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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Leviticus 7

Verse 1

Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering: it is most holy.

Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering. This chapter is a continuation of the laws that were to regulate the duty of the priests respecting the trespass offerings. The same preliminary regulations obtained in this case as in the burnt offerings, (see the note at Leviticus 1:1-17.) The fatty parts were to be consumed on the altar, as in the sin and the peace offerings (see the note at Leviticus 3:9; Leviticus 4:8-10), while the flesh was a perquisite of the priests (Leviticus 6:26). Some portions fell exclusively to the officiating minister, and were the fees for his services (Leviticus 7:8); others were the common share of all the priestly order, who lived upon them as their provision, and whose meetings at a common table would tend to promote brotherly harmony and friendship (Leviticus 7:6: cf. Leviticus 6:29).

Verses 2-7

In the place where they kill the burnt offering shall they kill the trespass offering: and the blood thereof shall he sprinkle round about upon the altar.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 8

And the priest that offereth any man's burnt offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt offering which he hath offered.

The priest shall have to himself the skin. All the flesh and the fat of the burnt offerings being consumed, nothing remained but the skin, which was flayed (see the note at Leviticus 1:6) and given to the priest. It was a rich and valuable perquisite (Philo, 'De Sacerd. Honor.,' p. 833), as goat and sheep skins were used for mattresses (Leviticus 15:17), as well as for various other purposes of personal and domestic convenience. It has been thought that this was a patriarchal usage, incorporated with the Mosaic law, and that the right of the sacrificer to the skin of the victim was transmitted from the time of Adam (see the note at Genesis 3:21).

Verses 9-10

And all the meat offering that is baken in the oven, and all that is dressed in the fryingpan, and in the pan, shall be the priest's that offereth it.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verses 11-14

And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD.

This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings. Besides the usual accompaniments of other sacrifices, leavened bread was offered with the peace offerings as a thanksgiving, such bread being common at feasts.

Verses 15-17

And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.

Eaten the same day that it is offered. The flesh of the sacrifices was eaten on the day of the offering, or on the day following.

Verse 16. But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering - [ neder (H5088), a votive offering, as opposed to nªdaabaah (H5071), a free-will offering].

On the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten. This prohibition clearly implied that the offerer was to entertain his friends in a festive manner. Such voluntary offerings, differing from those offered in fulfillment of a vow, were provided for in the law; and they were frequently offered in connection with the great public festivals, both for the sake of convenience and in honour of these sacred seasons. The flesh, however, was to be eaten on the same or the next day; beyond which time none of it might be kept. Reland holds that the eating of the sacrifice the same day it was offered means only before the morning of the next day, although the latter part, i:e., the night, be in strictness part of the next day, according to the Jewish reckoning (see Whiston's 'Josephus' Antiquities,' b. 3:, ch. 9:, sec. 3; b. 4:, ch. 4:, sec. 4).

This reservation of some of the offering until the next day was not allowed in case of a thank offering. But if any part of it remained until the third day, it was, instead of being made use of, to be burned with fire. In the East butcher meat is generally eaten the day it is killed; and as it soon putrifies in hot climates, and in a decayed state is unfit for use, it is rarely kept a second day; so that, as a prohibition was issued against any of the flesh in the peace offerings being used on the third day, it has been thought, not without reason, that this injunction must have been given to prevent a superstitious notion arising that there was some virtue or holiness belonging to it.

Such a superstition actually exists among the Mohammedan pilgrims to Mecca. They are required on a certain day to sacrifice a sheep, to be shared with friends and the poor of Mecca. But a portion of it is reserved by the sacrificer for his own use, which is dried, in order to be eaten during his return. 'Many of the ceremonies observed in the Mecca pilgrimage are well known,' says Harmer ('Observ.,' vol. 1:, pp. 457-460), 'to be of great antiquity, and to be the relics of Arab pagan customs. Something of this pagan practice might obtain as early as the time of Moses, and be the occasion of the prohibition. It would not have suited the genius of the Mosaic dispensation to have allowed the people to have dried the flesh of their peace offerings, whether for thanksgiving in consequence of a vow, or merely voluntary, and have afterward eaten the flesh very commonly in a sparing manner, or communicated only some small portion of it to their particular friends. The peace offerings, on the contrary, were to be eaten with festivity, communicated to their friends with liberality, and bestowed on the poor with great generosity-that these might partake with the offerers of those sacred repasts with joy before the Lord (Deuteronomy 16:11). To answer such views, it became requisite to eat the sacrificial flesh while it was fresh.'

Verse 18

And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity.

It shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it. The sacrifice will not be acceptable to God, nor profitable to the offerer.

It shall be an abomination, [ piguwl (H6292), stench] - a word applied exclusively to the forbidden flesh of sacrifices (Leviticus 19:7; Isaiah 65:4; Ezekiel 4:14).

The soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity - (see the note at Leviticus 5:1.)

Verse 19

And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire: and as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof.

The flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten. Flesh offered in sacrifice, being holy (Exodus 29:34), was defiled by contact with anything unclean, and therefore, being unfit for use, was to be burned with fire.

And as for the flesh all that be clean shall eat thereof - i:e., of the sacrificial feast. This statement was an explanatory addendum, seasonably made after the peremptory injunction to burn the sacrificial flesh, which had been in any way polluted or defiled; and the import of it was, that no one who was ceremonially clean was prevented from accepting an invitation to partake of the meal.

Verse 20

But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.

But the soul that eateth of the flesh ... having his uncleanness upon him ... shall be cut off from his people - i:e., excluded from the privileges of an Israelite; lie under a sentence of excommunication. The uncleanness spoken of here refers to some internal cause, as external occasions of contracting impurity are mentioned in the following verse.

Verse 21

Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.

As the uncleanness of man. The word "as" is a supplement of our translators, and seems improperly inserted.

Verses 22-27

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Ye shall eat no manner of fat. The prohibition, though at first sight absolute, is by the context restricted to the fatty portions of the sacrificial beasts, specified in a previous chapter (Leviticus 3:3-4; Leviticus 3:9: cf. Genesis 4:4); and in regard to such cattle as had died from disease, or had been mangled by beasts of prey, the fat, though unfit, through defilement, to be eaten (Leviticus 17:15; Leviticus 22:8), might be used in various other ways.

Verse 26. Ye shall eat no manner of blood ... of fowl or of beast. This prohibition rests on the same ground as that regarding fat (Leviticus 17:10-11: cf. Genesis 9:4).

Verse 28

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 29

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, He that offereth the sacrifice of his peace offerings unto the LORD shall bring his oblation unto the LORD of the sacrifice of his peace offerings.

He that offereth the sacrifice of his peace offerings ... shall bring. In order to show that the sacrifice was voluntary, the offerer was required to bring it with his own hands to the priest. The act of bringing the victim was what properly constituted the oblation; but the offerer was also to bring Yahweh's portions.

Verse 30

His own hands shall bring the offerings of the LORD made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the LORD.

The fat with the breast - (cf. Exodus 29:26-27.) [Septuagint, to stear to epi tou steethuniou kai ton lobon tou heepatos, the fat which was upon the little breast and the lobe of the liver.] (The latter part of the sentence is an interpolation of the Septuagint, borrowed from Leviticus 3:4.) [Lexicographers and commentators differ respecting the proper meaning of hechaazeh (H2373), rendered "breast."] The definition given by Gesenius, with whom Winer agrees, is, 'that part which is seen-the front.' Without mentioning that of various others, Keil and Delitzsch ('On the Pentateuch,' Clark's Translation, vol. 2:, p. 328) consider it 'the brisket,' which consists for the most part of cartilaginous fat in the case of sheep, goats, and oxen, and is one of the most savoury parts; so that at the family festivities of the ancients, according to Athanasius ('Deipnos,' 2:70; 9:10), 'the breasts of lambs were dainty bits.'

That the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the Lord [ tªnuwpaah (H8573), from nuwp (H5130), to lift up to wave the hand, was the name given to a sacrifice] - commonly part, and the best part, of a larger offering, which, before being placed upon the altar, was waved horizontally to and fro, to the right and left (Exodus 35:22). The ceremony in the peace offering consisted in the priest putting the breast piece into the hands of the offerer, and his own under them; and in this manner the swinging movement was made, after which they were laid upon the altar, when the fat was burnt, and the remainder became the portion of the priest (Exodus 29:27; Exodus 10:14-15; Numbers 6:20).

Verse 31

And the priest shall burn the fat upon the altar: but the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons'.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 32

And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings.

The right shoulder, [ showq (H7785)] - the leg, including the thigh, or ham of the hind leg (Exodus 29:22; Exodus 29:27; Numbers 6:20; 1 Samuel 9:24) [ tªruwmaah (H8641), an offering to God] - the portion which was given to the priests, especially the oblation shoulder in the peace or thank offering. It was, previous to presentation on the altar, slowly elevated, moved up and down, and hence, called the heave offering. The 'waving' is said to have symbolized the world as Yahweh's, and the 'heaving,' 'Himself as dwelling on high.' The pieces were thus consecrated 'to the High and Lofty One, to whom belong the ends of the world' (Gerlach). (See the notes at waving other articles, Numbers 5:25; Numbers 6:20; Numbers 8:11; Numbers 14:12; Numbers 14:24; Numbers 23:11; Numbers 23:20.)

Verse 33

He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 34

For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel.

The wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken ... from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings

... - i:e., these were appointed by a divine ordinance to serve as a permanent source of maintenance to the Aaronic priesthood.

Verse 35

This is the portion of the anointing of Aaron, and of the anointing of his sons, out of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister unto the LORD in the priest's office; This is the portion of the anointing. "The portion" is a supplement of our translators, and with "the anointing," is tautological [ mishchat (H4888) signifies not only unction, but a part, a measured out, an allotted portion, from maashach (H4886), to spread out, to measure-e.g., things broad or long, as cloth, by spanning it with the hand]. The clause, then, should be rendered thus: 'This (namely, the wave breast and heave shoulder) is the allotted portion of Aaron, and the allotted portion of the numerous body of sacred functionaries which composed the sacerdotal order, assigned to them on the day of their consecration to the priestly office. These verses contain a general summing up of the laws which regulated the rights, privileges, and duties of the priests.

Verse 36

Which the LORD commanded to be given them of the children of Israel, in the day that he anointed them, by a statute for ever throughout their generations.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verses 37-38

This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meat offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings;

This is the law of the burnt offering. Here follows an enumeration of the various Levitical sacrifices. They have been arranged in the following classification-namely, impetratoria (supplicatory), eucharistica (thanksgiving), and piacularia (expiatory). The burnt offering, which is the most ancient of them, had in patriarchal times a very general significance, which probably comprehended all the three orders now mentioned. Its import was of course modified by the introduction of these numerous varieties; and in comparing the elaborate system of sacrifices prescribed by the Mosaic law with the simpler observances of the patriarchs, an intelligent reader can have no difficulty in perceiving an adaptation of sacrifices to the state of the Church incorporated in a chosen nation, for serving at once to expiate offences committed under a special economy, and at the same time to prefigure the great sacrifice to which all the typical ones pointed.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Leviticus 7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/leviticus-7.html. 1871-8.