Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 2. Seasons.
These precepts had often been repeated already: but perhaps they had not been exactly observed in the desert, so that Moses
inculcates them once more, as if to remind the people that they will now have no excuse, if they neglect these sacrifices
in the promised land. (Calmet) --- These frequent repetitions may also remind us, with what attention we ought to worship
God. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 3. Lambs.
Kids would not suffice. See Exodus xxix. 38. The lambs must not be above a year old. But it is not clear whether they could
be offered eight days after their birth, as on other occasions, Exodus xxiii. 19. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Sinai.
Hence it seems to have been discontinued for 38 years. (Calmet) (Leviticus ix. 17.) (Menochius)
Ver. 7. In
the. Hebrew, "in the holy thou shalt cause the shecar to be poured out unto the Lord, a drink-offering." See chap. iv.
3[vi. 3?], on the meaning of shecar. (Haydock) --- Some believe, that artificial wine of palm-trees, &c., might
serve for libations. In this sacrifice, the priests furnished the liquor; so that all was to be poured out on the altar of
holocausts, which stood in the court. (Calmet)
Ver. 10. Which,
&c. Hebrew, "the burnt-offering of every sabbath, besides the perpetual holocaust and its libations," which were due for
every day. (Haydock) --- On the sabbath, two more were to be offered of the same age. Jansenius observes, that three of these
belonged to the morning service, and one to that of the evening. (Menochius) (Calmet)
Ver. 11. Month.
This is not reckoned among the festivals, Leviticus xxiii. The Rabbins look upon it as a day of devotion, particularly for
women. (Buxtorf. Syn. xvii.) Spencer (Rit. iii. 1,) maintains, that the Hebrews began their month when the moon first appeared,
and that they imitated the pagans in keeping that day holy. But his proofs on both heads are very unsatisfactory. The Hebrews
followed the solar year for many ages after Moses, though they might have adopted the lunar towards the close of the republic;
and the pagans themselves ridiculed those as vile imitators of the Jews, who kept the new moons as a festival. (Hor.[Horace,?]
Sat. i. 9.) Sabbata Vin tu Curtis Judæis oppedere. --- The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Arabs, and Turks, have given
in to various superstitious practices in honour of the moon. See Macrob. Sat. i. 15, &c. (Calmet) --- The devil is commonly
the ape of God, and teaches his votaries to adopt the ceremonies of the true religion, either to elude them more easily, or
to bring those practices into discredit. Thus Middleton has endeavoured to shew the conformity of Pagan and Papal Rome,
as if the ceremonies of the Catholic religion were to be rejected, because some of them have been in use among the heathens.
By the same argument, he may ridicule the revelation of God himself, on this subject, and represent vestments, holy water,
&c., as superstitious. He may pull down altars, condemn all forms of prayer, abolish all worship, both of soul and body.
For such things have all been prostituted to idols! But those who are not totally infatuated by prejudice, will deplore the
abuse of these things, and will not refrain from adoring the true God according to his will, with all the faculties both of
their soul and body, on account of the devil and his false prophets having extorted similar acts of worship from their followers.
It is no wonder that Protestants should ridicule our holy ceremonies, since they scruple not to assign so base an origin to
those which God expressly prescribed. (Haydock) --- The sacrifices which were ordered to be offered up on the first day of
the month, were probably designed to renew the memory of the world's creation, or rather of the divine Providence, which regulates
the seasons. Nothing was sold on this day, Amos viii. 5. But people went to hear the prophets, (4 Kings iv. 23,) and feasted
among themselves, 1 Kings xx. 18. It is thought that many rested also from servile work, though this is no where commanded.
(Calmet) --- Tirinus agrees with Tostat and Sanctius, in supposing that servile work was prohibited, for which he refers to
1 Kings xx. 19. He also asserts, that the Jews observed the lunar system, and that their months consisted of 29 and 30 days
alternately, as 29 days and a half elapse from one moon to another. The sound of trumpets probably announced this solemnity,
chap. x. 10., and Leviticus xxiii. (Haydock)
Ver. 13. Tenth.
An assaron, gomer, or chomer, which is the tenth part of an epha, as that is the tenth of a core or chomer, which is the largest
Hebrew dry measure, containing 32 pecks and one pint English; so that the gomer would be equivalent to five pints. (Haydock)
--- This quantity of flour accompanied each holocaust at the beginning of every month. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Above.
This is the import of the Hebrew, &c.: for no libations accompanied the sin-offerings, nor incense. See chap. xv. 3.,
and Leviticus v. 12. (Menochius)
Ver. 16. Phase,
or Passover, the most solemn of all the festivals, when the lamb was to be eaten on the 15th of Nisan, and during the eight
days no leavened bread was allowed. The Jews searched all the corners of their houses, lest some might be concealed by mice,
and they would not so much as name it. St. Paul exhorts us to do the like, in a spiritual sense, by purifying ourselves from
every defilement of sin when we receive the blessed sacrament, and by not even mentioning sins of impurity, 1 Corinthians
v. 7., and Ephesians v. 3. (Haydock)
Ver. 23. Offer,
as well as that in the evening, which was in less danger of being forgotten.
Ver. 24. Fire.
Hebrew, "food of the sacrifice made by fire." --- Rise. Hebrew, "it shall be offered besides the perpetual holocaust,
and its libations," morning and evening. All the aforesaid sacrifices and libations were to be repeated on each of the seven
days, ver. 19, 22.
Ver. 26. The
day of Pentecost, seven weeks after the Passover, was the next in solemnity, to thank God for the wheat harvest,
of which the first-fruits were now presented. (Haydock) --- Two loaves, made with leaven, were given to the priests.
(Lamy.) See Leviticus xxiii. 17.
Ver. 27. Two
calves. Only one is specified in Leviticus, being that designed for the morning; another was immolated at night. (Calmet)
--- The same victims are prescribed as [in] ver. 19. (Menochius)