Challoner commentary

Exodus 33 : 12

I know thee by name

In the language of the scriptures, God is said to know such as he approves and lovesand to know by name, those whom he favours in a most singular manner, as he did his servant Moses.

Exodus 33 : 23

See my back parts

The Lord by his angel, usually spoke to Moses in the pillar of the cloud; so that he could not see the glory of him that spoke familiarly with him. In the vision here mentioned he was allowed to see something of him, in an assumed corporeal formnot in the face, the rays of which were too bright for mortal eye to bear, but to view him as it were behind, when his face was turned from him.

Exodus 34 : 29


That is, shining, and sending forth rays of light like horns.

Leviticus 1 : 3

A holocaust

That is, a whole burnt offering (olokauston), so called, because the whole victim was consumed with fire; and given in such manner to God as wholly to evaporate, as it were, for his honour and glory; without having any part of it reserved for the use of man. The other sacrifices in the Old Testament were either offerings for sin, or peace offeringsand these latter again were either offered in thanksgiving for blessings received; or by way of prayer for new favours or graces. So that sacrifices were then offered to God for four different ends or intentions, answerable to the different obligations which man has to God1. By way of adoration, homage, praise, and glory due to his divine majesty. 2. By way of thanksgiving for all benefits received from him. 3. By way of confessing and craving pardon for sins. 4. By way of prayer and petition for grace and relief in all necessities. In the New Law we have but one sacrifice, viz., that of the body and blood of Christbut this one sacrifice of the New Testament perfectly answers all these four ends; and both priest and people, as often as it is celebrated, ought to join in offering it up for these four ends.

Leviticus 2 : 3

Holy of holies

That is, most holy, as being dedicated to God, and set aside by his ordinance for the use of his priests.

Leviticus 2 : 11

Without leaven

No leaven nor honey was to be used in the sacrifice offered to God; to signify that we are to exclude from the pure worship of the gospel, all double dealing and affection to carnal pleasures.

Leviticus 2 : 13


In every sacrifice salt was to be used, which is an emblem of wisdom and discretion, without which none of our performances are agreeable to God.

Leviticus 3 : 1

Peace offerings

Peace, in the scripture language, signifies happiness, welfare or prosperity; in a word, all kind of blessings.-- Such sacrifices, therefore, as were offered either on occasion of blessings received, or to obtain new favours, were called pacific or peace offerings. In these, some part of the victim was consumed with fire on the altar of God; other parts were eaten by the priests and by the persons for whom the sacrifice was offered.

Leviticus 3 : 17


It is meant of the fat, which by the prescription of the law was to be offered on God's altar; not of the fat of meat, such as we commonly eat.

Leviticus 4 : 2


To be ignorant of what we are bound to know is sinful; and for such culpable ignorance, these sacrifices, prescribed in this and the following chapter, were appointed.

Leviticus 4 : 5

The blood

As the figure of the blood of Christ shed for the remission of our sins, and carried by him into the sanctuary of heaven.

Leviticus 6 : 13

The perpetual fire

This fire came from heaven, (infra. chap. 9. 24,) and was always kept burning on the altar, as a figure of the heavenly fire of divine love, which ought to be always burning in the heart of a Christian.

Leviticus 7 : 1


Trespasses, for which these offerings were to be made, were lesser offences than those for which the sin offerings were appointed.

Leviticus 11 : 2

Animals which you are to eat

The prohibition of so many kinds of beasts, birds, and fishes, in the law, was ordered, 1 st, to exercise the people in obedience, and temperance; 2 ndly, to restrain them from the vices of which these animals were symbols; 3 rdly, because the things here forbidden were for the most part unwholesome, and not proper to be eaten; 4 thly, that the people of God, by being obliged to abstain from things corporally unclean, might be trained up to seek a spiritual cleanness.

Leviticus 11 : 3

Hoof divided, and cheweth the cud

The dividing of the hoof and chewing of the cud, signify discretion between good and evil, and meditating on the law of God; and where either of these is wanting a man is unclean. In like manner fishes were reputed unclean that had not fins and scalesthat is, souls that did not raise themselves up by prayer and cover themselves with the scales of virtue.

Leviticus 11 : 5

The cherogrillus

Some suppose it to be the rabbit, others the hedgehog. St. Jerome intimates that it is another kind of animal common in Palestine, which lives in the holes of rocks or in the earth. We choose here, as also in the names of several other creatures that follow (which are little known in this part of the world,) to keep the Greek or Latin names.

Leviticus 11 : 13

The griffon

Not the monster which the painter represent, which hath no being upon earth; but a bird of the eagle kind, larger than the common.

Leviticus 14 : 5

Living waters

That is, waters taken from a spring, brook, or river.

Leviticus 14 : 10

A sextary

Heb. loga measure of liquids, which was the twelfth part of a hin; and held about as much as six eggs.

Leviticus 14 : 14

Taking of the blood

These ceremonies used in the cleansing of a leper, were mysterious and very significative. The sprinkling seven times with the blood of the little bird, the washing himself and his clothes, the shaving his hair and his beard, signify the means which are to be used in the reconciliation of a sinner, and the steps by which he is to return to God, viz., by the repeated application of the blood of Christthe washing his conscience with the waters of compunctionand retrenching all vanities and superfluities, by employing all that is over and above what is necessary in alms deeds. The sin offering, and the holocaust or burnt offering, which he was to offer at his cleansing, signify the sacrifice of a contrite and humble heart, and that of adoration in spirit and truth, with gratitude and thankfulness, for the forgiveness of sins, with which we are ever to appear before the Almighty. The touching the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot, first with the blood of the victim, and then with the remainder of the oil, which had been sprinkled seven times before the Lord, signify the application of the blood of Christ, and the unction of the sevenfold grace of the Holy Ghost; to the sinner's right ear, that he may duly hearken to and obey the law of God; and to his right hand and foot, that the works of his hands, and all the steps or affections of his soul, signified by the feet, may be rightly directed to God.