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Tuesday, December 5th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 3

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-5


Verses 1-5:

"Oblation," qorban, "that which is brought near" (see Le 2:4).

"Sacrifice," zebach, a slaughtered animal

"Peace offering," shelem, a variation of shalom, the word commonly denoting "peace."

The Israelites who offered a "peace offering" must fulfill the following five conditions:

I. He must bring either: (1) a young bull or cow; (2) a sheep, male or female; or (3) a goat, male or female.

2. He must offer the sacrifice in the tabernacle courtyard.

3. He must place his hand upon the head of the sacrifice, as a token of his personal identification with and reliance upon it.

4. He must slay the sacrifice at the door of the tabernacle.

5. He must provide three different kinds of bread similar to that used in the "meat offering," and leavened bread (see Le 7:11-13).

The priest who officiated at the sacrifice must do six things:

1. Catch the blood in a basin, then place some of the blood on the sides of the altar, as in the burnt sacrifice (Le 1:5).

2. Place upon the smoldering embers of the burnt offering: (1) all the internal fat of the animal; (2) the kidneys; and (3) in the case of sheep, the fat tail, to be consumed by fire.

3. Offer one of each of the various cakes of bread, as a heave offering.

4. Wave the animal’s breast forward and backward, and the leg or haunch upward and downward, symbolizing consecration.

5. Take for himself and his Levite brethren, the bread and haunch which had been offered as a wave or heave offering.

6. Return the remainder of the sacrifice to the offerer, to provide a feast for him and his family. This feast was to be eaten the same day, or the following day, in the tabernacle courtyard.

The Peace Offering is symbolic of the peace and joy of the child of God who is in close communion with Him. It is significant that the regulations for the Peace Offering follow those of the Whole Burnt Offering (symbolizing the sacrifice of Christ), and the Meat Offering (symbolizing partaking of the Bread which comes down from Heaven). There can be no real peace and joy without salvation through Christ, and partaking of Him.

The peace which this offering symbolizes is the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, Php 4:6,7, which He sheds abroad in the heart of one who: (1) maintains a constant attitude of reverence and prayer; (2) who makes known to God his specific supplication for every need of life; and (3) who maintains an "attitude of gratitude."

Verse 6

Verse 6:

The provisions for the Peace Offering consisting of a bull or cow are outlined in verses 1-5 (See comments above).

Verses 7-11

Verses 7-11:

The requirements for the offering of a lamb as a Peace Offering are the same as those for the bull or cow, and the goat - with one additional stipulation: the "whole rump" (literally, the "fat tail") of the sheep was to be included in the burnt portion of the sacrifice.

The portion offered upon the altar and consumed by fire, symbolizes that part which God "ate" or consumed. The entire offering symbolizes the festive joy and peace of communion with God.

Verses 12-17

Verses 12-17:

Israel was forbidden to eat either blood or fat. The prohibition against eating of blood was long-standing, having been given to Noah following the flood, Ge 9:4. One reason for this prohibition: the life is in the blood, and God forbids the taking of innocent life.

This is the first record in Scripture prohibiting the eating of fat. This likely refers to the internal fat. One reason for this requirement is that this belongs to God, and none may take that which is His.

Another reason for the prohibition of the eating of fat could be for health purposes. Medical science has determined that a diet including animal fat can result in high cholesterol levels in the blood, and this in turn can produce various serious (and often fatal) illnesses.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Leviticus 3". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/leviticus-3.html. 1985.
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