The Blemished Priesthood

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“This also is one of the ways of the Lord. The kingdom of God finds itself straiten in the encasements of tradition, custom, and established order until the entrance is well nigh blocked. Then God raises up a man who is bold enough to break through the established order and a host of violent men rush for the breach and take the kingdom of God by force. So it was in the establishment of the Sunday School. So it is in our contemporary youth movements. Pioneers are needed for such projects—men of passion, of sympathy, traditionalists. Their reward is to perceive the hand of the Lord working with them and to find a velopment before them that they scarcely know what to do with” (Act of the Apostles, J.C, MaCaulay. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids Michigan. P-124).

In Leviticus, Chapter 21 we find a very interesting list of twelve physical defects, if found in any member of the priestly family, disqualified them from performing the priestly duties. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying. Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of the seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whosoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach” (Leviticus 21:16-18).
Here are the blemishes listed in Leviticus 21.

He that hath a flat nose.
He that hath a blemished eye.
He that has scurvy.
Anything that is superfluous.
He that is scabbed.
A man who has his stones broken.
A man that is broken-footed.
A man that is broken-handed.
A crookbackt.
A dwarf.
A blind.
A lame man.

It didn’t matter if they were born a Levite, they must be free from blemish individually to perform the priestly office. If anyone was afflicted with one of these maladies he was considered blemished and could not serve the bread of his God. He was permitted to eat but not to serve. He was also forbidden to enter the Holy of Holies. However, he was not deprived of his priestly title as he was always a son of Aaron. What did he lose then by his blemish? He was forbidden to function in the order of priestly service and worship. It was said of the Lord Jesus that he, “Offered himself without spot.”

Adam Clark said:
“And yet that law made nothing perfect, but pointed out the most perfect priesthood and sacrifice, by which we draw near to God” (Clark’s Commentary. Published by Applegate & Co., 1854. V-I, P-362).

The Hebrew people contended that there were 140 blemishes which would disable the priest. Eight in the head, two in the neck, nine in the ear, five in the brows, seven in the eyelids, nineteen in the eyes, nine in the nose, nine in the mouth, three in the belly, three in the back, seven in the hands, sixteen in the secrets, eight in the skin, eight in any part of the body and seven in the strength and in the breath.

Any priest with a blemish was forbidden to enter the Holy of Holies, burn incense, offer showbread or light the golden candlestick. “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Hebrews 8:6).

In this work I will show how these blemishes, if found in the Priesthood, give symbolic instruction to the New Testament Church to not accept those who wish to function in an apostolic ministry, yet do not meet the Biblical qualifications. Remembering that the great perfection required of the Jewish High Priest was intended principally to point out that the perfection of the priesthood under the Law was only a type.



To Purchase this  title, The Blemished Priesthood,  by Dr. Rycroft visit Amazon.com

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