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Bible Commentaries

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

Leviticus 3

 

 

Verses 1-5

Of the Herd

v. 1. And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace-offering, if he offer it of the herd, whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the Lord. The designation "peace-offering" seems to have been the more general term, for these sacrifices included also the thank-offerings and the salvation-offerings. Another division is that into thanksgiving, vow, and free-will offerings, Lev_7:11-18. Some peace-offerings were made in times of distress, the idea associated with them being that of supplication for divine help, Jdg_20:26; Jdg_21:4; 1Sa_13:9; 2Sa_14:25.

v. 2. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, in the act which declared the animal to be the substitute for the worshiper in the sacrifice, and kill it at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation; and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about, for the purpose of atonement.

v. 3. And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace-offering an offering made by fire unto the Lord, certain parts of the animal offered for the purpose of establishing a closer fellowship with God were to be burned on the altar of burnt offering; the fat that covereth the inwards, the large net of adipose membrane in the abdominal cavity, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, that which is only loosely attached to the intestines and may be peeled off without difficulty,

v. 4. and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, attached to the muscles in the upper pelvic cavity, and the caul above the liver, the small net of adipose membrane extending from the liver to the kidneys, with the kidneys, that is, together with, or upon, the kidneys, as they lay in position, it shall he take away from the rest of the animal.

v. 5. And Aaron's sons shall burn it, these fatty parts with the kidneys, on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire; it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord, well-pleasing to Him if made in the right manner, if brought in true faith. These offerings were brought upon, that is, after the burnt offerings of the day.


Verses 6-11

Of the Flock

v. 6. And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace-offering unto the Lord be of the flock, male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. The sex was immaterial, but the animal had to be perfect, as before.

v. 7. If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the Lord, for the purpose of securing the good pleasure of the Lord.

v. 8. And he (the worshiper) shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the Tabernacle of the Congregation, out in the open court; and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar, the act having the same significance as before.

v. 9. And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace-offering an offering made by fire unto the Lord, that portion of the sacrificial victim burned upon the altar being known as the food of Jehovah and signifying the communion between Him and the worshiper brought about by the sacrifice; the fat thereof and the whole rump, the heavy fat-tail which is characteristic of a certain variety of sheep in Arabia and Palestine, it shall he take off hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, as in the case of the larger animal. v. 3,

v. 10. and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, that is, upon the kidneys, it shall he take away. Cf v. 4.

v. 11. And the priest shall burn it upon the altar; it is the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord, a food offered by the believing Israelite by fire and rising up to the Lord in an odor well-pleasing to Him. In this manner the Lord partook of the sacrifice and entered in to fellowship with His people.


Verses 12-17

Of Goats

v. 12. And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the Lord.

v. 13. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the Tabernacle of the Congregation; and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof, as it was caught when the animal was slaughtered, upon the altar round about.

v. 14. And he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,

v. 15. and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.

v. 16. And the priest shall burn them upon the altar; it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savor; all the fat is the Lord's, that is, all the loose fatty parts that were enumerated in these three cases were to be the Lord's portion.

v. 17. It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings that ye eat neither fat nor blood. As long as the children of Israel were in the wilderness, all the animals slaughtered for food had to be brought to the Sanctuary, Lev_17:3-7; in the land of Canaan, they were permitted to slaughter such animals in their own cities. Deu_12:15, but all the sacrifices had to be made at the place of the Sanctuary. The prohibition, however, concerning the loose fat mentioned in this Chapter and that regarding blood remained in force for the Jewish people. In the case of all peace-offerings the wave-breast and the heave-shoulder belonged to the priests, Lev_7:30 ff. and the rest of the meat was to be eaten by the worshiper and his family in the court of the Tabernacle. This joyous sacrificial meal was to express the happiness which the believers felt because of their covenant with the God of their salvation, just as we Christians enjoy the blessings of God's covenant in the Sacrament of the Altar.

 


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Bibliography Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Leviticus 3:4". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/leviticus-3.html. 1921-23.

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