Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

General Editor for the Old Testament:—




In the Revised Version

With Introduction and Notes



Late Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge



Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge


at the University Press


[All Rights reserved.]




The present General Editor for the Old Testament in the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges desires to say that, in accordance with the policy of his predecessor the Bishop of Worcester, he does not hold himself responsible for the particular interpretations adopted or for the opinions expressed by the editors of the several Books, nor has he endeavoured to bring them into agreement with one another. It is inevitable that there should be differences of opinion in regard to many questions of criticism and interpretation, and it seems best that these differences should find free expression in different volumes. He has endeavoured to secure, as far as possible, that the general scope and character of the series should be observed, and that views which have a reasonable claim to consideration should not be ignored, but he has felt it best that the final responsibility should, in general, rest with the individual contributors.

A. F. Kirkpatrick.



AT the time of Mr Chapman’s regretted death in December, 1913, the notes on chapters 1–4 and §§ 1, 2 and 3, to the end of Division iii, of the Introduction, were in print. The notes to the end of ch. 16 were found to be in a fairly complete form in MS.

Dr Streane kindly undertook at once to complete the work and be responsible for its final revision.

Thus §§ 1, 2, 3, i–iii of the Introduction, a portion of § 4 of the same, the notes on chapters 1–16 and the introductory note on ch. 17, together with Appendix I (a) (b) (c) (d) and Appendices ii, iv, v are substantially Mr Chapman’s work, although it has been carefully revised throughout by Dr Streane. For the remainder of the Introduction and Appendices and the notes on chapters 17–27, Dr Streane is directly responsible. Little available material for this part of the work was found among Mr Chapman’s papers.

A. F. Kirkpatrick.

July 1914.


  I.  Introduction

§ 1.  Name and Contents of the Book

§ 2.  Sources and Literary Structure

§ 3.  Analysis of the Book

§ 4.  Sacrifice, its Origin, Meaning, etc.

§ 5.  Religious Value of the Book



Explanation of Symbols

  II.  Notes

  III.  Appendices:

I.  Critical Notes on the Literary Structure

II.  The Priestly Code

III.  The Date of H as compared with Ezekiel

IV.  The Wave-Offering

V.  Azazel

“Novum Testamentum in Vetere latet;

Vetus Testamentum in Novo patet.”

St Augustine.


§ 1. Name and Contents

The Book of Leviticus derives its name through the Vulgate (Leviticus) from the LXX. Λευειτικὸν (sc. βιβλίον), i.e. the Levitical book, so called from the character of its contents. The Heb. title is Wayyiḳra, from the first word ‘And he called,’ in accordance with the common Jewish practice of naming a book from its opening word or words.

The contents of this Book, the third of the five Books of the Law, belong, according to the chronological system of the Pentateuch, to the first month of the second year of the Exodus (Exodus 40:1; Exodus 40:17, cp. with Numbers 1:1). The events recorded are few in number—the consecration of Aaron and his sons according to the directions given in Exodus 29, the first offerings of Aaron for himself and the people, the death of Nadab and Abihu (chs. 8–10), and the punishment of the blasphemer (Leviticus 24:10 f.). The remainder of the book contains legislation. This, like the other legislation in the Pentateuch, has for its aim throughout the training up of the people in ways that shall commend themselves to the God who has chosen them to Himself, and who has for His preeminent characteristic holiness. Much of the legislation in this Book concerns the priests, e.g. the ritual of sacrifice, the treatment of leprosy, and the ceremonial of purification. Because of the predominating priestly element the book has acquired its name of Leviticus, i.e. the Levitical book. Levitical has here the same significance as in Hebrews 7:11, where the priesthood of the first covenant is called ‘The Levitical priesthood.’

Outline of contents:

I.  1–7 The law of sacrifice.

1.  1:1–6:7. The different kinds of offerings. Regulations for priests and people, mainly addressed to the people.

2.  6:8–7:38. Further regulations, chiefly referring to the priestly portions of the sacrifices, mainly, though not exclusively, addressed to the priests.

II.  8–10 The inauguration of the worship.

1.  8 Consecration of Aaron and his sons.

2.  9 The first offerings of Aaron.

3.  10 Death of Nadab and Abihu; and priestly regulations.

III. 11–16  Rules of purification.

1.  11 Distinction between living things that may be eaten, and those which may not be eaten. Defilement caused by touching the carcase of beasts or of creeping (swarming) things.

2.  12 Purification after childbirth.

3.  13–15 Rules for discerning leprosy, and for cleansing a leper. Treatment of leprous houses. Uncleanness of issues, and their cleansing.

4.  16 The Day of Atonement.

IV.  17–26 The law of holiness.

1.  17 Of sacrifice. Eating of blood forbidden. and sundry laws, moral and ceremonial.

3.  21, 22 Laws and ordinances, chiefly affecting the priests.

4.  23–25 The feasts of the Lord. The lamps and the shewbread. The blasphemer stoned. The sabbatical year and year of jubile.

5.  26 Concluding exhortation.

V.  27 A supplementary chapter dealing with vows and their redemption.


The Book Leviticus presents a marked contrast to the Books of the Pentateuch which immediately precede and follow it. Exodus and Numbers both contain two elements which can be separated from one another without difficulty: one, designated by the symbol P, contains a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments set in a historical framework; the other, which is composite in character and denoted by the symbol JE, contains the traditions of Judah and of the Northern Kingdom, with a small collection of laws1[1]. Leviticus belongs entirely to the source P, and forms part of the legislation which is the distinguishing mark of the central or Sinaitic section of the Pentateuch (Exodus 19–Numbers 10). This section contains an account of the stay at Sinai, and of the legislation assigned to that period.

[1] For further information about the sources P and JE, and for the conclusions of modern criticism with respect to the composition of the Hexateuch (the Pentateuch and the book of Joshua) the reader may consult Chapman’s Introduction to the Pentateuch in this Series, and Driver’s Introduction to the Literature of the O. T. (LOT.’) pp. 1–159.

But though Leviticus is different in structure from other books of the Pentateuch, problems similar to those which confront the critic in Exodus and Numbers present themselves here also. The unity of aim, above referred to as characterizing this with the other Books of the Pentateuch, by no means indicates a literary unity. The labours of the priestly school in preparing the law book of Israel extended over more than a century and a half2[2]; during this period some variation in thought and phraseology may be expected, and the student who consults the commentaries on Exodus and Numbers in this series will find that the source denoted by P is not homogeneous. Repetitions and divergences point to diversity of origin, and after the separation of P from JE has been accomplished, a further analysis of each source is necessary. This analysis, in the case of P, is often difficult, and though the evidence for successive redactions of the text is definite and conclusive, it is not always possible to trace the present text backwards to its original form. It seems reasonable to suppose that regulations concerning certain observances, such as the offering of sacrifice, combine elements of great antiquity with the practice of more recent date, but the attempt to trace the steps of their development must be in a measure tentative. In default of direct evidence, examination of the text may suggest inferences, but they fall short of rigorous demonstration.

[2] The period from 597, the captivity of Jehoiachin, with Ezekiel and many priests, to 444, the date assigned to the reading of the law in the time of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 8) is 153 years.

One of these inferences, which is regarded by modern critics as conclusive, may be given here by way of illustration.

Four cases are enumerated in Leviticus 4 for which a Sin-Offering is prescribed, and in the first two (Leviticus 4:2-21) a special application of the sacrificial blood is enjoined. The blood shall be brought into the tabernacle, and put upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense that is before the Lord (Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:18).

The injunctions contained in Exodus 25-29 make no mention of this altar, nor is there any reference to it in Leviticus 8, 9, which describe very fully the inauguration of the worship. The chapters in Exodus contain a full, and apparently complete, account of all that is necessary to render the tabernacle a fit ‘dwelling’ (Exodus 25:9 R.V. mg.) for the glory of the Lord. According to Leviticus 25:9 the pattern of all the furniture is shewed, and in the closing verses of ch. 29, God’s presence is solemnly promised on the completion of the work enjoined in chs. 25–29 (cp. Exodus 29:43-46). The writer of these chapters has no idea that additional furniture would be needed.

In the following chapter a command is given (Exodus 30:1-10) to make an Altar of Incense, with instructions concerning its situation, and its use. The thoughtful reader cannot fail to notice that this ordinance1[3] appears to be supplementary to those in chs. 25–29 It is very remarkable that this altar, which is essential for completing the ritual of the Sin-Offering in Leviticus 4:1-21, should not be included in the furniture of the tabernacle specified in Exodus 25-29. If the writer of these chapters knew of the incense altar, he would surely have added it to the list of things necessary for the service of the tabernacle as the writer of Exodus 35:10-19 has done. The inference seems justified that

[3] The same may be said of other injunctions in this chapter (see Wellh. CH.2 p. 142 f.), but it will be sufficient to take note here ot the altar of incense only.

the writer of Exodus 25-29 does not mention the Altar of Incense, because he is unacquainted with it, and with the ritual for which such an altar is required.

In support of this inference it may be noted that in Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:18; Leviticus 4:25; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:35 the altar for sacrifice is called ‘the altar of burnt offering’ to distinguish it from ‘the altar (which is) before the Lord, that is in the tent of meeting’ (vv. 7, 18), but in Leviticus 1-3 the altar for sacrifice is called ‘the altar,’ implying that the writer had only one altar in view.

The same difference of expression is found elsewhere. One group of passages—Exodus 27:1-8; Exodus 28:41; Exodus 28:29; Leviticus 5, 6, 8, 9, 16 : Numbers 16:46, like Leviticus 1-3—refers to ‘the altar.’

But in another group of passages—Exodus 30:28; Exodus 31:9; Exodus 35:16; Exodus 38:1; Exodus 40:6; Exodus 40:10; Exodus 40:29—‘the altar of burnt offering’ occurs, as in Leviticus 4, and ‘the brasen (bronze) altar’ in Exodus 38:30; Exodus 39:39.

To the first group of passages may be added Leviticus 10:1; Leviticus 16:12, and many verses in Numbers 16, where reference is made to the use of incense in ‘censers1[4].’ No altar of incense is needed when these censers or firepans are used; the action of Aaron as described in Leviticus 16:12 f. implies a tabernacle without an incense altar, and is in accord, together with all the passages in the first group, with the description of the tabernacle and its furniture in Exodus 25-39.

[4] The Hebrew word is the same as that translated ‘firepans’ in Exodus 27:3; Exodus 38:3; 2 Kings 25:15 "" Jeremiah 52:19 and ‘snuffdishes’ in Exodus 25:38; Exodus 37:23; Numbers 4:9. In Numbers 4:14; 1 Kings 7:50 "" 2 Chronicles 4:22 R.V. has ‘fire-pans,’ A. V. ‘censers.’

It follows that the passages in the second group, which either mention the altar of incense, or by the use of the distinguishing title ‘altar of burnt offering’ imply the existence of a second altar, belong to another and later stratum of P. See Driver’s Exodus (C.B.), introd. note on chs. 30, 31.

The book of Leviticus in its present form has been an important factor in moulding the religious thought and practice of Judaism. The Mishna and other rabbinic commentaries shew, as the notes from time to time point out, how it has been interpreted by Jewish teachers, and how its precepts were observed in the time of Christ. For further discussion, and for the treatment of the book by Christian commentators, patristic, mediaeval, and modern, reference must be made to works on the history of doctrine, and to articles in HDB. and Enc. Bidl. on Atonement, Mercy-Seat, Propitiation, Sacrifice, etc.

In recent times, however, attention has been drawn to what may be called the preliminary history of the Book, and attempts have been made to trace it back to its probable sources. One investigation of this kind has just been laid before the reader in pp. xii f., and others of a similar character dealing with the whole Hexateuch will be found in the works referred to in the note on p. xi.

In the following section, a detailed analysis of the Book is given; the remarks appended in smaller type deal chiefly with questions of origin; indications of variety of authorship are noted, and reasons given for supposing that the collection of laws in its present form is the result of a gradual process of selection and development.


I. The law of sacrifice, 1–7

This law is in two sections:

(a) Leviticus 1:1 to Leviticus 6:7, given through Moses to the children of Israel with respect to the

Burnt-Offering, 1;

Meal-Offering, 2;

Peace-Offering, 3;

Sin-Offering, Leviticus 4:1 to Leviticus 5:13;

Guilt-or Trespass-Offering, Leviticus 5:14 to Leviticus 6:7.

The material and place of sacrifice, the actions both of the offerer and of the priest, and, in the case of Sin-Offering and Guilt-Offering, the occasions on which a sacrifice is to be brought are prescribed.

(b) Leviticus 6:8 to Leviticus 7:38 [Hebrews 6, 7], addressed through Moses chiefly to the priests (Leviticus 6:9; Leviticus 6:25), but also (Leviticus 7:23; Leviticus 7:29) partly to the children of Israel, and containing 8 parts:

(1)  the law of the Burnt-Offering, Leviticus 6:8-13;

(2)  the law of the Meal-Offering, Leviticus 6:14-18;

(3)  the oblation of Aaron and of his sons, Leviticus 6:19-23;

(4)  the law of the Sin-Offering, Leviticus 6:24-30;

(5)  the law of the Guilt-Offering, Leviticus 7:1-7; with a note on priestly portions, Leviticus 7:8-10;

(6)  the law of the Peace-Offering, Leviticus 7:11-21;

(7)  prohibition of eating Fat and Blood, Leviticus 7:22-27;

(8)  priests’ portions of the Peace-Offering, Leviticus 7:28-36;

with a concluding summary, vv. 37, 38.

The regulations for each sacrifice are introduced with the words ‘This is the law of …’; directions are given to the priests, and their portions are indicated; the various kinds of the Peace-Offering are specified, and rules for the disposal of the remainder are given; Fat and Blood are prohibited as in Leviticus 3:17 but with more detail; although there is some repetition, the second part is on the whole supplementary to the first.

The main distinction between the above sections (a) and (b) consists in this, that the laws in (a) on the whole deal with the method of offering the sacrifice itself, while those of (b) have to do with supplementary regulations concerning the dress of the priest when offering, the treatment of the fire on the altar, the disposal of the portions of flesh to be consumed by the priest or the worshipper, etc.

The second group is not by the same hand as the first; the order in which the sacrifices are enumerated is different, both in Leviticus 6:8 to Leviticus 7:21 and in the subscription (Leviticus 7:37-38), from that in 1–6:7, and the prescriptions for each sacrifice are introduced by the formula, This is the law of … (Leviticus 6:9; Leviticus 6:14; Leviticus 6:25, Leviticus 7:1; Leviticus 7:11; Leviticus 7:37). In Leviticus 1:7 the priests are bidden to ‘put fire upon the altar,’ in Leviticus 6:12-13 fire is to be ‘kept burning upon the altar continually; it shall not go out.’ (Cp. Numbers 4:13-14 for what is to be done with the ashes when the camp sets forward.) The prohibitions of fat and blood in Leviticus 3:16, and Leviticus 7:22-27 are not in the same style, though it should be noted that both are in the 2nd person. The Sin-Offering is fully treated in 4–5:13, and briefly in Leviticus 6:24-30; details of the Guilt-Offering are given in Leviticus 7:1-7 which are not found in Leviticus 5:14 f.

II. The inauguration of the worship, 8–10

(a)  8 The consecration of Aaron and his sons according to the instructions given in Exodus 29.

(1)  Introductory, Leviticus 8:1-5;

(2)  washing, vesting, and anointing, Leviticus 8:6-13;

(3)  the sacrifices; Sin-Offering, Burnt-Offering, and the installation offering, Leviticus 8:14-30;

(4)  the process of consecration to last seven days, Leviticus 8:31-36.

(b)  9 The first sacrifices of Aaron.

(1)  Introductory, Leviticus 9:1-6;

(2)  sacrifice for himself, Sin-Offering and Burnt-Offering, Leviticus 9:7-14;

(3)  for the people, Sin-Offering, Burnt-Offering, and Peace-Offering, Leviticus 9:15-21;

(4)  blessing, entrance into the tent, appearance of the ‘glory of the Lord,’ Leviticus 9:22-24.

(c)  10 The first priestly transgression, and sundry ordinances.

(1)  Punishment of Nadab and Abihu, Leviticus 10:1-5;

(2)  Aaron and his sons forbidden to mourn, Leviticus 10:6-7;

(3)  restriction on use of intoxicants for priests, Leviticus 10:8-11;

(4)  the law of eating the holy things, Leviticus 10:12-15;

(5)  case of transgression of ritual as to eating the Sin-Offering, Leviticus 10:16-20.

Ch. 9 belongs to P. The last clause of v. 17 which assumes that the daily Burnt-Offering (Exodus 29:38-42) had already been offered may be a gloss (Dillm. al.), and doubts have been raised with respect to Exodus 29:19 and the last clause of Exodus 29:21; but these few sentences do not affect the general character of the chapter. The narrative is precise, but without the extreme redundancy which marks the later sections of the priestly narrative; in the Sin-Offering both for Aaron and for the people, the ritual prescribed in Leviticus 4:3-21 is not observed; the blood is not brought into the tent of meeting, there is no mention of the altar of incense, and the narrative refers throughout to ‘the altar’ (see remarks on P. xii). Thus the chapter bears marks of the original legislation of P as distinguished from subsequent strata.

Before Aaron could offer these sacrifices, it was necessary that the tent and its furniture, and the altar should be made and set up in accordance with the instructions of Exodus 25-27, that the garments should be prepared as directed in Exodus 28, and that Aaron and his sons should be consecrated in the manner appointed in Exodus 29. An account of all this work is found in Exodus 35-40. (cp. Leviticus 8). In these chapters the commands of Exodus 25-31 are repeated verbally; only the verb in each sentence is changed—e.g. from ‘and thou shalt make’ to ‘and he made.’ This lengthened and formal manner of describing the execution of the commands given in Exodus 25-31 is characteristic of the later portions of P, and there is further evidence pointing in the same direction.

III. The law of purification

(a)  uncleanness caused by animals 11

(1) food.  Distinction between clean and unclean animals Leviticus 11:2-23what may be eaten of beasts Leviticus 11:2-8what may be eaten of fishes Leviticus 11:9-12what may be eaten of birds Leviticus 11:13-19what may be eaten of flying insects Leviticus 11:20-23creeping (swarming) things not to be eaten and the reason Leviticus 11:41-45(2) contact.  Uncleanness caused by touching a carcase

a carcase of unclean animals Leviticus 11:24-28a carcase of creeping (swarming) things Leviticus 11:29-31contact of unclean things with vessels, or seed Leviticus 11:32-38touching the carcase of a clean beast Leviticus 11:39-40(3) summary Leviticus 11:46-47(b)  uncleanness after childbirth Leviticus 12:1-8(1)  in the case of a male Leviticus 12:2-4(2)  in the case of a female Leviticus 12:5(3)  offerings for purification Leviticus 12:6-8(c)  uncleanness from leprosy, Leviticus 13:14(1)  rules for determining the existence of leprosy Leviticus 13:1-44(2)  treatment of the leper Leviticus 13:45-46(3)  leprosy in garments Leviticus 13:47-59(4)  rites and sacrifies in cleansing of the leper Leviticus 14:1-32without the camp Leviticus 14:2-8within the camp Leviticus 14:8-20if he be poor Leviticus 14:21-32(5)  leprosy in houses Leviticus 14:33-53(6)  summary Leviticus 14:54-57(d)  uncleanness in issues, 15

(1)  uncleanness of men, and their cleansing Leviticus 15:1-18(2)  uncleanness of women, and their cleansing, Leviticus 15:19-30(3)  summary Leviticus 15:31-33(e)  the Day of Atonement 16

(1)  how the high priest must come into the holy place Leviticus 16:2-10(2)  the Sin-Offering for himself Leviticus 16:11-14(3)  the Sin-Offering for the people Leviticus 16:15-19(4)  the scapegoat (for Azazel) Leviticus 16:20-22(5)  the other sacrifices, and further rules Leviticus 16:23-28(6)  statute of yearly atonement Leviticus 16:29-34On the position of these laws following the account of the inauguration of the priesthood see introductory note to chs. 11–15: in all probability they contain ancient material reaching back to the beginnings of Israelite history. See Chapman’s Intr. to Pent. pp. 186 ff.

It is clear that Deuteronomy 14:6-20 and Leviticus 11:2-20 are derived from a common source. The passage in Deut is not in the style of the Deuteronomic code, and is probably borrowed from some document on which vv. 2–20 of Leviticus 11 are dependent.

The command in v. 43 ‘ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any swarming thing that swarmeth’ is linked to a declaration in vv. 44, 45 which has the characteristic phrases of H. A very similar declaration occurs in Leviticus 20:24-26, where the separation between clean and unclean food is enjoined, because the Lord has separated Israel from other peoples. This passage seems an appropriate introduction to a law on forbidden meats (Driver and White, SBOT. p. 91); Baentsch considers it the conclusion of such a law (HG. p. 5. HK. p. 404), Berth. (KHC.) assigns v. 25 to RP.

Leviticus 11:2-23; Leviticus 11:41-45, appears to be a continuous law on things that may and may not be eaten, which as far as v. 20 is very similar to Deut., and in the latter part resembles H.

A distinct feature of this law is the frequent use of shéḳeẓ, detestation, from v. 10 onwards, for unclean prohibited food, and the corresponding verb in the Piel form of the root ye shall have in detestation. The English reader fails to observe this because both A.V. and R.V. render abomination, the same word as that employed to translate the ordinary Heb. word tô‘çbhâh (see note on p. 38 and HDB. Art. Abomination). Deut uses this latter word to describe things that must not be eaten, ‘Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing’ (Leviticus 14:3), and in Leviticus 7:26 uses the other root in combination with it, ‘thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it’ (of the gold and silver of idols). Here shiḳḳeẓ, detest, is used to enhance the idea of abhorring or abominating the gold and silver of idols. The same root is used in Leviticus 11:11; Leviticus 11:13; Leviticus 11:43; Leviticus 20:25 in connexion with prohibited foods, and it is probable that a dietary law stood originally in connexion with Leviticus 20:24-26. (See on Leviticus 20:25 and p. 162.) May not that law have used this verb shiḳḳeẓ and possibly the noun also? and may not the reason for omitting the law be that the substance of it was incorporated in Leviticus 11? If, as seems probable, the frequent use of this root in Leviticus 11 is due to Rp, is not Rp under the influence of H? The alternative seems to be that adopted by Bertholet (see above) to assign Leviticus 20:25 to Rp.

Other occasions on which purification is prescribed for women are specified in Leviticus 15:19-30; possibly that section and c. 12 may have been originally more closely connected, and the last clause of Leviticus 12:2 is generally considered to refer to Leviticus 15:19. But if such connexion originally existed, reasons may be suggested for giving this chapter a place by itself. The character and length of the purification are different from those enjoined in c. 15, and the sacrifices here prescribed (Leviticus 12:6) are of higher value (cp. Leviticus 12:6 with Leviticus 15:29-30). Regulations which concern the beginnings of life appropriately precede those which are necessary for persons of mature age; and a command to circumcise a child on the eighth day (Leviticus 12:3) would naturally be placed before regulations about leprosy.

Chs. 13, 14. These regulations about the treatment of leprosy contain four main sections: the first (Leviticus 13:1-46) and third (Leviticus 14:1-32) deal with the diagnosis of leprosy, the separation of the leper, and the law of his cleansing. The second (Leviticus 13:47-59) and fourth (Leviticus 14:33-53) deal with leprosy in a garment and in a house. In the opinion of many modern commentators the more suitable position of Leviticus 14:33-53 would be immediately following Leviticus 13:47-59, and hence they infer that Leviticus 14:33-53 is a later addition.

But the order of the sections seems a natural one: in ch. 13 tests for discovering the disease are prescribed, and the tests applied to the garment are similar to those applied to the leper; the theme of ch. 14 is rehabilitation of one who has been pronounced unclean, and the remarkable ritual with the two birds is applied to the leper and to the house. It seems more suitable that this ceremonial should first be described in connexion with the leper, and afterwards applied to the house, than that the reverse order should be followed. In other words, a compiler with these four sections before him would probably have arranged them in the order in which they now stand. He might have put together the whole law of the leper, and added to it as a supplement the laws with respect to garments and houses, but that he would have inserted such a supplement between the laws for diagnosis and for re-admission does not seem so probable.

The idea of garments and houses being infected probably arose from appearances in them similar to those on the human body, and so the rules concerning their treatment were chronologically posterior to those for human beings: the fact, however, that primitive thought peopled the world around with demons, and regarded inanimate objects as means of transmitting their malignant activity, makes it quite possible that regulations about garments and houses may be nearly as old as those which refer to the human leper.

In ch. 14 there appear to be two distinct rituals of purification: One, contained in vv. 3–8a and concluding with the words ‘and he shall be clean,’ prescribes a ceremony, applied also to the leprous house, in which two birds are employed, one of which is killed over running (Heb. living) water, and the other is set free. This ceremony is decidedly antique in character, and similar to many others which have been practised in different parts of the world (see p. 78). It might have been introduced as part of the law in Israel at any time.

The other, contained in vv. 9–20, enjoins a Guilt-Offering and a ceremonial based on that prescribed for the consecration of priests in ch. 8. As both these elements belong to the Priestly Code, their introduction, and consequently the final redaction of these chapters, must coincide with or be later than the acceptance of that code.

The law contained in these two chapters is, on the whole, uniform in style, and may have been drawn up by one redactor. It seems also probable that regulations concerning a disease which was prevalent during the whole history of Israel must have grown in course of time, as the result of experience and observation, and that the law in its present form is based on material gathered at different times from different sources. Beyond these general indications of date it does not seem possible to go with any degree of certainty.

The remarks in the preceding paragraph may be applied mutatis mutandis to the contents of this chapter: the references to the Sin-Offering shew that its final redaction cannot be before the time when the Priestly Code was introduced.

Two important questions may be asked with reference to this chapter: Is it a unity or composite? and, Does it belong to the original groundwork of P or is it a later addition? For a discussion of these questions see Appendix I (d), pp. 163 ff.

It may be noted here, however, that three ideas are expressed in this service:

(1) atonement for sin through sacrifice;

(2) purification of places by application of blood;

(3) complete removal of sin symbolized by the scapegoat.

These ideas may be conceived in various stages of development; thus (1) the simplest expression of the first idea may be (a) a Burnt-Offering sacrificed by the priest for the people, on the introduction of special offerings for sin; (b) the Sin-Offering becomes the appointed means of atonement, but the Burnt-Offering is retained; and as a further addition, (c) a special atonement for the priests may be due, either to the growing importance of the priestly caste, or to the thought that the priests themselves should be purified before offering sacrifice for the people.

(2) Similarly the method of purifying places by the application of blood may be varied. The prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 45:18; Ezekiel 45:20) prescribes cleansing the sanctuary on the first day of the first month, and on the first day of the seventh month (according to R. V. mg. following the LXX.). The prophet’s directions for putting the blood on the posts and corners there enjoined seem simpler than those of Leviticus 16, where fuller details are given, and the cleansing of the holy place (v. 16) appears to be distinct from that necessary for the tent of meeting. The application of blood for purposes of purification, the act of bringing the blood within the veil, and the use of incense, may be regarded as extensions of the sacrificial ceremony, and as steps, either successive or simultaneous, in a process of development.

(3) The sending forth of the scapegoat is the most remarkable feature of this service. The idea of the removal of sin and evil in this manner is widely spread among nations in different stages of culture (see pp. 188 f). Such a rite may have been introduced at any time in the history of Israel, and it is not necessarily connected with sacrifice. The addition of the words ‘for Azazel’ probably points to a later period when the indistinct beliefs about malicious spirits had crystallized round definite shapes and names.

It will be seen, then, that there are many possible ways in which a simple ceremony may have gathered round it additional elements, and may gradually have expanded into the elaborate ceremonial prescribed for the Day of Atonement. But, in the absence of historical facts, the actual course of development cannot be traced with certainty.

IV. The law of holiness

(1)  laws relating to sacrifice, and the eating of animal food 17

(a)  place of sacrifice Leviticus 17:1-9(b)  eating of blood forbidden Leviticus 17:10-14(c)  supplementary directions Leviticus 17:15-16(2)  laws mainly on sexual relations 18

(a)  prohibition of unlawful marriages, breaches of chastity, and of Molech worship Leviticus 18:1-23(b)  renewal of the prohibitions in hortatory language of a general character Leviticus 18:24-30(3)  a miscellany of laws, moral and ceremonial 19

(a)  obligation to holiness, based on that of Jehovah Leviticus 19:2(b)  reverence for parents and for sabbaths enjoined Leviticus 19:3(c)  prohibition of idolatry Leviticus 19:4(d)  admonition as to Peace-Offerings Leviticus 19:5-8(e)  direction as to reaping and gleaning Leviticus 19:9(f)  prohibition of stealing, deception, false swearing, oppression, unkindly conduct, unfair decisions, talebearing, the implication of others in capital offences, nursing hatred, or avenging a wrong Leviticus 19:10-18(g)  law as to unlawful mixtures Leviticus 19:19(h)  law as to unlawful action towards a bond-woman Leviticus 19:20-22(i)  law as to the use of fruit trees Leviticus 19:23-25(j)  law as to blood and magical arts Leviticus 19:26-28; Lev 19:31(k)  law as to immorality Leviticus 19:29(l)  reverence due to sabbaths and the sanctuary Leviticus 19:30(m)  reverence due to old age and to strangers Leviticus 19:32-34(n)  law as to just weights and measures Leviticus 19:35-36(o)  summarised exhortation Leviticus 19:37(4)  various laws relating to religious and moral conduct, and announcements of penalties for their violation 20

(a)  prohibition of human sacrifices to Molech Leviticus 20:2-5(b)  magical arts forbidden as offence against Jehovah’s holiness Leviticus 20:6-8; Lev 20:27(c)  parents to be held in honour Leviticus 20:9(d)  sexual offences forbidden Leviticus 20:10-21(e)  general directions of a homiletic character Leviticus 20:22-26(5)  regulations concerning priests 21

(a)  ceremonial restrictions as regards the priests generally Leviticus 21:1-9(b)  ceremonial restrictions as regards the high priests Leviticus 21:10-15(c)  physical disqualifications for a priest Leviticus 21:16-24(6)  regulations as to offerings 22

(a)  two conditions for sharing in food offered in sacrifice, viz. ceremonial purity and membership in a priestly family Leviticus 22:2-16(b)  prohibition of animals that have a blemish as sacrifices Leviticus 22:17-24(c)  further precepts with regard to sacrifices Leviticus 22:26-30(d)  homiletic addition Leviticus 22:31-33(7)  enumeration of sacred days and seasons 23

(a)  the weekly sabbath Leviticus 23:2-3(b)  the Passover and feast of unleavened bread Leviticus 23:4-8(c)  an offering of firstfruits (on a day to be computed from an undefined sabbath) Leviticus 23:9-14,

(d)  the Feast of Weeks (to be computed from the same undefined sabbath) Leviticus 23:15-22(e)  the Blowing of Trumpets Leviticus 23:23-25(f)  the Day of Atonement Leviticus 23:26-32(g)  the Feast of Tabernacles Leviticus 23:33-36(h)  summary Leviticus 23:37-38(i)  further directions as to the Feast of Tabernacles Leviticus 23:39-43(j)  conclusion Leviticus 23:44(8)  regulations, ceremonial and moral 24

(a)  directions with respect to the lamps in the tabernacle Leviticus 24:2-4(b)  directions with respect to the shewbread Leviticus 24:5-9(c)  incident of the blasphemer, his punishment, and regulations arising out of the case Leviticus 24:10-16; Lev 24:23(d)  penalties for bodily injury done to man or beast Leviticus 24:17-22(9)  the sabbatical year and the year of Jubile 25

(a)  the sabbatical year Leviticus 25:2-7(b)  the year of Jubile: limits of the alienation of land Leviticus 25:8-23(c)  N.B. the passage Leviticus 25:19-22 is an insertion. See notes there. Leviticus 25:24-34(d)  redemption of land and of Levites’ houses Leviticus 25:35-38(e)  prohibition of usury in the case of a poor Israelite Leviticus 25:39-46(f)  the case of Israelites who are slaves of resident foreigners Leviticus 25:47-55(10)  a concluding exhortation, embodying promises and warnings 26

(a)  idolatry forbidden Leviticus 26:1(b)  sabbath and sanctuary to be honoured Leviticus 26:2(c)  conditional promises Leviticus 26:3-13(d)  conditional warnings Leviticus 26:14-39(e)  repentance shall bring restoration Leviticus 26:40-45(f)  conclusion Leviticus 26:46(1) There is a general agreement among modern critics that these ten chapters are distinguishedf from those that precede, and from the ch. (27) which concludes the Book, and that they form a separate group, summarized in the last v. of 26 as ‘statutes and judgements and laws.’ The position of that summary also shews that 26 is an integral part of the collection, and marks it off from the concluding ch. of the Book.

(2) We find the style and phraseology of P clearly marked in these chs., especially in certain parts of 23, and in Leviticus 24:1-9, although the exact limits of P cannot always be determined with certainty. For details the reader is referred to the Appendix on P together with the notes in this volume on the several chapters.

(3) On setting aside the portions belonging to P, we find that there remain

(a) a code of laws containing prescriptions of varied character which do not exhibit affinity with P;

(b) hortatory passages, laying special stress on the idea of holiness, such as ‘Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy’ (Leviticus 19:2).

The point to be particularly noticed in this connexion is the combination of the two ideas of (a) God’s holiness, and (b) the consequent necessity that Israel as the chosen people should be holy likewise. For illustrations of this feature see Chapman’s Intr. to Pent. in this Series, p. 112.

Owing to this prominent feature, the section has been termed the ‘Law of Holiness1[5],’ and for the sake of brevity is commonly referred to as H.

[5] Das Heiligkeits-Gesetz, Klostermann, 1877.

The editor who added (b) to (a), as described above, seems in the formation of the latter to have collected laws from different sources, instead of drawing up a code himself. For illustrations see Intr. to Pent. pp. 240 f.

Accordingly we infer the existence of the following two stages with regard to the framing of this section of the Book

(1) That a reviser who combined hortatory and warning discourses with a collection of laws, drawn in the main from existing codes, further impressed on this combination the character of ‘holiness’ as above described. Hence that reviser may be called Rh.

(2) That another reviser, working probably at a time when this collection had been incorporated with the Priestly code (P), which forms the rest of the Book, introduced further elements from that code into the section. We may call him Rp.

That the document formed by Rh was antecedent in time to P appears from various indications: (a) its list of sacrifices is more limited. Rh makes no mention2[10] of the Sin-Offering and Guilt-Offering enjoined in P (Leviticus 4:1 to Leviticus 6:7), (b) the hierarchical system is less developed. The high priest, although chief ‘among his brethren’ (Leviticus 21:10) and anointed, and specially robed, evidently is not looked upon as possessed of the degree of Aaronic dignity which is conferred on him by P’s description (Exodus 28, 29). (c) In Numbers 18. (P) there is a distinction made between ‘most holy things’ which may be eaten only by priests (v. 10), and holy things, in which all ceremonially clean members, whether male or female, of the priestly families may share (v. 11). No such distinction is made in the portion attributed to Rh, unless it be in Leviticus 21:22 b, which, however, has quite the air of an interpolation suggested by ps[12]. (d) Rh insists (against P) that all occasions on which domestic animals are slain for food shall involve sacrificial rites at the central sanctuary (Leviticus 17:1-9).

[10] Leviticus 19:21-22 do not contravene this statement. These vv. are opposed to the general tenor of H, and are plainly an addition to harmonize with P’s enactments.

[12] (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

Accepting these as the stages in the formation of the Book as it now stands, and placing the Holiness Code at an earlier date than the Priestly Code, we next ask to what date we are to assign the former.

Here we must distinguish between its legal and hortatory elements. The age of the legal can only be arrived at by inferences drawn from a comparison of its enactments with those of other codes. That of the hortatory may be inferred by a comparison with similar elements in other parts of the Old Testament, and, in accordance with what has been said above, we may deduce the conclusion that the date of this latter element is identical with that of the compilation of H by the first redactor (Rh).

The first comparison (that of the laws in H with those of other codes) does not yield assured results. For (a) the sources from which those laws are taken may well be of very various ages, and (b) the amount of modification to which the original form has been subjected often cannot be ascertained with certainty. A simple example may serve to make this clear. The law in Leviticus 17:1-7, enacting that there shall be a sacrificial element in all slaughter of animals for food, may have passed through stages of some kind before reaching its present form. According to it no slaughter, whether for sacrifice or food, is to take place except at the central sanctuary. This applies to the Israelite, but vv. 8, 9 insist that if a ‘stranger’ brings a sacrifice, it shall be brought to the same place. It would seem that the ‘stranger’ was free to kill animals intended merely for food wherever he pleased. The section’s phraseology in v. 3 is adapted to the wilderness ‘camp,’ but v. 5 speaks of the ‘open field’ as contrasted with the city, thus implying a settled life, and moreover it recognises the aliens (‘strangers,’ v. 8) who lived in the midst of Israel. In Deuteronomy 12:13-15; Deuteronomy 12:20 f. the rule is modified, and in Leviticus 7:22 ff. it is ignored; for there it is implied that an ox or sheep or goat may be freely eaten. Is then the law in which it appears in Leviticus 17 pre-exilic or otherwise? For it may be said on the one hand that the centralisation of worship prescribed by the Deuteronomic code, abolishing as it did the numerous local shrines at which, previous to Josiah’s reforms, sacrifices had been offered, made the relaxation thus permitted a practical necessity; while on the other hand it may be urged (though with less force) that the rule had to do with times immediately following the Return from Babylon, when it could be easily obeyed, the returned exiles confining themselves to the territory in the vicinity of Jerusalem. (See further in the notes ad loc.)

We may add that the restriction laid down in ch. 17, whatever may be its date, had for an object (see v. 7) to check the practice of heathen customs. Those who regarded the slaughter of animals for food, even apart from the service of the sanctuary, as ipso facto a sacrificial act, were inclined, in accordance with that view, to add ceremonies of a doubtful or idolatrous character.

In general, for similarities or divergences perceived on comparison of the legal element in H with corresponding enactments in JE and D, see Intr. to Pent., pp. 243–245.

While this comparison of legislative elements fails, as has been said above, to yield conclusive evidence as to H’s dependence on or priority to other codes, somewhat more satisfactory results, although still not of a demonstrative character, are obtained from a comparison of the hortatory sections of H with the prophecies of Ezekiel. For a detailed comparison see Appendix, Comparison of the Holiness Code with Ezekiel, in Intr. to Pent. pp. 240 ff., and for a discussion of priority in date as between these two see App. III, pp. 177 ff. in this volume.

It will be seen there that the preponderance of critics favour the view that the Holiness Code preceded in order of time the Book of Ezekiel. We have also seen reason to conclude (p. xxvi) that certain elements of the Priestly Code were embodied by a later reviser in the Holiness Code, in other words that H was revised, probably when it had been incorporated with the Priestly Code, by a writer acquainted with that document, and working in the spirit of it. For that priestly Reviser the symbol Rp has been adopted. See further in the Appendix II On the Priestly Code, pp. 174 ff.

V. Vows and tithes, and their commutation, 27

(a)  laws relating to vows and their redemption Leviticus 27:2-29(b)  laws relating to tithes and their redemption Leviticus 27:30-33(c)  conclusion 34

§ 4  Sacrifice, its Origin, Meaning, and History as practised by Israel. Synopsis of Sacrificial Regulations laid down in the Priestly Code

No one can read the history of Israel as preserved in the O.T. records, without noting that all writers, historians, prophets, and psalmists alike are convinced that God had chosen Israel, and that the nation from the beginning had been and was still the object of His providential care. However imperfectly this belief was apprehended by the bulk of the nation, it influenced profoundly the better and more spiritually minded among them. In the development of their sacrificial system, as in all other matters, they had been specially guided by God. That conviction expressed itself in the reverent ascription of their ritual to the Divine word. But while acknowledging this testimony of Israel’s religious consciousness, the thoughtful student of their history cannot disregard those facts which the history of all religion teaches. The details of ceremonial observance grow with a nation’s growth, and are the result of traditions reverently and jealously guarded by those who felt that in the rules which directed their intercourse with the higher powers, nothing was lightly to be introduced or set aside.

The word ‘sacrifice,’ if we regard its derivation only, is a most general term. Any sacred action or ceremony performed on or near an object associated with deity, e.g. altar, pillar, image, any service connected with the gods, may be included in the term sacrifice. But, owing to the fact that offerings of some sort occupied from the earliest times of which we have cognisance a central place in worship, the word has always borne a more restricted meaning. The Latin sacrificium has been applied almost exclusively to offerings made on or at an altar, and the English word sacrifice derived from it has been generally further limited to offerings in which a life is taken. A more extended use of the word is made, corresponding to that of the Latin equivalent, when sacrifices are distinguished as ‘bloody’ and ‘unbloody’; when Leviticus 1-7, where the Meal-Offering is treated along with animal offerings, is described as containing a ‘law of sacrifice.’ The word has been further applied in a figurative sense to any service prompted by motives similar to those which led to the offering of altar sacrifices (Romans 12:1; Php 4:18; Hebrews 13:15-16), and has thus acquired the wider signification which its derivation justifies.

It is well, however, to set aside at the outset the popular sense in which the word is sometimes used to denote an offering to God in the shape of some permanent gift, such as lands or buildings. For our present purpose we may confine the term to a gift which is in some way consumed in immediate connexion with its devotion to a religious purpose.

The essential idea of sacrifice is to place the worshipper en rapport with a Divine being, and so to enjoy the advantages accruing from a supernatural source.

The question whether sacrificial observances owed their existence to a Divine command or had a purely human origin came at the time of the Reformation to be the subject of warm debate. In support of the former view was adduced the acceptance of Abel’s sacrifice as against that of Cain (Genesis 4:4 f.), together with the reason assigned in the Ep. to the Hebrews (Leviticus 11:4), which was supposed to indicate that Abel was acting in obedience to Divine authority. But this assumption is without any real justification, so far as it implies a positive Divine enactment. On the other hand the existence of sacrifice in some shape as a virtually universal custom of mankind in propitiating or seeking the favour of a superhuman being indicates that the expression of religious feeling in this form is an element of man’s nature, and therefore is implanted in him by his Creator.

It being granted that the sacrificial instinct is an elementary one, we are faced by an enquiry what was the exact import of the sacrificial act in the mind of the worshipper. Two explanations of the theory of sacrifice are commonly given, viz.:

(a) It was an act of expiation. Conscious of sin, and recognising the penalty which that sin deserved, he sought to transfer that penalty from himself to a substituted victim slain at the altar in order to appease an offended deity.

(b) It was an act of homage. Man realised his dependence upon God as a Divine sovereign. Even as he would approach an earthly ruler with gifts to indicate a temper of submission and obedience, and thus to win his favour, so he adopted a similar course in order to express his feelings of reverence and devotion towards his all-powerful King. Cp. Maurice1[16], ‘To such men (Cain and Abel) there came thoughts of one who is ruling them as they rule the sheep, and in some strange way makes the seeds grow which they put into the ground.… How shall they confess Him, and manifest their subjection? Speech, thanksgiving are not the most childlike way of testifying homage. Acts go before words.’

[16] Sacrifice, p. 6, quoted in Art. Sacrifice, HDB.

The second of these two hypotheses seems that which fits in better with the attitude of mind to be attributed to those who belonged to the childhood of the human race. The thought of sacrifice as an expiation or atonement for sin implies a realisation of spiritual infirmity not consonant with what we should expect at so early a period.

Now there is a general consensus of opinion that the earliest shape in which the religious sense of mankind developed itself took the direction of polytheism. Thus it is supposed that sacrifice arose from the offering of gifts to the object or objects of worship (nature spirits, or spirits of ancestors, or fetishes such as stones, to which supernatural functions were attributed), after the analogy of presents made to obtain or secure the good will of a human authority. Herbert Spencer, e.g. says, ‘The origin of the practice is to be found in the custom of leaving food and drink at the graves of the dead, and as the ancestral spirits rose to divine rank, the refreshments placed for the dead developed into sacrifices1[17].’

[17] Principles of Sociology, § 139 ff., quoted in the same Article.

This view is one which has a good deal to recommend it, and it is by no means a valid objection that offerings of a polytheistic origin could not be acceptable to Jehovah after He had revealed Himself to the Hebrew nation as claiming their sole worship.

Another view, which on the whole adapts itself better to all the facts of the case, is that the germ of sacrifice lay in the association of the worshippers with the deity by means of their partaking with him in a common meal, the interchange of the rites of hospitality thus constituting a bond which secured his favour and consequent assistance in their needs. According to this theory in its first form, the parties were knit together in bonds of unity through the gratification inspired by sharing in eating and drinking, as ordinary tokens of friendship, and as the usual rites observed by those who were engaging in covenants and leagues2[18]. The aim of the offerer has been carried further by W.-Rob. Smith3[19] beyond the mere gratification of the god, and so obtaining his aid, by his worshippers sharing a meal with him. He extends it to include the notion of a physical union between the parties arising from a joint participation in the same food. Moreover this brilliant writer, working on the same lines as Wellhausen4[20], considered his theory of sacrifice as intimately associated in its origin with totemism. According to that doctrine certain animals were held to possess a specially divine character, which was therefore capable of being imparted by the reception of a portion of their substance into the human body. The lives of such animals were held to be as a rule sacred, but on certain rarely recurrent occasions it was permitted to slay these and partake of the flesh in a kind of sacramental meal. By this physical union there was supposed also to be attained a share in the intellectual or moral qualities considered as inherent in the animal thus sacrificed. From this was developed the sacrificial feast, which became more frequent as the taste for animal flesh increased, while totemistic beliefs decayed, and the notion thus died out of a nature akin to deity pervading certain animals and introduced into man through the carrying out of such observances. Notwithstanding the learned character and brilliancy of the exposition of this theory, it is now commonly held that the view is irreconcilable with the primitive conceptions which must have dominated the mind of the race at a time when savagery was still prominent. The attempt in particular to explain on this principle those sacrifices where the victim was wholly consumed by fire demands a large amount of hypothesis of a speculative kind. It was held that on the disappearance of the belief that certain animals were possessed of a share in the divine nature, the only creature that could be sacrificed with the result of attaining to the communion desired was a human being. But the eating of human flesh presently became repulsive, and so there arose the consumption of the whole of the offering by fire. When at a further stage of refinement men shrank from human sacrifice, domestic animals were substituted, but the mode of offering consisting of a holocaust was retained.

[18] See Sykes, Nature of Sacrifices, p. 75.

[19] Religion of the Semites2, pp. 269 ff.

[20] Reste Arabischen Heidenthums.

Among other objections, however, to this account of the holocaust as a comparatively late development from the primitive sacrificial meal is the fact that the two forms of sacrifice are found existing from early times side by side as though of equal antiquity.

At an early period the flesh of the sacrificial meal was doubtless eaten raw, while the blood was partly lapped up by the worshippers and partly poured out beside the altar, or, as in later times, sprinkled upon it, being the portion belonging to the god, and considered, on its absorption into the ground, as accepted by him. At a later stage the fat and entrails were also assigned as his share, and were accordingly caused to ascend consumed in flame and smoke, while his good will was secured by the sweet savour which arose therefrom.1[21] The raw flesh of primitive times came in due course to be subjected to the processes of boiling or roasting, the latter method of preparing it being apparently subsequent to the former.

[21] Cp. the survival of the expression ‘sweet savour’ in such passages as Leviticus 1:9.

It is hoped that more definite results will be attained as to primitive ideas underlying sacrifice through researches into the earliest forms of Babylonian and Assyrian worship.2[22]

[22] A remarkable illustration of the survival of ancient ceremonial is recorded in Notes and Queries, Dec. 28, 1912. In 1858 a farmer in the Isle of Man offered a heifer up as a propitiatory sacrifice, so that no harm might befall him from the opening of a tumulus upon his land. The survival may be further illustrated by the case of a Yorkshire farmer, who, after a succession of bad seasons, is related to have sacrificed a heiler, with incantations.

1. Sacrifice in Israel to the end of the monarchy. The earliest reference to sacrifice is in Genesis 4:1-5. There offerings, both vegetable and animal, are called minḥah, a word meaning ‘gift’ or ‘present’ (note that the LXX. render once by δῶρον with reference to Abel’s offering but twice by θυσία with reference to that of Cain). It is implied that offerings were brought to the Deity from the beginning, but as we have pointed out above nothing is said about a Divine command to bring sacrifice. The animal sacrifice of Abel is accepted, but it is very doubtful whether the narrator intends to indicate a preference for that kind of offering. Noah offers a Burnt-Offering in acknowledgment of the Lord’s mercy to him and his family (Genesis 8:20); Abraham builds altars, not only where the Lord appeared unto him as Genesis 12:7, but also near Bethel (Genesis 12:8) and at Hebron (Genesis 13:18); the narratives in ch. 15 and ch. 22 give details concerning the manner of offering sacrifice. Isaac builds an altar at Beersheba where the Lord appears to him (Genesis 26:25); Jacob offers a sacrifice on making a covenant with Laban, and he and his brethren take part in the sacrificial meal (Genesis 31:54). Moses demands that Pharaoh should let the people go, that they may hold a sacrifice to the Lord (Exodus 5:1; Exodus 8:25-28); after the defeat of Amalek he built an altar (Exodus 17:15). Sacrifices by those who are not of the seed of Israel are recorded: in Exodus 18:12, Jethro brings a Burnt-Offering and sacrifices, and Aaron and the elders came to eat bread (i.e. to join in the sacrificial meal); Balak invites Balaam to curse the people, and builds altars, and sacrifices bullocks and rams (Numbers 23). Moses ratifies the covenant between God and the people by building an altar and twelve pillars, and sending young men to offer Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings to the Lord (Exodus 24:4-8).

The references to sacrifice before the erection of the tabernacle and the inauguration of the worship are all from the source JE; it is well known that P, in his brief sketch of patriarchal history, does not record any instance of sacrifice brought by the ancestors of the chosen people, while he presents Moses as issuing by God’s command an elaborate code determining for all subsequent time ‘the when, the where, the by whom, and in a very special manner the how’ of sacrifice,1[23] a code which doubtless has an underlying Mosaic element, but in its elaborate character is clearly shewn by the historical and prophetic Books to be considerably later in its present form.

[23] Wellh. History of Israel, p. 52.

The subsequent references to sacrifice in the historical Books are here noted, before considering the sacrificial system of P.

Joshua built an altar on Mt Ebal, on which sacrifices were offered (Joshua 8:30 f.), and assembled the people at Shechem, where was a sanctuary of the Lord (Joshua 24:25 f.); the covenant made there was probably accompanied by sacrifice. In the time of the judges, sacrifices were offered at Bochim (Jdg 2:5) and at Bethel (Leviticus 20:26 ‘the house of God’ A.V., Leviticus 21:4). The accounts of the sacrifices brought by Gideon (Leviticus 6:19-23) and Manoah (Leviticus 13:15-20) are specially interesting, because they supply details about the ritual of sacrifice in ancient Israel. Both bring the same offering, a kid with unleavened cakes, called a minḥah in Leviticus 13:19; Leviticus 13:23. Gideon asks the angel to stay while he prepares a present (minḥah) and when he has brought it, the angel of the Lord touches the flesh and the cakes, and fire from the rock consumes them. Manoah’s angel refuses to eat, but suggests a Burnt-Offering, and when it is brought, he ascends in the flame of the altar. Gideon’s kid is boiled, for broth is prepared from it (Leviticus 6:19); it is not said how Manoah made ready the kid for a Burnt-Offering. After Gideon’s present has been consumed he builds an altar (Leviticus 6:24). Another sacrifice is enjoined (vv. 25–27) upon another altar. The writer records both these sacrifices by persons of non-priestly tribes (Manasseh and Dan) without any remark that such offerings were at all exceptional, or contrary to existing rules. Ordinary meal (ḳemaḥ) and not fine flour (ṣoleth) was the material of Gideon’s offering as of Elkanah’s who went up yearly to Shiloh with all his house (1 Samuel 1:21; 1 Samuel 1:24-25). Samuel offered a sucking lamb (1 Samuel 7:9), built an altar at Ramah (1 Samuel 7:17), and offered sacrifice (1 Samuel 9:12) on the occasion when Saul found him, at Gilgal (1 Samuel 10:8; cp. 1 Samuel 11:15), and Bethlehem (1 Samuel 16:5). Saul offered sacrifice at Gilgal (1 Samuel 13:9) and was reproved by Samuel; the first altar which Saul built is referred to (1 Samuel 14:35) in a manner implying that other altars were subsequently erected by him. David attended a yearly sacrifice at Bethlehem (1 Samuel 20:6; 1 Samuel 20:29). When king, he offered sacrifice on the removal of the ark from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:13; 2 Samuel 6:17-18), and blessed the people in the name of the Lord; he also reared an altar and offered sacrifice on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24:18; 2 Samuel 24:25).

From the time of Solomon onward frequent reference is made to worship at the high places. The reason given for offering sacrifice there is that there was no house built to the Lord in those days (1 Kings 3:2). This is the comment of a Deuteronomic writer, himself a faithful supporter of the worship at the one sanctuary in Jerusalem, who offers an explanation of the irregular worship practised by his forefathers. But this reason, if suitable at the commencement of Solomon’s reign, does not explain the continuance of the worship on the high places under the kings of Judah until the time of Hezekiah. Asa’s heart was perfect with the Lord. He removed idols, and opposed the idolatry even of his mother, but the high places were not removed (1 Kings 15:11-14). Similar references are made in the case of Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:43), Jehoash (2 Kings 12:2-3), Amaziah (2 Kings 14:3-4), Azariah (2 Kings 15:3-4), Jotham (2 Kings 15:34-35). In the northern kingdom an old altar of the Lord is repaired by Elijah, who offers sacrifice upon it (1 Kings 18:30), and laments over other altars which had been thrown down (1 Kings 19:10; 1 Kings 19:14).

These instances of sacrifice offered in early times and during the monarchy exhibit a freedom of practice in accord with the law of Exodus 20:24, but not in accord with the law which forbad sacrifice at any other place than Jerusalem, or the law which limited the priesthood to the sons of Aaron, prescribed the material of sacrifice, and carefully regulated the ritual to be observed both by priests and people. In the case of a theophany it might be allowed for ordinary men like Gideon and Manoah to bring sacrifice without the intervention of a priest, and to disregard the law of the one sanctuary, but the sacrifice itself would have been brought in accordance with Levitical rule, if that rule had been in force at the time. The history of sacrifice, as incidentally disclosed in the historical books,1[24] presents a picture of a people not acquainted with Levitical laws, or else living in habitual disregard of them. The reformation2[25] under Josiah abolished the worship at the high places, but there is little trace of its influence during the short period that intervened before the fall of the kingdom.

[24] The prophets, in their teaching about sacrifice, illustrate and confirm the inferences drawn from the historical Books. See OTJC.2, pp. 251, 294.

[25] Cp. Intr. to Pent. pp. 137 ff.

Even Jeremiah addresses the people in terms which imply that he knew nothing of a ritual prescribed for sacrifice in the days of Moses. He looks forward to the time when sacrifices will be brought to the house of the Lord by an obedient people (Jeremiah 17:24-26). As a priest Jeremiah must have known the authority upon which the ritual of his time rested, but his words concerning sacrifices (Jeremiah 6:19-20, Jeremiah 7:21-23) cannot be interpreted, if there was then in existence a code regulating sacrifice like that of Lev. 1–73[26]

[26] Note that in his description of sacrifices there is no mention of Sin-Offering or Guilt-Offering.

2. Sacrifice in the Priestly Code. The following tables will be found useful for reference.

A. The ritual of the separate offerings based mainly on Leviticus 1-7

B. The sacrificial calendar of the year, giving the sacrifices to be brought on each feast, and on the Day of Atonement, based on Leviticus 23. and Numbers 28, 29. The regulations of Ezekiel are compared with them.

C. Particulars of the sacrifices offered at the inauguration of the worship, the dedication of the altar, and of the Levites as prescribed in Exodus 28; Leviticus 8, 9; Numbers 7, 8; also sacrifices of purification for the Nazirite, the leper, after child-birth and issues.

A Meal-Offering (minḥah) and Drink-Offering (néṣek) were brought with the Burnt-Offering and the Peace-Offering. These offerings were graduated according to the value of the animal which was sacrificed. The amounts are given in Numbers 15:1-16, and agree with those in chs. 28, 29. The same kind of graduation is found in Ezek., but the amounts are different. In the following table the amounts fixed in Num. are in thick type, those in Ezek. and in Lev. are placed underneath for purposes of comparison.

For  the Meal-Offering shall be  Oil  Drink-Offering

each lamb,  1/10 th of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil  1/4 hin  1/4 hin

Ezekiel 46:5,  as he is able    (wanting)

the lamb with the wave sheaf, Leviticus 23:12 f.,  2/10 ths of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil  amount not given  1/4 hin

the lamb of the daily Burnt-Offering,  1/10 th of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil  1/4 hin  1/4 hin

Ezekiel 46:14,  1/6 th of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil  1/3 hin  (wanting)

each ram,  2/10 ths of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil  1/3 hin  1/3 hin

Ezekiel 46:5,  an ephah for a ram  1 hin  (wanting)

each bullock,  3/10 ths of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil  1/2 hin  1/2 hin

Ezekiel 45:24; Ezekiel 46:7,  an ephah for a bullock  1 hin  (wanting)


There are certain fundamental conceptions of God, alike Christian and Jewish, which find their expression here as in Old Testament literature generally, and are fraught with equal significance for us. We may enumerate them thus:

(1) The Unity of God. ‘Monotheism was the basis of the religion.… It was an inspiration, a passion1[27].’ This unity was marked according to the Priestly Code by the centralisation of worship in the midst of the camp, a centralisation which was meant to secure that Jehovah should preserve His supreme character as the sole object of the devotion of His chosen people. The sanctuary and the service are alike one.

[27] I. Abrahams, Judaism, p. 39.

(2) His holiness. This feature was rendered impressive by the careful way in which the central shrine was protected by successive rings of defence or grades of sacredness. Outside the tabernacle, in which the inmost shrine (Holy of Holies) was itself separated by a veil from the holy place, there was the court of the priests and of the Levites, and beyond, the encampments of the tribes on the four sides, three on each. Thus there were provided ascending degrees of sanctity. The priests alone were admitted to the holy place, and the limitation of even the high priest’s right of entering the Holy of Holies to one day in the year conveyed similar teaching. The same idea of holiness was emphasized in the whole of the sacrificial system of ordinances, in the penalties attached to transgression, in the consecration of the priests, and in the laws concerning ceremonial purity. Jehovah as a necessary consequence of His supreme holiness (Leviticus 19:2 and elsewhere) could only be approached by those who were themselves ‘holy.’ (See p. xxvi.)

(3) The presence of God with man. Although from one standpoint God was far above man’s reach, yet from another He was near and accessible. The ‘tent of meeting’ was His ‘dwelling’ (see on p. 88). Although ‘tent’ suggests what is transitory, ‘dwelling’ on the other hand points us forward to the N.T. teaching, as given us specially in St John (Leviticus 14:16-17, Leviticus 15:4-10). This conviction that God was ever present with His people and was their Teacher throughout the ages, a conviction deeply and permanently impressed on the Jewish mind, is a higher testimony to the reality of Divine revelation than the belief once held that the Law was once for all given to the people at the birth of their race. The words ‘I will set my tabernacle among you … and I will walk among you’ (Leviticus 26:11-12) accorded with the picture developed in Ezekiel 40-48 and summarized by that prophet in the words (Ezekiel 37:26-27) I ‘will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them.’ The ‘tent of meeting’ (see on Leviticus 1:1) was the visible embodiment of this teaching concerning the presence of Jehovah among His people.

(4) His worship a spiritual one. Behind the elaborate ritual set forth in this Book there lies the acknowledgment that there was no presentation of the Godhead in a visible shape. Nothing suggestive of anthropomorphism appeared as an object of worship. Such teaching has its obvious Christian application, on which it is not necessary to dwell. On the other hand elaborate attempts have been made at various times to attach meanings, whether astrological, mystical, or directly Christian, to the minutest details of the Priestly Code, as in the works of Josephus1[28], Philo2[29], Origen3[30]. Such expositions, whatever be the amount of ingenuity to which their unbridled fancy may fairly lay claim, have a fundamental defect, in that they fail to recognise the uncertainty and capriciousness which are inherent in their very nature. Their arbitrary character and the far-fetched parallelism which they often exhibit may serve as a sufficient condemnation of their fanciful treatment4[31].

[28] Ant. iii. 7. 7.

[29] Vit. Mos. iii. § 14. Cp. De epist. § 34.

[30] In Lev. Hom. i. iii. v. 6.

[31] For Josephus and Philo see Westcott, Hebrews, pp. 238 f. A modern example of this method of treatment of the tabernacle and its arrangements is furnished by Baer, Symbolik d. Mosaischen Cultus, 2 vols. 1837–39 (2nd ed. of vol. ii. 1874).

But the existence of fanciful interpretations is no proof that these details are all devoid of spiritual meaning! Taking the Levitical ordinances, the sacrifices, the priesthood, the legislation as a whole, we gather much that yields valuable instruction to the Christian of the present day. Reserving for the moment comments upon the particular teaching conveyed by each type of offering, we may notice how the vestments of the high priest (Leviticus 8:7 ff.) indicated, as did the decorations of the tent (Exodus 25-31), the reverence due to the Almighty Creator of the universe. The pouring of anointing oil upon the contents of the tabernacle, on the altar and its vessels, upon the laver and its base, as well as upon the priests themselves (Leviticus 8:10 ff.) taught the same lesson, shewing that what was designed for any sacred purpose should be set apart, and treated with becoming reverence, as in a peculiar sense appertaining to the service of God. We may notice here the special rite used (cp. the case of the leper, Leviticus 14:14) as indicating the character and duties of the priestly office. The blood of a ram was applied in the consecration of Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 8:23 f.) to the ear, the hand, and the foot, thus signifying, the ear attentive to the commands of God, the hand ready to do His will, the foot prepared to walk in His ways. Again the newly installed priest offered a triple sacrifice in which the Sin-Offering was a sign of the forgiveness of his sins, the Burnt-Offering of the entireness of his consecration, and the Peace-Offering of his oneness with the Master whom he served (Cave, The Scriptural Doctrine of Sacrifice etc., p. 125).

Doubtless many of these details of ritual as appearing in the Priestly Code were ‘the final development and systematization of usages and ideas which were in themselves of great antiquity, and, in their original form, did not differ in principle from those current among Israel’s Semitic neighbours … the really distinctive character which they exhibited in Israel consists in the new spirit with which they are infused, and in the higher principles of which they are made the exponent1[32].’

[32] Driver, Exod. (C.B.) pp. lxv f.

The state of society at the present day may seem to present few points of contact with that indicated in this Book. There are, it is true, abundant differences in detail between things as there described and the circumstances of modern life. Yet it is not without profit for us to notice that such subjects as those connected with the religious observance of a periodical rest from labour, with social purity, with marriage, with labour rights, with the tenure of land, with the connexion which should exist between religion and the ordering of national affairs, all have their place in the Book of Leviticus. Moreover this Book at its commencement sets before us the nation’s relation to God, represented in the ritual of sacrifice, and in this way it introduces all that follows in the way of legislation.

But after all the most important feature of the Book as regards its religious value lies in the fact that the various forms of sacrifice which it includes express religious instincts or needs of man, which are met and fulfilled in our Lord’s life on earth.

For our purpose we may classify sacrifice under two heads, that in which the whole victim was devoted to God (the Burnt-Offering), and that in which a portion was presented to Him, while the remainder was consumed by the worshippers.

The Burnt-Offering was a holocaust, the unreserved animal sacrifice, and it always contained an element of solemnity and awe, if not also of actual apprehension of evil to be averted by the offering. It was used on occasions of special gravity, e.g. deliverance from the Flood (Genesis 8:20), but also it was prescribed by the Priests’ Code for the daily morning and evening sacrifice. Its primary intention was either propitiatory or to prevent the Divine clemency from changing to hostility. As a gift to God it was reckoned the most valuable kind of sacrifice, but there is no clear indication that it represented the penalty due for sin on the part of the worshipper. The Burnt-Offering was the most perfect representation of the sacrificial idea. Its benefits have been described as threefold, viz. that it was ‘the savour of rest’ (i.e. what was acceptable) to God (Leviticus 1:9), that it formed a ‘covering’1[33] for the worshipper (Leviticus 1:4), and that it was a cleansing from ceremonial defilement (Leviticus 14:20). In the case of the Burnt-Offering the main stress was laid on the entirety of presentation which it typified, and thus it represents a complete consecration of body and spirit to the service of God. In this way it typifies for us the Saviour who in the full consecration of His Person in both life and death shewed the perfection of devotion to the will of the Father. Moreover, as a daily offering, it was ‘a distant earthly shadow of the continual intercession of Christ, the Eternal High Priest1[34].’

[33] The rendering of the Heb. root has, however, been challenged. The sense of ‘cover’ was supposed to be justified by that of a cognate Arabic root. But the word is now held to be connected with the Assyrian kapparu, which apparently means to remove, and kupparu, to remove ritual impurity, hence to purge away sin. The function of the Burnt-Offering was ‘to make atonement’ (the rendering given to this root), an office ascribed also by P to the Sin-Offering (Leviticus 4:20; Leviticus 4:26; Leviticus 4:31; Leviticus 4:35) and Guilt-Offering (Leviticus 6:7), once only to the Peace-Offering (Exodus 29:33). See Driver, Exod. (C.B.) Exodus 29:33, Exodus 30:10. The English word ‘atonement’ formerly signified reconciliation, rather than making amends or reparation for a fault, and thus propitiation would now better represent the sense of the original word.

[34] Lanchester, The Old Testament, p. 239.

The Sin-Offering and the Guilt-Offering. The distinction between the two has given rise to some difficulty. See on Leviticus 5:17-19. These offerings, as their names imply, involve the consciousness on the part of the offerer that expiation was needed for some violation of God’s will whether through ignorance or intentionally. In the case of the Sin-Offering, ignorance meant either that the person was unaware of the law or that he was forgetful of it at the time of his transgression. The Guilt-Offering on the other hand was required where the man feared that he had infringed some Divine regulation but could not specify it definitely. The Sin-Offering always in P involves some more definite conception of wrongdoing. The sprinkling of the blood of the victim before the veil and upon the altar, and its pouring out at the base, point for the Christian reader to the Atonement made by our Saviour on the Cross, while the Ep. to the Hebrews (Leviticus 13:10-12) applies the rite in which parts of the victim were burned ‘without the camp’ (Leviticus 16:27) to the Sufferer at Calvary ‘without the gate.’ The outstanding feature of the Guilt-Offering was the reparation for the offence with the addition of one-fifth of the value. Hence we may say that in the former case the leading feature was that of atonement, while here it was satisfaction by the payment of a recompense with an addition, thus directing us to the thought that wrongdoing, when it consists in an invasion of the just claims of God or man, needs not only expiation, but some reparation for the wrong committed.

These two kinds of sacrifice, unlike the Burnt-Offering, had properly to do with individual transgressions. Guilt-Offering, however, is the word used of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53:10, who personifies, according to the most probable view, the faithful few in Israel.

Both Sin-Offering and Guilt-Offering, absent from the earlier history, become conspicuous in Ezekiel and in P.This may be accounted for by the growing sense of national sin during the later monarchy, a period of successive calamities, terminating in overthrow and exile.

The laws relating to leprosy—its characteristics and the methods to be employed for its cure—contain symbolism into which we can easily read Christian significance. The disease, as something specially abhorrent and hurtful to the vitality of the victim, fitly represents a manifestation of the working and power of sin. Moreover, the primary insignificance and even imperceptibility of the ailment, its steadily progressive character, its gradual capture of the whole man, the belief that the disease, whatever its exact nature may have been1[35], was incurable by human means, the exclusion from fellowship with God, all these features furnish us with obvious analogies to the Christian doctrine of sin. So too, we may point out2[36], that deliverance from sin’s guilt, and consequent renewal of spiritual vitality, has its type in the ritual appointed for the leper’s cleansing, viz. the shedding of blood in the case of one of the birds, followed by the new life and freedom indicated by the liberation of the other bird from its captivity. Moreover, the application of the blood to the cleansed man’s ear, hand, and foot yields the same teaching as the similar rite in the consecration of priests. (See pp. 48, 81.)

[35] See introd. note to ch. 13.

[36] See also notes on ch. Leviticus 14:1-15.

In the Peace-Offering, unlike those with which we have just dealt, there was inherent a feeling of joyousness, either as celebrating a happy occasion in the people’s life (e.g. 1 Samuel 11:15; 1 Kings 1:19), or some important event in connexion with a family or individual (e.g. Genesis 31:54; 1 Kings 19:21). It promoted the feeling of solidarity in the nation or family, and also pointed to dependence upon God for protection and for all the blessings of life. The original meaning of the Heb. word שלם (Shélem) is obscure. The rendering in EVV comes through the LXX. (θυσία εἰρηνικὴ) and Vulg. (hostia pacificorum). In that case it is the sacrifice offered when friendly relations, as opposed to estrangement, exist between God and the worshippers. But others take it as derived from a different sense of the same Heb. root, viz. ‘to make whole,’ hence ‘to make restitution,’ and so to offer vows or thanksgivings (R.V. mg. ‘thank-offering’) in consideration of Divine blessings looked for or received. The sharing of the feast with God gave it a festal or eucharistic character. It emphasized a communion with God, and so corresponds to the union of God with man through Christ in the Christian dispensation, and the sharing through spiritual oneness with Him in the gifts which He bestows upon His church. The sprinkling of the blood in this and the preceding sacrifices typifies for us the application of the Death of our Heavenly Priest in procuring for us remission of sin, and so entrance into the privileges belonging to God’s children1[37].

[37] For the various kinds of Peace-Offerings see notes on Leviticus 7:11 ff., and for the ceremony of ‘waving’ see App. V, pp. 183 ff.

We may add that of the four kinds of sacrifice with which we have dealt hitherto the first and last were part of the ordinary public worship, while the second and third were more or less occasional, and indicated exceptional relations between God and the individual or community.

The Meal-Offering. No animal sacrifice was complete without this addition. For the meaning of the Heb. word minḥah see note at the beginning of ch. 2. As the Burnt-Offering represented the consecration of ourselves without reserve to God’s service, so this offering, consisting as it did of the fruits of man’s labour, contains the complementary teaching that all our works are to be dedicated in like manner, whether as regards directly religious or benevolent activities, or our secular employments, such as the procuring or preparing of food needful for our human needs. Incense, here (Leviticus 2:2) as elsewhere employed to add to sacrifice ‘a sweet smell,’ has its symbolism suggested for us, as for the Hebrews of old, by the words of the Psalm (Psalm 141:2), ‘Let my prayer be set forth as incense before thee.’ So in Luke 1:10 we read of the people being engaged in prayer, while Zacharias within the sanctuary offered incense. Cp. Revelation 5:8, ‘golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.’ The duty of exclusion of a corrupt element from all our works is indicated by the command that no leaven (cp. 1 Corinthians 5:7) or honey should be used, which both contain the elements of fermentation and decay (ch. Leviticus 2:11), while the modification of this prohibition found in v. 12, may be taken as conveying to us the reminder that God ‘is graciously pleased to accept even offerings in which sinful imperfection is found, provided only that, as in the offering of firstfruits, there be the hearty recognition of His rightful claim, before all others, to the first and best we have1[38].’

[38] Kellogg, Leviticus, p. 74.

The shew-bread, literally, bread of the presence, resembled the Meal-Offering in material, including the frankincense which formed part of the offering. Both therefore represent the consecration of employment, whether religious or secular, to God. But while the Meal-Offering teaches this lesson as regards the individual worshipper, the shew-bread, as presented by the people as a whole, emphasizes the national aspect of the same duty, as confessing the claims of God for collective recognition on the part of communities or states.

We have left to the end the teaching of the annual Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), the one day in the year on which every one was to ‘afflict his soul’ (Leviticus 16:29; Leviticus 16:31). Purity in approach to God was there symbolized by the high priest’s bathing himself in water and wearing white garments. The sacrifices offered on that occasion, and the ceremonies connected with the goat sent into the wilderness ‘for Azazel,’ seem to shew that whether the idea of propitiation be veiled or absent as regards some other sacrifices, here at least it enters fully. The sacrificial system of P evidently includes much which was the result of earlier modes of thought, and the idea of transference of guilt may have been comparatively late in development. The notion of substitution of one victim for another was already familiar (Genesis 22:13).

The vicarious nature of the sufferings of the righteous servant of Jehovah (see above) is plainly expressed in Isaiah 53. A combination of this idea with an acknowledgment that sin deserved death, would suffice to bring out the full meaning of the rites and offerings made on the Day of Atonement. Accordingly, the Jewish observances of that Day, which has been appropriately called ‘the Good Friday of the Law1[39],’ point to the ‘better sacrifices than these,’ viz. the one offering of Him who ‘put away sin by the sacrifice of himself’ (Hebrews 9:26). As the sins of the nation were in a figure borne away to the wilderness by the scapegoat, so the sins of mankind were borne by the Saviour ‘in his body upon the tree’ (1 Peter 2:24), the Lord ‘laid on him the iniquity of us all’ (see Isaiah 53:5-6). The goat that was slain was figuratively considered as identical with that which was sent away to be a sinbearer. Christ in His Person, dying and living again, combined the two functions of atonement for sin and removal of its burden. Lastly, the entrance of the high priest alone into the sanctuary within the veil with the blood of the people’s Sin-Offering (Leviticus 16:15 f.) represents for us (Hebrews 10:19-22) the efficacy of Christ’s atoning work in presenting perpetually before God His Blood, i.e. His life freed for eternal uses by death2[40], and of His mediatorial work in opening to us access to the presence of God.

[39] Archer-Shepherd, The Ritual of the Tabernacle, p. 107.

[40] See Art. Day of Atonement (McNeile) in Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, vol. i.

Other passages bearing on Leviticus in the N.T. are Matthew 8:2 ff. (parallels Mark 1:40 ff.; Luke 5:12 ff.); Luke 17:12 ff. (leprosy); Hebrews 8:2; Hebrews 9:8-11 (the Tabernacle), Hebrews 9:24; Hebrews 9:28 (a possible reference to Azazel). In Revelation 4:5 the ‘seven lamps’ are an allusion to the lamps of Leviticus 24:2; Leviticus 24:4.

Thus we see that the Book contributes no inconsiderable share to the development of the Messianic idea, which from faint beginnings became more definitely recognised in jewish thought and expression as a heritage of the Jewish race.


Earlier Commentaries, such as those of C. F. Keil, 1870, or M. Kalisch, 1867, 1872, are now somewhat out of date. Those who read German may consult with advantage the Commentaries of A. Dillmann, edited by V. Ryssel, 1897, Baentsch (in Nowack’s Handkommentar), 1900, and the same writer’s Heiligkeits-Gesetz (on Leviticus 17-26), 1893, A. Bertholet (in Marti’s Hand-Commentar), 1901, C. H. Cornill, Einleitung, 19055 (translated by G. H. Box, 1907). For criticism on the text and discussion of its sources the following works will be found valuable: J. Wellhausen, Die Composition des Hexateuchs, etc., 18993 and Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels, 18957 (translated under the title History of Israel, 1885). Among English works deserving of notice are Leviticus, with critical and exegetical notes by S. R. Driver and H. A. White, in P.Haupt’s Series of the Sacred Books of the Old Testament (Hebrew text with English notes), 1894; A. R. S. Kennedy, Leviticus (Century Bible Series), 1911. The student may also refer to the portions of the following works which relate to this Book: J. E. Carpenter and G. Harford-Battersby, The Hexateuch (referred to in the following notes as the Oxford Hexateuch), 2 vols., 1900. The different sources are distinguished typographically, with explanatory notes, while in vol. i. (also published separately under the title, Composition of the Hexateuch, 1902) the grounds on which the critical view rests are fully set forth; A. T. Chapman, Introduction to the Pentateuch (Camb. Bible Series), 1911; the Articles on Leviticus and on the Pentateuch in Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible, etc. (1898–1902) and the Encyclopaedia Biblica (1899–1903).

The following books deal with the value of Leviticus in its application to religious thought and life: W. Sanday, Priesthood and Sacrifice, 1900; S. H. Kellogg, in the Expositor’s Bible Series, 1891; E. H. Archer-Shepherd, Ritual of the Tabernacle, 1908; A. Cave, Scriptural Doctrine of Sacrifice and Atonement, 1890.

The following may also be consulted: S. A. Cook, Laws of Moses, etc., 1903; C. H. W. Johns, The Oldest Code of Laws in the World (those of Ḥammurabi), 1905.


O. T. Old Testament.

N.T. New Testament.

ms. (mss.). Manuscript(s).

Heb. or MT. The original Hebrew text as edited by the Massoretes or Jewish scholars from about the 6th to the 10th century a.d.

LXX or Sept. The translation of the Old Testament into Greek; traditionally said to have been made by seventy persons. It was really made gradually, wholly or mostly during the 3rd and 2nd centuries b.c.

Vulg. The Latin translation of the Bible made by St Jerome (latter part of the 4th and beginning of the 5th century a.d.).

Targ. A paraphrase or free translation into Aramaic, made for the use of those Jews who were no longer familiar with Hebrew. In its present form it dates from about the 5th century a.d.

Targ. Ps-Jon. A Targum dating not earlier than the 7th century a.d., and ascribed erroneously to Jonathan bar Uzziel, the reputed author of a Targum on the Prophets.

Syr. or Pesh. The Syriac translation known as the Peshiṭṭo.

Tal. Bab. The Babylonian Talmud. Its material (of varying date), consisting of Mishna (i.e. a commentary on the M.T.) and Gemara (i.e. a further commentary, or critical expansion of the Mishna), was brought to its present shape by Jewish scholars in the course of the 5th and 6th centuries a.d.

A.V. The Authorised Version (a.d. 1611).

R.V. The Revised Version (O.T. a.d. 1885; N.T. 1881).

R.V. mg. Revised Version, margin.

EVV. Used where the English Versions (Authorised and Revised) agree.

C.B. Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges.

Vss. Versions (Sept., Vulgate, etc.).

HDB. Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible.

Enc. Bib. Encyclopaedia Biblica.

ICC. International Critical Commentary.

JBL. Journal of Biblical Literature.

LOT.9 Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the O.T., 9th ed. 1913.

ZATW. Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft.

ZDPV. Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palaestina-Vereins.

Bae. HK. B. Baentsch, in Nowack’s Handkommentar zum Alten Testament. 1900.

Bae. HG. B. Baentsch, Heiligkeits-Gesetz. 1893.

Berth. KHC. A. Bertholet, in Marti’s Kurzer Hand-Commentar zum Alten Testament. 1901.

Oxf. Hex. Carpenter and Harford-Battersby, The Hexateuch (2 vols.). 1900.

Dillm. A. Dillmann, Kurzgefasstes Exegetisches Handbuch zum Alten Testament. 1897.

Fr. G.B. Sir J. G. Frazer, Golden Bough, 2nd ed. 1900. 3rd ed. 1911.

Kue. Hex. A. Kuenen, The Hexateuch (Eng. transl.). 1886.

Rob.-Sm. OTJC. W. Robertson-Smith, Old Testament in the Jewish Church, 2nd ed. 1892.

Rob.-Sm. Rel. Sem. W. Robertson-Smith, Religion of the Semites. Revised ed. 1894.

SBOT. Driver and White in Haupt’s Sacred Books of the Old Testament. 1894.

Wellh. Prol. H.I. J. Wellhausen s History of Israel (Eng. transl.). 1885.

Wellh. C.H.3 J. Wellhausen’s Die Composition des Hexateuchs etc., 3rd ed. 1899.

Intr. to Pent. A. T. Chapman’s Introduction to the Pentateuch (Camb. Bible Series). 1911.

Cent. Bible. A. R. S. Kennedy, Century Bible. 1911.


JE  The two sources, which, combined, form a large part of the material of the Pentateuch. They are so called from their strong preference respectively for the two names for God, Jehovah and Elohim. See p. xi, and books there referred to, and Driver, Exod. (C. B.) for a further account of them.

D  Those portions of the Pent. which belong in style to that of the Book of Deuteronomy.

P  The Priestly Code, containing as its groundwork (Pg) a narrative from the Creation till the nation of Israel received its promised inheritance. In this historical framework a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments came to be included.

Pt  These have been called Pt (i.e. tôrôth) or directions for the guidance of the community in matters ceremonial, and ps (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

H  Sometimes applied to the separate group of laws, viz. chs. 17–26, which lay special stress on the duty of holiness, hence called the ‘Law of Holiness,’ more properly to those laws embedded in these chs., which are distinct from the Priestly Code.

Rh  A Reviser who combined laws taken mainly from existing codes with a hortatory and warning element.

Rp  A Reviser, who, probably after that collection had been combined with the Priestly Code, introduced further elements from that Code.




(a) Sources of chs. Leviticus 1:1 to Leviticus 7:38It seems probable that chs. Leviticus 6:8 to Leviticus 7:38 contain laws selected by a compiler from another source for the purpose of supplementing 1–6:7. That source may conceivably have been a separate manual of special directions to priests. The subscription (Leviticus 7:37-38) belongs to the second group as it mentions the sacrifices in the order of that group, and not of the first; the compiler considered it a suitable conclusion to the whole, or he may have added the second clause of v. 38, intending it as a reference to the first group. Whether this compiler is the same as the compiler of P cannot be determined.

There are indications that the text of both sections (Leviticus 1:1 to Leviticus 6:7, and Leviticus 6:8 to Leviticus 7:38) has been revised before reaching its present form:

Chs. 1 and 3 are closely connected, and ch. 3 seems to follow naturally after Leviticus 1:13 (cp. Leviticus 3:1 with Leviticus 1:3; Leviticus 1:10), for Leviticus 1:14-17 is probably an addition to Leviticus 1:1-13, as an offering of fowls is not included in the general introduction of Leviticus 1:2. The Hebrew particles shew the connexion more clearly; a general statement is made in Leviticus 1:2—‘When (Heb. ) any man of you …; the particular instances follow—‘If (Heb. ’im) his oblation be …’ (vv. 3, 10, 14, Leviticus 3:1; Leviticus 3:6; Leviticus 3:12): cp. Exodus 21:2-11, and Ges. Gr. § 159. The introductory formula in Leviticus 2:1 is different from that in chs. 1 and 3, and the use of the 2nd person in Leviticus 2:4-15 points to variety of origin.

The substance of ch. 1–3 may be very old, as Burnt-Offering and Peace-Offering are the earliest recorded varieties of animal sacrifice; an independent Meal-Offering is also an ancient form of offering (Genesis 4), and the various forms of preparing it specified in ch. 2 seem to imply that such an offering was not infrequently brought. In the system of Pit appears almost exclusively as an accompaniment of an animal offering. Hence probably its position here, immediately following the Burnt-Offering, and impairing the original close connexion between ch. 1 and 3.

In chs. 1–3 some knowledge about sacrifices is implied. It is assumed that men will bring them on certain occasions; how they are to be brought is prescribed. No such knowledge is assumed in the instructions about the Sin-Offering and Guilt-Offering; both when and how men should bring them is determined. It is generally allowed that this distinctive treatment of the sacrifices indicates that the Sin-Offering and Guilt-Offering were additional sacrifices introduced into the Levitical legislation, and that the sacrifices brought in patriarchal times were limited to those specified in chs. 1–3.

Reasons for assigning ch. 4 to a late stratum of P have been already given in § 2 of the Introd. For further reasons to the same effect cp. LOT.9 p. 43. See also the remarks on chs. 8–10 in the next section of this Appendix.

The connexion between Leviticus 5:1-13 and ch. 4 is obscure. Each offering is described as a sin offering (vv. 6, 7, 9, 11, 12). The whole belongs to the section on the Sin-Offering, and the division between the ‘sin’ and ‘guilt’ offerings comes at v. 14.

Are vv. 1–13 to be considered as one passage, or are vv. 7–13 to be distinguished from vv. 1–6? The exceptional treatment accorded to the poor man in vv. 7–13 seems applicable both to the sacrifice prescribed in v. 6, and to those prescribed in Leviticus 4:27-35. If vv. 7–13 were originally connected with vv. 1–6, they are by their position intended to apply also to Leviticus 4:27-35. If vv. 7–13 are the continuation of Leviticus 4:35, then Leviticus 5:1-6 will be an insertion.

There are reasons for assigning ch. Leviticus 5:1-6 to a source other than that of ch. 4:

(1) The sins referred to in ch. 4 are committed ‘unwittingly’ (‘through ignorance,’ A.V.); the sin in Leviticus 5:1 is deliberate abstention from giving evidence, and cannot be described as done unwittingly: it seems that the character of the offences for which a Sin-Offering is designed differs in the two sections. Cp. 2 Kings 12:16.

(2) The distinction made in ch. 4 between different classes in the community is not made in Leviticus 5:1-6, and the description of the sacrifice in v 6 is brief, no details being given as in Leviticus 4:27-35.

(3) The nature of the offences for which a Sin-Offering is necessary is specified in Leviticus 5:1-4; but not in ch. 4.

There is also confusion in ch. Leviticus 5:6. The technical term (Heb. ’âshâm1[74]) for the Guilt-Offering is used to denote a penalty or forfeit, which (in the case contemplated in v. 6) is to be brought to the priest to be offered as a Sin-Offering (cp. Numbers 5:8; Leviticus 22:14 and pp. 21 f.). Oxf. Hex. and Berth. regard this confusion as pointing to a time when the distinction between Sin-Offerings and Guilt-Offerings had not been finally determined, and therefore consider the passage as older than ch. 4. But Bae. looks on this inexactness of language as an indication of late, rather than of early date, and regards the passage as a late supplement to ch. 4.

[74] In v. 6 the same offering is described (erroneously) both as a Guilt-Offering and a Sin-Offering. R.V. mg. ‘for his guilt,’ though a paraphrase, expresses the sense correctly.

In the MT. of v. 7 there occurs the same confusion in the use of ’âshâm which has been noted in v. 6, and this similarity of nomenclature seems a good reason for connecting the two verses, and as a consequence regarding Leviticus 5:1-13 as one passage. But the LXX. of v. 7 reads, ‘he shall bring for his sin which he hath sinned two turtle doves …,’ and this has been thought to indicate—though the inference is by no means a certain one—that the word ’âshâm forfeit, penalty, ‘guilt-offering’ R.V., ‘trespass’ A.V. (‘for his guilt,’ Or, ‘his trespass offering’ R.V. mg.), was not in their Hebrew text but ḥaṭṭath (sin). If the LXX. be admitted as evidence of another and better form of the text, the connexion between v. 6 and v. 7 disappears. If Leviticus 5:1-6 be considered earlier than ch. 4, there seems to be some reason for separating it from vv. 7–13, which form an appendix to ch. 4.

Three cases follow in which a Guilt-Offering is enjoined. Of these the first (Leviticus 5:14-16) and last (Leviticus 6:1-7) are similar; in the first the offence is unjust dealing ‘in the holy things of the Lord,’ in the last, unjust dealing in the things of a neighbour: in both the damage is estimated, the amount with the one-fifth additional is restored, and the offering is a ram.

But between these two in Leviticus 5:17-19 a Guilt-Offering is enjoined for an offence which is described in words identical with those of Leviticus 4:27 and no restitution is required. Many critics think that here the confusion between Guilt-Offering and Sin-Offering is similar to that noticed in vv. 1–6, and regard the passage as a supplement to that precept.

The supplementary character of Leviticus 6:8 to Leviticus 7:38 has already been noted. Of the eight heads into which the section is divided, five begin with the phrase ‘This is the law of …,’ and contain regulations for the five sacrifices mentioned in ch. 1–6:7. With these laws the summary of v. 37 seems connected, for it begins with the same phrase ‘This is the law of …,’ and enumerates the five sacrifices in the order in which they are arranged in Leviticus 6:8 to Leviticus 7:21 (not the order of ch. Leviticus 1:6-7). The introductory clauses of Leviticus 6:19-23, Leviticus 7:22-36, which are not the same as those in Leviticus 6:8-9; Leviticus 6:24-25, may indicate a different source. It is possible, then, that one part of this section consists of the five sacrificial laws with Leviticus 7:37 as their colophon, and that the other three passages have been combined with it.

The pharse ‘in the day when he is anointed’ connects vi. 19–23 (the daily Meal-Offering of high priest) with the inauguration of the priesthood (Leviticus 7), and the words ‘and of the consecration’ in Leviticus 7:37 seem to refer to the same ceremonial. Both expressions are, in the opinion of most critics, additions to the original text. Of Leviticus 7:28-36 the last two verses at least are late, as they imply the anointing of the priests as well as of Aaron; if any of vv. 29–34 are part of the original law of the Peace-Offering, then vv. 22–27 which break the connexion are a later insertion.

(b) Sources of chs. Leviticus 8:1 to Leviticus 10:20It has already been shewn (Introd. § 2 and p. 15) that those passages which refer to the altar of incense, and distinguish the altar of sacrifice as the altar of burnt offering, belong to secondary strata of P.Such passages are found in Exodus 37:25-28; Exodus 40:5; Exodus 40:26 (the altar of incense made and set up in the tent of meeting): other facts, deduced from an examination of the LXX. of Exodus 35-40, furnish independent evidence that these chapters are secondary (see Driver, note on Exodus 35, p. 378; LOT.9 pp. 37, 42; Mc Neile, Exod. pp. 224–226, with reference to Swete, Introd. to O. T. in Greek, pp. 235 f.).

It is probable that P originally described briefly the way in which the commands of Exodus 25-29 were obeyed, by setting up the tent and the altar, and consecrating Aaron and his sons. This statement has been enlarged by adding further prescriptions, elaborating details, and assimilating the language more closely to that of Exodus 25 ff., until it has assumed the form in which it now appears in ch. 30, 31, 35–40 and Leviticus 8. The grounds for this conclusion rest chiefly on an examination of the chapters in Exodus already mentioned, and are given in the commentary on that book (see references above). How far this original statement has been preserved in Leviticus 8 is a question to which no definite answer can be made. The chapter in its present form repeats almost verbally the injunctions of Exodus 29, after the manner of chs. 35–40. It also exhibits other marks of being secondary; on the other hand, its resemblance to ch. 9, in omitting any reference to the altar of incense, gives it priority over some parts of Exodus 35-40.

From Exodus 29:7, cp. Leviticus 8:10-12, it will be seen that Leviticus 8:10 (the first clause as far as ‘oil’) and v. 12 repeat the commands in Exodus. The actions described in the intermediate clauses, anointing the tabernacle, sprinkling and anointing the altar and its vessels and the laver, are not found in Exodus 29:7, but occur in Exodus 30:26-28, Exodus 40:9-11; they are probably later additions. The same may be said of the words ‘and purified the altar, … and sanctified it, to make atonement for it’ in Leviticus 8:15. They are not found in the corresponding verse (Exodus 29:12) and seem based on Exodus 29:36. The frequent repetition of the words ‘as the Lord commanded Moses,’ and of similar phrases (Leviticus 8:4; Leviticus 8:9; Leviticus 8:13; Leviticus 8:17; Leviticus 8:21; Leviticus 8:29), is also found in Exodus 39, 40, which belong to a late stratum of P.

On the whole, though there is evidence that Leviticus 8 contains late additions, it is probably in the main of earlier date than Exodus 25-40. So Wellh. CH.2 pp. 146 f., and Oxf. Hex. i. 155 and ii. 152 note, 153 note.

In ch. Leviticus 10:1-7 we find the punishment of Nadab and Abihu following upon the first sacrifices of Aaron and his sons in ch. 9, but in v. 7 it seems that the days of consecration are not completed, for Aaron and his sons are still at the entrance to the tent of meeting. The anointing oil is upon the sons of Aaron as well as upon himself, whereas in ch. 8 only Aaron is anointed. There are, then, reasons for supposing that vv. 6, 7 do not belong to the original story.

In vv. 8–11, the connexion between v. 10 and the preceding command is not apparent: possibly some words may have dropped out between vv. 9 and 10. Note, however, that in Ezekiel 44:21-23, v. 21 (which is like Leviticus 10:9) is separated from v. 23 (which is closely similar to Leviticus 10:10) by a single verse, to which a parallel may be found in Leviticus 21:7; Leviticus 21:14. The substance of this passage shews affinity with Ezekiel and with earlier laws (see references above and v. 11, cp. Deuteronomy 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:10 on priestly teaching or Torah); its fragmentary character (lack of connexion between vv. 9 and 10) conveys the impression that it is not part of P’s original narrative (cp. LOT.9 p. 45). That narrative is continued in vv. 12–15, on the relation of which to the codes of Leviticus 1-7, cp. Wellh. CH. 2 pp. 149 f. with Oxf. Hex, ii. p. 155 n.

The last section (16–20) is, in the opinion of nearly all critics, a very late comment on the occurrence related in Leviticus 9:15. The Sin-Offering for the people was offered ‘as the first,’ i.e. in the same way as the sacrifice of 7–11, the remainder of which was ‘burnt with fire without the camp’ (11). Now according to ch. 4, Sin-Offerings were of two kinds: (a) those of which the blood was brought into the sanctuary, and the remainder consumed by fire (Leviticus 4:3-21); (b) others, of which the blood was not brought into the sanctuary, and the remainder was eaten by the priests (vv. 22–35). If every sacrifice belongs to one of these two kinds, then those of which the blood is not brought into the sanctuary must be eaten by the priests. This is the authoritative interpretation of the law laid down by Moses in Leviticus 10:18, and acknowledged by Aaron in his reply. Aaron gives as a reason for not complying with this regulation, that ‘there have befallen me such things as these,’ i.e. his two sons had died; he considered that under the circumstances, he was not in a fit state to eat the Sin-Offering of the people, and that, had he done so, he would have incurred the Lord’s displeasure. Moses is satisfied with this reply.

An explanation in narrative form is here offered of the difference between the ritual followed in Leviticus 9:15 (described in the preceding paragraph) and that prescribed in Leviticus 10:18, based on ch. 4 and Leviticus 6:30. As both question and answer imply knowledge of the developed ritual of the Sin-Offering, which enjoins the application of the blood to the altar of incense within the tent of meeting, the whole section (Leviticus 10:16-20) must belong to a very late stratum of P.The student may compare the argument in Introd. § 2 (pp. xii f.) with reference to the altar of incense and will be able to form some idea of the interval which separates the ground work of P from its later strata.

Aaron’s action was in accordance with the precedent set by Moses in ch. 8, and the instructions of Exodus 29; from the standpoint of ch. 4 and Leviticus 6:30, it was defective. The ceremony of eating the sacrifice was the alternative of bringing its blood into the Holy place: this latter ceremony indicated that the offerer was, through the sacrifice together with the manipulation of the blood, brought very nigh to God. In those sacrifices where this ceremony was not performed, the solemn consumption of the sacrifice in a Holy place gave an assurance of the close relation established between God and the bringer of the sacrifice. Hence by Aaron’s omission of this ceremony the people had suffered loss. This seems to be the underlying thought of the passage, and it supplies a reason for the anger of Moses.

But of the four kinds of Sin-Offering described in ch. 4, the Sin-Offering for the people (Leviticus 9:15) corresponds most nearly to the second (Leviticus 4:13-21); it certainly cannot be classed under any of the other three. The question which would most readily occur to anyone reading Leviticus 4; Leviticus 6:25-30; Leviticus 8-10 consecutively, and assuming unity of authorship, would be, Why was not the blood of the Sin-Offering of Leviticus 9:15 brought into the Holy place? The rabbis seem to have felt this difficulty, for some consider that the first sacrifices of Aaron were offered on the first of the month Nisan, and that the offering referred to in Leviticus 10:16 f was that of the first day of the month (Numbers 28:15). This interpretation, however, seems contrary to the notes of time in Exodus 40:2; Exodus 40:17. Another suggestion is that the dedication of the altar began on the day of Aaron’s first sacrifice, and that the goat of the Sin-Offering (Leviticus 10:16) was that brought by Nahshon (Numbers 7:2-17), the blood of which according to Leviticus 4:22-26 would not be brought into the Holy place. These suggestions seem to arise from a feeling that the Sin-Offering for the people (Leviticus 9:15), to which, according to the generally received opinion, Leviticus 10:16-20 refers, ought to have been treated as is directed in the law of Leviticus 4:13-21.

Of the whole chapter, vv. 1–5 and 12–15 only can be assigned to the original draft of P, though vv. 8–11 have parallels in older sources.

(c) Sources of ch. Leviticus 11:1-47It will be seen that Deut. (Deuteronomy 14:7) gives only once the reason why the camel, the hare, and the coney are unclean, but Lev. (Leviticus 11:4-6) repeats the reason for each animal. Repetition of phrases is a characteristic of P (see Introd. to Pent. p. 57). The law with reference to fishes is expanded, with repetition and added detail, in P’s style, and includes ‘the swarming things of the waters’ which are not mentioned in Deut. The list of birds that may not be eaten is almost identical in Lev. and Deut. In v. 20 Lev. adds ‘that go upon all four’ to ‘all winged swarming things’ of Deuteronomy 14:19. In vv. 21, 22 Lev. specifies what swarming things may be eaten, but Deut. does not mention them. In vv. 41, 42 another class of swarming things is added. The connexion between vv. 20–23 and vv. 41 f. is very close, and v. 41 seems to be the continuation of vv. 20–23, but here Lev. is either adding to the common source of Deut. and Lev. or, as seems very probable, he is borrowing from some other dietary law.

By general consent, vv. 24–30 are regarded as supplementary. They deal chiefly with uncleanness caused by contact with carcases, and the summary in vv. 46, 47 applies to a law of food, and does not appear to make reference to this section. The minute rules of vv. 32–38 seem to be deductions from a shorter law of contact, and resemble the casuistry of the rabbinic period. It seems probable that if the list in vv. 29, 30 had been known to the redactor of vv. 2–23, 41–45, it would have been combined with vv. 20–23. The view that vv. 39, 40 are the conclusion of the section concerning beasts in vv. 2–8 deserves mention; also the fact that in the colophon (vv. 46, 47) the classes of animals are not mentioned in the order followed in the body of the chapter.

(d) Sources of ch. Leviticus 16:1-34The earlier critics agreed in considering the chapter as a single whole, but were not at one with respect to its position in the Priestly code. Wellh. and Kuenen regarded it as part of ‘the book of the law’ which Ezra brought before the congregation and read therein as recorded in Nehemiah 8, while Reuss held that it was a later addition.

Oort was the first to suggest a division of the chapter, by attempting to separate the directions for cleansing the sanctuary from those for atonement. The purification of things may have been originally distinct from purification of persons, but they are combined by the prophet Ezekiel, who insists upon the defilement of the sanctuary caused by the uncleanness of the people. In the rite as described in Leviticus 16:3-28 the cleansing of the sanctuary is united with the atonement for the people in such a manner as to become a single ceremony, and Kuenen was right in maintaining that this attempt on the part of Oort to resolve the whole into component parts had failed.

Benzinger’s criticism of the chapter has met with more general approval (ZATW. 1889, p. 65 ff.). He is of opinion that:

(1) the regulations for Aaron’s entrance within the veil form part of an ordinance issued on the occasion of the death of Nadab and Abihu, and are contained in vv. 1–4, 6, 12, 13, 34b; that

(2) vv. 29–34a contain the original law appointing a special day as a yearly fast on which atonement is to be made for the sanctuary, altar, priests and people; and that

(3) the ritual to be observed on that day is prescribed in vv. 5, 7–10, 14–28.

Baentsch (HK. Leviticus 16) accepts this division. Bertholet (KHC. Leviticus 16) assigns vv. 23, 24 to (1) and rejects v. 25 as a gloss: a connexion between v. 22 and v. 26 is thus established, and it must be allowed that v. 26 forms an appropriate continuation of v. 22. The intervening vv. 23, 24, however, which refer to the Burnt-Offerings, describe the concluding part of the sacrificial ceremonies, and seem to follow appropriately after v. 22. On v. 25 see note.

Benzinger laid great stress on the close connexion implied in 16. I with the death of Nadab and Abihu recorded in Leviticus 10:1 ff. But is a close connexion really implied in that introductory verse? It is possible that the compiler may have commenced this section with a reference to the last recorded event, which is that of Leviticus 10:1 ff., just as ‘after these things’ is often found as an introductory phrase. In Oxf. Hex. ii. p. 164, xvi. 1 is printed in the small type which indicates editorial addition; if it were removed, the chapter would begin with v. 2 in the same way as many others. If v. 1 is part of the original narrative, the single word ‘saying’ might well replace the first clause of v. 2. As the text stands at present, the repetition of introductory clauses is unusual.

It seems then that v. 1 affords no sure indication that ch. 16 is closely connected with ch. 10. Benzinger refers to other indications of a close connexion (ZATW. p. 73), and quotes the expression ‘that he die not,’ Leviticus 16:2; Leviticus 16:13, as pointing to the death of Nadab and Abihu. But this expression has no special reference to that event (see note, p. 89). He also considers that the command to take fire ‘from off the altar’ (Leviticus 16:12) is in contrast with the ‘strange fire’ of Leviticus 10:1. But no special emphasis is laid on the words ‘from off the altar’ in Leviticus 16:12 (cp. the same expression in Numbers 16:46), nor is there necessarily any distinction implied between ‘strange fire’ in Leviticus 10:1 and ‘from off the altar’ in Leviticus 16:12.

There is little, if anything, to connect the regulations under which Aaron should enter the Holy of Holies with the story of Nadab and Abihu. It is sometimes assumed that the offering of strange fire ‘before the Lord’ (Leviticus 10:1) implies that the sons of Aaron entered the Holy of Holies, but the narrative does not support this inference; the words of Leviticus 10:4 ‘from before the sanctuary’ are opposed to it. It is true that ‘before the Lord’ in Leviticus 16:13 is used with reference to the Holy of Holies, but the same phrase is also used of ceremonies performed at the altar of burnt offering (Leviticus 16:18), and in Numbers 16 of incense brought in censers at the entrance to the tent of meeting (cp. v. 7 with v. 18).

Benzinger’s view that Leviticus 16 contains two entirely different laws, having in common only the entry of the high priest into the Holy of Holies, is in great measure dependent on the assumption that the chapter is closely connected with ch. 10. It has been shewn in the preceding paragraphs that this close connexion is very doubtful, and that v. 1 of ch. 16 may be otherwise explained. The whole chapter may then be considered as containing the ritual prescribed for the Day of Atonement. Even if a connexion be supposed, and it be granted that conditions of entering the Holy of Holies have been combined with instructions for the Day of Atonement, as maintained by Benzinger, it is still open to doubt whether the parts assigned by him to the former are the original conditions of entering the most holy place. Those original conditions may have been removed to make way for the ritual actually followed on the Day of Atonement, and perhaps a slight trace of them remains in vv. 2, 4 of vv. 2–28.

In the Oxf. Hex. vol. ii. p. 164, the following analysis of the chapter is offered as a probable account of its literary history. The kernel is found in the directions for the cleansing of the inner sanctuary, the tent of meeting and the altar (v. 20) and for an atonement for the people on the occasion (left undefined) of Aaron’s entering within the veil. To this an introductory verse (v. 1) has been prefixed connecting the directions with the death of Aaron’s sons, and there have been added a special expiation for Aaron and his house (i.e. the priests), contained in vv. 3, 6, 11, 14, 17b, and the references to Aaron’s offering in vv. 15, 18, 12, 27. The ceremonial is to be repeated by succeeding high priests, and the day is to be observed as an annual fast day (vv. 29–34a).

According to Stade (Geschichte des Volkes Israel, ii. p. 258, note 1) vv. 3–10 form the kernel of the ordinance. It is connected through v. 1 with the account of Nadab and Abihu in ch. 10, which seems to furnish the ground of a warning to Aaron (v. 2) against entering into the most holy place without due preparation. A brief description of the ceremonies to be performed by Aaron is contained in vv. 3–10, and the details of the ritual are added in vv. 11–28. These latter are intended as an appendix to vv. 3–10, which are regarded as a preliminary description of the offerings required, their presentation, and the casting of lots rather than as a description of the whole ceremonial. Hence in vv. 11, 15 there is repetition of what has already been stated in vv. 6, 9. The consequence is that from vv. 3–10 only it would appear that the lots for the goats were drawn after Aaron’s sacrifice for himself and his house had been offered, while the intention of the writer in vv. 11–28 is to place the casting of lots before the commencement of the sacrificial action.

Stade’s analysis of Leviticus 16 was completed before Benzinger’s investigation reached him (see note on p. 89 of ZATW. 1889). It is a curious coincidence, that, in the first volume of ZATW. published after Stade’s death, the deep and warm-hearted appreciation of Stade’s life and work contributed in the ‘Nachruf’ should be immediately followed by an article on the composition of Leviticus 16 by Messel, in which Benzinger’s contribution of 1889 is destructively criticized, and a new attempt to solve the problem is proposed, which recognises Stade’s analysis as indicating the right solution (ZATW. 1907, p. 7).

The composition of the chapter, according to Messel, is given in ZATW. 1907, p. 11 f. as follows:

(1) The basis of the law is found in vv. 3b, 5–10. A date was originally assigned for the rite, and the sacrifice of the rams as burnt offerings was also mentioned.

(2) The ceremonial was further developed according to vv. 2, 3a, 4, 11, 14–16a, 17–28. The blood of the victims was brought into the Holy of Holies, and special linen garments were appointed for the high priest, when he came within the veil.

(3) Additional rites—the use of incense in the Holy of Holies, and the further application of the blood to purify the tent of meeting are found in vv. 12 f., 16b.

(4) In vv. 29–34a an ordinance addressed—not (like vv. 1–28) to the priests, but—to the people (cp. Leviticus 27:26-32), is issued, prescribing a fast and sabbath of solemn rest on which atonement is to be made once a year. As the tenth day of the seventh month is here fixed, the date originally supplied after v. 2 is withdrawn.

Stade’s analysis is accepted substantially by Kennedy and also by Bertholet (Bibl. Theol. des A. T. 1911, ii. 37).

Different attempts to separate these ideas and rites have been put before the reader, and it will be noticed that what to one critic appears primary is secondary in the estimation of another, and that a group of verses which is treated as a whole by one is disintegrated by others. It should be also remembered that keen and competent critics (e.g. Kuenen) were content to leave the chapter as a whole. From these facts it seems that two inferences may fairly be drawn: (1) that the ceremonial here prescribed is put forward in a developed form as suitable for a single occasion; and (2) that an examination of the existing text does not supply a sufficiently firm basis for tracing the steps of its development.

The service appointed for the Day of Atonement is complicated. Several sacrifices and ceremonies are enjoined, and they seem designed to illustrate more than one idea in connexion with atonement and purification.

(e) Sources of ch. Leviticus 17:3-16In dealing with these verses the reader may notice:

(1) The brevity of the second precept in vv. 8, 9. It begins with the introductory clause, describes the prohibited action, and announces the punishment which will follow on disobedience.

(2) That the other precepts are similar in structure, and contain these three elements. Cp. vv. 3, 4, also v. 10, also v. 13 with the last clause of v. 14.

(3) That they also state the aim or reason of each injunction, e.g. vv. 5–7 for the first, vv. 11, 12 for the third, and v. 14 (except the last clause) for the fourth precept.

From (1) and (2) it seems probable that these precepts may have been originally expressed more briefly on the model of vv. 8, 9. The additional matter noticed in (3) shews that the legislation does not belong to P; the commands in the Priestly Code are issued without comment or exhortation.

Moreover, in that code worship at the one sanctuary, which is enjoined in Deut., is presupposed (see Wellh. Prol. H.I. p. 35, CH.2 p. 151 f., and Chapman, Intr. to Pent. p. 133), and it is assumed as a natural consequence that sacrifice will be offered, according to prescribed rules, to Jehovah alone; the command of vv. 8, 9 is therefore not in the spirit of P.The same may be said of v. 7, which denounces sacrifices to satyrs (‘devils’ A.V.); in the Priestly Code there is no polemic against heathen cults.

To these reasons for not assigning these precepts to P may be added others drawn from the language; a phrase like ‘burnt offering and sacrifice’ (Exodus 10:25; Exodus 18:12; 2 Kings 5:17, etc.) is used by older writers (not by P), and does not adequately describe the more elaborate sacrificial system of the Priestly Code, in which the Sin-Offering is so prominent a feature; the varied manner in which the punishments are announced, and the use of the first person, ‘I will set my face … and will cut him off,’ in v. 10 (cp. Leviticus 20:3; Leviticus 20:5-6, Leviticus 26:17) are in contrast to the repetition of the same phrase ‘that soul (néphesh) shall be cut off from …’ and the avoidance of the direct form of speech in conveying the Divine Commands, both of which are characteristic of the Priestly Code.

But the evidence that these laws have been revised in the spirit of P is cogent: in the second verse ‘unto Aaron, and unto his sons’ is different from the description of the priests in Leviticus 21:10 as the brethren of the high priest; ‘This is the thing which the Lord (hath) commanded’ is found only in the Priestly Code (Exodus 16:16; Exodus 16:32; Exodus 35:4; Leviticus 8:5; Leviticus 9:6; Numbers 30:2, cp. Numbers 36:6†); the references to ‘the camp’ and ‘the door (entrance) of the tent of meeting’ are from the same source. The double indication of place in v. 4 should be noted; ‘tabernacle’ and ‘tent of meeting’ would not both be used by the same writer, and if ‘tent of meeting’ is assigned to Rp[75], then ‘tabernacle’ is from another source. In v. 5 the clause ‘even that they may bring … the tent of meeting’ seems to be an expansion, and it is more obviously redundant in the Heb. The verse reads more smoothly if it is omitted; part of the clause is certainly due to Rp[76], and most probably the whole should be assigned to him. The last clause of v. 7 is a favourite formula of P, and the ritual directions of v. 6 seem to be his; they have no close connexion with the context, and v. 7 follows naturally after v. 5.

[75] A Reviser, who, probably after that collection had been combined with the Priestly Code, introduced further elements from that Code.

[76] A Reviser, who, probably after that collection had been combined with the Priestly Code, introduced further elements from that Code.

The fact that these passages which bear the impress of P can be so easily eliminated raises a presumption that the remainder is not from that source, and corroborates the preceding arguments. The examination of this chapter supports the inference that an older code has been revised in the spirit of P.

When the additions referring to ‘the camp’ and ‘the tent of meeting’ are removed, the probable original form of the precept in vv. 3, 4 may have been:

What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, and hath not brought it before [the dwelling of] the Lord: blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people:

and of the precept in vv. 8, 9:

Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, that offereth a burnt-offering or sacrifice, and bringeth it not to sacrifice it unto the Lord; even that man shall be cut off from his people.

In this form, with no reference to the place where sacrifices should be brought, the precepts are suitable to the period when ‘the people sacrificed in the high places’ before the high places were taken away (1 Kings 3:2; 1 Kings 15:14; 1 Kings 22:43), and the reform under Josiah had limited worship to the central sanctuary at Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 12:14; and see Intr. to Pent. pp. 137–139).

They are also distinct precepts, as the repetition of the introductory clause in v. 8 implies: profane slaughtering is forbidden in the first, and sacrifice offered to any but Jehovah in the second. This distinction is obscured by vv. 5–7, for v. 7 anticipates the prohibition of vv. 8, 9. It is therefore probable that vv. 5–7 are an addition, and due to Rh[77], as it has already been pointed out that they do not belong to P. Now Rh[78] is later than Josiah, and is acquainted with the ordinance of the one sanctuary introduced in the reign of that king. To him is attributed by some critics the words ‘the tabernacle of’ (v. 4), intended as a reference to the temple at Jerusalem, and an adaptation of the older law to the ordinance of the one sanctuary. But, whether the words were added by him or not, he has in view the one central sanctuary, and is withdrawing the permission conceded in Deuteronomy 12:15; Deuteronomy 12:21 to kill for food in any place. The purpose of this withdrawal seems to be explained in vv. 5–7. It probably arose out of the practical working of the permission accorded in Deut., and the religious condition of the people in the period immediately preceding the fall of the kingdom (see notes on the text, p. 98 f.). This condition was sufficiently grave to require drastic remedies; but the wisdom of that proposed in vv. 3, 4 may be questioned; it failed to produce any effect.

[77] A Reviser who combined laws taken mainly from existing codes with a hortatory and warning element.

[78] A Reviser who combined laws taken mainly from existing codes with a hortatory and warning element.

This explanation of vv. 5–7 seems the most probable if (1) the vv. are taken as an addition of Rh[79]’ and (2) the compilation of the Holiness Code (or at least this portion of it) be considered pre-exilic. But upon neither of these points are critics agreed: the Holiness Code is by some of them assigned to the exile, and even to post-exilic times; the precept of vv. 3, 4 would then be intended for those who returned; vv. 5–7 would refer to the irregular forms of worship observed in the past, and contain a warning for the future. But the command that all animals for slaughter should be brought to the central sanctuary would be practicable, only on the supposition that the returned exiles formed a small community which settled itself in Jerusalem and the immediate neighbourhood.

[79] A Reviser who combined laws taken mainly from existing codes with a hortatory and warning element.

Prof. L. B. Paton (JBL. vol. 16. pp. 31–37) is of opinion that the local altars to which sacrifice was brought before Josiah’s reform may be considered as dwelling-places of Jehovah in virtue of the promise in Exodus 20:24 (l.c. p. 37), and that the phrase ‘I will set my tabernacle (dwelling) among you’ in Leviticus 26:11 is not a reference to the temple at Jerusalem, but ‘signifies simply that He [Jehovah] will take up His dwelling in Israel, ‘in the dwelling-place which is appropriate in any given case’ (I.c. p. 36), the words ‘dwelling-place of the Lord’ existing, according to him, in the original form of the precept of Leviticus 17:4.

This original form of the precept (with or without ‘the dwelling of’) was probably issued to the people before the reform of Josiah. Perhaps in some cases men did not take the trouble to bring the animal that was killed for food to the local altar, though it was near, but slaughtered it in their own field, it may be with some religious ceremony. Also before Josiah’s time the cult of demons was common, probably a survival from ancient Semitic heathenism (see 2 Kings 23:12, and the note on v.7 on p. 100). Thus the two practices of sacrificing ‘in the open field’ and sacrificing to ‘the satyrs’ referred to in vv. 5–7 would have been introduced before the time of Josiah, and the whole of vv. 3–7 (except the additions of Rp[80]) would be appropriate in pre-Deuteronomic times. If in this passage the words ‘the tabernacle of’ (v. 4) be taken as an addition with intentional reference to the temple, it may be understood as the utterance of a reformer who, with a view to stop sacrificing in the open field and to satyrs (R.V. mg.), anticipated the action of the reformers in Josiah’s reign. It has been conjectured that proposals to limit sacrifice to the temple had been made by reformers before Josiah, and that in vv. 3–7 a record of one such proposal has been preserved. It was too drastic, because it made no allowance for profane slaughtering; the reformers of Josiah’s time adopted a more conciliatory attitude, and gave permission to kill for food at home. It will be seen that vv. 3–7 have been assigned to periods varying from pre-Deut. to post-exilic: the inference is that the indications of time are not sufficiently definite. Whichever conclusion be adopted, the supposition that the passage forms part of a collection of laws made by Rh[81] and revised by Rp[82] (see p. xxvi) is equally probable.

[80] A Reviser, who, probably after that collection had been combined with the Priestly Code, introduced further elements from that Code.

[81] A Reviser who combined laws taken mainly from existing codes with a hortatory and warning element.

[82] A Reviser, who, probably after that collection had been combined with the Priestly Code, introduced further elements from that Code.

The remaining vv. do not call for any special comment; whether the explanations in v. 11 and v. 14 are part of the original precepts or the additions of Rh[83] cannot be decided, and does not affect the general discussion.

[83] A Reviser who combined laws taken mainly from existing codes with a hortatory and warning element.

(f) Sources of ch. Leviticus 23:1-44Vv. 2, 4, which form the title of the ch., as well as the subscription to the list of sacred days (vv. 37, 38), imply that the intermediate matter refers to holy convocations only, and vv. 3 and 5–8 give us what we should accordingly expect. ‘Holy convocations’ are appointed for the sabbath (v. 3, but see note there), and for the first and seventh days of the feast of unleavened bread (vv. 7, 8). It is true that no such direction is given for the Passover (v. 5), but that feast appears to be mentioned only in passing, as introductory to the seven-day feast that follows upon it. Up to this point, then, in accordance with what has been said above, we are dealing with P.

In vv. 9–14 we change to the other source (H). It directs the offering of a sheaf of the first fruits without any mention of a ‘holy convocation,’ and thus goes beyond the limits of what the title of the ch. has laid down as its contents. Moreover, it betrays itself as defective and as an excerpt from a larger code, for, as it now stands, it gives no indication of the ‘sabbath’ that is meant, and that was doubtless plainly mentioned in that code. See further in note on v. 11.

On similar grounds we assign the main part of vv. 15–22 to H, v. 21 alone suiting the title. It will be observed that the same ambiguous expression recurs in v. 15; also that the offering of the wave loaves (v. 17) falls outside the scope of the title, as well as of the subscription (vv. 37, 38).

In vv. 23–36 we revert to P, as we are now dealing with occasions for which ‘holy convocations’ are ordained (viz. the first day of the year, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Booths) in accordance with the title. The subscription (vv. 37 f.) closes the whole.

We next have an appendix (vv. 39–43) dealing with the Feast of Booths and evidently having H for its source, while it has been subjected to modifications in order to harmonize with P. Such a modification seems to have been the insertion of the words ‘on the fifteenth day of the seventh month’ (v. 39). From the less definite fixing of a date by H in v. 10, ‘when ye … shall reap the harvest thereof,’ and in v. 15, where the reckoning is to be fifty days from the same somewhat vague starting-point, we infer that the completion of the ingathering of the fruits of the land (v. 39) was the only note of time originally prescribed; and that the opening words of v. 39 are added in order to accord with the definite days subsequently appointed by the Priestly Code, which contemplates these seasons from a different standpoint. Similarly the words (v. 39) ‘on the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest’ are an addition by a still later hand to make the v. harmonize with v. 36 (P), where the extra (eighth) day comes in naturally. Its awkwardness in v. 39 is evident, as in the subsequent verses (H) which deal with the same feast any such eighth day is ignored.

The wording of Nehemiah 8:14 ff. and its apparent reference to v. 36 (P) and v. 39 (partly H) seem to show that the combination of H and P and consequent modifications of H by Rp[84] had taken place before 444 b.c., the date of the Feast of Tabernacles there described.

[84] A Reviser, who, probably after that collection had been combined with the Priestly Code, introduced further elements from that Code.

We may illustrate the results of the foregoing analysis by the following table (LOT.9 p. 54):

H    9–20    22    39b    40–43  

P  Leviticus 23:1-8    21    23–38, 39a    39c    44

(g) Sources of ch. Leviticus 25:1-55(a) In the Covenant Code (Exodus 23) the Hebrew slave after ministering to the wants of his master for six years is to go free. The land also after supplying the wants of its owner for the same period is to be left alone. The year of freedom would be different for different slaves, and there is nothing in the text which implies that the fallow year is fixed for the whole land; it may have varied for different fields and for different owners. The English translation of Exodus 23:11, ‘let it rest’ (R.V. and A.V.), suggests a closer connexion with the following precept in v. 12 about the sabbath than is implied in the original. The Heb. verb in v. 11 has nothing in common with the verb for resting on the sabbath day in v. 12, but is the same as that employed in Deuteronomy 15 for the release and remission of debts in the seventh year. The rendering of R.V. mg. is therefore to be preferred—‘thou shaft release it.’

(b) In the Deuteronomic Code the law for the slave is repeated with very slight alteration, but in the place of the release of the land is found a law of release from debt in every seventh year. Here the year is fixed, but there is a verbal connexion between the two ideas of a fallow year and a remitted debt; the same Heb. verb, which means to throw down or let drop (see Driver on Exodus 23:10) is used for both.

(c) The law in Leviticus 25:2-7 is generally regarded as a part of H; its connexion with the law in Exod. is evident; Leviticus 25:3 is almost a transcript of Exodus 23:10; the first three and last three words of these two short verses are identical. But there is a difference: in Exod. the produce of the fallow year is for the poor and the beast of the field; the right of the owner to the use of even a part of it is not expressly reserved, but the duty of giving up something for the benefit of the community is enjoined as a social obligation; in Lev. the seventh year is to be observed as a religious duty; there is no reference to the share of the poor in the produce of the fallow year, but a recognition of the owner’s right to it. The prominent idea is that the land shall take part in a solemn ceremonial—it shall keep sabbath as well as the individual.

This analysis, it will be seen, distributes the ch. between the two sources in about equal proportions, and the general result is that the older jubile laws of H, it is assumed, provided (1) that land should not be sold beyond the next jubile [v. 13–15); and (2) contained four regulations for the relief of the impoverished Israelites: (a) his land might be redeemed for him (v. 25), (b) usury was not to be exacted of him (vv. 35–38), and (c and d) when in servitude, either with a brother Israelite (vv. 39–40a, 43) or with a resident foreigner (vv. 47, 53, 55), he was to be treated humanely. This law of H was afterwards incorporated into the priestly law-book P, with additions (1) containing closer definitions, especially in regard to the redemption of land (v. 9b, 10b–12, 23, 26–34); and (2) extending the benefits of the jubile from land to persons (v. 40b–42, 44–46, 48–52, 54) (LOT. ib.).

The repetitions of expressions, as indicative of the two sources, are specially noticeable in vv. 8–13, e.g. 9a and 9b, 13 and 10b.

Other critics are of opinion that the jubile law is a development by P of the idea of the sabbatical year contained in H. There is a further possibility: H may have contained regulations concerning a periodical redemption of the land which have been adopted and expanded by P, following the analogy of the Feast of Weeks occurring fifty days after the Passover. If either or both of these opinions be accepted, the division between H and P given above will be slightly modified; those verses in which mention of the jubile occurs will be assigned to P.The modification will be in vv. 8–22.

We may note that in the Deut. passage (Leviticus 15:12-18) the slave is to be released in the seventh year of his servitude, in Lev. (vv. 40 f.) that event is not to take place till the year of jubile, thus suggesting that there were practical difficulties in the way of inducing the owners to carry out the Deuteronomic provision. Cp. Jeremiah 34:8-16.

On the differences in the laws as set forth in the three passages, and as connected with the question of their historical sequence, see Intr. to Pent. pp. 125 ff.

OnThe interpretation of ‘the 50th year’ presents a difficulty, which disappears if we take it as only an approximation to the actual time, viz. the last year of the seventh of a series of sabbatical periods. Otherwise we should have two years (the 49th and 50th) of suspended agricultural industry, and confusion would also ensue as the the reckoning of the commencement of the next sabbatical period.



The source designated by P (see LOT.9 pp. 10 ff., Intr. to Pent. 54–72 and 207 ff.) contains a narrative from the Creation to the time when the chosen nation received its promised inheritance. It deals specially with the origins of Institutions, such as Sabbath, Circumcision, and Passover in the earlier part, and Tabernacle, Priesthood, and Feasts in the Sinaitic portion. This narrative, which forms the groundwork of the whole, is generally distinguished as Pg[86]. For the regulation of sacrifice and other ceremonial observances rules were necessary, which gradually increased in number and complexity. When these rules were first committed to writing is uncertain; there can, however, be little doubt that on the fall of the kingdom and the cessation of temple worship a serious attempt would be made to preserve the traditions of worship and ceremonial as practised before the exile. On the Return these traditions were embodied in priestly tôrôth, or directions for the guidance of the community, and such tôrôth were probably revised and enlarged during the years which followed. Three groups of tôrôth are preserved in Leviticus, and constitute by far the greater portion of the book, viz. the Torah of Sacrifice (1–7), the Torah of Purification (11–15), and the ‘Holiness’ code (contained in 17–26). As ordinances concerning sacrifice and purification reach back to the infancy of the human race, there is good reason for supposing that chs. 1–7, 11–15 include some laws of an earlier age than that of Pand that some very ancient usages have been preserved in them. The redactor who incorporated them with Pg[87] supplied introductory and connecting clauses, and adapted the ordinances to the situation as depicted by Pg[88] by adding references to the camp, the tent of meeting, the sons of Aaron, etc. In the present text further additions, belonging to a later stratum of Psuch as those pointed out above in Introd. § 2 and p. 15, can be traced.

[86] The Priestly Code, containing as its groundwork (Pg) a narrative from the Creation till the nation of Israel received its promised inheritance. In this historical framework a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments came to be included.

[87] The Priestly Code, containing as its groundwork (Pg) a narrative from the Creation till the nation of Israel received its promised inheritance. In this historical framework a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments came to be included.

[88] The Priestly Code, containing as its groundwork (Pg) a narrative from the Creation till the nation of Israel received its promised inheritance. In this historical framework a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments came to be included.

Thus three stages may be discriminated as those of (1) priority to P; (2) amalgamation with P; (3) subsequent additions. Some parts may have escaped the supplementary stage, but it is highly probable that all the laws in passing through the first and second stages have been modified in greater or less degree before assuming their present form (cp. Oxf. Hex. xiii. § 7 (β) (γ) and §§ 9, 10). The additions to Pg[89] here described are denoted by Pt[90]1[91] and ps[92] 2[93] in Oxf. Hex., and are elsewhere referred to under these symbols.

[89] The Priestly Code, containing as its groundwork (Pg) a narrative from the Creation till the nation of Israel received its promised inheritance. In this historical framework a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments came to be included.

[90] These have been called Pt (i.e. tôrôth) or directions for the guidance of the community in matters ceremonial, and

[91] Priestly tôrôth, i.e. instructions as to ritual usage.

[92] (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

[93] Secondary strata incorporated with the earlier legislation.

It will be seen from what has been said that the groundwork (Pg[94]) of the Priestly Code, unlike the subsequent additions, may be recognised by the fact that the institutions with which it deals are set in a historical framework. A large part of the Book of Leviticus consists of additions (Pt[95] or ps[96]), even apart from the Holiness legislation (17–26 = H). Some of these additions are comparatively trifling in point of length. Others are more considerable. Chs. 1–7 (carrying on chs. 30 ff. of Exodus) are an insertion (in the main ps[97]) which breaks the connexion between the instructions given in Exodus 29 (Pg[98]) for the observances, sacrificial and other, in connexion with the installation of Aaron and his sons, and the narrative (Leviticus 8-10) of the carrying out of these observances. It must be observed, however, that ps[99] is often in itself composite. Within chs. 1–7, e.g., we have genuine old sacrificial tôrôth, which may be taken as representing the ritual followed in the Temple before the Exile. Another example of ps[100] is presented by chs. 11–15 On eliminating them we see from the subject matter that ch. 16, or rather its original kernel, must have followed closely upon the corresponding parts of ch. 10. An example of the evidence of the distinction between Pg[101] and ps[102] is afforded by a comparison of Leviticus 8:12 (cp. Leviticus 21:10; Leviticus 12; Exodus 29:7; Exodus 29:29, etc.), where Aaron alone receives the anointing oil, with ch. Leviticus 10:7 (which with the previous v. is an insertion by a later hand (ps[103]) in what is, as to its basis, Pg[104]), where it is implied, evidently in conformity with a developed ritual, that the priesthood generally were anointed. For other examples see Introd. p. xiii and notes on Leviticus 4:4-7.

[94] The Priestly Code, containing as its groundwork (Pg) a narrative from the Creation till the nation of Israel received its promised inheritance. In this historical framework a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments came to be included.

[95] These have been called Pt (i.e. tôrôth) or directions for the guidance of the community in matters ceremonial, and

[96] (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

[97] (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

[98] The Priestly Code, containing as its groundwork (Pg) a narrative from the Creation till the nation of Israel received its promised inheritance. In this historical framework a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments came to be included.

[99] (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

[100] (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

[101] The Priestly Code, containing as its groundwork (Pg) a narrative from the Creation till the nation of Israel received its promised inheritance. In this historical framework a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments came to be included.

[102] (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

[103] (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

[104] The Priestly Code, containing as its groundwork (Pg) a narrative from the Creation till the nation of Israel received its promised inheritance. In this historical framework a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments came to be included.

These insertions in the original groundwork of P must not be supposed to be the work of any single editor. Rather they bear the marks of diversity of age and handling. But, as Cornill remarks (Introd. to the Canonical Books of the O. T., p. 93), although the legislation described as the Priestly Code (P) is by no means a literary unity, it reveals a unity of spirit throughout. The growth of P in its widest sense (i.e. including Pt[105] and ps[106]) may cover several centuries, dealing as it does with traditions of worship as practised before the Exile. It certainly contains diverse elements, resulting in the occasional duplication of laws and inclusion of discrepancies in legislation. Nevertheless its aim throughout is to set forth the religious history and institutions of Israel, in order that the nation might realise its ideal position as the chosen people of God. As Kennedy (Century Bible, Lev. p. 23) points out, the prophet Ezekiel and P had the same object in view, but they pursued it by opposite methods. ‘Ezekiel projects his ideal forward into the golden age of the future (see Ezekiel 40-48); the author of Pg[107] throws his ideal backward into the golden age of the past, the period of the Exodus and the wilderness wanderings.’ The date of composition of the groundwork may be placed not many years after the Return, which took place under the leadership of Zerubbabel in b.c. 537.

[105] These have been called Pt (i.e. tôrôth) or directions for the guidance of the community in matters ceremonial, and

[106] (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

[107] The Priestly Code, containing as its groundwork (Pg) a narrative from the Creation till the nation of Israel received its promised inheritance. In this historical framework a series of legislative and ceremonial enactments came to be included.

For a list of characteristic expressions of P (including Pt[108] and ps[109]) occurring rarely, if at all, elsewhere, see Introd. to the Pent. in this series, pp. 208 ff.

[108] These have been called Pt (i.e. tôrôth) or directions for the guidance of the community in matters ceremonial, and

[109] (secondary enactments) combined with the earlier strata. See further, pp. 174 ff.

We may here add the following:

afflict your souls, Leviticus 16:29; Leviticus 16:31, Leviticus 23:27 (29), Leviticus 23:32.

among (or, in the midst of), used of the Divine presence in Israel, Leviticus 15:31, Leviticus 16:16, Leviticus 22:32, Leviticus 26:11.

bear his (their, the) iniquity, Leviticus 5:1; Leviticus 5:17, Leviticus 7:18, Leviticus 10:17, Leviticus 17:16, Leviticus 19:8, Leviticus 20:17; Leviticus 20:19, Leviticus 22:16.

burn(t) with (in the) fire (ritually), Leviticus 4:12, Leviticus 6:30, Leviticus 7:17; Leviticus 7:19, Leviticus 8:17; Leviticus 8:32, Leviticus 9:11, Leviticus 13:52; Leviticus 13:55; Leviticus 13:57, Leviticus 16:27, Leviticus 19:6 (in Leviticus 20:14, Leviticus 21:9 it means a penalty).

that (the) soul (souls, or he) shall be cut off from (among) his (their) people (Israel), Leviticus 7:20; Leviticus 7:25; Leviticus 7:27, Leviticus 18:29, Leviticus 19:8, Leviticus 20:18, Leviticus 22:3, Leviticus 23:29 (30).

estimations, Leviticus 5:15; Leviticus 5:18, Leviticus 27:2-8 (12), Leviticus 27:15-19; Lev 27:23; Lev 27:25; Lev 27:27; cp. to value, Leviticus 27:8; Leviticus 27:12; Leviticus 27:14.

heave (= offer, lit. take up or off, ritually, הרים), Leviticus 2:9, Leviticus 4:8; Leviticus 4:10; Leviticus 4:19, Leviticus 6:10; Leviticus 6:15, Leviticus 22:15.

male and (or) female, Leviticus 3:1; Leviticus 3:6, Leviticus 12:7; cp. Leviticus 15:33. Cp. every male, Leviticus 6:18; Leviticus 6:29, Leviticus 7:6; a female, Leviticus 4:28; Leviticus 4:32, Leviticus 5:6; cp. Leviticus 12:5, Leviticus 27:4-7.

(his) means suffice, or according to his ability, lit. he makes his hand reach, השינ ידו, Leviticus 5:11, Leviticus 14:21; Leviticus 14:30-32, Leviticus 25:26; Leviticus 25:47; Leviticus 25:49, Leviticus 27:8.

redeem (נאל), Leviticus 25:25; Leviticus 25:30; Leviticus 25:33; Leviticus 25:48-49; Leviticus 25:54, Leviticus 27:13; Leviticus 27:15; Leviticus 27:19; Leviticus 27:27; Leviticus 27:31; Leviticus 27:33.

wash (bathe) with (in) water (רחץ במים), Leviticus 1:9; Leviticus 1:13, Leviticus 8:6; Leviticus 8:21, Leviticus 14:8, Leviticus 15:5, etc., Leviticus 16:4; Leviticus 16:24; Leviticus 16:26; Leviticus 16:28, Leviticus 17:15, Leviticus 22:6.



Apart from the details of the legislation of H as compared with that of Ezekiel, there is a certain amount of similarity as well as of contrast in the setting of the two. The legislation of H is ascribed to Moses, speaking by direct command of God, and the scene is the desert of the wanderings (Leviticus 26:46). Ezekiel’s exhortations are communicated to him in vision, and enforced by symbolical figures and symbolical actions. In the case of Lev. the ordinances are issued by a writer, or rather a school of writers, in the name of the great Lawgiver, Moses, in the form under which we now have them. In the case of Ezekiel the legislation comes direct from himself on the authority of Divine visions.

The general character of Ezekiel’s precepts, apart from details, may be illustrated from the author of Deuteronomy. Both issue rules which modify considerably the existing worship, and both draw attention to the fact that they are introducing changes (Deuteronomy 12:8. Cp. the legislation as to the priests, sons of Zadok, Ezekiel 44:15 f.).

For a list comparing passages in Leviticus 26, with extracts from Ezekiel, see Intr. to Pent. in this Series, pp. 246–251.

In considering that list attention may be drawn in the first place to the significant fact that the parallelisms there given include many words of comparatively rare occurrence, and that their combination produces unusual and sometimes startling phrases. Moreover, ‘there is also a resemblance in the grouping together of ideas and expressions. This list of identities and resemblances is without a parallel in the rest of the Old Testament’ (op. cit. p. 253).

Those who first observed this remarkable similarity were tempted naturally to identify the compiler of H and author of ch. 26 with Ezekiel 1[110]. But this view has been rejected by more recent investigators2[111] on the ground that the hypothesis yields no adequate explanation of the differences which exist in ch. 26 (as well as in H generally) alongside of the parallelisms. Nöldeke points out that in H we never find Ezekiel’s favourite title for God, ‘the Lord Jehovah.’ Klostermann1[112] adduces cases where the prophet seems to be expanding a simpler original; e.g. to ‘I am Jehovah’ he attaches an epithet or predicate, ‘I am Jehovah your God,’ or ‘I Jehovah have spoken.’ Moreover, ch. 26 contains a large number of single words found nowhere else. One further argument for rejecting Ezekiel’s authorship may be mentioned, viz. that the Heb. אף, also, found in vv. 16, 24, 28, 39, 40, 41, 42 (twice), 44, occurs but three times in the whole Book of Ezekiel.

[110] So e.g. Graf, Gesch. Bücher d. A.T. pp. 81–83; Horst, Leviticus 17-26, and Ezek. pp. 69–96.

[111] So e.g. Nôldeke, Untersuchungen, pp. 67 ff.; Wellh. Hist., pp. 376–384; Smend, Ezechiel, pp. xxvii. 314 f.; Kuenen, Hex. § 15. 10. See also L. B. Paton in Presbyt, and Refd, Review, Jan. 1896, pp. 102–106.

[112] Der Pentateuch, pp. 368 ff.

Thus the decided preponderance of critical opinion distinguishes the two writers, and further (see Appendix I) we may safely hold that at any rate the most characteristic legislation of H is prior to Ezekiel’s day2[113]

[113] So Kuenen (Hex. § 15. 10. 5), as regards the legislative enactments of Leviticus 18-20, and so Baentsch (HG. pp. 47–50, 81–91) for their hortatory parts as well, and for what he considers (see LOT.9 notes on pp. 56, 57) to be the nucleus of chs. 23–25. While the same is the case, speaking generally, in 21, 22, it is not absolutely so. Ch. Leviticus 21:9-15 deals in detail with the position and restrictions imposed on the high priest. Ezek. on the other hand recognises no high priest, while the ceremonial restrictions which he places upon the whole class of priests (Ezekiel 24:20; Ezekiel 24:22; Ezekiel 24:25) occupy an intermediate position between those imposed by H on the priests generally (Leviticus 21:1-9) and those which it imposes on “the high priest among his brethren” (Leviticus 21:10-15), exceeding the former and falling short of the latter. These facts, it should be noticed, have led Baentsch (108–115) to date the compilation of 21, 22, after the time of Ezekiel. He holds that the compiler (Rh) of these two chs. followed indeed older legislation, but is himself responsible for the framing of Leviticus 21:10-15. Driver, however, points out (LOT.9 p. 149 note) that this inference is somewhat precarious. There was already in the time of the later monarchy (see Driver’s refs.) a priest marked out from the rest by a distinctive title, and holding apparently a distinctive position, which may have been marked by the additional restrictions of vv. 10–15. Driver adds that the position assigned by Ezek. to “the prince” (Ezekiel 44:3 etc.) may have made a high priest such as H legislates for no longer necessary.

It is still a question on which weighty authorities differ, whether Ezekiel had the hortatory passages of H before him, or whether they, were of later origin. The discussion of this point turns upon ch. Leviticus 26:3 ff. The language of v. 30 clearly shews that the sin there spoken of, viz. the worship of ‘sun-images’ in high places, such as was practised in the time of the later kings (Jeremiah 8:2; 2 Kings 17:16, and elsewhere), was familiar to the minds of those addressed. But it is still questioned whether the language of ch. 26, and in particular of vv. 27–45, is most naturally to be taken as referring on the one hand to impending, or on the other to actually existent exile. High authority can be quoted on both sides. Dillmann declares for the earlier (pre-exilic) date, holding that vv. 34, 35, 39, 40–45, which have a later character, are a subsequent addition. This view, in the face of the unity of style in the ch., is precarious. Klostermann (op. cit.) supports the pre-exilic date by another form of argument. He points out that Ezekiel’s habit is to combine reminiscences from the language of his predecessors with expressions peculiar to himself. He considers accordingly that an instance of this is furnished by Ezekiel 4:17, ‘pine away in their iniquity,’ as a reminiscence from Leviticus 26:39, to which the prophet prefixes his own addition, ‘be astonied one with another.’ This date is also supported by Driver on the ground that Leviticus 26 is terse and forcible in its style, while Ezekiel is diffuse, and that Lev. appears to have the advantage in originality of expression1[114] and in the connexion of thought. He contrasts Leviticus 26:4-6; Leviticus 26:13 with Ezekiel 34:25-29. He maintains further that the certainty of approaching exile (which was unquestionably realised by the prophets of Jeremiah’s age) would, not less than the actual exile, form a sufficient basis on which to found the promise of vv. 40–45, while on the other hand hardly any promise made when once the exile had become an actual fact, and least of all a promise so indefinite in its terms as that of vv. 40–45, could neutralise the deterrent effect of such a denunciation of disaster and exile as that contained in vv. 14–392[115].

[114] He contrasts ‘the pride of your power’ in Leviticus 26:19 (where it means Israel’s proud reliance on her prosperity) and in Ezekiel 7:24 (LXX.), Ezekiel 24:21, Ezekiel 33:28, where it refers to the fall of Jerusalem and overthrow of the State, or in Ezekiel 30:6; Ezekiel 30:18, to Egypt.

[115] LOT.9 p. 151.

On the other hand Baentsch3[116], Kuenen4[117], and others consider that vv. 40–45 belong more naturally to an age in which the penalties of national guilt are already in force.

[116] In Nowack’s Hand-Kommentar, pp. 126 f.

[117] Hex. § 15. 9.

The matter is one on which it is unsafe to dogmatize. We can, however, say confidently with Driver (op. cit. p. 151) that the hortatory passages of H, if earlier, can hardly at any rate be much earlier than Ezekiel. The tone of the whole is unlike that of any prophets preceding Jeremiah such as Amos or Micah, while it is still more like that of Ezekiel, while, even irrespective of the phrases common to both, it bears considerable resemblance to the prophet’s style. He thus concludes that the laws of H (dating in the main from a considerably earlier time) ‘were arranged in their present hortatory framework by an author who was at once a priest and a prophet, probably towards the closing years of the monarchy.’

He adds that, if we consider (as is probable on other grounds) that in Ezekiel’s day H had not yet been combined with P (so as to form the present Book of Lev.), the prophet’s familiarity with the former, which, though now incorporated with Prepresents an earlier stage of legislation, would be thus naturally explained.

The general conclusion therefore is that, according as we claim priority for Lev. Or Ezek., the combined legislative and hortatory settings which we term H will be assigned, in the one case to the last days of the kingdom, in the other to the exile; and the importance of this conclusion consists in the fact that not many years (at latest) after the reform under Josiah two strikingly similar modifications in detail of earlier legislation took an authoritative place, the one a formal codification of the existing law of Israel, the other taking the shape of solemn prophetic utterance.

We have hitherto discussed in the main the relation of Ezek. to Leviticus 26. We may add here a few remarks on passages elsewhere in H which find parallels in the language of that prophet. Such passages are1[118]:

[118] A large number of these are taken from the Oxf. Hex. and not from Intr. to Pent. pp. 251 f.

Leviticus  Ezekiel

Leviticus 17:8. Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them. Cp. vv. 3, 10, 13.  Ezekiel 14:7. Every one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel. Cp. v. 4.

Leviticus 17:16. He shall bear his iniquity. Cp. Leviticus 20:17-19, Leviticus 22:16.  Ezekiel 14:10. They shall bear their iniquity. See also below.

Leviticus 18:7. The nakedness (of thy father) … shalt thou not uncover. The expression is frequent in chs. 18 and 20, and is described as wickedness2[119] (R.V. mg. enormity) in Leviticus 18:17, Leviticus 20:14, cp. Leviticus 19:29.

[119] Heb. Zimmah.  Ezekiel 22:9-10.… they have committed lewdness. In thee have they discovered their fathers’ nakedness. Cp. Ezekiel 16:37, Ezekiel 23:10; Ezekiel 23:18; Ezekiel 23:29.

Leviticus 19:8.… every one that ealeth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the holy thing of the Lord. Cp. Leviticus 20:25. Ye shall therefore separate3[120] between the clean beast and the unclean.

[120] The Heb. word is the same in both cases.  Ezekiel 14:10. As above. Cp. Ezekiel 18:20, Ezekiel 44:10; Ezekiel 44:12.

  Ezekiel 22:26. Her priests have … profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference3[121] between the holy and the common (A.V. profane), neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean.

[121] The Heb. word is the same in both cases.

Leviticus 19:13. Thou shalt not oppress thy neighbour, nor rob1[122] him. Cp. Leviticus 6:2; Leviticus 6:4.

[122] The Heb. word is identical, and similarly in the two following cases.  Ezekiel 18:7. Hath spoiled1[123] none by violence. Cp. vv. 12, 16.

[123] The Heb. word is identical, and similarly in the two following cases.

Leviticus 19:15. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgement.  Ezekiel 18:8. Hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgement. Cp. Ezekiel 33:15, committing no iniquity. The substantive is found in Ezek. ten times.

Leviticus 19:16. Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale bearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour.  Ezekiel 22:9. slanderous men (men that carry tales, A.V.) have been in thee to shed blood.

Leviticus 19:26. Ye shall not eat anything with the blood.  Ezekiel 33:25. Ye eat with the blood. Cp. Ezekiel 18:6, hath not eaten with the blood2[124].

[124] So Toy (in Haupt’s Sacred Books of the O. T.) ad loc. following Rob.-Sm. Religion of the Semites2, 343. But see further in Camb. Bible, Ezekiel, ad loc.

Leviticus 19:35. Ye shall do no unrighteousness … in measure3[125].

[125] The Heb. word mçsûrah occurs only once (1 Chr. Leviticus 23:29) outside these passages.  Ezekiel 4:11. Thou shalt drink water by measure. Cp. v. 16.

Leviticus 19:36. Just balances … a just ephah … shall ye have.  Ezekiel 45:10. Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah.

Leviticus 20:9. Everyone that curseth4[126] his father or his mother.

[126] The Heb. word is identical.  Ezekiel 22:7. In thee they have set lightly by4[127] father and mother.

[127] The Heb. word is identical.

Leviticus 21:1-3. There shall none defile himself for the dead among his people; except for his kin, that is near unto him, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother; and for his sister a virgin … which hath had no husband, for her may he defile himself.  Ezekiel 44:25. And they shall come at no dead person to defile themselves: but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves.

Leviticus 21:5. They shall not make baldness upon their head.  Ezekiel 44:20. Neither shall they shave their heads.

Leviticus 21:14. A widow, or one divorced, or a profane woman, an harlot; these shall he not take: but a virgin of his own people shall he take to wife.  Ezekiel 44:22. Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away; but they shall take virgins of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that is the widow of a priest1[128].

[128] The Heb. word is identical.

Leviticus 22:8. That which dieth of itself, or is torn of beasts, he shall not eat to defile1[129] himself therewith: I am the Lord.

[129] The Heb. word is identical.  Ezekiel 44:31. The priests shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself, or is torn, whether it be fowl or beast. Cp. Ezekiel 4:14. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, my soul hath not been polluted1[130]: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn of beasts …

The Heb. word is identical.

Leviticus 22:15. They shall not profane the holy things … which they offer unto the Lord.  Ezekiel 22:26. Her priests … have profaned mine holy things.

Leviticus 25:18. Ye shall dwell in the land in safety2[131].

[131] The Heb. word is identical.  Ezekiel 28:26. They shall dwell therein securely2[132]. Cp. Ezekiel 34:25; Ezekiel 34:28, Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 38:11; Ezekiel 38:14, Ezekiel 39:6; Ezekiel 39:26.

[132] The Heb. word is identical.

Leviticus 25:36-37. Take thou no usury of him or increase … Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor give him thy victuals for increase.  Ezekiel 18:8. He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase. Cp. vv. 13, 17, Ezekiel 22:12; Prov. Ezekiel 28:8†.

Leviticus 25:43. Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour3[133].

[133] The word rendered ‘rigour’ does not occur outside the above passages.  Ezekiel 34:4. With rigour3[134] have ye ruled over them. Cp. Exod. Ezekiel 1:13 f.

[134] The word rendered ‘rigour’ does not occur outside the above passages.

To this remarkable collection of parallelisms may be added a reference to Exodus 31:13-14 a, which belongs to H (see Camb. Bible there), and Ezekiel 20:12-13; Ezekiel 20:20-21; Ezekiel 20:24; Ezekiel 22:8; Ezekiel 23:38.



הְּנוּפָה (Těnûphah) is a noun derived from the verb הֵנִיף (hënîph) which signifies to move something to and fro, such as an iron tool (Exodus 20:25; Deuteronomy 27:5), a sickle (Deuteronomy 23:25), the hand (2 Kings 5:11; Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 13:2); and denotes the corresponding action in each case. Except in two passages (Isaiah 19:16; Isaiah 30:32) it is employed in the priestly legislation to describe the ceremony of ‘waving,’ which was performed with parts of certain sacrifices. These sacrifices were: (1) the Peace-Offerings; (2) the ram of consecration (which was essentially a Peace-Offering) in the inauguration of Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 8); (3) the Guilt-Offering of the leper (Leviticus 14:12); (4) the Peace-Offering of the Nazirite (Numbers 6:19-20). Other gifts which were ‘waved’ were (1) the sheaf of firstfruits at the Passover and the two loaves on the fiftieth day after (Leviticus 23:11-12; Leviticus 23:17; Leviticus 23:20); (2) the Jealousy-Offering (Numbers 5:25); (3) certain cakes which were brought with the Peace-Offering, and a log of oil with the Guilt-Offering of the leper. The gold which the children of Israel brought for the service of the tabernacle is described (in the Heb.) as a ‘Wave-Offering’ (Exodus 35:22; Exodus 38:24), and also the brass (Exodus 38:29); so the Levites, when dedicated (Numbers 8), are described four times (vv. 11, 13, 15, 21) as ‘waved’ before, the Lord. In Numbers 8. R.V. has ‘wave-offering,’ and ‘wave’ in mg. for ‘offer,’ in the other passages ‘offer’ and ‘offering.’ A.V. has ‘offer’ and ‘offering’ in all. The most complete description of the ceremony of ‘waving’ is found in Leviticus 8:25-29 (with which Exodus 29:22-26 should be compared). Moses took three portions from the basket of unleavened bread and laid them upon the fat and the right thigh (‘shoulder’ A.V.), and placed the whole in the hands of Aaron and his sons and ‘waved’ them before the Lord. They were then burnt upon the altar. Moses also waved the breast for a Wave-Offering, and it was his part of the sacrifice.

On this occasion (the consecration of Aaron and his sons) the ritual was of a special character, and would not be that employed at the ordinary sacrifices. But the manner in which Aaron offered the sacrifices for the people after his consecration may be taken as a precedent for the future conduct of himself and other bearers of the priestly office. The fat portions1[135] were brought to him (Leviticus 9:19), and Aaron’s sons put the fat upon the breasts, and Aaron burnt the fat upon the altar and waved the breasts and the right thigh (‘shoulder,’ A.V.) for a Wave-Offering before the Lord (Leviticus 9:21).

[135] Those portions of sacrifices other than Burnt-Offerings which were consumed upon the altar. The fat, the thigh, and the breast were all waved.

Now in the consecration service the fat and the right thigh were waved and burnt before Moses waved the breast (Leviticus 8:26-29), and in the regulations for the Peace-Offering the burning of the fat is mentioned.

From a comparison of the three passages together:

Leviticus 8:27; Leviticus 8:29  Leviticus 9:21  Leviticus 10:15fat portions and  fat portions burnt,  fat protions,

thigh waved and  breast and right  breast, and thigh

burnt, breast waved  thigh waved  waved

and comparing further Leviticus 7:34 and Leviticus 10:14, it may be inferred that all three were waved, and in this respect the ceremonial of the consecration service was continued for subsequent Peace-Offerings, although the accounts in Leviticus 7:30-34 and Leviticus 9:19-21 do not expressly mention the waving of the fat portions. This is the traditional view which enjoins that in all Peace-Offerings the fat portions with the breast and thigh shall be waved.

In the purification of the leper the priest waved the lamb of the Guilt-Offering with a log of oil (Leviticus 14:12; Leviticus 14:21; Leviticus 14:24); the sheaf of the firstfruits was to be waved (Leviticus 23:11-12); two loaves on the fiftieth day were to be waved (Leviticus 23:17; Leviticus 23:20).

When the days of the Nazirite’s separation were fulfilled, the priest waved the shoulder with the cakes (Numbers 6:19-20).

We may observe with regard to חָזֶה (Châzeh) the wave breast and שׁוֹק (shôḳ) the heave thigh (Leviticus 7:34; Leviticus 10:14-15; Numbers 6:20) that the traditional explanation as to the latter is that the thigh was ‘heaved’ or lifted up in a ceremonial manner corresponding to the waving of the breast. But the ceremony of waving is definitely enjoined ‘that the breast may be waved for a Wave-Offering before the Lord,’ while no ceremonial of ‘heaving’ or lifting up is prescribed for the thigh.

We are told (Numbers 31:26 ff.) that the spoil of Midian was divided into two parts:

1/2 to those who went to the war, 12,000.

1/2 to all the congregation, called the children of Israel’s half (v. 30).

1/600 of first half is to be taken as a tribute to the Lord (קָרְבַּן י״י) for the priests.

1/60 of the second half to be given to the Levites, i.e.

    tribute to the L. 1/600  one in 50

675, 000 sheep  337, 500  675  for Levites

72, 000 oxen  36, 000  72  =10 times

61, 000 asses  30, 500  61  that in

32, 000 women  16, 000  32  preceding

840, 000      column.

In this passage two contributions are indicated; viz. that of the men who went out to battle (v. 29) and that taken out of the children of Israel’s half, and called (v. 41) ‘the tribute, which was the Lord’s heave-offering.’

We may note that in the case of the ornaments taken by the officers in the war with Midian (Numbers 31:48-54), תְּרוּמָה (terûmah, ‘heave-offering’) and הֵרִים (hçrîm, ‘to lift up’) are used, though the whole of them is there given to the Lord; but this may be considered as a part of the whole booty that was brought back. תרומה is a lifting up, with the view of removing it from the rest as a contribution.

It may be added that, while ‘before the Lord’ is the expression which follows הניף, ‘to the Lord’ is that which is used with הרים.



The name Azazel occurs in the Old Testament only in Leviticus 16:8; Leviticus 16:10; Leviticus 16:26. From the direction in v. 8 about casting lots, ‘one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for Azazel,’ it seems clear that some personality distinct from the Divine Being is denoted, and this interpretation of the word is accepted by most modern, and some ancient writers.

In the book of Enoch (ed. Charles 1893, or in Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, ii. pp. 191 ff.) the brief account in Genesis 6:1-4 concerning the union of ‘the sons of God’ with ‘the daughters of men’ is made the basis of a mythical story: the ‘sons of God’ become ‘the angels,’ who teach the daughters of men charms and enchantments, the art of working metals and making swords, knives, and ornaments. Great violence and corruption ensue, so that the world is changed. Michael, Gabriel, and other angels accuse Azazel (Azalzel and Azael are variant forms of the name) before the Most High of being foremost in teaching all unrighteousness on earth. Azazel as the chief offender is punished: ‘Bind Azazel hand and foot, and place him in the darkness: make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and place him therein’ is God’s message to Rafael. Enoch is commissioned to announce to Azazel his punishment. There are two versions of the story; one (that given in outline here) ascribes all the sin to Azazel; in the other Azazel is tenth in order and the leader is Semjaza (see Charles, Enoch vi. ff. and the notes on pp. 62 ff.). Further variations are found in the book of Jubilees iv., v. The fallen angels are called ‘watchers’ (cp. Daniel 4:13; Daniel 4:17; Daniel 4:23, and note in Enoch, p. 58).

Here is a legend in which Azazel the demon or fallen angel appears; the place of his punishment is Dudael, and the story in Genesis 6:1-4 is the basis of the legend. Azazel is found in Leviticus 16:8-10; Leviticus 16:26, and references to Dudael and Genesis 6:1-4 in the rabbinic commentaries on the passage.

According to Mishna of Yôma 66a–68b (Tal. Bab.) and Targ. of Ps-Jon. on Leviticus 16:10; Leviticus 16:22, the goat was sent to die in a rough and hard place in the rocky desert which is Beth Ḥaduda. This is the place called Dudael in the Book of Enoch, and has been identified by Schick (Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palaestina-Vereins, 3:214 ff.) with the village Bêt-ḥudêdûn, about twelve miles E. of Jerusalem on the road to the wilderness. The place is called Ẓôḳ in Yôma (loc. cit.), and there described as a mountain from which the goat was pushed over on to the rocks below, and dashed to pieces before it came to the bottom. A rocky cliff near the village is no doubt the place where the scapegoat was killed.

The Targ. and Mishna describe the ceremony as performed in the time of the second temple; the former preserves the name of the place to which the goat was sent, the latter referring to it as Ẓôḳ, which may mean a place of restraint or distress (see Jastrow’s Lex. s.v.), or the cliff from which the goat was thrown.

Some Jewish writers understand Azazel as the place to which the goat was sent; so Rashi (in loc.) and mentioned as the view of some in Yôma 67b. The latter (loc. cit.) quotes another explanation of the word; it denotes the sins for which the scapegoat atoned, and Rashi remarks that these sins are similar to those committed by the fallen angels, referring to the passage in Genesis 6:1-4. R. Eliezer says that on the Day of Atonement they gave a bribe (the same word as that translated ‘gift’ in Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19) to Sammael, so that he should not make void their offerings, nor accuse Israel. The character attributed here to Sammael is similar to that attributed to Satan in Zechariah 3, Job 1, 2, where he appears as an accuser of God’s servants, but under the power of the Almighty. The mention of Sammael shews that R. Eliezer did not interpret Azazel in Leviticus 16 as the being to whom the goat was sent. Ibn Ezra comments on the passage thus: ‘You will get to know the secret of the word Azazel when you understand the meaning of the thirty-three verses which follow.’ The thirty-third verse from that in which Azazel is first mentioned Isaiah 17:7, ‘They shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices unto the he-goats’ (‘satyrs,’ R.V. mg., ‘devils’ A.V.). Azazel is one of, or the chief of, the he-goats (satyrs or hairy ones which infest the wilderness and waste places), and to him sacrifice must not be made. But the goat sent away is no sacrifice, for it is not slaughtered. Neither is the bribe offered to Sammael to be considered as a gift, but the goat sent away is sent by God’s command to him who is one of God’s servants. It is as if one prepared a banquet for a king and the king commands that a portion should be given to one of his servants; the preparer of the banquet gives nothing by way of honour to the servant, but solely to the honour of the king. So the priest sets both the goats before the Lord, both are presented to Him, and the priest does not determine which is for the Lord and which for Azazel, but it is determined by lot, and God appoints which goat is to be sent to Azazel (Proverbs 16:33). Thus by a parable the Jewish commentator explains the whole ceremonial of the Day of Atonement as sacrifice and offering presented to Him, to Whom alone may sacrifice and offering be brought.

Christian writers also have insisted on the fact that both goats are presented to the Lord, and that together they exhibit the effect of Atonement, as signifying the pardon of sin and reconciliation with God, and also the complete removal of guilt. The scapegoat is the visible sign that ‘as far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us’ (Psalm 103:12).

Although these explanations adequately vindicate the majesty of God as the One object of worship, the introduction of the scapegoat and of a spirit or demon distinguished from, if not opposed to, the Supreme Being, are elements to which parallels can be found among primitive peoples in different parts of the world. The question arises: Is there here a survival of an ancient, and possibly a superstitious, rite which has been adopted and transformed into an element of pure worship?

For man, in an elementary stage of his development, the world around is peopled with spirits and demons: thus forces which he cannot control, shewn in the lightning and the thunder, in disease and famine, are attributed to unseen powers. The Semites regarded the desert, which was not far from them, not only as the abode of wild beasts which they could see, but of the jinn which they could not see, picturing them to themselves as hairy beings generally of animal form, with power to injure those who dared to intrude into their domain (Rel. Sem.2 pp. 120 f.). These spirits of the wilderness were known to the Israelites as sě‘îrînt, hairy beings, inhabiting along with wild beasts, desolate places. In Isaiah 13:11; Isaiah 34:14, the Heb. word is translated ‘satyrs’; no shepherd would venture to lead his flock where they congregate (Isaiah 8:20); they associate with wild beasts, wolves, and jackals. In Isaiah 34:14, Lilith, ‘the night-monster’ (R.V., ‘screech-owl,’ A.V.) who figures in many weird stories of Jewish folklore, is their companion. It is expressly stated in Leviticus 17:7 that the children of Israel have done sacrifice to them, and according to 2 Chronicles 11:15, Jeroboam appointed priests for their service (in both these passages R.V. translates ‘he-goats,’ mg. ‘satyrs,’ A.V. ‘devils’). If in 2 Kings 23:8 we adopt1[136], instead of ‘the high places of the gates,’ the rendering ‘the high places (or house) of the ‘satyrs,’ there is evidence that the cult of these demons survived in Jerusalem till the last days of the kingdom.

[136] With most moderns after Hoffmann (ZATW. ii. 175).

That this cult may have been of long standing in Israel, and perhaps borrowed from their predecessors, the Canaanites, will not appear improbable to those who know how deeply the belief in the presence of malignant spirits has been impressed upon the primitive mind. The reader may be referred to Frazer, G.B.2 iii. p. 41 f. for illustration of this fact.

The idea that guilt, pain, or sickness may be transferred from one person to another, or to an animal or thing, is also widely prevalent among primitive societies. Divers means employed to effect such transference are given in Frazer, loc. cit. 1–39. Among them are the following: A Malagasy, in order to avoid a bloody death, was advised to mount upon the back of a bullock, to spill blood from a small vessel which he carried on his head upon the bullock’s head, and then send the animal away into the wilderness (p. 14 f.). In Southern India the sins of a dead man are laid upon a buffalo calf, which is set free and never afterwards used for common purposes. In India, Turkistan, and even in Wales, cases are reported of men taking upon them the sins of a deceased person (Frazer, op. cit. pp. 15–19). A peculiar ceremony is described on pp. 104 f. A thick rope of grass is stretched from the top of a cliff to the valley beneath, and a saddle is placed on it, on which a man sits and slides down the rope into the valley. Men are waiting at the bottom to catch him, and break the force of his descent. Formerly, if he fell from the rope he was killed by the spectators, but this practice has been forbidden by the English Government. The fact, however, that under some circumstances he was put to death seems to indicate that the whole ceremony is a mitigation of a more cruel rite in which he was thrown down from the cliff. A kid is sacrificed before the man makes the descent. The resemblance to the scapegoat of the Bible is close; the instances which have been given, and many others to be found in Dr Frazer’s book, show conclusively that the scapegoat is a very ancient institution.

Thus both the scapegoat, and its destination to Azazel, may be recognised as elements of religious observance in many parts of the world which can be traced back to early times. It is not improbable that they have been included as a survival in the Levitical legislation with a view to teach through familiar symbols the truth about sin and forgiveness which is set forth in the ritual of the Day of Atonement. It may be said that if observances of this kind had been prevalent in Palestine in ancient times some mention of them would be found. But how little is really known of the life of the Israelite before the exile? Even that little is sufficient to shew that he was not averse to borrowing rites from his neighbours; not till after the exile was the exclusive character of Judaism developed.

In Europe, after centuries of professed adherence to the Christian religion, belief in witchcraft and demons survives, and superstitious practices are still observed1[137]. In the East these beliefs have maintained a firmer hold, and it is more than probable that when Israel was in its own land much superstition prevailed side by side with purer prophetic teaching. The writings of Jeremiah and Ezekiel afford ample evidence of corruption in the last days of the kingdom, and in earlier times the chosen people ‘mingled themselves with the nations, and learned their works’ (Psalm 106:35). The significant imagery of the scapegoat is not impaired by the consideration that similar symbolical actions may have been familiar to Israel and the surrounding nations before the Day of Atonement was instituted.

[137] See p. xxxiv.

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