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Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 7

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-38

Leviticus 7:10. Every meat-offering, whether mingled with oil or dry, that is, not mingled, as the Vulgate very properly renders it. In later times these offerings were prepared at the foot of Mount Olivet. The priests and privileged persons ate in the temple, while suitable conveniences were made for all the worshippers, and for the gentiles to eat apart.

Leviticus 7:12. Thanksgiving. Jacob, after he had seen the ladder at Bethel, made a vow to devote the tenth of his increase to the Lord, if he would bless him, and bring him back again in peace. And being himself both the priest and the prince, how could his oblations of peace and thanksgiving be disposed of, but by one part being burnt, and the rest eaten in a holy feast to the Lord? So Israel followed the example of their fathers.

Leviticus 7:21. Any unclean thing. The next words illustrate the meaning to be, not the touching of a beast, as a horse or an ass, for this they did daily; but the uncleanness of man or of beast, contracted by assisting animals in the act of casting forth their young. All Shem’s race, and all the primitive families of the earth, were careful to preserve themselves ceremonially holy to the Lord, which tended at the same time to inculcate moral purity. This indeed is the substance and the end of all the divine precepts. “Be ye holy, for the Lord your God is holy.” Leviticus 20:7.

Leviticus 7:32. A heave-offering. The right shoulder was elevated high, as an offering to the Lord: just as the right breast was waved round with the hand, as a token of God’s omnipresence. Thus the right fore-quarter was the priest’s portion, that he and his family might not want bread, nor at the same time have superfluities; for whatever remained was burnt on the altar.


Though most of this chapter has been anticipated, yet fragments of instruction may be gathered. The Lord permitted the worshippers who had come from afar with their oblations, to feast in his presence, and with his priests, of the same oblation; but he did not allow of long feasts. The free- will offering must be eaten the same day, or the remains might he eaten the next day. This should teach us temperance in our feasts; and either to make religion and social intercourse the object of a visit, or to decline parties altogether. The time of God’s people, in their religious interviews, is not to be taken up with the news of the day, with foolish anecdotes, and tavern talk; but with spiritual edification.

In festivals of this kind, leavened bread might be eaten. Let therefore the more enlightened and advanced in religious attainments, endeavour to leaven one another with heavenly wisdom, and with an increase of divine affections. Then we shall retire from religious parties, not burdened with a consciousness of misspent time, but strengthened and animated in the Lord.

The breast and shoulder were the priest’s. And the breast of a minister should ever be richly stored with wisdom and piety, righteousness and truth. There the lambs should find succour, and the whole flock edification and comfort. His right arm, in like manner, should be active, and extended for the defence of the people. So may the Lord’s servants ever approve themselves as worthy of his altar, and of their high vocation.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Leviticus 7". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/leviticus-7.html. 1835.
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