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Leviticus 1:7

Leviticus 1:7

And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the
altar
The fire of the altar originally came down from heaven, and consumed the sacrifice, and which was a token of God's acceptance of it, see ( Leviticus 9:24 ) ( 1 Kings 18:23 1 Kings 18:24 1 Kings 18:38 ) ( 1 Chronicles 21:26 ) ( 2 Chronicles 7:1 ) and this fire was kept burning continually upon the altar, ( Leviticus 6:12 Leviticus 6:13 ) and yet the Jewish writers say, it was the command of God, according to this passage, that fire should be brought from another place and put here; Jarchi's note on the text is,

``though fire came down from heaven, it was commanded to bring it from a common or private place:''

and Maimonides F18 says the same thing, and so it is often said in the Talmud F19; and this, as Gersom observes, was not done by any but a priest in the time of his priesthood, or when clothed with his priestly garments; and so in the Talmud it is said, that the putting fire upon the altar belonged to the priesthood, but not flaying or cutting in pieces F20: this fire denoted the wrath of God, revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men, and which is the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, and all the workers of iniquity; and which Christ endured for his people in human nature, when he bore their sins, and became a whole burnt offering for them:

and lay the wood in order upon the fire;
the wood for the sacrifice was an offering of the people, brought to the temple at the times appointed, ( Nehemiah 10:34 ) ( 13:31 ) where was a place called (Myueh tkvl) , "the wood room", or "wood chamber", and which was in the northeast part of the court of the women; and here such priests as had blemishes wormed the wood, or searched the wood for worms; for whatsoever wood had a worm found in it, it was not fit to be laid upon the altar; and it was from hence the priests fetched the wood and laid it on the altar {u}; for a private person might not bring it from his own house for his offering F23, though it was provided by the congregation F24, and brought thither by private persons; and it might be any sort of wood but that of the vine and olive F25, which were not used, because they did not burn well, and were soon reduced to ashes; and because such a consumption would be made of such useful trees hereby, that there would be no wine or oil in the land of Israel, so necessary for private and religious uses. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "the pile of wood being laid before": that is, before the fire was put upon the altar; but this is contrary to the text, for the wood was laid upon the fire, and therefore the fire must be first; the case seems to be this, the fire was first kindled, and then the wood laid in order upon it.


FOOTNOTES:

F18 Hilchot. Tamidin, c. 2. sect. 1.
F19 T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 63. 1. Yoma, fol. 21. 2. & 53. 1.
F20 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 26. 2. Vid. T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 18. 1.
F21 Misn. Middot, c. 2. sect. 5.
F23 Issure Mizbeach, c. 5. sect. 13. T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 27. 1.
F24 T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 22. 1.
F25 Misn. Tamid, c. 2. sect. 3. & T. Bab. Tamid, fol. 29. 2.
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