Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(fully, זֶבִח שְׁלָמַים, also simply: שְׁלָמַים [but this sometimes in a singular sense, as Ezekiel 45:15; comp. Leviticus 7:14; Leviticus 9:22, etc.], once merely the sing. שֶׁלֶם, Amos 5:22; Sept. usually εἰρηνικὴ ῾θυσία ], also σωτήριον or , θυσία σωτηρίου; Vulg. victima pacifica, or simply pacificum), a voluntary sacrifice offered by the pious Jews in token of gratitude — thank-offering (hence Josephus calls it χαριστήριος [θυσία ], Ant. 3:9, 1 sq.; comp. 19:6, 1). These sacrifices, which are often mentioned in connection with burnt offerings (Exodus 20:24; Exodus 24:5; Leviticus 3:5; Joshua 8:31; 1 Kings 3:15, etc.), consisted of spotless (yet see Leviticus 22:23) neat or small cattle of either sex (Leviticus 3:1; Leviticus 3:6; Leviticus 9:4; Leviticus 9:18; Leviticus 22:21; Leviticus 23:19; see Joseph. Ant, 3:9, 2; comp. Exodus 24:5; 1 Kings 8:63), and were offered, along with meat- offerings and drink-offerings (in the same manner as burnt-offerings), either by individuals or in the name of the people. The latter was customary on occasions of festive inauguration (Exodus 24:5; 2 Samuel 6:17 sq.; 1 Kings 8:63; Ezekiel 43:27; comp. 1 Maccabees 4:56); on the election of kings (1 Samuel 11:15); and upon the fortunate issue of important enterprises (Deuteronomy 27:7; Joshua 8:31); but they were expressly prescribed at the Feast of Pentecost (the young lambs, Leviticus 23:19).
Private peace offerings were the result of free impulse (נְדָבוֹת ), or in fulfillment of a vow (Leviticus 7:16; Leviticus 22:21; Numbers 15:8), so regularly at the expiration of a Nazaritish vow (Numbers 6:14), and were often determined upon in consequence of a special favor received from Jehovah (thank-offering, fully זֶבִח תּוֹדִת שְׁלָמַים,-or more briefly זֶבִח הִתּוֹדָה, or simply תּוֹדָה , θυσία αἰγέσεως, Leviticus 7:12; Leviticus 22:29). The festivals were honored by peace-offerings (Numbers 10:10; 2 Chronicles 30:22). Solomon arranged three times a year a sacrificial festival of burnt-offerings and drink-offerings (1 Kings 9:25). All peace-offerings were to be presented with imposition of hands (Leviticus 3:2; Leviticus 8:13); only the fat parts (which in the case of cattle and goats consisted of the fat covering the inwards [omentum], all the fat of the inwards [between them], the kidneys with the fat connected with them [leaf-fat], the fat on the thigh-muscles, and finally the large lobe of the liver; in the case of a lamb, of the fat tail ["rump"] and the inside fat; see Josephus, Ant. 3:9, 2; comp. Biahr, Symbol. 3:353 sq.) were burned on the altar (Leviticus 3:3; Leviticus cf., 9; Leviticus cf., 14 sq.; oomp. 4:9 sq., 26; 6:12; Amos 5:22), and the blood was sprinkled around the altar (Leviticus 3:2; Leviticus 7:14; Leviticus 9:18; Leviticus 17:6; 2 Kings 16:13). The remainder of the flesh belonged, in the peace-offerings of the Pentecost and the other public occasions, to the priests (Leviticus 23:20); in the case of private offerings, the priests were entitled to the breast and shoulder (Numbers 6:20; comp. Exodus 29:27; Leviticus 7:31; Leviticus 10:14), which were the heave- offering and the wave-offering (Leviticus 7:30; Leviticus 7:34; Leviticus 9:21; Numbers 6:20), and the rest was used by the offerer in joyful meals at the sanctuary (Leviticus 19:6 sq.; Leviticus 22:30; Deuteronomy 12:17 sq.; Deuteronomy 27:7; comp. Jeremiah 33:11).
Yet the whole must be consumed in the case of thank- offerings on the same day (Leviticus 7:15; Leviticus 22:29), or in other cases at farthest on the second day (Leviticus 7:16 sq.; comp. Leviticus 19:6); if anything remained on the third day it was to be burned. The reason of this last prescription is not to be sought so much in the intention of the lawgiver to set a limit to the feasting, as in the design that the flesh of the offering, instead of being dried and preserved (comp. Rosenmü ller, Morgenl. 3:159), should really be employed for the meals at the time. Bahr (Symbol. 2:374 sq.) has not fairly met the point, since putrefaction, which he assigns as the ground of the objection to the retention to the third day (פַּגּוּל, Leviticus 7:18; Leviticus 19:7), might be obviated in the mode suggested, as in the modern East. A special rule respecting thank-offerings proper was that, in addition to a slice of leavened dough, unleavened sacrificial cakes (see on the contrary Amos 4:5) must be presented, of which, however, only one belonged to Jehovah, while the remainder went to the priest (Leviticus 7:12 sq.). But these cakes were deposited in a basket only in the peace-offerings attendant upon a Nazaritish vow (Numbers 6:15 sq.). The Mishna adds but little to the Biblical ordinances. The Pentecostal peace-offerings were reckoned among the most sacred offerings, in comparison with which all the other pacificat are of trifling esteem. The pieces of the flesh (cooked or roasted) might be eaten anywhere in the Holy City, and in the enjoyment of the portions of the offering allotted to the priests, their wives, children, and slaves also might share (see Zebach. v. 5 sq.). The quantity of meal to be used in making the thank-offering cakes is prescribed (Menach. 7:1). (See OFFERING).
The שְׁלָמַים were, according to etymology and definition, compensation offerings (from שַׁלֵּם, to requite), i.e. such as, so to speak, repaid Jehovah by way of thanks, praise, or vow, and hence had (especially in the repasts which were peculiar to these sacrifices, Josephus, Ant. 3:9, 1) the character of cheerfulness and joy (see 1 Samuel 11:15; comp. Baihr, Symbol. 2:368 sq.). This signification, however, as a token of gratitude, sometimes becomes obscure (1 Samuel 13:9), and occasionally disappears altogether (Judges 20:26; Judges 21:4; 2 Samuel 24:25). In the first instance, just cited, the offering in question was presented before a military undertaking; in the three others it followed a public calamity. The two-fold import of the שְׁלָמַים is reconciled by the statement of Philo (Opp. 2:244) and the Rabbins (see Outram, De Sacrif. p. 108), that they were offered for a deliverance to be obtained, as well as for one already secured; and thus the Israelitish system of offerings did not lack precatory sacrifices. But that the last-named character altogether belonged to the שְׁלָמֵי נֶדֶר and שְׁלָמֵי תוֹדָה, is not only improbable from the nature of the case, but also from the signification of the term תּוֹדָה, thank-offering, itself; although in some instances (as 2 Samuel 24:25) the peace-offering had that significance. On the other hand, the other passages cited above, in which שְׁלָמַים were offered after a public misfortune, are explainable upon no theory of this kind of sacrifice hitherto adduced, and we are left to conclude that they were irregularly introduced during the ritual confusion of the period of the Judges. See generally Reland, Antiq. Sacr. p. 317 sq.; Outram, De Sacrif. I, ii; Scholl, in the Stud. d. Wurtemb. Geistl. V, 1:108 sq. (See THANK- OFFERING).
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Peace-Offering'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/p/peace-offering.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.