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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 3

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD.

If his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, [ zebach (H2077) shªlaamiym (H8002)] - a sacrifice of peace or thanks. The original word "peace" expresses either a state of happiness and prosperity, or of mutual agreement and amity among two or more parties. The offerings spoken of in this chapter are supposed by different writers to have reference to the one or the other of these two significations of the word. "Peace" being used in Scripture to denote prosperity and happiness generally, a peace offering was a voluntary tribute of gratitude for health or other benefits. In this view it was eucharistic, being a token of thanksgiving for benefits already received; or it was sometimes votive, presented in prayer for benefits wished for in future. Whether as thank offerings for the past, or as votive offerings for the future, they were federal sacrifices pointing to the covenant, and their origin dated from the commencement of the Mosaic dispensation. Of the herd. This kind of offering being of a festive character, either male or female, if without blemish, might be used, as both of them were equally good for food; and if the circumstances of the offerer allowed it, it might be a calf.

Verse 2

And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.

He shall lay his hand upon the head. Having performed this significant act, he killed it before the door of the tabernacle, and the priests sprinkled the blood round about upon the altar.

Verse 3

And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,

He shall offer of the sacrifice. The peace offering differed from the oblations formerly mentioned in this respect, that while the burnt offering was wholly consumed on the altar, and the freewill offering was partly consumed and partly assigned to the priests, in this offering the fat alone was burnt, only a small part was allotted to the priests, while the rest was granted to the offerer and his friends-thus forming a sacred feast of which the Lord and His priests and people conjointly partook, and which was symbolical of the spiritual feast, the sacred communion, which through Christ, the great peace offering, believers enjoy (see further the notes at Leviticus 19:1-37 and Leviticus 22:1-33.)

The fat that covereth the inwards - i:e., the webwork that presents itself first to the eye on opening the belly of a cow.

The fat ... upon the inward - adhering to the intestines, but easily removable from them; or, according to some, that which was next the ventricle.

Verses 4-11

And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. The two kidneys ... of the flock ... the whole rump, ['alyaah] - the tail of the Syrian sheep, ovis laticaudia (Linnoeus) (Leviticus 7:3; Leviticus 8:25; Leviticus 9:19; Exodus 29:22). There is in Eastern countries a species of sheep the tails of which are not less than four feet and a half in length. These tails are of a substance between fat and marrow. A sheep of this kind weighs 60 or 70 English pounds weight, of which the tail usually weighs 15 pounds or more. This species is by far the most numerous in Arabia, Syria, and Palestine, and, forming probably a large portion in the flocks of the Israelites, seems to have been the kind that usually bled on the Jewish altars. The extraordinary size and deliciousness of their tails gave additional importance to this law. To command, by an express law, the tail of a British sheep to be offered in sacrifice to God might well surprise us; but the wonder ceases when we are told of those broad-tailed Eastern sheep, and of the extreme delicacy of that part which was so particularly specified in the statute (cf. Rawlinson's Herodotus, b. 3:, ch. 110:, note 3; also 'Fellowes' 'Asia Minor,' p. 10).

Verse 12

And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD.

If his offering be a goat. Whether this or any of the other two animals were chosen, the same general directions were to be followed in the ceremony of offering.

Verses 13-16

And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 17

It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.

Ye eat neither fat nor blood. The details given above distinctly define the fat in animals which was not to be eaten; so that all the rest, whatever adhered to other parts, or was intermixed with them, might be used. The prohibition of blood rested on a different foundation, being intended to preserve their reverence for the Messiah, who was to shed His blood as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Leviticus 3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/leviticus-3.html. 1871-8.
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