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D.—FOR TRESPASS OFFERINGS. Leviticus 7:1-6
Leviticus 7:1 Likewise [And] this is the law of1 the trespass-offering: it is most holy. 2In the place where they kill the burnt offering shall they kill the trespass offering: and the blood thereof shall Hebrews 2:0 sprinkle round about upon the altar. 3And he shall offer of it all the fat thereof; the rump [the fat tail3], and the fat that covereth the inwards, 4and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul that is above the liver, with [on4] the kidneys, it shall he take away: 5and the priest shall burn them upon the altar for an offering made by fire unto the Lord; it is a trespass offering. 6Every male among the priests shall eat thereof: it shall be eaten in the [a] holy place: it is most holy.
E.—FOR THE PRIESTS’ PORTION OF THE ABOVE OFFERINGS. Leviticus 7:7-10
7As the sin-offering is, so is the trespass offering: there is one law for them: the priest that maketh atonement therewith shall have it. 8And 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. 9And all the meat-offering [oblation5] that is baken in the oven, and all that is dressed in the frying-pan [pot6], and in the pan, 10shall be the priest’s that offereth it. And [But] every meat offering [oblation8] mingled with oil, and dry, shall all the sons of Aaron have, one as much as another.
F.—FOR PEACE OFFERINGS IN THEIR VARIETY. Leviticus 7:11-21
11And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which Hebrews 7:0 shall offer unto the Lord. 12If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.8 13Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. 14And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation [out of each offering9] for an heave offering unto the Lord, and it shall be the priest’s that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings. 15And 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. 16But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice: and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten: 17but the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire. 18And 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,10 and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity. 19And 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. 20But 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. 21Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing,11 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.
G.—FOR THE FAT AND THE BLOOD. Leviticus 7:22-27
22And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 23Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat. 24And the fat of the beast [carcase12] that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use: but ye shall in no wise eat of it. 25For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people. 26Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your 27dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.
H.—FOR THE PRIESTS’ PORTION OF THE PEACE OFFERINGS. Leviticus 7:28-36
28And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 29Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, He that offereth the sacrifice of his peace offerings unto the Lord shall bring his oblation [offering13] unto the Lord of the sacrifice of his peace offerings. 30His 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. 31And the priest shall burn the fat upon the altar: but the breast shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. 32And the right shoulder [leg14] shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings. 33He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder [leg30] for his part. 34For the wave-breast and the heave shoulder [leg30] 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. This is the portion of the anointing of Aaron, and of the anointing of his sons [35This is the portion15of Aaron and the portion31of his sons], out of the offerings of the Lord made by fire, in the day when he16 presented 36them to minister unto the Lord in the priest’s office; which the Lord commanded to be given them of the children of Israel, in the day that he anointed them, by a statute forever throughout their generations.
CONCLUSION OF THIS SECTION. Leviticus 7:37-38
37This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meat offering [oblation], and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice 38of the peace offerings; which the Lord commanded Moses in Mount Sinai, in the day that he commanded the children of Israel to offer their oblations [offerings29] unto the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai.
TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL
Leviticus 7:9. צַו. The Sam. has צוי, a form which occurs in MSS. with the pointing צִַוִּי.
Leviticus 7:9; Leviticus 7:17-18; Leviticus 7:22. הוא. The Sum. and many MSS. have the later form היא indicated by the Masoretic punctuation. This frequent variation will not hereafter be noticed. The conjectural emendation of Houbigant, הוי in the imperative, although expressing the sense, is unnecessary.
Leviticus 7:9. The suggested translation is that given by most critics; of its general correctness there can be no doubt; but the sense of מוֹקְדָה (which occurs only here) may be either that of hearth, or of burning. The masculine form, מוֵֹקד (which is found only Psalms 102:4 (3), and Isaiah 33:14), is translated in both ways in the A. V., but should have only the latter sense. The weight of authority as well as the context make hearth the preferable translation here. Knobel would make הוא the verb to be in the imperative; but this is not sufficiently supported.
Leviticus 7:10. מִדּוֹ. For the suffix on a noun in the constr. Knobel refers to Leviticus 26:42; Exodus 26:25; Jeremiah 9:2 (Leviticus 8:23); 2 Samuel 22:33, however, reads מדי.
Leviticus 7:10. The Sam. for יִלְבַּשׁ has יִהְיוּ as in Leviticus 16:4, which scarcely affects the sense.
Leviticus 7:10. The propriety of this correction is obvious. Bp. Horsley’s emendation: take up the ashes of the fire which hath consumed—does violence to the Heb.
Leviticus 7:11. The Vulg. has this curious addition: usque ad favillam consumi faciet.
Leviticus 7:14, etc. מִנְחָה= oblation. See Leviticus 2:1, Text. and Gram. Note (2). The Sam. has here “the law of the oblation of the drink offerings,” whence the Vulg.: lex sacrificii et libamentorum.
Leviticus 7:14. הַקְרֵב, Infin. Abs. as in Leviticus 2:6; Exodus 13:3.
Leviticus 7:18. כֹּל אֲשֶׁר might be understood either as every one that, as in the A. V., or as every thing that; but as the latter is the necessary translation of the exactly parallel clause in Leviticus 7:27 (as in the A. V.), it is better to keep it here also.
Leviticus 7:20. The Syr. here has the plural.
Leviticus 7:20. The prep. לְ, not in the Heb., is supplied by the Sam. and many MSS.
Leviticus 7:20. The paraphrase of the Sam. בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם=between the evenings, expresses the connection of this oblation with the evening sacrifice.
Leviticus 7:21. מֻרְבֶּכֶת a word of very doubtful meaning, but should certainly have the same translation as in Leviticus 7:12, where see note.
Leviticus 7:21. תֻּפִינֵי, a word ἁπ. λέγ. to which different significations are attached according to its supposed derivation. Fürst, deriving it from תּוּף, gives the sense of the A. V. Gesenius also, deriving from אָפָה, gives the sense of cooked. Others derive it from an Arabic root, and give the meaning broken. So Targ. Onk. (which points תּוּפִינֵי) and the Sam.
Leviticus 7:27. עָלֶיהָ תְּכַבֵּם. The sudden change of person, and the feminine suffix in reference to a masculine noun, are both avoided by the Sam. reading עליו יכבם.
Leviticus 7:30. לְכַפֵר. There may be but little difference in the sense of the two renderings; but it is better to retain the same form always. Other instances of variation in the A. V. in Lev. are Leviticus 8:15 and Leviticus 16:20 only.
VII. Leviticus 7:1. The LXX. here has ὁ νόμος τοῦ κριοῦ, the ram being the only victim admissible for the trespass offering.
Leviticus 7:2. The Sam. here uses the plural. It cannot mean that the offerer sprinkled the blood, but rather assimilates this verb to those going before on the supposition (as in Leviticus 1:6; Leviticus 1:12, etc.) that the priests also killed the victim.
Leviticus 7:3. הָאַלְיָה. See Textual Note 4 on Leviticus 3:9.
Leviticus 7:4. עַל =on. See Textual Note 7 on Leviticus 3:4.
Leviticus 7:9. See Textual Note7 on Leviticus 2:7.
Leviticus 7:11. The Sam., LXX. and Vulg. with two MSS. have the plural.
Leviticus 7:12. מֻרְבֶכֶת. There is so much difference of opinion as to the meaning that it seems unsafe to attempt any change in the A. V. Fürst says: “something dipped in, mingled (by moistening);” Lange denies that it conveys the sense of cooked; Keil translates “and roasted fine flour (see Leviticus 6:14) mixed as cakes with oil, i.e., cakes made of fine flour roasted with oil, and thoroughly kneaded with oil.” Others give varying interpretations.
Leviticus 7:14. קָרְבָן is to be uniformly translated offering. See Leviticus 2:1. The word whole in the A. V. does not express the idea that one must be taken out of each of the offerings mentioned in the two preceding verses.
Leviticus 7:18. פּגּוּל occurs only here and in Leviticus 19:7; Isaiah 65:4; Ezekiel 4:14, and is always applied to the sacrificial flesh. It is from the root פָּגַל, and signifies something unclean and fetid, LXX. μίασμα.
Leviticus 7:21. For שֶׁקֶץ=an abominable animal (Leviticus 11:10; Leviticus 11:12-13; Leviticus 11:20; Leviticus 11:23; Leviticus 11:41), the Sam., six MSS. of Kennicott and of de Rossi, Targ. of Onkelos (רְחֵשׁ) and the Syr. read שֶׁרֶץ=reptiles, worms (5 Leviticus 11:20; Leviticus 11:29; Leviticus 11:41). This would make a more systematic enumeration of the sources of uncleanness, and is adopted by many.
Leviticus 7:24. נְבֵלָה. The margin of the A. V. is better than the text. The טְרֵפהָ of the next clause=torn sc. of beasts, is of course a wholly different word.
Leviticus 7:29. The uniform translation of קָרְבָן must be retained here also, although giving an appearance of tautology which is not in the original, his peace offerings being expressed simply by שְׁלָמָיו. The translation of the A. V. may have been influenced by the rendering in the Vulg.: offerat simul et sacrificium, id est, libamenta ejus; but for this there is no warrant, nor is it sustained by any other of the ancient versions.
Leviticus 7:32. שׁוֹק is uniformly rendered shoulder In the A. V. wherever it is applied to sacrificial animals; in all other places it is used of men (Deuteronomy 28:35; Proverbs 26:7; Song of Solomon 5:15; Isaiah 47:2; also Daniel 2:33, Chald.; Psalms 147:10), and is translated leg, or hip, or thigh. The A. V. has hero followed the equally uniform practice of the LXX. and the Vulg. It would seem that the word should have the same sense in both cases; there is no place in which leg is inapplicable, but there are several in which shoulder is inadmissible. The testimony of Josephus (III. 9, § 2, κνήμη) is explicit in favor of leg; so also Jewish tradition and the lexicons. Whether the fore or the hind leg is meant is a matter of difference of opinion; but the Heb. has a distinct word זרוע=arm for the shoulder or fore-leg (Numbers 6:19; Deuteronomy 18:3), and that, too, of the sacrificial animals.
Leviticus 7:35. מִשְׁחָה. The word undoubtedly means anointing; but there is also good authority for the meaning portion which Rosenmüller considers undoubtedly the right translation here, and which is so necessary to the sense that it is supplied in the A. V., which has followed the translation of the LXX. and Vulg.
Leviticus 7:35. The Vulg. has die qua obtulit eos Moyses ut sacerdotio fungerentur.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
The remainder of Leviticus 6:0, with the whole of Leviticus 7:0, form a distinct section occupied mainly with the duties and privileges of the priests in connection with their sacrificial service. Although there is unavoidably a little repetition in thus speaking again of the same sacrifices from a different point of view and for a different object; yet the gain in clearness and distinctness in thus separating the priestly duties from those of the laymen is obvious, both for the priests and for the people. The section consists of five divine communications addressed through Moses to Aaron and his sons, as the former communication had been to the children of Israel.
It has already been noticed that in the Hebrew Bibles the chapter rightly begins with the beginning of this section. Here also begins a new Parashah, or Proper Lesson of the law, which extends to Leviticus 8:36. The corresponding Lesson from the prophets begins with Jeremiah 7:21, in which “God declares the vanity of sacrifice without obedience.”
A. Leviticus 7:8-13. Instructions for the priests in regard to the burnt-offerings. This has reference to the daily burnt-offerings of a lamb at evening and at morning. There was no occasion for directions in regard to the voluntary burnt offerings as they involved no other priestly duties than those already expressed in chap. 1; in that chapter nothing has been said of the required burnt sacrifice, provided at the public cost, which is here treated of.
Leviticus 7:9. All night unto the morning.—The slow fire of the evening sacrifice was to be so arranged as to last until the morning; that of the morning sacrifice was ordinarily added to by other offerings, or if not, could easily be made to last through the much shorter interval until the evening. The evening sacrifice is naturally mentioned first because, in the Hebrew division of time, this was the beginning of the day. It was offered “between the evenings,” i.e., between three o’clock and the going down of the sun. The general direction for the daily burnt offerings has already been given in Exodus 29:38, and is again repeated in Numbers 28:3. As this offering was theoretically the comprehensive type from which all other offerings were specialized, so practically it was always burning upon the altar, and all other sacrifices were offered “upon it.”
Leviticus 7:10. His linen garment.—This was “the long tight-robe of fine white linen, or byssus, without folds, covering the whole body, and reaching down to the feet, with sleeves, woven as one entire piece, and with forms of squares intermixed, and hence called tesalated” (Kalisch). It is scarcely necessary to point out that linen, from its cleanliness, and from the readiness with which it could be washed, was selected as the priestly dress not only among the Israelites, but among many other nations also, especially the Egyptians, whose priests are therefore often described by Roman poets as linigeri. There were four parts of the priestly linen dress, of which two only are mentioned here, because all had been prescribed in Exodus 28:40-43, and the girdle and the turban were of course to be understood. The priests might not minister at the altar in any other garments, nor might they wear these outside the sacred precincts.
And take up the ashes.—As the priest must be in his official dress at the altar, it was of necessity that he should temporarily deposit the ashes near by, until he had finished the ordering of the altar.
Leviticus 7:11. And he shall put off his garments.—The sacred dress was now to be laid aside as the priest must pass out of the tabernacle and out of the camp. It has been questioned whether the carrying forth of the ashes must necessarily be performed by the officiating priest himself. According to Jewish tradition it might be done by any of the priestly family who were excluded from officiating at the altar by reason of some bodily defect. The same tradition also tells us that it was only required each day to carry forth a small quantity of the ashes—a shovel-full—allowing the rest to remain until the hollow of the altar below the grating was filled up, when all must be emptied and carried away.
Unto a clean place.—There was a fitness too evident to require further reason, that the remains of what had been used for the holiest purposes should be deposited in a clean place.—Without the camp, is a phrase belonging to the life of the wilderness, but easily modified to the requirements of the settled life in Palestine.
Leviticus 7:12. Shall burn wood on it.—The fire was to be maintained always whether the previous sacrifice remained burning sufficiently or not, so that fresh supplies of wood were to be added. Great care was taken in the selection and preparation of this wood, and any sticks worm-eaten were rejected. And lay the burnt-offering.—All was to be arranged and the fire brightly burning before the time of offering the morning sacrifice. When this was laid upon the wood, the sacrificial day was begun, and the fat of the peace-offerings and any other sacrifices that might he presented were placed upon it.
Leviticus 7:13. The fire shall be ever burning upon the altar.—The fire upon the altar was not as is sometimes supposed, originally kindled by the “fire from before the Lord“ (Leviticus 9:24), since it had been burning several days before that fire came forth; yet that fire so marked the Divine approbation of the priestly order as they entered upon their office, that a continual fire in which that was always in a sense perpetuated, was a constant symbol and pledge of the Divine acceptance of the sacrifices offered upon it. So also, in later times, with the fire from heaven at the dedication of the temple (2 Chronicles 7:1). But besides this, “It is evident that the fire burning continually, which was kept up by the daily burnt offering (Exodus 29:38), had a symbolical meaning. As the daily burnt sacrifice betokened the daily renewed gift of God, in like manner did this continually burning fire denote the unceasing, uninterrupted character of the same. Similar customs with the heathen had a different signification. Among the Persians (and among the Parsees in India at this day), fire was and is the visible representative of the Godhead; the continual burning of it, the emblem of eternity. The perpetual fire of Vesta (the “oldest goddess”) among the Greeks and Romans, was the emblem of the inmost, purest warmth of life, which unites family and people—the hearth, as it were, the heart of a house or of a State. In both is shown the essential difference which existed between these and the Divine covenant religion.” Von Gerlach. Perpetual sacrificial fires were common among many ancient nations.
It is obvious that during the marches of the life in the wilderness some special means must have been used for the preservation of this fire. On such occasions the altar was to be carefully cleaned and covered with a purple cloth and then with “badgers’ skins.” (Numbers 4:13-14). Probably the fire was carried on the march in a vessel prepared for the purpose.
B. Instructions for the priests concerning oblations. This division consists of two portions, the former of which (Leviticus 7:14-18) is a part of the same divine communication as the preceding division, and relates to the priestly duties connected with the oblations of the people, whether voluntary or required; while the latter, (Leviticus 7:19-23), forms a separate divine communication, and relates to the special oblation of the high-priests themselves in connection with their consecration.
The law of the oblation is a repetition in part of that in Leviticus 2:0, because it was there applied only to voluntary oblations, while here it includes all; but there are also (in Leviticus 7:16-18) additional particulars not given before.
Leviticus 7:14. The sons of Aaron shall offer it.—This presentation of the whole oblation by the priests, which seems to have been an essential part of the sacrifice, has been already mentioned in Leviticus 2:8, while Leviticus 7:15 merely repeats and applies to all oblations the directions in Leviticus 2:2 for the private and voluntary oblation.
Leviticus 7:16. The following directions, which concern the duties of the priests, have not before been given. By their consuming the remainder of the oblation it became, like the sin-offering, a sacrifice wholly devoted to the Lord. See note on Leviticus 2:3. Only those of Aaron’s sons might eat of it who were ceremonially clean. This is expressed emphatically in regard to the peace offerings in Leviticus 7:21. The addition of the words with and bread in the A. V. singularly obscures the sense; it should be read unleavened shall it be eaten in a holy place.
Leviticus 7:17. I have given it.—Not merely by appointment, as God is the giver of all that man enjoys; but of my offerings, as of that which peculiarly belonged to God.—Most holy. See on Leviticus 2:3.
Leviticus 7:18. All the males.—Because they, and they only, were in the priestly succession. It includes both those who were actual priests, and their sons yet too young to officiate, but who at the proper age would become priests; and still further, those who were of priestly family, but were hindered by bodily defect or infirmity from ministering at the altar. Whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.—Two senses are possible: (a) nothing shall be allowed to touch them which is not holy; (b) whatever does touch them shall thereby become holy. The latter must be considered the true sense in accordance with the analogy of Leviticus 7:27-28, and Exodus 29:37, (comp. Haggai 2:12-13), and with this sense the command, understood of inanimate objects, as Calmet suggests, presents no difficulty. The LXX. and Vulg., however, (not the Semitic versions which of course present the same ambiguity as the Heb.), like the A. V., understood it of persons, and so understood, it has occasioned much difficulty to commentators. Lange, following Theodoret, says “Whoever should touch this most holy flesh offering (and more especially the meat offering) should be holy, should henceforward be considered to belong to the Sanctuary.” He then gives various differing interpretations. It is better to avoid the difficulty altogether as above.
Leviticus 7:20. In the day when he is anointed.—The new communication in relation to the high-priest’s oblation begins with Leviticus 7:19. Most commentators understand the time when this oblation was to be offered as at the end of the seven days of consecration, as the high-priest was only then qualified to officiate. The word day would then be understood as in Genesis 2:4. Lange, however, says “on each of the seven days, not only on the eighth day, when the consecration was finished (Leviticus 8:34) this was to be offered.” An oblation perpetual.—A few interpreters (as Kalish and Knobel) understand this of an observance to be always repeated at the consecration of each successive high-priest, and then only. More generally it is interpreted as referring to a daily oblation always to be offered morning and evening by the high-priest. Such is the uniform Jewish interpretation. It is probably this offering that is referred to in Sir 45:14; see also Philo, de Vict. Jos. Ant. iii. Leviticus 10 § 7. Several eminent Jewish authorities, as Maimonides and Abarbanel, have supposed that the same offering was also required of every priest at his entrance upon his office; but this opinion, as it has not been widely adopted, so it seems to have no foundation in the law. The high-priest alone is distinctly designated in Leviticus 7:22.
The tenth part of an Ephah.—The same amount which was required for the sin offering of the poorest of the people in Leviticus 5:11. This amount was to be presented by the high-priest as a single offering which was to be afterwards divided and offered half in the morning and half at night.
Leviticus 7:23. It shall not be eaten.—In other oblations all was given to God, but in part through the priest; in the priestly oblation, he could not offer it to God through himself, and therefore it must of necessity be wholly burnt.
C. Instructions for the priests concerning sin offerings.
Lange adheres to the view he has given in Leviticus 4:0, and makes this division include both the sin and the trespass offerings. For his reasons see Leviticus 4:0. He, however, calls the next division “The ritual of the trespass offering.”
We have here the third of the five divine communications contained in this section. The first includes the burnt offerings and oblations, while the second, as an appendix to this, is occupied with the special oblations of the high-priest; the present communication extends to Leviticus 7:21, and embraces the directions to the priests concerning the various other kinds of sacrifice. In the order in which they are mentioned in chs. 3–5. the peace offerings came before the sin and trespass offerings, while here they are placed after them; the reason for this change is well explained by Murphy, as resulting from the different principle of arrangement appropriate in the two cases. In the instructions for the people the order of the sacrifices is that of their comparative frequency, the burnt offering and oblation being constant (although not so as voluntary offerings), the peace offerings habitual, the sin and trespass offerings, from their nature, occasional; here the principle of arrangement is in the treatment of the flesh,—the burnt offering, (with which the oblation is associated) was wholly consumed on the altar, the sin and trespass offerings were partly eaten by the priests, the peace-offerings both by the priests and the people.
Leviticus 7:25. In the place where the burnt offering.—It is evident from Leviticus 7:30 that this whole direction refers to the sin offerings of the people, not of the high-priest or of the whole congregation. These were to be killed in the usual place of killing the smaller sacrificial animals, on the north side of the altar. See note on Leviticus 1:11. The sin offering for the high-priest and for the congregation, consisting of a bullock, was killed “before the door of the tabernacle.” See note on Leviticus 1:3.
It is most holy.—See on Leviticus 2:3.
Leviticus 7:25. The priest that offereth it.—For the exceptions see Leviticus 7:30. The flesh of the ordinary sin-offering belonged, not to the priests as a body, but to the particular priest that offered it. It was, however, much more than he could consume alone, and therefore in Leviticus 7:29 all males of the priestly family were allowed to eat of it, doubtless on the invitation of the officiating priest, or by some established arrangement.
Leviticus 7:27. Shall be holy.—As in Leviticus 7:18. In regard to the peculiarly sacred character of the sin offering Lange says, “the complete surrender to Jehovah is expressed in three ways: 1) Forbidding the flesh to the unclean;” [But this, although to be supposed, is not mentioned here, whereas it is very emphatically commanded in connection with the peace offerings, Leviticus 7:20-21]. “2) Washing the garments sprinkled with blood in a holy place, or in the court. Here the regard is not for the cleansing of the garment, but for the blood,—it must not be carried on the garment out of the sanctuary; 3) If the vessel in which the flesh was cooked was earthen, it had to be broken, if of copper, it had to be scoured and rinsed, so that nothing of the substance of the flesh should remain sticking to it.” On the reason for the peculiar sacredness with which the flesh of the sin offering was regarded various opinions have been held. It seems unnecessary, however, to look for this reason in the supposition that the victim was regarded as bearing either the sins of the offerer, or the punishment due to those sins. The simple fact that God had appointed the sin-offering as a means whereby sinfulness might “be covered,” and sinful man might approach Him in His perfect holiness, is enough to invest that means, like the altar upon which it was offered, with a sacredness which needs no analysis for its explanation. The very important passage, Leviticus 10:17, usually referred to in this connection, will be treated of in its place.
Thou shalt wash.—The second person is used because the command is addressed to the priest. The garment referred to is probably that of the offerer; it might easily happen that this would sometimes be stained by the spurting of the blood of the victim, but he was not to wash it himself; no particle of the blood might be carried out of the sanctuary, and none might meddle with it but the divinely appointed priest.
Leviticus 7:28. But the earthen vessel.—Unglazed earthenware would absorb the juices of the flesh so that they could not be removed; hence such vessels must be broken that the flesh of the sin offering might not be profaned. The brazen pot probably stands for any metallic vessel, and these being less porous, might be perfectly freed from the flesh by scouring and rinsing. For the same reason the earthen vessel into which any of the small unclean animals when dead had fallen (Leviticus 11:33; Leviticus 11:35), must be broken; from its absorptive qualities it took the character of that which had been within it, and was unfit for other use. No direction is given for the disposition of the broken fragments. It is more likely that they were disposed of with the ashes from the altar, than that, as Jewish tradition affirms, the earth opened to swallow them up. No mention is made of any other method of cooking the flesh of the sacrifice than by boiling. From 1 Samuel 2:13-15, and from the allusion in Zechariah 14:21, it would appear that the same method was observed also in later ages.
Leviticus 7:29. All the males.— Comp. Note on 18.
Leviticus 7:30. But no sin offering whereof ay of the blood is brought in the tabernacle.—Comp. Leviticus 4:5-7; Leviticus 4:11-12; Leviticus 4:16-18; Leviticus 4:21; Leviticus 16:27. This shows that from the foregoing directions the sin offerings for the high-priest and for the whole congregation are to be excepted; for these no directions are here given, since the priest had nothing more to do with them than has already been provided for in ch.4.
D. Instructions for the priests concerning trespass offerings, Leviticus 7:1-6.
In the LXX. this and the next division (Leviticus 7:7-10) form a part of Leviticus 6:0. This is certainly the better division; but the A. V. has here followed the Hebrew, as in the division between chaps. 5. and 6, it followed the LXX.—in both cases for the worse.
In the former directions for the trespass offering (Leviticus 5:14—Leviticus 6:7) designed for the people, nothing is said of what parts are to be burned on the altar, nor of the disposal of the remainder. The directions on these points are now given to the priests. The ritual is precisely the same as for the ordinary sin-offering except in the treatment of the blood. This was to be treated as that of the burnt and of the peace offerings, viz. to be sprinkled on the sides of the altar, instead of being placed on its horns as in the sin offering. See Leviticus 3:2; Leviticus 3:8; Leviticus 3:13; Leviticus 4:6; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34. The Codex Middoth (iii. 1) is quoted for the tradition of the Jews that there was a scarlet thread or line around the altar just at the middle of its height; and that the blood of the burnt offering was sprinkled above, and that of the trespass offering below this line. No mention is made of laying on of hands in the trespass offering, either here or in Leviticus 5:14 to Leviticus 6:7 (where it would more naturally occur). Knobel argues from this omission that it was omitted in this offering; it is more likely that there is no mention of it because it was a universal law in the case of all victims and therefore did not require to be specified.
Leviticus 7:3. The fat tail is specified because the victim in the trespass offering must always be a ram. For other points see Leviticus 3:0.
E. Instructions concerning the priests’ portion of the above. Leviticus 7:7-10.
Before proceeding to those sacrifices, of which a part was returned to be consumed by the offerer, summary directions are now given in regard to all the preceding offerings, which were wholly devoted to the Lord, whether by being wholly consumed upon the altar, or partly eaten by the priests.
Leviticus 7:7. One law for them—i.e., in respct to the matter here treated of, the disposal of their flesh. The priest that maketh atonement.—The flesh of these victims did not become the common property of the priestly body, but was the peculiar perquisite of the officiating priest. He might, of course, ask others, and especially those who were hindered by bodily infirmity from officiating, to share it with him.
Leviticus 7:8. Shall have to himself the skin.—Since this was unsuitable for burning upon the altar, and yet the victim was wholly devoted. No directions are any where given in regard to the skins of the other offerings, except those which were to be burned with the flesh without the camp. The Mishna (Sebach 12, 3) says that the skins of all victims designated as “most holy” were given to the priests, while those of other victims (i.e., the peace offerings in their variety) belonged to the offerer. This distinction, being in accordance with the character of the sacrifice, is probably true. Among the heathen, the skin of the sacrificial animals usually belonged to the priest, and was by them often perverted to superstitious uses. See Patrick, Kalisch, and others. Some commentators trace the origin of the custom in regard to the burnt offering back to Adam; it rather lies still further back in the nature of the sacrifice.
Leviticus 7:9. And all the oblation.—Except, of course, the “memorial,” which was burned upon the altar, and which having been carefully provided for in chap. 2, did not require to be specified in this brief summary. In this verse all cooked oblations are assigned to the officiating priest; while in the next all that are uncooked are given to the priestly body equally. The former included all the oblations of Leviticus 2:4-10, and it is generally supposed that even these required to be consumed without delay; the latter include the oblations of Leviticus 2:1, and probably that of Leviticus 2:15; also the alternative sin offering of Leviticus 5:11, and the jealousy offering of Numbers 5:15. Only the two latter come under the class of dry, the others being mingled with oil. Thus all oblations, except that of the thank offering (Leviticus 7:14) and the “memorial” in all cases, was in one way or the other consumed by the priests. A secondary object in the assignment of these sacrifices was the support of the priests. See Ezekiel 44:29.
"F. Instructions for the priests in regard to the peace offerings in their variety, Leviticus 7:11-21.
For the reason why the peace offerings are here placed last, see note on Leviticus 6:24.
We here enter upon an entirely different kind of sacrifice from those which have gone before, and therefore there is a different ritual. The former had reference to the means of approach to God through the forgiveness of sin; these are more closely connected with the idea of continued communion with God, and hence, so far as their object is concerned, seem to belong more properly to the second part of the book. Nevertheless, for the purpose of law, the stronger connection is, as sacrifices, with the general laws of sacrifice, and hence they must necessarily be placed here. Moreover, they are not to be considered altogether by themselves, but, as Outram has noted, as generally following piacular sacrifices, and therefore as together with them forming the complete act of worship.
The peace offerings might be of any animal allowed for sacrifice (except birds which were too small for the accompanying feast) as is provided in chap. 3. They might be of either the herd or the flock, and either male or female. No limitation of age is given in the law, although Jewish tradition limits the age of those offered from the herd to from one to three years, and of those from the flock to from one to two years complete. On the place for the killing of the victims, see note on Leviticus 1:11. Historical examples of these offerings are very frequent in the later books, e. g.,1 Samuel 1:4; 1 Samuel 9:13; 1 Samuel 9:24; 1Sa 11:15; 1 Samuel 16:3; 1 Samuel 16:5; 1Ki 8:65; 1 Chronicles 16:3, etc. Similar sacrificial feasts among the heathen are familiar to all readers of Homer.
Three varieties of the peace offering are distinguished, or rather two principal kinds, the second of which is again subdivided—(a) The thank offering, Leviticus 7:12-15, which included all the public and prescribed peace offerings; (b) the (1) vow, or (2) voluntary offering, Leviticus 7:16-18, both of which were sacrifices of individuals. The two kinds were broadly separated from one another by the length of time during which it was lawful to eat the flesh, while the sub-varieties of the second kind are only distinguished in the purpose of the offerer. “There are three possible forms in which man can offer with reference to his prosperity or safety: praise and thanksgiving for experiences in the past; promising in regard to a desire in the future; expression of thankful prosperity in the present.” Lange.
Leviticus 7:12-15. The thank offering.
Leviticus 7:12. The thank offering was accompanied by an oblation of three kinds, to which a fourth was added (Leviticus 7:13) of leavened bread, which last is perhaps to be considered as an accompaniment rather than a part of the offering, as it is doubtful whether it is included in the “heave offering” of Leviticus 7:14. Still, as none of this oblation was placed upon the altar, the leavened bread would not come under the prohibition of Leviticus 2:11 and of Exodus 23:18; Exodus 34:25. The drink offerings prescribed with this and other sacrifices in Numbers 15:0. (and alluded to in Leviticus 23:18; Leviticus 23:37) as to be offered “when ye be come into the land of your habitation,” are not mentioned here, probably because they were not easily obtained during the life in the wilderness. The abundance of bread of various kinds here required was in view of the sacrificial meal to follow. Jewish tradition affirms that with certain peace offerings of festivals (Hagigah and Sheincah) no bread was offered.
Leviticus 7:14. One out of each offering—i.e., one cake out of the number of each kind presented, and perhaps one from the loaves of leavened bread. An heave offering.— Herein this oblation is strongly distinguished from the oblations accompanying the burnt offering. No part of them was placed upon the altar. Comp. the heave offerings of the Levites, Numbers 18:26-30. It must be inadvertently that Lange says “one of the unleavened cakes was offered to Jehovah on His altar as a heave offering; all the rest of the meat offering fell to the share of the priest who sacrificed;” for it is plain from the text that the one offered as a heave offering was not consumed, but belonged to the officiating priest, while the rest were returned to the offerer. The heave offering was waved in the hands up and down before the altar, but not placed upon it.
Leviticus 7:15. Shall be eaten the same day.— Comp. the similar provision in regard to the Paschal lamb, Exodus 12:10, and also in regard to the manna, Exodus 16:19. The same command is repeated in regard to the thank offering in Leviticus 22:29-30; while the greater liberty allowed in the vow and voluntary offerings (Leviticus 7:16) is also repeated Leviticus 19:5-8. In both cases Jewish tradition affirms that the rule applied also to the accompanying oblations. The difference of time allowed in which the flesh of these two kinds of peace offerings might be eaten evidently marks the one as of a superior sacredness to the other. Yet it is not easy to say wherein precisely the difference consisted. The general observation is that the thank offerings were purely unselfish, offered in gratitude for blessings already received; while the vow and voluntary offerings had respect to something yet hoped for, and therefore involved a selfish element. But it is not altogether clear that this was the case with the voluntary offering. Outram (p. 131, Eng. tr.), on the authority of Maimonides and Abarbanel, makes the distinction to consist in the vow offering being general—a promise to present a certain kind of victim or its value, and this re mained in all cases binding; while the voluntary offering was particular—a promise to present a particular animal, which became void in case of the animal’s death. Under this interpretation both have respect to the future. If there were any accidental remainder of the thank offering after the first day, it was doubtless consumed (but not on the altar), as in the case of the Paschal lamb (Exodus 12:10) and of the other peace offerings (Leviticus 7:17), and the consecration offerings (Exodus 29:34). Several reasons have been assigned for the limitation of the time for eating. Outram says, “The short space of time within which the victims might be eaten, seems to have been designed to prevent any corruption of the sacrifices, and to guard against covetousness,” and he quotes Philo at length in support of this double reason. The incentive hereby added to the command to share these feasts with the poor, and especially the poor Levites, though entirely rejected by Keil, is made more or less prominent by Theodoret (who gives this reason only), Corn, à Lapide, Kalisch, Rosenmüller, and others. “The recollection that in warm lands meat soon spoils, may give us the idea that the feaster was compelled in consequence to invite in the poor.” Lange. It must be remembered also that the feast would rapidly lose its sacrificial associations as the interval was prolonged between it and the offering of the sacrifice.
Leviticus 7:16-18. The vow and voluntary offerings. The distinction between these has already been pointed out. Both were clearly inferior to the thank offering. It is to be remembered that these did not belong to the class of expiatory offerings, and hence the vow offering of St. Paul (Acts 18:18; Acts 21:23-26) had in it nothing inconsistent with his faith in the one Sacrifice for sins offered on Calvary. These offerings might be eaten on the two days following the sacrifice, but the remainder on the third day shall be burnt with fire.
Leviticus 7:18. The penalty for the transgression of this command was not only that the offering went for nothing—it shall not be accepted; but further, it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity. The sense is not, as many suppose, that the offering being made void, the offerer remained with his former iniquity uncleansed; for these offerings were not at all appointed for the purpose of atonement, or the forgiveness of sin; but that the offerer, having transgressed a plain and very positive command, must bear the consequences of such transgression.
The distinctions in regard to these offerings (as in the case of those which have gone before) embrace only the common sacrifices of their kind. There were other special peace-offerings (Leviticus 23:19-20) which were otherwise dealt with.
In later times, the place where the peace-offerings might be eaten was restricted to the holy city (Deuteronomy 12:6-7; Deuteronomy 12:11-12); at present, there was no occasion for such a command, while all were together in the camp in the wilderness. But all sacrificial animals slain for food must be offered as sacrifice to the Lord (Leviticus 17:3-4).
Kalisch (p. 144 ss.) says: “The character of these feasts cannot be mistaken. It was that of joyfulness tempered by solemnity, of solemnity tempered by joyfulness: the worshipper had submitted to God an offering from his property; he now received back from Him a part of the dedicated gift, and thus experienced anew the same gracious beneficence which had enabled him to appear with his wealth before the altar; he therefore consumed that portion with feelings of humility and thankfulness; but he was bidden at once to manifest those blissful sentiments by sharing the meat not only with his household, which thereby was reminded of the divine protection and mercy, but also with his needy fellow-beings, whether laymen or servants of the temple. Thus these beautiful repasts were stamped both with religious emotion and human virtue. The relation of friendship between God and the offerer which the sacrifice exhibited was expressed and sealed by the feast which intensified that relation into one of an actual covenant; the momentary harmony was extended to a permanent union; and these notions could not be expressed more intelligibly, at least to an Eastern people, than by a common meal, which to them is the familiar image of friendship and communion, of cheerfulness and joy.… Some critics have expressed an opposite view, contending that the offerer was not considered as the guest of God, but, on the contrary, God as the guest of the offerer; but this is against the clear expressions of the law; the sacrificer surrendered the whole victim to the Deity (Leviticus 3:1; Leviticus 3:6-7; Leviticus 3:12), and confirmed his intention by burning on the altar the fat parts, which represented the entire animal.… The Apostle Paul says distinctly: ‘Are not they who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar’ or ‘of the Lord’s table?’ ”
Leviticus 7:19-21. The sanctity of even this inferior sacrifice is strongly guarded. Peace-offerings being representative especially of communion with the Most Holy, all uncleanness or contact with uncleanness is rigorously forbidden.
Leviticus 7:19. And as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof,—meaning, of course, the flesh in general—that which has not touched any unclean thing. The sense might easily be made more clear; but there is no ground for altering the translation.
Leviticus 7:20. Shall be cut off from his people,i.e. be excommunicated, cast out from the commonwealth of Israel. This might sometimes, as in Exodus 31:14, involve also the punishment of death, but only when the offence was also a civil one. Capital punishment is not intended by the expression itself.—That pertain unto the Lord.—This shows plainly enough that the victim, once offered, was considered as belonging to God, and hence that they who feasted upon it were the guests of the Lord.
Leviticus 7:21. Unclean beast,etc. This is to be understood of the dead bodies of these animals. Uncleanness was not communicated by their touch while living; but, on the other hand, it was communicated by the touch of the body, even of clean animals which had died a natural death, or as we should say, of carrion.
Nothing is here said of the portion of the priests, that being the subject of a distinct divine communication (Leviticus 7:28-36).
"G. Instructions in regard to the Fat and the Blood. Leviticus 7:22-27. From its importance, this group of commands forms the exclusive subject of another communication, and is addressed to the people, because, while these portions were in the especial charge of the priests, it was necessary to warn the people very carefully against making use of them themselves. It comes appropriately in connection with the peace offerings, because it was only of these that the people eat at all, and hence here there was especial liability to transgress this command.
Leviticus 7:22. No manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.—The prohibition of the eating of fat extends only to the sacrificial animals, and is to be so understood in Leviticus 3:17. The reason of this prohibition appears in Leviticus 7:25 : this fat was appropriated to burning upon the altar, and hence any other use of it was a profanation. While the Israelites were in the wilderness, all animals slain for food, which were allowed in sacrifice, were presented as victims, and their fat was burned on the altar. Afterwards, in view of the settlement in the promised land, this restriction was removed, Deuteronomy 12:15; Deuteronomy 12:21. With that permission the prohibition of blood is emphatically repeated; but nothing is said of the fat. Hence Keil argues that in such case the eating of the fat was allowable, and this opinion is strongly confirmed by Deuteronomy 32:14, enumerating among the good things to be enjoyed the “fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan.” Nevertheless, the language of universal prohibition is distinct in Leviticus 3:17, unless that is to be understood only of animals offered in sacrifice. The generality of commentators understand, in accordance with Jewish tradition, that the fat of the sacrificial animals was perpetually forbidden. In any case the prohibited fat was of course that which was burned on the altar, the separable fat, not that which was intermingled with the flesh.
Leviticus 7:24. That which died of itself, its blood not having been poured out, and that which was torn of beasts, was prohibited as food (Leviticus 22:8), and if any partook of it, he must undergo purification, and “be unclean until the even” (Leviticus 17:15). The fat of such animals therefore could no more be eaten than their flesh; but since it was also unfit for the altar, it might be used in any other use. Nothing is said of the fat of fowls as no special use was made of this on the altar.
Leviticus 7:26-27. The prohibition of blood is absolute and perpetual, and this for the reasons given in Leviticus 17:11. It has been urged that as nothing is anywhere said of the blood of fish, that is not included in the prohibition. More probably this was of too little importance to obtain particular mention, and the general principle on which blood is absolutely forbidden must be considered as applying here also, notwithstanding any tradition to the contrary.
H. Instructions for the priests’ portion of the peace offerings. Leviticus 7:28-36.
This, the final communication of this part of the book, is also addressed to the people, because the priests’ portion was taken from that which would otherwise have been returned to them, and it therefore concerned them to understand the law. It stands here quite in its right place: “When the priest’s rights in all the other sacrifices were enumerated, this was omitted, because the people here took the place of the priest in respect of the flesh. When the special nature of this offering in this respect has been made prominent, a new communication is made, addressed to the sons of Israel, and directing them, among other things, to assign certain portions of the victim to the priest.” Murphy.
Leviticus 7:29. Shall bring his offering unto the Lord.—The object of this provision seems to be to secure an actual, instead of a merely constructive offering. As most of the flesh was to be consumed by the offerer, it might possibly have been supposed sufficient merely to send in the consecrated parts; but the law regards the whole as offered to the Lord, and therefore requires that it shall be distinctly presented before Him.
Leviticus 7:30. His own hands shall bring.—Still further to guard the sacrificial character of this offering, which was more in danger of being secularized than any other, it is required that the parts especially destined for the Lord’s use might not be sent in by any servant or other messenger, but must be presented by the offerer’s own hands. Comp. Leviticus 8:27; Exodus 29:24-26; Numbers 6:19-20.—The fat with the breast.—The construction of עַל is as in Exodus 12:8-9. Breast is that part between the shoulders in front which we call the brisket, and which included the cartilaginous breast-bone.
A wave-offering.—The breast is to be a wave-offering, the right leg (Leviticus 7:31) a heave-offering. These two kinds of offering are clearly distinguished in the law. Both are mentioned together in Leviticus 7:34, and frequently (Leviticus 10:14-15; Exodus 29:24-27; Numbers 6:20; Numbers 18:11; Numbers 18:18-19, etc.) as distinct offerings; the heave-offering is mentioned alone (Leviticus 22:12; Exodus 25:2-3; Exodus 30:13-15; Exodus 35:5; Exodus 36:3; Exodus 36:6; Numbers 15:19-21; Numbers 18:24; Numbers 31:29; Numbers 31:41; Numbers 31:52, etc.), and so is the wave offering (Leviticus 14:12; Leviticus 14:21; Leviticus 14:24; Leviticus 23:15; Leviticus 23:17; Leviticus 23:20; Exodus 38:24; Exodus 38:29; Numbers 8:11; Numbers 8:13, etc.); although both apparently are sometimes used simply in the sense of offering and coupled together without distinction of meaning (Exodus 35:21-24); both are here applied to the offerings of metal for the tabernacle, though the other offerings are only spoken of as heave offerings. The distinction is much obscured in the A. V. by the frequent translation of both by the simple word offering, and sometimes without any note of this in the margin. In regard to the parts of the sacrifices designated by the two terms, the distinction is clearly marked; the heave-leg belonged exclusively to the officiating priest, while the wave-breast was the common property of the priestly order. The distinction in the ceremonial between them it is less easy to make. That of the wave offering appears to have been the more solemn and emphatic, consisting in the priest placing his hands under those of the offerer (which held the offering to be waved), and moving them to and fro—some of the Rabbins say, towards each of the four quarters, and also up and down. The heaving, on the other hand, appears to have been a simple lifting up of the offering. (See authorities in Outram I. 15, § V.) In all cases of the wave offering of parts of animals, only the fat was burned, except in the peculiar case of the consecration of the priests commanded in Exodus 29:22-26, and fulfilled in Leviticus 8:25-29, when the leg was also burned. In the case of the “waving” of the Levites (Numbers 8:11-19), they were wholly given up to God as the ministrants of the priests. Lange says: “The breast may represent the bold readiness, the leg the energetic progress, which in the priest are always desirable.”
During the sojourn in the wilderness, where all sacrificial animals that were to be eaten were offered in sacrifice, the priests’ portion was only the breast and the right leg; afterwards, when permission was given to kill these animals for food in the scattered habitations of the people, and thereby the perquisites of the priests were greatly reduced, there was added (Deuteronomy 18:3) “the shoulder (זְרֹעַ) and the two cheeks and the maw.”
Leviticus 7:34. A statute forever.—As long as the sacrificial system and the Aaronic priesthood should endure.
Leviticus 7:35. In the day when he presented them.—At the time when God, by the hand of Moses, brought them near to minister. The verb is without an expressed nominative in the Hebrew as in the English.
The conclusion of this part of the book. Leviticus 7:37-38.
Leviticus 7:37. The enumeration in this verse is to be understood not merely of the immediately preceding section; but of the whole law of sacrifice as given in all the preceding chapters.
Of the consecrations.—Lit., “of the fillings” sc. of the hands. Comp. Exodus 29:19-28. The ordinance for the consecration of the priests has been given in full there; but still something of it has been directed here (Leviticus 6:19-23) so that it must necessarily appear in this recapitulation.
Leviticus 7:38. In Mount Sinai.—That this expression is used broadly for the region of Mt. Sinai, not distinctively for the mountain itself, is apparent from the concluding clause of the verse.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
I. In the stress laid upon the necessity of maintaining perpetually the fire divinely kindled on the altar, is taught the necessity of the divine approval of the means by which man seeks to approach God. The only Mediator under the old Covenant as under the new, is Christ; but as the divine appointment was of old necessary to constitute the types which prefigured Him, and by means of which the worshipper availed himself of His sacrifice,—so now, man may claim the benefits of Christ’s work for his redemption only in those ways which God has approved.
II. The priests, and the high-priest, like the people, must offer oblations and sacrifices. They were separated from the people only in so far as the functions of their office required; in the individual relation of their souls to God, they formed no caste, and stood before Him on no different footing from others. This is a fundamental principle in all the divine dealings with man; “there is no respect of persons with God,” (Romans 2:11, etc.).
III. In the assimilation of the trespass to the sin offering is shown how wrong done to man is also sin against God; while in the peculiar ordinances belonging to the sin offering alone, we see the peculiar sinfulness of that sin which is committed directly against God.
IV. The provision for a portion for the priests from the various offerings, and from the oblation accompanying the whole burnt offering sets forth in act the general principle declared in words in the New Testament, “that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple.” (1 Corinthians 9:13).
V. The peace offerings are called in the LXX. frequently “sacrifices of praise” (θυσίαι τῆς αἰνεσέως); by the use of the same phraseology in the Ep. to the Heb. (Leviticus 13:15) applied to Christ, He is pointed out as the Antitype of this sacrifice: “By Him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise (θνσίαν αἰνέσεως) to God continually;” and again (Leviticus 7:10) “We have an altar whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.”
VI. In the oblation accompanying the peace offering leavened bread was required. This could not be admitted for burning upon the altar for reasons already given; nevertheless it must be presented to the Lord for a heave offering. Many things in man’s daily life cannot, from their nature, be directly appropriated to the service of God; yet all must be sanctified by being presented before Him.
VII. In the strict prohibition to the people of the fat which was appropriated as the Lord’s portion was taught, in a way suited to the apprehension of the Israelites, the general principle that whatever has been appropriated to God may not rightly be diverted to any other use.
VIII. The various kinds of sacrifice here recognized as means of approach to God, and the provisions for their constant repetition, alike indicate their intrinsic insufficiency and temporary character. Otherwise “would they not have ceased to be offered, because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins?” (Hebrews 10:2).
IX. The same temporary and insufficient character attached to the peace offerings, which expressed communion with God. As Keil has pointed out, they still left the people in the outer court, while God was enthroned behind the vail in the holy of holies, and this vail could only be removed by the sacrifice on Calvary. And in general, as the office of the old Covenant was to give the knowledge of sin rather than, by anything within itself, completely to do it away; so was it designed to awaken rather than to satisfy the desire for reconciliation and communion with God. In so far as it actually accomplished either purpose, it was by its helping the faith of the worshippers to lean, through its types, upon the one true Sacrifice in the future.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
VI. Leviticus 7:9-13. The ever-burning fire; kindled by God, but kept alive by man; the acceptance of our efforts to approach God is from Him, but He gives or withholds it according to our desire and exertion. “Quench not the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The Spirit ζωοποιεῖ, but it is for us ἀναζωπυρεῖν (2 Timothy 1:6) Wordsworth. Put on his linen garment; the inward purity required in those who are serving immediately at the altar is fitly symbolized by outward signs. Even that which is becoming in service of other kinds, as the carrying forth of the ashes, may well be replaced in duties which are more nearly related to the divine Presence.
Leviticus 7:14-18. The oblation. That is truly offered to God which is consumed in His service, though but the “memorial” of it and the frankincense, typifying prayer and praise, can be actually given directly to Him. Whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.— As there is a contaminating effect in contact with evil, so is there a sanctifying effect from close contact with that which is holy. The woman in the Gospel by faith touched the holy One, and virtue went forth to heal her from her uncleanness. Origen (Horn. 4 in Lev.).
Leviticus 7:19-23. The high-priest must offer an oblation for himself as well as for the people. Man never reaches on earth a stage of holiness so high that he needs not means of approach to God; He alone who “was without sin” offered Himself for us.
Leviticus 7:24-30. Everything connected with the sin-offering is to be scrupulously guarded from defilement, and everything which it touches receives from it somewhat of its own character; a fit emblem and type of the true Sacrifice for sins, Himself without sin. Whoever seeks the benefit of this Sacrifice, must “die unto sin,” and whoever is sprinkled by His all-availing blood becomes thereby “purged from sin.” Yet even so, the virtue of that blood may not be carried out of the sanctuary of God’s presence; they who, having been touched by the blood shed on Calvary, would depart from communion with God, must leave behind them all the efficacy of that atonement.
VII. Leviticus 7:1-6. Though the sin whose prominent feature is harm done, be less than that in which the offence is more directly against God, yet for the forgiveness of one there is essentially the same law as for the other. Both are violations of the law of love, and love toward God and man are so bound together that neither can truly exist without the other (1 John 4:20), and there can be no breach of the one without the other.
Leviticus 7:11-21. The peace offering was at once communion of the offerer with God and also the opportunity for extending his bounty to his fellow-men. So always there is the same connection. It was said to Cornelius, “Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial.” “To do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:16). The thank offering has a higher place than the vow or the voluntary offering: that is a nearer communion with God in which the grateful heart simply pours out its thanksgivings, than that in which, with some touch of selfishness, it still seeks some further blessing. Yet both are holy. But uncleanness allowed to continue, debarred from such communion; and sin. unrepented, in its very nature now forbids it.
Leviticus 7:37-38. A summary of the law of sacrifice in its variety. All these sacrifices were (as elsewhere shown) types of Christ; for it was impossible that the fulness of His gracious offices could be set forth by any single type. He is at once the whole burnt offering of complete consecration of Himself, through whom also we “present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God;” and He is, too, the oblation, as that which man must present to God with his other sacrifices, as it is in and through Christ alone that our sacrifices can be acceptable; He is the sin offering, as it is through Him alone that our sins can be “covered” and effectual atonement be made for us; as trespass offering also, it is through His love shed abroad from Calvary, that we learn that love towards our fellow-men in the exercise of which only can our transgressions against Him be forgiven; and so too is He the peace offering, for His very name is “Peace.” His coming was “peace on earth,” and by Him have we peace and communion with God. No one of these alone can fully typify Christ: beforehand each of His great offices in our behalf must be set forth by a separate symbolical teaching; but when He has come, all these separate threads are gathered into one, and He is become our “all in all.”
VII. Leviticus 7:1. The LXX. here has ὁ νόμος τοῦ κριοῦ, the ram being the only victim admissible for the trespass offering.
Leviticus 7:2; Leviticus 7:2. The Sam. here uses the plural. It cannot mean that the offerer sprinkled the blood, but rather assimilates this verb to those going before on the supposition (as in Leviticus 1:6; Leviticus 1:12, etc.) that the priests also killed the victim.
Leviticus 7:3; Leviticus 7:3. הָאַלְיָה. See Textual Note 4 on Leviticus 3:9.
Leviticus 7:4; Leviticus 7:4. עַל =on. See Textual Note 7 on Leviticus 3:4.
Leviticus 7:14; Leviticus 7:14, etc. מִנְחָה= oblation. See Leviticus 2:1, Text. and Gram. Note (2). The Sam. has here “the law of the oblation of the drink offerings,” whence the Vulg.: lex sacrificii et libamentorum.
Leviticus 7:9; Leviticus 7:9. See Textual Note7 on Leviticus 2:7.
Leviticus 7:11; Leviticus 7:11. The Sam., LXX. and Vulg. with two MSS. have the plural.
Leviticus 7:12; Leviticus 7:12. מֻרְבֶכֶת. There is so much difference of opinion as to the meaning that it seems unsafe to attempt any change in the A. V. Fürst says: “something dipped in, mingled (by moistening);” Lange denies that it conveys the sense of cooked; Keil translates “and roasted fine flour (see Leviticus 6:14) mixed as cakes with oil, i.e., cakes made of fine flour roasted with oil, and thoroughly kneaded with oil.” Others give varying interpretations.
Leviticus 7:14; Leviticus 7:14. קָרְבָן is to be uniformly translated offering. See Leviticus 2:1. The word whole in the A. V. does not express the idea that one must be taken out of each of the offerings mentioned in the two preceding verses.
Leviticus 7:18; Leviticus 7:18. פּגּוּל occurs only here and in Leviticus 19:7; Isaiah 65:4; Ezekiel 4:14, and is always applied to the sacrificial flesh. It is from the root פָּגַל, and signifies something unclean and fetid, LXX. μίασμα.
Leviticus 7:21; Leviticus 7:21. For שֶׁקֶץ=an abominable animal (Leviticus 11:10; Leviticus 11:12-13; Leviticus 11:20; Leviticus 11:23; Leviticus 11:41), the Sam., six MSS. of Kennicott and of de Rossi, Targ. of Onkelos (רְחֵשׁ) and the Syr. read שֶׁרֶץ=reptiles, worms (5 Leviticus 11:20; Leviticus 11:29; Leviticus 11:41). This would make a more systematic enumeration of the sources of uncleanness, and is adopted by many.
Leviticus 7:24; Leviticus 7:24. נְבֵלָה. The margin of the A. V. is better than the text. The טְרֵפהָ of the next clause=torn sc. of beasts, is of course a wholly different word.
Leviticus 7:29; Leviticus 7:29. The uniform translation of קָרְבָן must be retained here also, although giving an appearance of tautology which is not in the original, his peace offerings being expressed simply by שְׁלָמָיו. The translation of the A. V. may have been influenced by the rendering in the Vulg.: offerat simul et sacrificium, id est, libamenta ejus; but for this there is no warrant, nor is it sustained by any other of the ancient versions.
Leviticus 7:32; Leviticus 7:32. שׁוֹק is uniformly rendered shoulder In the A. V. wherever it is applied to sacrificial animals; in all other places it is used of men (Deuteronomy 28:35; Proverbs 26:7; Song of Solomon 5:15; Isaiah 47:2; also Daniel 2:33, Chald.; Psalms 147:10), and is translated leg, or hip, or thigh. The A. V. has hero followed the equally uniform practice of the LXX. and the Vulg. It would seem that the word should have the same sense in both cases; there is no place in which leg is inapplicable, but there are several in which shoulder is inadmissible. The testimony of Josephus (III. 9, § 2, κνήμη) is explicit in favor of leg; so also Jewish tradition and the lexicons. Whether the fore or the hind leg is meant is a matter of difference of opinion; but the Heb. has a distinct word זרוע=arm for the shoulder or fore-leg (Numbers 6:19; Deuteronomy 18:3), and that, too, of the sacrificial animals.
Leviticus 7:35; Leviticus 7:35. מִשְׁחָה. The word undoubtedly means anointing; but there is also good authority for the meaning portion which Rosenmüller considers undoubtedly the right translation here, and which is so necessary to the sense that it is supplied in the A. V., which has followed the translation of the LXX. and Vulg.
Leviticus 7:35; Leviticus 7:35. The Vulg. has die qua obtulit eos Moyses ut sacerdotio fungerentur.
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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Leviticus 7". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/