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Sunday, June 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 7

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary


A.M. 2514. B.C. 1490.

Further directions concerning the trespass-offering, Leviticus 7:1-7 . The burnt-offering and meat or meal-offering, Leviticus 7:8-10 . The peace-offering, Leviticus 7:11-21 . Fat and blood again forbidden, Leviticus 7:22-27 . The priest’s share of it, Leviticus 7:28-34 . The conclusion of these instructions, Leviticus 7:35-38 .

Verses 1-2

Leviticus 7:1-2. Here the priests are directed in their office about the trespass- offerings, as the people had been before. The blood shall he sprinkle round about This is a different rule from that observed in the sin-offering, the blood of which was to be put upon the horns of the altar, Leviticus 4:25; but this was to be sprinkled round about it, as was ordered respecting the whole burnt-offerings.

Verses 7-8

Leviticus 7:7-8. As is the sin-offering, so is the trespass-offering In the matter following, for in other things they differed. The priests shall have it That part of it which was by God allowed to the priest. The priest shall have to himself the skin The note of Bishop Patrick is worth transcribing here: “All the flesh of the burnt-offerings being wholly consumed, as well as the fat upon the altar, there was nothing that could fall to the share of the priest but the skin, which is here given him for his pains. It was observed upon Genesis 3:21, that it is probable Adam himself offered the first sacrifice, and had the skin given him by God, to make the garments for him and his wife. In conformity to which the priests ever after had the skin of the whole burnt-offerings for their portion; which was a custom among the Gentiles, (as well as the Jews,) who gave the skins of their sacrifices to their priests, when they were not burned with the sacrifices, as in some sin-offerings they were among the Jews, see Leviticus 4:11; and they employed them to a superstitious use, by lying upon them in their temples, in hopes to have future things revealed to them in their dreams. Of this we have a proof in Virgil’s seventh Æneid, line 86. See Dryden’s translation, 7:127.”

Verse 9

Leviticus 7:9. All the meat or meal- offering shall be the priest’s Except the part reserved by God, (Leviticus 2:2; Leviticus 2:9,) these being ready dressed, and hot, and to be eaten presently. And the priest who offered it was, in reason, to expect something more than his brethren who laboured not about it, and that he had only in this offering; for the others were equally distributed. For ( Lev 7:10 ) every meat or meal-offering, which was of raw flour, whether mingled with oil or dry, that is, without oil, or drink-offering, all the sons of Aaron were to share equally among them. And there was manifest reason for this difference, because these were offered in greater quantities than the former; and, being raw, might more easily be reserved for the several priests, to dress them in the way which each of them might prefer.

Verse 11

Leviticus 7:11. This is the law of the sacrifice of peace-offerings These are the only sort of offerings to be spoken of. There were several sorts of them, which required various rites. The first was a gratulatory offering, or a sacrifice of thanksgiving, so called because it was offered to God for some particular benefit received, Leviticus 7:12. Such sacrifices were accompanied with feasting, and sometimes with high demonstrations of joy, 1Sa 11:15 ; 1 Kings 8:6. Of these the psalmist speaks, when he says, Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing, <19A722>Psalms 107:22. The second was a votive-offering, or vow, being also a sacrifice of thanksgiving, but offered in consequence of a vow, or religious oath, whereby the party obliged himself to offer to God such a sacrifice, in case of receiving some particular benefit. The third was a voluntary offering, being a sacrifice freely made beforehand, in the nature of a prayer for obtaining some future blessing, Leviticus 7:16; or, as Le Clerc explains it, a voluntary offering was a sacrifice offered, not for any particular benefit either received or expected, but merely from the overflowing of a heart grateful to God for his goodness in general. We find this oblation plainly distinguished from a votive-offering, Leviticus 22:23.

Verse 12

Leviticus 7:12. If he offer it for a thanksgiving Hebrew, על תודה , gnal todah, for confession, it being accompanied with a public confession or acknowledgment of the mercies and deliverances which the offerer had received from God. And to this the apostle alludes, (Hebrews 13:15,) exhorting Christians to offer to God continually, through Christ, the sacrifice of praise; that is, says he, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks, ομολογουντων , confessing to his name.

Verse 13

Leviticus 7:13. Leavened bread Because this was a sacrifice of another kind than those in which leaven was forbidden, this being a sacrifice of thanksgiving for God’s blessings, among which leavened bread was one.

Leaven indeed was universally forbidden, Leviticus 2:11; but that prohibition concerned only things offered and burned upon the altar, which this bread was not.

Verse 15

Leviticus 7:15. The flesh shall be eaten the same day This was partly that none of it might be exposed to corruption, (for by the third day it might easily, in those hot countries, putrefy,) and partly that the offerer might not be sordidly saving of this sacred banquet, but be taught to show his piety to God by his love to his fellow-creatures, forthwith inviting his friends to partake of it with him; and in case he and they could not eat it up, by distributing the remains among the poor. This law might also be intended to prevent their spending many days in feasting under the pretence of religion. It may be observed further here, that the longest time allowed for eating the flesh of any of the sacrifices enjoined by Moses, was the day after that on which they were killed; the eating of it on the third day is declared to be an abomination.

Verse 16

Leviticus 7:16. If the sacrifice be a vow Offered in performance of a vow, the offerer having desired some special favour from God, and vowed the sacrifice to God if he would grant it. A voluntary offering, which a person offered freely to God, in testimony of his faith and love, not being under the obligation of any particular vow of his own, or command from God. On the morrow also the remainder shall be eaten Which was not allowed in the case of the thank-offering. The reason of which is to be fetched only from God’s good pleasure and will, to which he expects our obedience, though we discern not the reason of his appointments.

Verses 17-18

Leviticus 7:17-18. The flesh on the third day shall be burned with fire Lest it should putrefy, and so be exposed to contempt, and to prevent their distrust of God’s providence, or indulging a covetous disposition, by reserving for domestic use what ought to be given to their friends or the poor. If eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted In this case, not only the sacrifice became worthless, but the offerer guilty of a new offence. Neither shall it be imputed unto him For an acceptable service to God, but reckoned as if it had not been offered at all.

Whatsoever is not of faith is sin; and that cannot be of faith which has not the sanction of God’s authority, expressed or implied, and is not done agreeably to his will. It is therefore not acceptable to him.

Verses 19-21

Leviticus 7:19-21. All that be clean shall eat thereof Whether priests, or offerers, or guests invited. Both the flesh and the eaters of it must be clean. The soul that eateth Knowingly; for if it were done ignorantly, a sacrifice was accepted for it. Having his uncleanness upon him Not being cleansed according to the appointment, Leviticus 11:24, &c. Shall be cut off from his people That is, excluded from all the privileges of an Israelite. The intention of all these precepts was to preserve the greater reverence and regard for things sacred, and to signify, that all who live in sin not repented of and mortified, are rejected when they draw nigh to God in outward acts of worship.

Verses 23-24

Leviticus 7:23-24. The general prohibition of eating fat, (Leviticus 3:17,) is here explained of those kinds of creatures which were sacrificed. The fat of others they might eat. And ( Lev 7:24 ) he shows that this prohibition reached not only to the fat of those beasts which were offered to God, but also of those that died, or were killed at home.

Verses 29-30

Leviticus 7:29-30. Shall bring Not by another, but by himself, that is, those parts of the peace-offering which are in a special manner offered to God. His oblation unto the Lord That is, to the tabernacle, where the Lord was present in a special manner His own hands After the beast was killed, and the parts of it divided, the priest was to put the parts mentioned into the hands of the offerer. Offerings made by fire So called, not strictly, as burnt-offerings are, because some parts of these were left for the priests, but more largely, because even these peace-offerings were in part, though not wholly, burned. Waved To and fro, by his hands, which were supported and directed by the hands of the priest.

Verse 34

Leviticus 7:34. The wave-breast, and the heave-shoulder Hebrew, The breast of elevation, and the shoulder of exaltation; that is, those parts which are consecrated to me by lifting, or heaving them up toward heaven. The breast or heart is the seat of wisdom; and the shoulder, of strength for action; and these two may denote that wisdom and power which were in Christ our High-Priest, and which ought to be in every priest. They also signify that God is to be served with all our heart, mind, and strength. By a statute for ever An ordinance to continue so long as the law of sacrifice should remain. And the equity of it remains still; for as they who waited at the altar were partakers with the altar, even so hath the Lord ordained that those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel, 1 Corinthians 9:13-14. In other words, the ministers of Christ, who devote their time and labours to his service and that of the public, have a right to be maintained by the public.

Verses 35-37

Leviticus 7:35-37. This is the portion of the anointing That is, their portion in consequence of their unction to the priests’ office, appointed them by God in that day, and therefore to be given them in after ages. Thus God kindly provides for them that are given up entirely to his service in things sacred. Of the consecration That is, of the sacrifice offered at the consecration of the priests.

Verse 38

Leviticus 7:38. In mount Sinai Rather, by mount Sinai; for Moses had been some time come down from the mount, and these commands were given him from the tabernacle, Leviticus 1:1. He and the people, however, were still in the wilderness of Sinai, or in that tract of land adjoining to the mount, which, being desert and thinly inhabited, is termed a wilderness.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Leviticus 7". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/leviticus-7.html. 1857.
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