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when the people changed their stations in the wilderness; or was wholly extinguished, as it must have been when the temple was shut by Aház, and when it was destroyed by the Babylonians. For after these events no more fire descended from heaven, but it was laid on the altar by a priest; and the fire thus brought for consuming the sacrifices and burning the incense, was consecrated by the altar itself. And the only crime which caused the destruction of Nadab and Abihu, was, that they presumed to burn the incense with fire that had not been taken from the altar. *
• Levit. X. 1, %. xvi. 12.
CHAPTER XVII. Some Victims to be burned without the Camp: others to
be eaten. FROM the rites performed on the burnt offerings, we proceed to the other classes of victims, of which none but the select parts were burned upon the altar, as we have already stated. Of these victims, some were to be burned without the camp, and others were to be eaten. And those were to be burned without the camp, whose blood was to be carried into the sanctuary.* Of this description, as I have mentioned in the preceding chapter, were the occasional sin offerings of the whole congregation;t the goat for the whole congregation, and the bullock for the family of Aaron, both sacrificed as sin offerings on the day of atonement; and the bullock prescribed as an occasional sin offering for the high priest. The act of burning these victims polluted the persons by whom it was performed. “ And the bullock for the sin “ offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose “ blood was brought in to make atonement in the
holy place, shall they carry forth without the camp; “ and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their “ flesh, and their dung. And he that burneth them “shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, “ and afterward he shall come into the camp.” But no person was excluded from the camp, and commanded to bathe his body and wash his clothes, except on account of some impurity. And though the words of the law now cited refer only to the * Levit. 6. 30. Heb. xiii, 11.
† Levit. iv. 21. Levit. xvi. 27. iv. 11, 12. & Levit. xv. 5. Num. xix. &.
victims slain on the day of atonement; yet all the others on which the same rites were to be performed, whose blood was to be carried into the sanctuary and whose carcasses were to be burned without the camp, must certainly have had the same effect of defiling the persons who burned them. Hence the general conclusion, of the rabbies, that a victim whose blood is carried into the sanctuary defiles the garments of
those who burn the carcass :** and, it may be added, their persons also; for they were commanded not only to wash their clothes, but to bathe their bodies. The same was required of the person who burned the red heifer :f which was also a public expiatory sacrifice, resembling the occasional sin offerings of the whole congregation. For her carcass was to be burned, as theirs were, without the camp; and as their blood was to be sprinkled seven times within the sanctuary, so hers was to be sprinkled seven times towards the sanctuary. I
II. If it be inquired why those victims whose carcasses were burned without the camp always defiled
? the persons by whom they were burned, no other reason can be assigned but that they were polluted themselves. Nor does it seem possible to imagine their pollution to have taken place in any
way than that of the emissary goat on the day of atonement; which, it is evident, was so defiled with the sins of the people transferred to him by a symbolical rite, as to communicate a similar contagion to the person who led him away : wherefore he also was commanded to bathe his flesh and wash his clothes before he returned into the camp.Ş But these things * Siphra in Acharemoth.
+ Num. xix. 8. Numb, xix. 3-5,
$ Levit. xvi. 21, 22. 26.
will come to be discussed more at large in another place. Let it be remarked here, that those victims, which during the travels of the people in the wilderness were to be burned without the camp, were afterwards to be burned without the city of Jerusalem, which as we have mentioned before, was considered as corresponding to the camp of Israel. On this subject Maimonides says :* There are three places ' for burning sacrifices. The first is in the sanctuary: 'there they burn the victims intended for holocausts, and the select parts of other victims, which are
rejected from the altar, and those bullocks and goats * in which any blemish has appeared, either before or * after the sprinkling of the blood. The second is 'the mountain of the house: there they burn the
goats and bullocks which are to be burned, if any 'blemish appears in them after they are brought
out from the sanctuary: this place is called bira. • The third, which they call the place of ashes, is ' situated without the limits of the city, and bears the
same relation to the temple which a place situated ' without the camp of Israel had to the tabernacle of
the congregation : in this place they burn the bullocks ' and goats which the law commands to be burned ' without the camp'+ And as these victims were the chief of all the piacular sacrifices, so they communicated a symbolical pollution to the persons by whom they were burned.
III. The same defiling quality was attributed to expiatory victims among the heathens. Porphyry says : I ' All theologists agree in this ; that no part of any victims inmolated in order to avert any evil is
* Ad Zebach. in Misna, c. 12. + Levit. iv. 12. 21. xvi. 27.
De Abstin. L. ii. s. 44.
ever to be eaten, but that lustrations are necessary. * For no one, they say, should go into a city or into ' his own house, without having first washed his ' clothes and his body in some stream or fountain.'
IV. The victims whose flesh was to be eaten, wereall the peace offerings, all the trespass offerings, and all the sin offerings except those whose blood was to be carried into the sanctuary, with the paschal victims, the firstlings, and the tithes. But the flesh of these victims was not all allowed to be eaten by all persons, nor at all times and in all places. The sin offerings and trespass offerings, and the peace offerings of the whole congregation, were to be eaten by none but priests and the sons of priests, and by them, only within the sanctuary,* and when they were in a state of corporeal purity: a condition that was required of every person who partook of any of the sacrifices.t To the priests also were assigned all the flesh of the firstlings, and the right shoulders and breasts of the peace offerings of individuals, to which was added the other shoulder of the ram of the Nazarite, and that sodden. But all these are permitted to be eaten in any part of Jerusalem,not only by the priests and their sons, but also by their wives, and by their daughters who had not been married, or who had returned to their father's house in a state of divorce or widowhood, provided they had either no children at all, or none but those who had been begotten by a priest : || in which I agree with Aben Ezra in opposition to Maimonides. **
The same privilege was
• Num. xviii. 9, 10. Levit. vi. 16. xxiii. 20. Levit. xxii. 4. vii. 21.
Num. xviii. 17, 18. Levit. vii. 33, 34. Num. vi. 19. Deut. xii. 6, 7.17. 26, 27. # Num. xviii, 11. Levit. xxii, 12, 13, 9 Ad Levit. xxij. 13.
«* In Terumoth, c. 6.