Leviticus 17:2 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
(2) And unto all the children of Israel.—To understand the import of this phrase, and its bearing upon the injunction in question, it is necessary to notice that the words “and unto all the children of Israel” are here used for the first time. Hitherto the Divine communications were made to (1) Moses alone, without his being ordered to speak to any one else (Lev. 5:14, Lev. 6:12, Lev. 8:1, (Lev. 14:1); (2) to Moses, with the command to speak to Aaron (Lev. 16:1); (3) to Moses, with the command to speak to Aaron and his sons (Lev. 6:1; Lev. 6:17); (4) to Moses, with a command to speak to the children of Israel (Lev. 1:1; Lev. 4:1; Lev. 7:28; Lev. 12:1); (5) to Moses and Aaron conjointly, without being ordered to speak to the children of Israel (Lev. 13:1; Lev. 14:33); (6) to Moses and Aaron conjointly, who are ordered to speak to the children of Israel (Lev. 11:1; Lev. 15:1); and (7) Aaron alone is addressed (Lev. 10:8). In the chapter before us, however, the communication is made to Moses alone, and he is commanded not only to impart its contents to Aaron and his sons—i.e., the priesthood—but “unto all the children of Israel,” or their representatives, at the same time. The pontiff and the priests are thus put on a level with the ordinary Israelite or the laity, as far as this regulation is concerned. There are only two other occasions on which this phrase is used again, viz., Lev. 21:24; Lev. 22:18.
This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded.—To emphasize the importance of the following law Moses is ordered by God to use this additional formula; whilst in other instances where it is used, when important statutes are enacted, Moses uses it of his own accord. (Comp. Exo. 16:16; Exo. 35:4; Lev. 8:5; Lev. 9:6; Num. 30:2; Num. 36:6.)
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Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
Charles John Ellicott (1819 - 1905) was a distinguished English Christian theologian, academic and churchman. He briefly served as Dean of Exeter, then Bishop of the united see of Gloucester and Bristol.
His works include:
- An Old Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1897. (Editor)
- A New Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1878.