Baker takes a series of short sections here, and I’m not grouping them into any larger passage, because I’m under some pressure and these short sections are working for me right now.
Let me note also that while the electronic edition of Rahlf’s LXX that I’m using today (GnomeSword) follows the English verse divisions, the print edition of Rahlf’s follows the Hebrew division. So the passage there is 6:1-6.
The idea of having a fire from sacrifice going on 24 hours a day doesn’t sound much like modern worship, but there are really two key elements in this passage that I think can be applied to modern worship:
- The fire burns continuously. Three times in the LXX text we read that it is never to go out.
- There is a continuing ritual for keeping it clean. There is care taken in carrying out this command as with every other one in Leviticus.
There appears to be an error in the notes of the Orthodox Study Bible, which bases the notes on the English verses, and thus the notes on our passage for today indicate they are about 6:9. But they are interesting, and connect this daily sacrifice with the continual offering of Christ in heaven. The continuous worship provides an “open door for uninterrupted worship of God and fellowship with Him” only now this is through the sacrifice of Jesus.
Milgrom adds an interesting note. With Baker, I have emphasized the continual worship, and I think this is an important point. But Milgrom points out:
… The sacrifices offered up at the inauguration of the public cult were consumed miraculously by a divine fire (9:24), and it is this fire which is not allowed to die out so that all subsequent sacrifices might claim divine acceptance… (p. 389, emphasis in original)
This raises another point to me for the modern church. How careful are we with the spiritual fires that God lights? We have waves of revival and then for various reasons we let them die out or treat them with contempt. There’s a “fire” that was lit in Christianity back with Jesus and then at Pentecost. But we often neglect one end or the other, either the connection back to that original flame, or the need to keep it actively burning in our modern world. Both are necessary to keep up the continuing fire.
OSB – Orthodox Study Bible
Baker – Leviticus portion written by David H. Baker, of the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary on Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Chapter 6 deals with sacrifices for sins that appear to be quite deliberate.