This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Leviticus 1:3

"If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD." — Leviticus 1:3 KJV.

Burnt sacrifice — The עֹלָ֤ה (‘olah) is so called because it ascends to heaven in the consuming flames. It should always be translated whole burnt offering. It is a holocaust, because the sacrifice was entirely consumed. It symbolizes the devotement of the entire man — soul, body, and spirit — to the service of God. Perfect love to him is more than all whole burnt offerings. Mark 12:33. As fire purifies what it does not consume, it typifies the Sanctifier consuming inward sin and cleansing the indestructible essence of the soul. Every sacrifice was in part a burnt offering, because Jehovah’s special portion was consumed by fire, the symbol of his presence.

Without blemish — תָּמִ֖ים (tamim), perfect. Defective sacrificial animals are described in chap. 22:20-24, as the blind, broken, maimed, scabbed, having wens, or scurvy, parts lacking or superfluous; also the castrated, spoken of as cut, crushed, bruised, or broken. An animal was an imperfect offering under eight days old. Exodus 22:30. What a sermon is this, preached morning and evening through the centuries, on the sinlessness of Jesus Christ, “the Lamb without blemish and without spot!” 1 Peter 1:19.

Of his own voluntary will — Of his own free choice: “not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loveth” a willing offering.

At the door of the tabernacle — This precise spot is designated in order to prevent any secret idolatrous rites under the mask of the prescribed ritual. The prohibition of all other places for sacrifice was also a strong safeguard of the national unity. Another altar was a political secession. Joshua 22:11-34.

Before the Lord — That is, to Jehovah. The rendering in the Authorized Version is sustained by some scholars. It is true that all burnt offerings, being chiefly self-dedicatory, must be purely voluntary. But the Hebrew is the same here as in Exodus 28:38, and Leviticus 22:20, 21, and is correctly rendered in the Authorized Version. But in Leviticus 19:5 and 22:19, 29, the word is rendered “own will,” as it is here.

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