Exodus 24:5
And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD.
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(5) Young men . . . which offered burnt offerings.—It is to be noted that, even subsequently to the appointment of the Levitical priesthood, the acts of slaughtering the victims and arranging the flesh upon the altar were regarded as appropriately per formed by any Israelite (Leviticus 1:5-6; Leviticus 1:11-12, &c). The sprinkling of the blood and the lighting of the fire were the special sacrificial acts reserved to the priest (Leviticus 1:5; Leviticus 1:7; Leviticus 1:11; Leviticus 1:13). At this time, before the Levitical priest hood had been instituted, the sprinkling of the blood would seem to have been the sole act reserved. Young men were employed to slay the animals as best qualified by their strength to deal with them.

Burnt offerings . . . peace offerings.—Burnt offerings were at once expiatory and signs of self-dedication. Peace offerings were indications of man’s gratitude for mercies received. Both were now offered together, to mark (1) Israel’s thankfulness for being taken into covenant, and (2) Israel’s determination to consecrate itself wholly to the service of God.

Exodus 24:5. He sent young men — So also the Septuagint, τους νεανισκους: but the Chaldee renders it, the firstborn. The firstborn were priests in every family; but, among the Israelites, they were afterward redeemed, and the tribe of Levi given to God in their stead, for his service. But the Hebrew word נערי, nagnarei, here used, signifies active as well as young, and as these persons were employed in slaying and offering up the oxen, strength and activity were necessary. As Moses himself performed the principal office of the priest, (Exodus 24:6,) it cannot be concluded from this passage that these young men were priests. But it is worthy of observation, that even after the appointment of Aaron’s family to the priesthood, no man was permitted to serve at the altar after the age of fifty, see Numbers 8:25.24:1-8 A solemn covenant was made between God and Israel. Very solemn it was, typifying the covenant of grace between God and believers, through Christ. As soon as God separated to himself a peculiar people, he governed them by a written word, as he has done ever since. God's covenants and commands are so just in themselves, and so much for our good, that the more we think of them, and the more plainly and fully they are set before us, the more reason we may see to comply with them. The blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on the altar, on the book, and on the people. Neither their persons, their moral obedience, nor religious services, would meet with acceptance from a holy God, except through the shedding and sprinkling' of blood. Also the blessings granted unto them were all of mercy; and the Lord would deal with them in kindness. Thus the sinner, by faith in the blood of Christ, renders willing and acceptable obedience.Young men of the children of Israel - See Exodus 19:22; Exodus 28:1; Leviticus 1:5.

Burnt offerings ... peace offerings - The burnt offerings Leviticus 1 figured the dedication of the nation to Yahweh, and the peace offerings Leviticus 3 their communion with Yahweh and with each other.

5. young men—priests (Ex 19:22), probably the oldest sons of particular families, who acted under the direction of Moses.

oxen—Other animals, though not mentioned, were offered in sacrifice (Heb 9:18-20).

It matters not whether they were the first-born, or others; it is sufficient that they were persons appointed and authorized for the present service, not without God’s direction.

Peace-offerings of oxen; one kind, as the principal is named for all; for there were offered also goats, as appears both from Hebrews 9:19, and from hence, that burnt-offerings were usually made of the goats, Leviticus 1:10 Numbers 7:28. And he sent young men of the children Israel,.... To the altar under the hill he had these young men, according to Jarchi, were the firstborn of the children of Israel; and so the Targums Onkelos and Jonathan; and the latter adds,"for unto this hour the worship was among the firstborn, as yet the tabernacle of the covenant was not made, and as yet the priesthood was not given to Aaron.''But though this is a notion that has obtained among learned men, both Jews and Christians, it has been called in question by some, who have such reasons against it, as are not easily refuted. And very probably, as the seventy elders were such as were selected from the senior and graver part of the people, so these were choice young men, that were separated from others for this service, without any regard to birthright:

which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord; by way of thankfulness; and such were used at making covenants, when the parties ate and drank together. The Vulgate Latin version has it, "twelve calves", without any authority for it.

And he sent young {c} men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD.

(c) For as yet the priesthood was not given to Levi.

5. the young men, &c.] upon whom (cf. Jdg 17:5), as the strongest and most active members of the community (Ew., Di.), devolved in these times the duty of killing and cleaning the animal, and arranging its parts upon the altar, &c. Onk. the firstborn.

burnt offerings, and … peace offerings] see on Exodus 20:24.Verse 5. - And he sent young men. The Levitical priesthood not being as vet instituted, either all the people were regarded as holy, and so any one might offer sacrifice, or the "young men" selected may have been of the number of the first-born, who were priests in their respective families until the appointment of Aaron and his sons to be priests of the nation (Exodus 28:1). No doubt young men were selected as most competent to deal with struggling animals. The divine promise closes with a general indication of the boundaries of the land, whose inhabitants Jehovah would give up to the Israelites to drive them out, and with a warning against forming alliances with them and their gods, lest they should lead Israel astray to sin, and thus become a snare to it. On the basis of the promise in Genesis 15:18, certain grand and prominent points are mentioned, as constituting the boundaries towards both the east and west. On the west the boundary extended from the Red Sea (see Exodus 13:18) to the sea of the Philistines, or Mediterranean Sea, the south-eastern shore of which was inhabited by the Philistines; and on the east from the desert, i.e., according to Deuteronomy 11:24, the desert of Arabia, to the river (Euphrates). The poetic suffix מו affixed to גּרשׁתּ answers to the elevated oratorical style. Making a covenant with them and their gods would imply the recognition and toleration of them, and, with the sinful tendencies of Israel, would be inevitably followed by the worship of idols. The first כּי in Exodus 23:33 signifies if; the second, imo, verily, and serves as an energetic introduction to the apodosis. מוקשׁ, a snare (vid., Exodus 10:7); here a clause of destruction, inasmuch as apostasy from God is invariably followed by punishment (Judges 2:3).
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