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Reference: Devoted Thing


(Le 27:28). Cherem. Man was not to be offered in sacrifice. Translated, Le 1:2; "if any man of you bring an offering to Jehovah from the beasts, from the herd or from the flock shall ye bring your offering" (compare Ex 13:13; 34:20; Nu 18:15). But certain persons and nations were doomed by God, who alone has the prerogative of taking, as He alone gives, life. Man in carrying out God's clearly revealed sentence is the executioner bound to execute God's will. So magistrates and soldiers (Ro 13:4). So Israel utterly destroyed the Canaanites at Hormah (Nu 21:2-3; De 13:12-18).

So Samuel hacked Agag in pieces before the Lord (1Sa 15:33). Rash vows, as Saul's (1Sa 14:24) and Jephthah's (Jg 11:30), are no objection to the soundness of the principle, for here self-will usurps the right of devoting another's life which belongs to God alone. Sacrifices rest on a different ground, namely, the voluntary offering of an innocent life of a creature' without blemish, approved of God to represent the great Substitute. The pagan confounded the two ideas, the devoted thing under ban (as criminals and captives), and the sacrifice of one's flock or herd as a voluntary offering in worship; but Scripture keeps them distinct.

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Basic English, produced by Mr C. K. Ogden of the Orthological Institute - public domain