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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Leviticus 3

 

 

Verses 1-17


The Peace Offering

This form of sacrifice takes its name from a Heb. word meaning a 'requital' or giving of thanks, and is therefore called by some the Thank Offering. It is an animal sacrifice, the characteristic feature of which is the disposal of the carcase. The kidneys and the internal fat, and, in the case of sheep, the fat tail also, are offered to God by burning upon the altar (Leviticus 3:3-5). The choice parts, the breast and the right thigh, fall to the lot of the priests after being dedicated to God in a peculiar way by waving them before Him (see on Leviticus 7:28-34). The rest of the flesh is eaten by the offerer and his family at a sacrificial meal (Leviticus 7:15-16). The Peace Offering represents, it is thought, the earliest form of sacrifice, in which the Deity and the worshippers exhibit their good relationship by sharing a common meal. It is therefore the sacrifice expressive of harmony between God and His people. It is a feast of communion: see e.g. Exodus 24:9-11.

2. Lay his hand] see on Leviticus 1:4; Whereas at this point in the sacrifice of a burnt offering, the offerer made a confession of his sins, in the case of the peace offering he uttered a prayer of thanksgiving. This indicates the difference in the signification of the two sacrifices.

3. The internal fat, along with the blood, is regarded as the seat of life and possessing a peculiar sanctity. It must, therefore, never be eaten by man, but always offered to God by burning: see Exodus 23:18; Exodus 29:13; Leviticus 3:16-17; Leviticus 7:22-27; Leviticus 17:10-16.

4. Caul above the liver] see Exodus 29:18.

5. Upon the burnt sacrifice] There would always be some portion of the daily burnt sacrifice smouldering upon the altar. The peace offering is to be laid upon it. The fire never went out: see Leviticus 6:9, Leviticus 6:12, Leviticus 6:13.

9. The whole rump] RV 'the fat tail entire': see on Exodus 29:22.

11. Food of the offering] a general epithet applied to sacrifices: cp. Leviticus 21:6; Leviticus 22:25; Numbers 28:2, Numbers 28:24; Ezekiel 44:7; Malachi 1:7 (where the altar is called the 'table of the Lord'). For a protest against this anthropomorphic conception of God as requiring food for His sustenance or delight see Psalms 50:8-15.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 3:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/leviticus-3.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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