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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Leviticus 7





The law of the trespass-offering, and of the peace-offerings: the fat and the blood are forbidden: the portion assigned to the priests.

Before Christ 1490.

Verse 3

Leviticus 7:3. The fat thereof; the rump and the fat Or, the suet thereof; the tail, and the suet.

Verse 4

Leviticus 7:4. The fat—the caul—above the liver Or, the suet—the great lobe of the liver.

Verse 8

Leviticus 7:8. The priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt-offering I subjoin here the learned note of Bishop Patrick: "All the flesh of the burnt-offerings being wholly consumed, as well as the fat, upon the altar, (ch. Leviticus 1:8-9.) there was nothing that could fall to the share of the priest, but the skin; which is here given him for his pains. I observed upon Genesis 3:21 that it is probable Adam himself offered the first sacrifice, and had the skin given him by GOD, to make the garments for him and his wife. In conformity to which, the priests ever after had the skin of the whole burnt-offerings, for their portion; which was a custom among the Gentiles, (as well as the Jews,) who gave the skins of their sacrifices to their priests, when they were not burnt with the sacrifices, as in some sin-offerings they were among the Jews; (see ch. Leviticus 4:11.) and they employed them to a superstitious use, by lying upon them in their temples, in hopes to have future things revealed to them in their dreams. Of this we have a proof in Virgil's 7th AEneid, ver. 127 of Dryden's translation:

The priest on skins of offerings takes his ease, And nightly visions in his slumbers sees; A swarm of thin aerial shapes appears, And, fluttering round his temples, deafs his ears: There he consults, the future fates to know From powers above, and from the fiends below.

And in the Eleusinia, the Daduchus put on the skin of the beasts which had been sacrificed to Jupiter; and which was called Διος κωδια, the fleece of Jupiter."

Verse 9

Leviticus 7:9. And all the meat-offering, &c.— See ch. Leviticus 2:6. The author of the Observations remarks, from some customs now prevailing among the Arabs, that the pouring oil on a meat-offering baken in a pan, and broken to pieces, was, according to the way of those times, when they would regale their friends in a more elegant manner; and, consequently, was to be done out of respect to the priests of the LORD, to whom they were appropriated. We refer the reader, curious on this topic, to the 131st page of the Observations.

Note; The hide of the burnt-offering, and the meat-offering which was dressed, were the priest's who offered them; but the undressed meat-offerings were divided among all the priests in waiting. Learn, 1. They who labour most in the service of God, deserve to be best paid. 2. They who serve at the same altar, should be careful to communicate one to another of their good things: a covetous priest is a monster in the sanctuary!

Verse 12

Leviticus 7:12. If he offer it for a thanksgiving The sacred writer now proceeds to speak of peace-offerings; which were of different sorts, and attended with different rites. They were either gratulatory, as here, or votive, or voluntary; see Leviticus 7:16. What we render for a thanksgiving, is, in the Hebrew, תודה על al todah, for confession or ascribing glory and praise to God for mercies received: Compare Hebrews 13:15. The ands in this verse, should be rendered by or; cakes mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers—or cakes, &c.

Verse 13

Leviticus 7:13. He shall offer—leavened bread In ch. Leviticus 2:11 all leaven in bread-offerings, is forbidden. Their opinion, therefore, seems most plausible, who think that this fine leavened bread was not for the altar, but to be eaten by the priests together with the offerer and his friends, who feasted on the sacrifice. This might be rendered, besides these cakes, he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace-offerings, leavened cakes; and of them (Leviticus 7:14.) he shall offer one, &c.

Verse 15

Leviticus 7:15. The flesh—shall be eaten the same day The offerer and his friends were to feast upon the sacrifice together: and to encourage hospitality, and to secure a portion for the poor, the whole sacrifice was to be consumed the same day that it was offered.

Verse 16

Leviticus 7:16. If the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering We find in chap. Leviticus 22:23 the votive and voluntary offerings plainly distinguished; but it is not easy for us to assign the reasons of the different rites enjoined for these and the gratulatory offerings.

Verse 21

Leviticus 7:21. That soul shall be cut off from his people Excluded from all the privileges of an Israelite; see Genesis 17:14. The intention of all these precepts, Bishop Patrick observes, was to preserve greater reverence and regard to sacred things.

Verse 34

Leviticus 7:34. For the wave-breast, &c.— See 1 Corinthians 9:13-14. The equity of this law remains for ever: they who minister at the altar certainly ought to live by the altar. And they who honour God will have a regard about the becoming maintenance of his ministers, and share their morsel with them. We may also observe here, that the Lord's supper is a feast upon a sacrifice, or rather in commemoration of a sacrifice where blood has been shed; and a feast of mercies provided for ministers and people. Let us then together often keep the feast.

Verse 35

Leviticus 7:35. This is the portion of the anointing There is nothing for portion in the original: the Hebrew is, this is the anointing of Aaron, and the anointing of his sons; by which is meant, "this is the privilege or portion of their unction or appointment to the priest's office." Ainsworth has given us many examples of similar metonymies in the Hebrew. Thus divination is used for the rewards of divination, Numbers 22:7. Iniquity is often put for the punishment or desert of iniquity, Leviticus 7:18 of this chapter. Job 11:6. See also Romans 2:26 where circumcision is put for persons circumcised. Houbigant thinks that, as the word rendered anointed, applied both to kings and to the MESSIAH, denotes dignity and pre-eminence; so it may here, properly, be rendered prerogative. In Numbers 18:8 the LXX render it by γερας, honour, or excellence. Agreeably to this criticism, the passage might be rendered, this is the prerogative of Aaron, and the prerogative of his sons. In the day, &c. may signify from the day: from the day they draw near to the Lord, to minister in the priest's office, says Houbigant.

Verse 38

Leviticus 7:38. In mount Sinai Some would read here, by or near mount Sinai, because these laws were delivered from the tabernacle, (ch. Leviticus 1:1.) while the people were yet in the wilderness of Sinai: but it is very probable that they were also delivered to Moses while in the mount, together with other ordinances; and now repeated.

Note; God's worship and service are still our indispensable duty, and God's ministers have a right to a worthy portion; which, though they may be defrauded of by the impiety of men, they shall not fail to find in God, who will remember them for good.


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Bibliography Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Leviticus 7:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.

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