Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Numbers 18:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Thou and thy sons - shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary, etc. - That is, They must be answerable for its legal pollutions, and must make the necessary atonements and expiations. By this they must feel that though they had got a high and important office confirmed to them by a miraculous interference, yet it was a place of the highest responsibility; and that they must not be high-minded, but fear.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The iniquity of the sanctuary - i. e. the guilt of the offences which an erring people would be continually committing against the majesty of God, when brought into contact, through the ordinances, with the manifestations of His presence. Compare the marginal reference.

The iniquity of your priesthood - As the priests themselves were but men, they were strengthened to bear the iniquity of their own unintentional offences, by being entrusted with the ceremonial means of taking it away (compare Leviticus 16). The word “bear” has, in the Old Testament, this double sense of “enduring” and “removing;” but in the person of Christ, who atoned by His own endurance, the two axe in effect one.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The people complained of their difficulty and peril in drawing near to God. God here gives them to understand, that the priests should come near for them. Aaron would see reason not to be proud of his preferment, when he considered the great care and charge upon him. Be not high-minded, but fear. The greater the trust of work and power that is committed to us, the greater danger there is of betraying that trust. This is a good reason why we should neither envy others' honours, nor desire high places.