LEVITICUS 3


God is not the author of confusion but of peace: orderliness is the hallmark of all His handiwork, alike in Nature and in Scripture. Orderliness and method must therefore, on that ground alone, characterize every valid interpretation of the Law.

Law and Grace



The Peace offering


Peace offering <8002 - shelem> (requital) - a voluntary sacrifice in thanks from <7999 - shalam> safe, complete - suggesting fellowship.

1 And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before Yahweh.

The meat offering was the communion of friendship with God --as when friend gives a gift to friend out of pure love. But the peace offering by its very name imported the idea of making peace, and, therefore, of removing cause of dispeace. The cause would be on the offerer's side wholly, for there is never cause of dispeace from God when men walk in harmony with His requirements.

A man might feel cause of dispeace without being guilty of any open act of trespass. He might not feel bad enough, as we might say, to bring a sin offering or a trespass offering, which would be for some particular act of nonconformity with the law; yet he might feel a sense of general shortcoming sufficient to make him fear the divine disapproval: or he might feel special cause for thanksgiving which he had not fully met. He might in such case bring a peace offering. *



THE PEACE OFFERING. This was voluntary. It was never commanded specifically, except on the occasion of Pentecost.

And this exception is fitting, for the Pentecost symbolizes the Firstfruits of Christ's coming: the marriage supper of the Lamb -- the great consummation of the communion of God with His people taken out of all the previous ages of the world.

In the Peace Offering the offerer himself partook. The Peace Offering was the culminating offering, the joyous offering, the partaking of holy food belonging to God, in His house, as His guest and companion. In this offering, God and the priest and the worshipper all shared. There was a portion for each. Here is the perfect union and fellowship of the believer with God through Christ: the covenant meal of friendship and loving intimacy, foreshadowing the great fruition and fulfilment of the eternal divine plan. **



2 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.

Bringing the offering, he [the peace offerer] was to lay his hand on the animal's head, thus identifying himself with it, in self-condemning humility, and then he was to kill it.

His offering in such a case must be more than a mere present. It is only man that can be propitiated with a gift. We cannot give anything to God in this sense--in the sense of enriching Him. 

We must give Him that which pleases Him; and in the case of fault, it is not giving Him something that can conciliate Him: it is abasement even unto death. Hence, a peace offering had to be a living creature for sacrifice: the recognition of God's greatness and prerogative: the acknowledgment that the continued life of the owner was by favour and not of right. *



But though this was a voluntary offering of the offerer's spontaneous freewill and thanksgiving, still there were many specific details of procedure that had to be followed exactly for the offering to be a blessing and not an abomination. Here is vividly emphasized the lesson that we must be taught of God in everything. Of ourselves we know nothing of eternal truth, and we can do nothing right, even our thanksgiving, without divine instruction. **



3 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto Yahweh ; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,

4 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.

5 And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto Yahweh.



Male or Female Offering

6 And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto Yahweh be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish.

The peace offering might be of the cattle, sheep, or goats, and, as regards the two first, it might be male or female (Lev. 3:1, 6, 12), in which latter point, there is a distinction between the peace offering and the sin offering, and all the leading offerings instituted; in these, "a male without blemish" was the requirement: but here "male or female", ...how are we to understand the admissibility of the female element in the peace offerings?

It certainly shows that woman is not excluded from the work of salvation, though she was not to figure in the first degree. It was a man that was to be the saviour, yet the man was to be by the woman. She was to contribute her part.

If woman was the means of man's downfall in Eden, she was the means of his redemption in Bethlehem. See her bending over the manger. This was evidently the relation of ideas before the mind of Paul when he said:

"Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding, she shall be saved in child-bearing (or 'by the child-bearing ', as it is in the original) if they continue", etc.

If she was not to be the Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world, she was to provide him. "The seed" was to be "her seed". In this way, she was admitted to a close fellowship in the work of redemption. Therefore, the female animal was allowed a place in the subordinate sacrifices, though not eligible for those sacrifices that directly typified the sin-bearing Man of Sorrow. *



7 If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before Yahweh.

8 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar.

Personal Accountability


Whether a bullock, sheep, or goat, the peace offering was to be brought by the offerer himself, and not sent by deputy: "His own hands shall bring the offering" (Lev. 7:30). What can this typify but the hearty humble energy of personal service as contrasted with the modern effeminacies of sentimental pride that can send a cheque from the lordly seclusion of a country seat, but cannot stoop to a personal condescension.

"You know how it is", says Jesus,

 "with the great ones of the Gentiles: it shall not be so among you: he that is great among you, let him be as the servant, even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister." *


9 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto Yahweh; the fat thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,

10 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.


11 And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto Yahweh.

The priest was to sprinkle the blood upon the altar, and cut up the creature for use as a peace offering: that is the fatty linings of the interior were to be laid upon the altar-fire and consumed, and the leading joints (the breast and the right shoulder) were to be taken possession of by the officiating priest:

"He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part. For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel" (Lev. 7:33-34). *



13 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about.

The poured-out blood was the ceremonial of confession to be observed even in thanksgiving approaches--of which we enjoy the antitype when we draw nigh to God with confession on our lips and the crucified Christ in our hearts--on whom God laid the iniquities of us all, that with his stripes we might be healed. *



14 And he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offering made by fire unto Yahweh; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,

The fat is described as 'a sweet savour' v16 - that part upon which the altar-fire feeds.

If blood means life, it is evident that fat means the strength and goodness of life. When used figuratively, it is always with the sense of prosperity and good condition, e.g., "All that are fat upon earth shall worship", "Thou art waxen fat: thou art grown thick: thou art covered with fatness." Consequently, a man giving his time, his love, his service, his substance, gives the fat of his life. This is "the food of the peace offering", and ascends as a sweet savour to God.

This is almost the exact language that Paul uses concerning the munificence of the brethren in the supply of his wants: "I have received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God:" (Phil. 4:18).

Christ not only gave his life for us, but for our sakes "impoverished himself"--(a more correct translation than "became poor ")--that is, voluntarily submitted to circumstance of poverty and humility when he might not only have had "twelve legions of angels", but "all the kingdoms of the world" He offered the fat as well as the blood. As his followers, we are invited to do the same, though we necessarily follow at a long distance. The young man looked, but did not follow. He was "grieved, for he had great possessions". *

*Law of Moses Ch 24

 


15 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.

16 And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is Yahweh's.

17 It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.

Blessed will be those of 'This generation' who live to see the reinstitution of animal offerings in memorial of Yahweh's redemptive plan through the blood of Messiah shed for the remission of sins.

' And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord Yahweh. Ezk 43:27