Haggai 2:10-14. In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month At which time, as appears from Haggai 2:16; Haggai 2:19, (the materials being collected,) they began to go on again with the building of the temple. Ask now concerning the law What the law saith in this case. The question was put to the priests, whose office it was to put a difference between holy and unholy, between clean and unclean, Leviticus 10:10: that is, to be thoroughly acquainted with all the ceremonial laws, and to instruct others concerning them. If one bear, or carry, holy flesh Part of the sacrifice, legally sanctified, or made holy, by the altar on which the whole was sanctified; in the skirt In the lap; of his garment Or in any other cloth; and if this cloth touch any common thing, as bread, &c., shall that become legally holy? And the priests said, No By the answer of the priests in this, compared with the following verse, we find, that legal holiness was not so easily communicated as legal impurity: for the holy flesh did not make any thing that was touched by it holy; but the touch of a person who was unclean rendered holy things unclean. Thus is vice much more easily contracted than virtue! Broad and easy is the way that leadeth to sin. but narrow and difficult is that which leads to holiness! Then said Haggai Now a second case is proposed; If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these Namely, the things mentioned in the former verse, bread, pottage, wine, &c.; shall it be unclean? Shall that which the unclean person doth touch become unclean? Though a touch of what is holy will not make holy, yet, will not a touch of what is polluted defile? and the priests answered, It shall be unclean The law was plain in this case: see Numbers 19:11. The least defect is sufficient to make a thing evil, whereas, to make it good and perfect, a concurrence of all good qualities is requisite. So is this people before me In like manner, saith God, your neglect of my temple, and your disregard of my worships have made you unclean, as if you had contracted legal pollution by touching a dead body; and rendered every thing you undertake, even the sacrifices you offer on my altar, unclean and unacceptable.
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