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David Guzik :: Study Guide for Leviticus 3

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The Peace Offering

A. The procedure for the Peace Offering.

1. (Lev 3:1-5) Offering a bull or a cow as a peace offering.

When his offering is a sacrifice of a peace offering, if he offers it of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of meeting; and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall sprinkle the blood all around on the altar. Then he shall offer from the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire to the LORD. The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; and Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is on the wood that is on the fire, as an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD.

a. When his offering is a sacrifice of a peace offering: In contrast to the burnt offering, a peace offering sacrifice could be either a male or female animal. However, the animal still had to be without blemish.

b. Sprinkle the blood all around on the altar … The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails: In the peace offering, the blood of the animal was offered to God along with the fat (which was considered to be the prime portion).

i. There was no mention made of what to do with meat portions of the animal. This was because the meat portion was to be shared, with a part given to the priests and part given to the one who brought the offering who ate it as part of a fellowship meal with God.

ii. This was not an offering to make peace with God (this was the purpose of the sin offering of chapter four), but an offering to enjoy peace with God. The whole reason Jesus made peace between the Father and the believer is so that the peace could be enjoyed.

iii. The greatest peace offering ever made happened when Solomon dedicated the temple, offering 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep (1 Kings 8:63). That must have been history's greatest barbecue. Hezekiah gave a festival where 2,000 bulls and 17,000 sheep were given for peace offerings (2 Chronicles 30:24).

2. (Lev 3:6-11) Offering a sheep as a peace offering.

If his offering as a sacrifice of a peace offering to the LORD is of the flock, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. If he offers a lamb as his offering, then he shall offer it before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of meeting; and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar. Then he shall offer from the sacrifice of the peace offering, as an offering made by fire to the LORD, its fat and the whole fat tail which he shall remove close to the backbone. And the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; and the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire to the LORD.

a. If he offers a lamb as his offering: The procedure was generally the same as the offering of a bull or cow. The blood and the fat were given to the LORD, while the meat portions were for the one who brought the offering and for the priest.

b. Its fat and the whole fat tail which he shall remove close to the backbone: This offering of the whole fat tail was significant. That portion of the animal was considered a delicacy and could weigh as much as 60 pounds (27 kilograms).

3. (Lev 3:12-16) Offering a goat as a peace offering.

And if his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD. He shall lay his hand on its head and kill it before the tabernacle of meeting; and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar. Then he shall offer from it his offering, as an offering made by fire to the LORD. The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; and the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma; all the fat is the Lord's.

4. (Lev 3:17) Conclusion: The fat and the blood belong to God.

This shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall eat neither fat nor blood.

a. You shall eat neither fat nor blood: There was a spiritual significance to this command relevant to the peace offering. We enjoy peace with God by giving Him the best (represented by the fat) and by giving Him our lives (represented by the blood).

i. Even as it was impossible to remove all the blood from an animal, so was it impossible to remove all the fat from meat - this speaks of removing as much as one can practically.

b. You shall eat neither fat nor blood: There was a practical significance to this command. The prohibition of eating fat was good for Israel from the standpoint of blood-cholesterol and heart disease. It was especially good because tapeworms were often found in the fatty tissues and by obeying this command, the ancient Israelites avoided these dangerous parasites.

© 2004 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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