corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 7

 

 

Introduction

e-Sword Edition Note: This material was originally presented at the end of Leviticus Chapter 7. To make these summary-style comments more visible within the e-Sword edition, these comments have also been included here:

Final Summary.

We will now very briefly draw together the strands of what we have learned. The offerings and sacrifices divide up into five.

1) The Whole Burnt Offering (‘olah - that which goes up). This offering was presented basically in worship and dedication, and for the purposes of atonement. It was the foremost of the offerings. Apart from the skin or hide which was given to the priest it was totally offered up to Yahweh as an offering made by fire and presented a pleasing odour to God. It was offered up morning and evening in the daily offerings and in all the great festivals, including the Day of Atonement. It was symbolic of Christ offering Himself up as pleasing to God, shedding His blood for us and making atonement for us, drawing us into Himself that we might be fully dedicated to God and find atonement through His blood. It basically represented being accounted righteous through faith, and full acceptance in Him.

2) The Grain Offering (minchah). This offering was in praise and gratitude for the provision of the basics of life, grain and olive oil, and an offering of daily labour as a love offering to God. Worship was expressed by adding frankincense, a foreign product which meant that the offering was on behalf, not only of Israel, but of the whole world. A memorial handful was offered by fire along with the frankincense, the remainder was partaken of by the priests, except when it was a priest’s offering. It was regularly offered along with the whole burnt offering (in which case the frankincense was omitted). It was an offering made by fire and presented a pleasing odour to God. It was symbolic of Christ as the corn of wheat who fell into the ground and died and Who would thus produce much fruit, and of Jesus as the bread of life Who would feed and satisfy those who constantly come to Him in trust and obedience.

3) The Peace Sacrifice (zebach shelamim and various). This offering was one offered from a sense of wellbeing and with a desire to be at peace with God and man. In one form the blood and the fat, with the vital parts, were offered to God as an offering, and the flesh was eaten by the worshippers, with breast and thigh going to the priest. It was an offering made by fire and presented a pleasing odour to God. It symbolised Jesus the Prince of Peace Who came to make peace between men and God through the blood of His cross, and Whose flesh and blood we can partake of through faith in His sacrifice for us, so that we might have eternal life and enjoy fullness of life and peace with both God and men in loving fellowship.

4) The Purification For Sin Offering (chatta’ah ). This was specifically an offering for sin when it became known, but was also offered at the great festivals, in recognition of the sin of Israel, and especially at the Day of Atonement. Its aim was purification for sin, cleansing in the sight of a holy God, as well as atonement. At its lesser levels it could be partaken of by the priest. It was an offering by fire and presented a pleasing odour to God, but only in a secondary way. Its main purpose was purification from sin. The blood from it was daubed on the horns of the altar(s) to purify the altar, and thrown at the base of the altar to sanctify it and make atonement for it, and for the people, for the altar represented the offerings of the people. It symbolised Christ as offering Himself once-for-all as a purification for sin offering on our behalf so that we might be made pure before God. Its concern was being clean in the sight of God, pure as He is pure (1 John 3:1-2).

5) The Guilt Offering (’asam). This was a kind of sin offering, but was for more specific sins where confession or restitution needed to be made. It was mainly personal, and is a reminder that we need to deal with individual sins, confess them to others where it will do good, and make restitution for any loss we have caused. Like the purification for sin offering it symbolised Christ as dying for us so that we might be forthright in dealing with specific sins.


Verses 1-7

The Law of The Guilt Offering. (Leviticus 7:1-7).

The overwhelming sense of the holiness of the purification for sin offering now carries over into the consideration of the Guilt Offering. Its holiness is immediately emphasised. And we are also now informed that the priests can partake of the meat of the guilt offering as long as it is in a holy place, as they can presumably of the purification of sin offering, for there is one law for them both.

Leviticus 7:1-2

‘And this is the law of the guilt offering. It is most holy. In the place where they kill the whole burnt offering shall they kill the guilt offering; and its blood shall he sprinkle on the altar round about.’

Like the purification for sin offering, the guilt offering too is killed in the place where the whole burnt offering is killed. This would seem to emphasise the priority of the whole burnt offering. That is at the head of all offerings. But the purification for sin and guilt offerings are so holy that they are carried out in the same place as the whole burnt offering.

And the blood of the guilt offering is sprinkled on the altar round about as with the whole burnt offering. This identical application of the blood confirms that the whole burnt offering is also to be seen as an atonement offering as well. But it is different from that for the purification for sin offering where purification for sin on a larger scale has primary importance.

Leviticus 7:3-4

‘And he shall offer of it all its fat; the fat tail, and the fat that covers the innards, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the covering on the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away, and the priest shall burn them on the altar for an offering made by fire to Yahweh. It is a guilt offering.’

No animal has been identified as yet but this would seem to point to a sheep because of the fat tail (Leviticus 3:9). But he is clearly only summarising and therefore it probably signifies that it could alternatively be a (Leviticus 5:6). The point again being emphasised is that the fat and all the innards are to be offered to Yahweh on the altar, as an offering by fire to Yahweh. Thus the blood and the fat are offered in the usual way. It is then emphasised that it is a guilt offering.

Leviticus 7:6

‘Every male among the priests shall eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place. It is most holy.’

But the remainder of the guilt offering may be eaten by the priests in a holy place, but only by them for it is most holy.

Leviticus 7:7

‘As is the purification for sin offering, so is the guilt offering; there is one law for them: the priest who makes atonement by it, he shall have it.’

Indeed it is like the purification for sin offering, as with the one, so with the other. There is one law for both of them. And they are both most holy. So the main new stress here is on the similarity between the purification for sin offering and the guilt offering, and the holiness of them both, and that the meat and skins from both go to the priests (with some exceptions).


Verses 8-10

Brief Comments About The Whole Burnt Offering and the Grain Offering (Leviticus 7:8-10).

Spurred on by reference to the guilt offering meat as being the priest’s portion, this summary concludes by describing what belongs to the priests of the other offerings.

Leviticus 7:8

‘And the priest who offers any man's whole burnt offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the whole burnt offering which he has offered.’

In the case of the whole burnt offering the priest who offers the offering receives the animal’s skin or hide. These skins were very valuable and were later a source of great revenue for the priests.

It would seem that the priests received the skins of most whole burnt offerings, purification for sin offering, and guilt offerings, but not the skin of peace sacrifices which went to the offerer.

Leviticus 7:9-10

‘And every grain offering that is baked in the oven, and all that is dressed in the frying-pan, and on the baking-pan, shall be the priest's who offers it. And every grain offering, mingled with oil, or dry, shall all the sons of Aaron have, one as well as another.’

All that remains of the grain offerings after the burning of the memorial part were also intended for the priests. The cooked ones went to the priest who offered them, the uncooked ones to all the priests. The latter could be kept longer.

All these provisions meant that the priests did not have to concern themselves about obtaining a living. Their living was provided for them, and their families would be provided for from the tithe of the firstfruits. As Paul said, ‘those who wait on the altar have their portion with the altar’ (1 Corinthians 9:13). They could thus devote themselves entirely to their duties.

And as Paul was pointing out, these provisions are a reminder to us that we too should make sure that those whom we acknowledge to have been called by God to full time ministry are provide for materially by those who benefit from their ministry. This includes missionaries, for they serve there on our behalf.


Verses 11-21

The Law of the Sacrifice of the Peace Offerings (Leviticus 7:11-21).

Finally the peace or wellbeing sacrifices are dealt with. These are of three types, the thanksgiving offering, which was a way of expressing thanks to God for particular blessings received, the votive offering or offering in respect of completing a vow, and the freewill offering, which was simply offered with the purpose of paying tribute to God and acknowledging Him as Lord, an offering made simply out of love for God.

Leviticus 7:11

‘And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which one shall offer to Yahweh.’

The purpose of what follows is to explain further concerning the peace or wellbeing offerings. The first type is the thanksgiving offering. This was a common offering as any animal that was put to death had to be offered in one way or another, and where there was no special reason for making an offering, thanksgiving might be an obvious choice. It would partly depend on how long he wanted his feast to last.

Leviticus 7:12-13

‘If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of milled grain soaked. With cakes of leavened bread he shall offer his oblation with the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving.’

If his offering is a thanksgiving sacrifice he is to offer with it unleavened cakes mingled with oil, wafers anointed with oil and milled grain cakes soaked in oil, and with these he is to offer cakes of leavened bread. A full feast is being provided for those who will partake. As suggested earlier, leaven can be offered because this is a thanksgiving offering.

But there is no mention of the offer of a memorial portion (Leviticus 2:2), what is offered to the priest is said to be for his consumption. The provisions for grain offerings earlier may suggest that here the leavened bread is not to be offered as a sacrifice made by fire (Leviticus 2:11). Note the wording which keeps the leavened bread separate from the other grain offerings. Does ‘with cakes of leavened bread he shall offer his oblation’ indicate that they are brought along to be added once the oblation has been offered? Or is the memorial portion of the oblation not offered at all? The quantity of different types of grain offerings might make that difficult. It would require a handful of each. The probability therefore is that the leaven is not offered by fire.

Leviticus 7:14

‘And of it he shall offer one out of each oblation for a contribution to Yahweh. It shall be the priest's who sprinkles the blood of the peace-offerings.’

And of these cakes that are brought the priest is to have his portion. He is to have one of each type of oblation (the grain ‘contributions’ or ‘heave offerings’). It may be that he waves these before Yahweh to indicate that they have been offered to Him and then he retains them for his own use. It would seem therefore probable that these oblations are not offered on the altar. (This is not a whole offering to Yahweh). The remainder are available for those invited to the feast or asked to share the meat. Of the meat of the sacrifice he receives the special portions reserved for the priest, the breast and the right thigh (Leviticus 7:32-34; Exodus 29:26-28). The remainder is available for the feast, which may be held where the offerer desires, or for giving to those present at the sacrifice for them to take home.

Leviticus 7:15

‘And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace-offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his oblation; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.’

The whole feast must be finished off before morning. Nothing must be left. It is a thanksgiving offering and therefore the offerer should be generous in his invitations. The whole picture is an incitement to generosity and hospitality. Those who have much should share it with others in order to show their genuine gratitude to God.

Leviticus 7:16

‘But if the sacrifice of his oblation be a vow, or a freewill-offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice; and on the morrow that which remains of it shall be eaten, but what remains of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire.’

On the other hand in the case of the votive or freewill offering the meat may be allowed to last two days. But no flesh from the peace sacrifice shall be left for a third day. What is left until then must immediately be burned. This provision has in mind that the cooked meat in a hot country would tend to become uneatable by the third day, and even dangerous to eat. The purpose was to save those who ate the meat from partaking of bad meat.

Leviticus 7:18

‘And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace-offerings be eaten on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed to him who offers it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul who eats of it shall bear his iniquity.’

Indeed if the eating of the meat continues into the third day it will both annul the sacrifice and bring judgment on the offerer. His offering will not be accepted, nor will the benefits that should have accrued from it in atonement and acceptance of worship offered be forthcoming. There will be no peace or wellbeing, only judgment. All who partake of it then must take what is coming. The point here is not to spoil the party but to ensure that no one ever does keep the cooked meat until the third day. The judgment on them may well simply be the consequences of their action resulting in stomach problems, severe food poisoning or even death.

“It shall be an abomination (piggul).” This is a technical term used to describe the condition of sacrificial meat which has not been eaten in the proper time (Leviticus 19:7; Isaiah 65:4; Ezekiel 4:14). The root probably signifies impurity.

Further Pointers.

Leviticus 7:19

‘And the flesh which touches any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire. And as for the flesh, every one that is clean shall eat of it.’

All who are clean may eat of the sacrificial flesh, thus anyone in an unclean state is excluded. However, in minor cases of uncleanness, cleansing from uncleanness was finalised by the evening (‘shall be unclean until the evening’) so that such people merely have to wait until the evening, around nightfall.

But any of the flesh which touches anything unclean is to be burned with fire. This is first because what is unclean is not fit to come in contact with what has been made holy, even the lowest level of holiness, so that the holiness is marred by the uncleanness. Man are being made to face up to what God is. So these laws are intended to make people continually aware of, and to think about, the holiness of God. But it also has in mind that such contact might have made the flesh hygienically dangerous. This contact with what was unclean might occur while carrying the meat to their houses. Whatever flesh touches anything unclean must be burned.

The concept of cleanness and uncleanness is a complicated one, and connected with the idea of holiness. Just as there were grades of holiness, so there were grades of cleanness and uncleanness. We will come across it in more detail later. Much of it had to do with death in one way or another, or that which was seen as grossly unpleasant. They had to see that such things were in total contrast to the living God, and must be kept apart from what was separated to Him. God was clean. But within the idea undoubtedly lay questions of hygiene. God protected people through his religious laws. No people washed more than Israelites, even though the washing was not strictly for hygienic reasons. But we need not doubt that God had that in mind.

Leviticus 7:20

‘But the soul who eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace-offerings, which pertain to Yahweh, having his uncleanness on him, that soul shall be cut off from his people.’

Furthermore any who deliberately come to partake while in an unclean state are to be ‘cut off from among the people’. This is a warning to take uncleanness seriously. The person who is unclean must not partake until their uncleanness has been ‘cleansed’. For many that will be when evening comes. But for those whose uncleanness is to last more than a day, it is clearly of a more serious nature. They may be a danger to others as well as to themselves. They therefore must not participate of the holy flesh. ‘Cut off’ probably indicates the death sentence (Leviticus 19:8). It is a serious offence. But it may indicate expulsion from the camp, or even a period of exclusion, to be then remedied by a guilt offering.

Such uncleanness can arise in various ways. Making love with one’s wife while she was menstruating, having certain skin diseases, having a discharge from the sexual organ, menstruating, coming in contact with dead matter, and so on.

Leviticus 7:21

‘And when any one shall touch any unclean thing, the uncleanness of man, or an unclean beast, or any unclean abomination, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace-offerings, which pertain to Yahweh, that soul shall be cut off from his people.’

Indeed no one who has touched anything unclean, whether man’s uncleanness, or an unclean beast, or an unclean small creature may partake of the peace sacrifice. Such people are defiled and not fitted to eat what has come from the tabernacle. They may also bring and spread disease. The ‘abomination’ may refer to some well known vermin. Once again God’s holiness is brought to man’s attention, but once again also possible sources of disease are avoided.

All these laws of uncleanness taught people to keep to that which was wholesome and good, and to avoid things that might cause harm to the people as a whole. Much disease might have been avoided had they been followed. Especially in the wilderness avoiding these things could only be a good thing, and this was one of the purposes of the laws.


Verses 22-27

Further Instructions Concerning The Fat And The Blood Of Offerings and Sacrifices (Leviticus 7:22-27).

Further emphasis is now placed on the fat and the blood of animals. As we have already seen the fat of sacrificial animals has to be offered on the altar to God, and the blood must be applied accordingly. But now we are reminded again that no fat or blood may be eaten, although certain fat may be used for other purposes. Had modern man observed these suggestions much heart disease and flabbiness might have been avoided.

Leviticus 7:22

‘And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,’

Once again we are reminded that this is divine revelation given through Moses..

Leviticus 7:23-25

‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying, You shall eat no fat, of ox, or sheep, or goat. And the fat of that which dies of itself, and the fat of that which is torn of beasts, may be used for any other service; but you shall in no wise eat of it. For whoever eats the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh, even the person who eats it shall be cut off from his people.’

No fat of any animal which could be offered as an offering or sacrifice is to be eaten. Where the animal dies naturally, or is torn by wild animals, the fat may be used for other purposes, but it may not be eaten. And to eat the fat of such animals incurs the death sentence, or at the best expulsion from the camp of Israel. This would certainly suggest that most of the fat is in mind, not just that round the vital parts.

Leviticus 7:26

‘And you shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of bird or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whoever it be who eats any blood, that soul shall be cut off from his people.’

And the same applies to the blood of the animals. Indeed the blood of no animals or birds at all may be eaten. Again the penalty is death or permanent expulsion.

Religiously speaking the idea here was to prevent the partaking of the essential life of creatures. It counteracted the beliefs of certain of those with whom Israel came in contact who sought to do exactly that. It emphasised the uniqueness of man in God’s eyes. When man sought power and life he should look to God for it, not seek to drain it from lower creatures. But hygienically speaking it also unquestionably saved Israel from many of the diseases that inflicted mankind. We do well to regard the hygienic advice especially when we go to countries where hygienic standards are not observed. It may be that to us nothing is ‘unclean’. But it can certainly be dangerous.


Verses 28-36

What Pertains To The Priests From The Peace Offerings and Sacrifices (Leviticus 7:28-36).

Leviticus 7:28

‘And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,’

Once again it is said to be a matter of divine revelation through Moses.

Leviticus 7:29-31

‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying, He who offers the sacrifice of his peace-offerings to Yahweh shall bring his oblation to Yahweh out of the sacrifice of his peace-offerings: his own hands shall bring the offerings of Yahweh made by fire; the fat with the breast shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a contribution before Yahweh. And the priest shall burn the fat on the altar; but the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons'.’

When a man brings the sacrifice of his peace offerings he must bring them himself in person. There is no question of sending a representative. And he must bring to the priest the fat and the breast, the fat so that it can be burned on the altar by the priest, it is an offering by fire, and the breast so that it can be ‘waved’ before Yahweh, after which it will belong to the priests. It is his ‘contribution’. ‘Waving’ was a way by which the offering could be made to Yahweh by presenting it with certain movements towards the altar, possibly by moving it from side to side. It was then as it were handed back by God to the priest for his consumption.

Leviticus 7:32-33

‘And the right thigh shall you give to the priest for a set-aside offering out of the sacrifices of your peace-offerings. He among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood of the peace-offerings, and the fat, shall have the right thigh for a portion.’

As well as the breast the priest is to receive the right thigh. This is to be a ‘set-aside offering’, a special contribution or levy to the priests. This again is to be offered to Yahweh, (some suggest by waving up and down - hence the translation ‘heave-offering), followed by it becoming the priest’s. The thigh was one of the choice portions for important guests (see 1 Samuel 9:24). Thus the right thigh was set aside for the priest. The officiating priest receives the breast and the thigh as his portions. The detail with which this is spelled out demonstrates how important this was seen to be. God’s representative was to be well provided for.

Discoveries at Lachish from not long after the time of Moses have revealed many right foreleg bones of animals. This would suggest that they had been set aside there for some special purpose, which would tie in with what is to happen here. It would seem that whoever dwelt there also carried out a similar practise to this so that they were all gathered in one place.

Leviticus 7:34

‘For the wave-breast and the set-aside thigh have I taken of the children of Israel out of the sacrifices of their peace-offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons as their portion for ever from the children of Israel.’

It is now stressed by repetition that the wave breast and the set-aside thigh of the peace sacrifices are to be Israel’s perpetual contribution to those who acted as their mediators and representatives before God, to Aaron and his sons into the distant future.

This continual repetition is a further emphatic reminder to us that we are responsible for the physical wellbeing of those whom we look to for sustenance in the things of God, and for those whom we send out in our name to take His word to others. Every time that we partake of meat we should consider the fact that we should lay aside an equivalent money portion to represent the breast and the thigh for those who thus serve God. They should benefit in proportion to the good things that we receive.

Leviticus 7:35-36

‘This is the measured portion of Aaron, and the measured portion of his sons, out of the offerings of Yahweh made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister to Yahweh in the priest's office; which Yahweh commanded to be given them by the children of Israel, in the day that he anointed them. It is their portion for ever throughout their generations.’

These portions are now described as the ‘measured portion’ for those who have been anointed as God’s appointees. They were portions out of the offerings made by fire, and therefore belonged to Yahweh. And on the very day that he first anointed Aaron and his sons as priests over Israel he allocated to them these portions ‘throughout their generations’. They were therefore sacrosanct.

By this we learn that God has a special concern for those whom He calls to serve Him, and guarantees their full physical provision from the people of God. A poor minister in a wealthy church is a contradiction against God’s will, and a sign of His people’s disobedience. Rather should His people recognise that how they provide for their leaders in God is an indication of their genuine dedication to God’s will. On the other hand the leaders in their turn should be utilising any such benefits in the service of God, not for their own aggrandisement. A minister who misuses what is given to him for his own ends is a disgrace in the eyes of God. The purpose is for him to be properly fed, not so that he can live luxuriantly.


Verse 37-38

The Colophon (Leviticus 7:37-38).

These final verses read like a colophon, the ‘title’ regularly put at the end of a clay tablet to identify it and date it. The traces of a number of such colophons, and of the catch phrases which open a tablet, can be found in Genesis, for example where it is regularly said, ‘this is the family history of ---’ (Genesis 2:4; Genesis 5:1; Genesis 6:9; Genesis 10:1; Genesis 11:10; Genesis 11:27; Genesis 25:12; Genesis 25:19; Genesis 36:1; Genesis 36:9; Genesis 37:2). See also Numbers 3:1.

Leviticus 7:37-38

‘This is the law of the whole burnt offering, of the grain offering, and of the sin-offering, and of the guilt offering, and of the consecration, and of the sacrifice of peace-offerings, which Yahweh commanded Moses in mount Sinai, in the day that he commanded the children of Israel to offer their oblations to Yahweh, in the wilderness of Sinai.’

Note how the title (in footnote) of the record is first stated, ‘the law of the whole burnt offering --- which Yahweh commanded Moses in/by Mount Sinai’. Then the date ‘in the day that He commanded --- their oblations to Yahweh’. Then the place, ‘in the wilderness of Sinai.’ In those days dating was always in terms of significant events (compare Amos 1:1 ‘two years before the earthquake’). Whether this colophon covers from Leviticus 1:1 onwards, or whether it refers to the material from Leviticus 6:8 we do not, of course, know. Such colophons were incorporated into the text and the divisions became blurred. They do, however, indicate clearly that some of the material at least was early in written form.

The title as it is here indicates that the record deals with the sacrifices and offerings outlined in the previous seven chapters, which were initially commanded by Yahweh to Moses in Mount Sinai. However the date refers to when the actual command came for them to offer their oblations to Yahweh, which may have been some time later. This date may be when they were recorded in writing on this tablet or papyrus. It may explain why in Leviticus 1:1 it is said to be spoken from the tent of meeting. It was a repetition, possibly in more detailed and expanded form, of what Moses had been told earlier.

We have here therefore clear evidence of Mosaic authorship of at least part of this material provided in a way that later centuries would not conceivably have introduced. They might have introduced such ideas, but not in the form of a colophon. And the unity of the material and the ancient words and ideas tend to confirm that it is to Moses that we should look for it all. The text is extremely well preserved.

But we should not in the detail ignore the import of the words. Here were God’s directions to His people, first given at Mount Sinai, and then from the tent of meeting, concerning how they should approach Him, and what steps they could take in order to worship Him properly, be acceptable before Him and find forgiveness of sins. They were of vital importance.

Final Summary.

We will now very briefly draw together the strands of what we have learned. The offerings and sacrifices divide up into five.

1) The Whole Burnt Offering (‘olah - that which goes up). This offering was presented basically in worship and dedication, and for the purposes of atonement. It was the foremost of the offerings. Apart from the skin or hide which was given to the priest it was totally offered up to Yahweh as an offering made by fire and presented a pleasing odour to God. It was offered up morning and evening in the daily offerings and in all the great festivals, including the Day of Atonement. It was symbolic of Christ offering Himself up as pleasing to God, shedding His blood for us and making atonement for us, drawing us into Himself that we might be fully dedicated to God and find atonement through His blood. It basically represented being accounted righteous through faith, and full acceptance in Him.

2) The Grain Offering (minchah). This offering was in praise and gratitude for the provision of the basics of life, grain and olive oil, and an offering of daily labour as a love offering to God. Worship was expressed by adding frankincense, a foreign product which meant that the offering was on behalf, not only of Israel, but of the whole world. A memorial handful was offered by fire along with the frankincense, the remainder was partaken of by the priests, except when it was a priest’s offering. It was regularly offered along with the whole burnt offering (in which case the frankincense was omitted). It was an offering made by fire and presented a pleasing odour to God. It was symbolic of Christ as the corn of wheat who fell into the ground and died and Who would thus produce much fruit, and of Jesus as the bread of life Who would feed and satisfy those who constantly come to Him in trust and obedience.

3) The Peace Sacrifice (zebach shelamim and various). This offering was one offered from a sense of wellbeing and with a desire to be at peace with God and man. In one form the blood and the fat, with the vital parts, were offered to God as an offering, and the flesh was eaten by the worshippers, with breast and thigh going to the priest. It was an offering made by fire and presented a pleasing odour to God. It symbolised Jesus the Prince of Peace Who came to make peace between men and God through the blood of His cross, and Whose flesh and blood we can partake of through faith in His sacrifice for us, so that we might have eternal life and enjoy fullness of life and peace with both God and men in loving fellowship.

4) The Purification For Sin Offering (chatta’ah ). This was specifically an offering for sin when it became known, but was also offered at the great festivals, in recognition of the sin of Israel, and especially at the Day of Atonement. Its aim was purification for sin, cleansing in the sight of a holy God, as well as atonement. At its lesser levels it could be partaken of by the priest. It was an offering by fire and presented a pleasing odour to God, but only in a secondary way. Its main purpose was purification from sin. The blood from it was daubed on the horns of the altar(s) to purify the altar, and thrown at the base of the altar to sanctify it and make atonement for it, and for the people, for the altar represented the offerings of the people. It symbolised Christ as offering Himself once-for-all as a purification for sin offering on our behalf so that we might be made pure before God. Its concern was being clean in the sight of God, pure as He is pure (1 John 3:1-2).

5) The Guilt Offering (’asam). This was a kind of sin offering, but was for more specific sins where confession or restitution needed to be made. It was mainly personal, and is a reminder that we need to deal with individual sins, confess them to others where it will do good, and make restitution for any loss we have caused. Like the purification for sin offering it symbolised Christ as dying for us so that we might be forthright in dealing with specific sins.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Leviticus 7:4". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/leviticus-7.html. 2013.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology