And the priest shall bring it unto the altar
The southeast horn of it; near which was the place of the ashes, into which the crop and its feathers were cast F14:
and wring off his head;
by twisting it back as it should seem; the word used is only to be found here, and in ( Leviticus 5:8 ) the Jews say, it signifies to cut with the nail, and that the priest did this, not with a knife or any other instrument, but with his nail; so Jarchi and Gersom on the place observe: some think he only let out the blood this way, but did not separate the head from the body, which seems to be favoured by ( Leviticus 5:8 ) though Maimonides and Bartenora F15 conclude the reverse from the same place; and that the meaning is, that he should cut off the head and divide it asunder at the time he cuts with the nail: the manner of cutting with the nail was this F16, the priest held both the feet of the bird with his two fingers of his left hand, and the wings between two other fingers, and the bird upon the back of his hand, that it might not be within the palm of it; then he stretches out its neck upon the thumb about two fingers' breadth, and cuts it over against the neck with his nail, and this is one of the hardest services in the sanctuary:
and burn [it] on the altar;
that is, the head, after squeezing out the blood, and rubbing it with salt:
and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar:
or "the wall" of it: this, though mentioned last, must be done before, and immediately upon the wringing of the head, and between that and the burning it on the altar: this wringing off the head, and wringing out the blood, denote violence, and show that Christ's death, which this was a type of, was a violent one; the Jews laid violent hands upon him, and pursued his life in a violent manner, were very pressing to have it taken away, and his life was taken away in such a manner by men, though not without his Father's secret will, and his own consent.
F14 Misn. Zebachim, c. 6. sect. 5. & Bartenora in ib.
F15 In Misn. ib.
F16 Maimon. in Misn. ib. sect. 4. & Bartenora. in ib.