Leviticus 7: The Priests and the Offerings

1 “This is the law of the guilt offering. It is most holy. 2 In the place where they kill the burnt offering they shall kill the guilt offering, and its blood shall be thrown against the sides of the altar. 3 And all its fat shall be offered, the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails, 4 the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. 5 The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering to the Lord; it is a guilt offering. 6 Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place. It is most holy. 7 The guilt offering is just like the sin offering; there is one law for them. The priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. 8 And the priest who offers any man’s burnt offering shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering that he has offered. 9 And every grain offering baked in the oven and all that is prepared on a pan or a griddle shall belong to the priest who offers it. 10 And every grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall be shared equally among all the sons of Aaron.

-We are told in the verse that “It is most holy”. Even declaring that the priests may eat of the offering and what parts are holy. Every single aspect of the law is holy and perfect because it represents a perfect God. Priests can only eat the skin from a burnt offering because all of it is consumed on the altar. When someone rededicates themselves, they are essentially shedding their old skin. But they aren’t giving of their whole selves in this particular instance which is why the meat cannot be eaten. Last chapter in Leviticus 6:15-16, the priests are told they shall take a handful to burn on the altar and consume the rest.

11 “And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that one may offer to the Lord. 12 If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of fine flour well mixed with oil. 13 With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving he shall bring his offering with loaves of leavened bread. 14 And from it he shall offer one loaf from each offering, as a gift to the Lord. It shall belong to the priest who throws the blood of the peace offerings. 15 And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning.

-Remember that the peace offering is a voluntary offering and is consumed by the person offering it. This was the ONLY time a law-abiding Israelite ate meat, as part of a peace offering which meant they also had to supply the unleavened and leavened loves as well as wafers and fine flour with oil if they intended to eat meat. The spilling of blood, even though an animal, is done at great cost and only as a way of making peace and acknowledging God. Everything that God does is good and consistently logical and anything that does not make sense or appear logical to us is due to a lack of understanding or information on our part. I cannot help but wonder if this can be used to point towards the justification of killing if the costs our weighed and the intention is for peace. For example, killing as self-defense or to bring an end to aggression or war. In all these rituals that appear random procedural red-tape and unfair for God to require of His people, He is communicating to all of us reading today as well as the Israelites of the time who He is and what good is. This ritual may be suggesting, among many other things, this absolutely good rule about when killing is necessary towards another human being.

16 But if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow offering or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what remains of it shall be eaten. 17 But what remains of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned up with fire. 18 If any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering is eaten on the third day, he who offers it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be credited to him. It is tainted, and he who eats of it shall bear his iniquity.

-So a peace offering, as in making peace with the Lord, is consumed that day and none of it is left for the next day. But here, a vow or just simply a freewill gift can be eaten the next but not the third day. Why the third day? One suggestion I had read from Matthew Henry’s Commentary seems to suggest that the peace offering is like coming to Christ which is done immediately. It can be said that there are two chances to believe in Christ: before His return and before one’s death, and after the rapture before the seven years tribulation ends. If you “miss the boat”, you still have another chance and there will be two witnesses prophesying to ensure you are able to hear the message and make a decision. It could also point to Christ rising on the third day that death will not contain longer than two days.

19 “Flesh that touches any unclean thing shall not be eaten. It shall be burned up with fire. All who are clean may eat flesh, 20 but the person who eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of the Lord’s peace offerings while an uncleanness is on him, that person shall be cut off from his people. 21 And if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether human uncleanness or an unclean beast or any unclean detestable creature, and then eats some flesh from the sacrifice of the Lord’s peace offerings, that person shall be cut off from his people.”

-When it is written “that person shall be cut off from his people” does not mean that this person is immediately exiled from Israel forever but rather what it says, that the person is unclean now and therefore different. But not different in terms of being “holy” but rather the opposite. When you are unclean you are of the world just as while we are in sin, we are not representing God as His ambassadors or image. In that moment, we are unclean and cut off although not forever. A person can become clean again through following the right procedure just as we can repent and come to God. We never lose our salvation once we have it no more than a person is no longer an Israelite by blood if he is “cut off from his people”. Even as gentiles, once we are adopted into God’s family, we are apart of the family and loved no matter what happens afterwards.

22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, You shall eat no fat, of ox or sheep or goat. 24 The fat of an animal that dies of itself and the fat of one that is torn by beasts may be put to any other use, but on no account shall you eat it. 25 For every person who eats of the fat of an animal of which a food offering may be made to the Lord shall be cut off from his people. 26 Moreover, you shall eat no blood whatever, whether of fowl or of animal, in any of your dwelling places. 27 Whoever eats any blood, that person shall be cut off from his people.”

-Again it says “cut off from his people”. So if you have a tiny little bit of fat, perhaps by accident, you are banned from Israel forever? There is no confusion with the translation of what these words mean. The words in Hebrew are “Karath” which means “to cut or destroy” and “am” which means “people or tribe or unit”. So the Hebrew is saying you are “destroyed from your people”. But there is no word saying forever. The reason I can be so sure that this does not mean banishment is for one, there is no punishment listed after the statement where there are some punishments listed for certain things. Secondly, we know that there is only one unforgivable sin which Jesus spoke of which is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This sin is knowing of God yet intentionally choosing to call the things of God evil. Since God is the same before and after Christ and nothing has changed in terms of what is right and good, then how is it an Israelite can violate a part of the law and then be unable to be saved from here on out? Once any sin is committed then that person is banned from heaven so this is actually true, but we are given a means of salvation. An Israelite has a way out. The wording of this is so strong and implies the punishment with it although not stated because it is that strong and serious. Every sin and misrepresentation of God is evil and is deserving of a punishment of instant death. But to assume this is supposed to mean a person is instantly banned from Israel the moment they do something wrong then that would ban all Israelites out of Israel very quickly. I’ve spoken of layers of meaning and in regards to the fat, this has one layer to it that it certainly is a lot healthier not to eat the fat even though it is usually the tastiest part.

28 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 29 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to the Lord shall bring his offering to the Lord from the sacrifice of his peace offerings. 30 His own hands shall bring the Lord’s food offerings. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be waved as a wave offering before the Lord. 31 The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast shall be for Aaron and his sons. 32 And the right thigh you shall give to the priest as a contribution from the sacrifice of your peace offerings. 33 Whoever among the sons of Aaron offers the blood of the peace offerings and the fat shall have the right thigh for a portion. 34 For the breast that is waved and the thigh that is contributed I have taken from the people of Israel, out of the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons, as a perpetual due from the people of Israel.

-We have read multiple times throughout the biblical accounts so far that rather than a handshake as in American culture, a deal is struck by placing the hand under someone’s thigh. There is some debate as to exactly what is happening but we are told a hand is placed under the thigh. This could signify a deal because of the deal God has with Israel and the priests. The priests are gifted this portion by God. Recall too that Jacob had a limp the rest of his days once he wrestled with God and became Israel. The “man” touched his hip socket. Perhaps among the layers of meaning in this event is that the hip socket separates the hip from the thigh. We are not told which hip socket was touched but I’m willing to bet it was the right side because Moses is being told about the right thigh being significant in these verses.

35 This is the portion of Aaron and of his sons from the Lord’s food offerings, from the day they were presented to serve as priests of the Lord. 36 The Lord commanded this to be given them by the people of Israel, from the day that he anointed them. It is a perpetual due throughout their generations.

-Perpetual means “never-ending” or “everlasting”. Everything God says is never-ending and everlasting. EVERYTHING! The right thigh and the breast that is waved is always the portion do to the priests therefore, though this is literal as well, the symbolic significance of this suggests and absolute truth of God and His relationship with man. God has a covenant with Israel forever and will always uphold His end of a covenant, always!

37 This is the law of the burnt offering, of the grain offering, of the sin offering, of the guilt offering, of the ordination offering, and of the peace offering, 38 which the Lord commanded Moses on Mount Sinai, on the day that he commanded the people of Israel to bring their offerings to the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai.

-Leviticus 1-7 are about the 5 types offerings. So now as we move forward into Leviticus, the subject will now be changing.

Sources):

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7439-heave-offering

https://bible.org/seriespage/4-fellowship-offering-leviticus-31-17-711-34-195-8-2229-30

http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=3&c=7

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