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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 7

 

 

Verses 1-38

THE LAW OF THE TRESPASS OFFERING (vv. 1-10)

In common with all the other offerings, the trespass offering was “most holy.” It was to be killed in the same place as the burnt offering. Its blood was to be sprinkled all around on the altar. The fat tail, the fat that covered the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that was on them, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver were to be removed and burnt on the altar by the priest. These all speak of characteristics of Christ that are entirely for God's appreciation: all are offered in fire to Him (vv. 3-5).

As with the sin offering, every male among the priests was to eat of it in the holy place, for the trespass offering was like the sin offering. The difference is only in the fact that the sin offering deals with the root principle of sin, while the trespass offering is for specific occurrences, and even the root principle is exposed by the occurrences. The priest who offered the animal was the one to receive its flesh.

A note is added in verse 8 as to the burnt offering. The flesh of it was all burned, so the priest would have nothing of this, but he was given the skin of the burnt offering.

Also the priest's part in the meal offering is repeated here (v. 9). After the handful was removed and burned on the altar, the offering priest received the rest. So that in all of these offerings the priest (typically Christ) had some part, — the burnt offering, meal offering, sin offering and trespass offering. The peace offering is not mentioned here because it was preeminently the shared offering, but it was necessary to insists that in all the offerings the priest was given some part, though no part to eat in the burnt offering — only the skin. Of course there was one exclusion, for the sin offering whose blood was brought into the sanctuary was totally burned outside the camp, including the skin (Leviticus 16:17), after the fat had been burned on the altar.

One contrast, however, is to be noted in regard to the meal offering. While the sin offering and the trespass offering were to be eaten by the offering priest, the meal offering was to be shared by all the priests — “to one as much as the other” (v. 10).

THE LAW OF THE PEACE OFFERING (vv. 11-38)

We have seen in Leviticus 3:1-17 that the peace offering could be either a male or female: it could be of the herd (a bull or calf) or a sheep or a goat. Now we find other instructions concerning this, dealing first with the reasons for offering a peace offering.

It might be offered as “a thanksgiving” (v. 12), that is, some special reason for thankfulness to God gives occasion to it. For the peace offering does not merely speak of our recovery from hostility, but of the peace of true accord with the mind of God, and therefore of genuine communion with Him. In this case, along with the animal offered, a meal offering of unleavened cakes mingled with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, or cakes of blended flour mixed with oil was to be brought. One of these cakes was to be offered as a heave offering, after which it belonged to the offering priest (v. 14).

There was no question of sin in the offering, but rather of true communion with God. In this the sacrifice of Christ has a vital part, as does also the purity of His person as the sinless Son of Man — permeated by the Spirit of God, or anointed by the Spirit. As such He brings His saints into the presence of God to share in the great value of His work accomplished for them. The heave offering completed the picture by its representing the Lord as risen from the dead. We commune with One who has died, but is risen! The offering for thanksgiving was to be eaten only on the same day it was offered (v. 15). For when once we have occasion to give thanks to God for some special reason, this is completed that same day. Will we not always have some occasion the next day, and indeed every day, for fresh thanksgiving?

As well as an offering for thanksgiving, the peace offering might be a vow or a voluntary offering. In both these cases the offering could be eaten both the day it was offered and the next day. The Lord Jesus has plainly forbidden us to make vows today (Matthew 5:33-37), for man in the flesh has been proven untrustworthy by the law of God, and we cannot promise what we may do in the future. Yet the vow would not doubt speak of the purpose of heart to devote oneself to the Lord in obedient faith. This is right, but not an actual vow. There is energy involved in this more than in a thanksgiving, so it was eaten two days.

The voluntary offering, however, was not because of a single matter for thanksgiving, but a spontaneous appreciation of the Lord Himself. This too involved more energy than did one occasion of thanksgiving, so it could be eaten the second day; but if any remained later than the second day, it was to be burned (v. 17). If one should eat it the third day, this could not be accepted, but would be an abomination to the Lord, rendering the eater guilty (v. 18).

As to the flesh of the peace offerings, while the priest and the offerer were privileged to eat of these. yet if the flesh touched any unclean thing, it was not to be eaten (v. 19). Simply the association with uncleanness was defiling. If the flesh was clean, those who were clean could eat of it. But if one ate of this offering while he was unclean, he was to be “cut off from his people” (v. 20). Death may seem a harsh sentence for such a thing, but the Lord intends to press upon us the seriousness of pretending to have fellowship with Him while indulging in sinful practices.

Also, the person who touched any unclean things, whether human uncleanness or an unclean animal, or anything of an abominable unclean nature, and in that condition ate the flesh of the sacrifice, was similarly sentenced to death (v. 21). This was not a question of personal uncleanness, but simply of association with uncleanness. Thus today, in Christendom, there are innumerable cases of unclean doctrine and practice introduced, and the Christian is warned, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you “ (2 Corinthians 6:17).

WARNINGS AS TO EATING FAT AND BLOOD (vv. 22-29)

Since the flesh of the peace offering could be eaten, some might be inclined to rationalize that the fat and blood should not be withheld from them. Many today rationalize in such a way, for they do not distinguish things that differ. Therefore God insists as He had done often before, that the fat of any offerings was never to be eaten. For it speaks of the energy of the Lord's devotion to His Father, and therefore it was for God alone. Disobedience to this law was also punishable by death (v. 25).

The eating of the blood of animals or birds is also again absolutely forbidden (vv. 26-27). This prohibition was introduced at the time that animals were first allowed to be eaten as food (Genesis 9:3-5). Blood was never to be eaten, and this is as true today as it was then (Acts 15:28-29). As to eating fat, this was forbidden only in cases of animals being sacrificed (v. 25). But any eating of blood was punishable by death, under law (v. 27). Such a sentence is not to be carried out under grace, though eating blood is just as seriously wrong today as at any time. For “the blood is the life,” and we must in this matter recognize God's rights as the lifegiver.

THE SPECIAL PORTION OF AARON AND HIS SONS (vv. 28-36)

Though this continues the law of the peace offering, it is again stated, “The Lord spoke unto Moses,” as was true also in verse 22. This indicates some special emphasis in both cases. While the offerer was to eat part of the peace offering, this is not mentioned here, but rather what Aaron and his sons were to share. Aaron is typical of Christ, and his sons speak of God's saints as worshipers. When the offering was brought to the Lord, the breast was waved as a wave offering to the Lord and given to Aaron and his sons. The sacrifice of course speaks of Christ sacrificed on Calvary, but the wave breast reminds us of His exaltation in heaven, the breast indicating the warmth of His love flowing out now, which is wonderful food for true worshipers to feed upon. It is surely of Christ as glorified that we read, “He will rest in His love, He will exult over thee with singing”(Zephaniah 3:17 — JND).

The right thigh of the heave offering was also to be given to Aaron and his sons. The heave offering was simply to be lifted up, signifying the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, while the wave offering, being waved, symbolizes His ascension and heavenly exaltation. The right thigh speaks of strength, typically the power of Christ's resurrection, a fitting complement to the warmth of love implied in the wave breast.

From the time Aaron and his sons were anointed as priests, they were entitled to have those parts of the peace offering (v. 36).

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Leviticus 7:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/leviticus-7.html. 1897-1910.

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