that eateth of the sanctified things through ignorance, shall add the fifth part with that which he ate, and shall give it to the priest into the sanctuary.

15 And they shall not profane the sanctified things of the children of Israel, which they offer to the Lord;

16 Lest perhaps they bear the iniquity of their trespass, when they shall have eaten the sanctified things. I am the Lord who sanctify them.

17 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

18 Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: The man of the house of Israel, and of the strangers who dwell with you, that offereth his oblation, either paying his vows, or offering of his own accord, whatsoever it be which he presenteth for a holocaust of the Lord,

19 To be offered by you, it shall be a male without blemish, of the beeves, or of the sheep, or of the goats.

20 If it have a blemish, you shall not offer it, neither shall it be acceptable.

21 *The man that offereth a victim of peace-offerings to the Lord, either paying his vows, or offering of his own accord, whether of beeves or of sheep, shall offer it without blemish that it may be acceptable: there shall be no blemish in it.

22 If it be blind, or broken, or have a scar or blisters, or a scab, or a dry scurf: you shall not offer them to the Lord, nor burn any thing of them upon the Lord’s altar.

23 An ox or a sheep, that hath the ear and the tail cut off, thou mayst offer voluntarily: but a vow may not be paid with them.

24 You shall not offer to the Lord any beast that hath the testicles bruised or crushed, or cut and taken away: neither shall you do any such thing in your land.

25 You shall not offer bread to your God, from the hand of a stranger, nor any other thing that he would give: because they are all corrupted, and defiled: you shall not receive them.

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

27 When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, they shall be seven days under the udder of their dam: but the eighth day, and thenceforth, they may be offered to the Lord.

28 Whether it be a cow, or a sheep, they shall not be sacrificed the same day with their young ones.

29 If you immolate a victim for thanksgiving to the Lord, that he may be favourable,

30 You shall eat it the same day, there shall not any of it remain until the morning of the next day. I am the Lord.

31 Keep my commandments, and do them. I am the Lord.

32 Profane not my holy name, that I may be sanctified in the midst of the children of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctify you,

33 And who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that I might be your God: I am the Lord.



1: Year of the World 2514.

8: Leviticus xvii. 5.; Exodus xxii. 31.; Deuteronomy xiv. 21.; Ezechiel xliv. 13.

21: Deuteronomy xv. 21.; Ecclesiasticus xxxv. 14.