Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Leviticus 4:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Without the camp - This was intended figuratively to express the sinfulness of this sin, and the availableness of the atonement. The sacrifice, as having the sin of the priest transferred from himself to it by his confession and imposition of hands, was become unclean and abominable, and was carried, as it were, out of the Lord's sight; from the tabernacle and congregation it must be carried without the camp, and thus its own offensiveness was removed, and the sin of the person in whose behalf it was offered. The apostle ( Hebrews 13:11-13;) applies this in the most pointed manner to Christ: "For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach."

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

A clean place where the ashes are poured out See Leviticus 1:16 note. It was a place free from impurities, not like those referred to in Leviticus 14:40, Leviticus 14:45. The flesh, though it was burned in an ordinary way, and not sent up in the fire of the altar (see Leviticus 1:9 note), was not to be confounded with carrion, but was associated with the remains of the sacrifices. The priests could not eat the flesh of this victim or of that offered for the sin of the congregation, as they ate that of other sin-offerings Leviticus 6:26. Compare Leviticus 10:17-18, because they were in these cases in the position of offerers. Leviticus 16:27; Hebrews 13:11. The same rule was observed in regard to the meat-offering of the priests, Leviticus 6:23. It was only of the peace-offering that the offerer himself could partake.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and peace-offerings, had been offered before the giving of the law upon mount Sinai; and in these the patriarchs had respect to sin, to make atonement for it. But the Jews were now put into a way of making atonement for sin, more particularly by sacrifice, as a shadow of good things to come; yet the substance is Christ, and that one offering of himself, by which he put away sin. The sins for which the sin-offerings were appointed are supposed to be open acts. They are supposed to be sins of commission, things which ought not to have been done. Omissions are sins, and must come into judgment: yet what had been omitted at one time, might be done at another; but a sin committed was past recall. They are supposed to be sins committed through ignorance. The law begins with the case of the anointed priest. It is evident that God never had any infallible priest in his church upon earth, when even the high priest was liable to fall into sins of ignorance. All pretensions to act without error are sure marks of Antichrist. The beast was to be carried without the camp, and there burned to ashes. This was a sign of the duty of repentance, which is the putting away sin as a detestable thing, which our soul hates. The sin-offering is called sin. What they did to that, we must do to our sins; the body of sin must be destroyed, Ro 6:6. The apostle applies the carrying this sacrifice without the camp to Christ, Heb 13:11-13.