Leviticus Chapter 3 Study – “Peace Offerings” – (vv. 1-17)
The Peace Offering
3 ‘When his offering is a sacrifice of a peace offering, if he offers it of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without [a]blemish before the Lord. 2 And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of meeting; and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall sprinkle the blood all around on the altar. 3 Then he shall offer from the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire to the Lord. The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, 4 the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; 5 and Aaron’s sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is on the wood that is on the fire, as an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.
6 ‘If his offering as a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord is of the flock, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. 7 If he offers a lamb as his offering, then he shall offer it before the Lord. 8 And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and kill it before the tabernacle of meeting; and Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar.
9 ‘Then he shall offer from the sacrifice of the peace offering, as an offering made by fire to the Lord, its fat, and the whole fat tail which he shall remove close to the backbone. And the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, 10 the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; 11 and the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire to the Lord.
12 ‘And if his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before the Lord. 13 He shall lay his hand on its head and kill it before the tabernacle of meeting; and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar. 14 Then he shall offer from it his offering, as an offering made by fire to the Lord. The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, 15 the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; 16 and the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma; all the fat is the Lord’s.
17 ‘This shall be a perpetual[b] statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall eat neither fat nor blood.’
Notes Leviticus 3 Study – (vv. 1-17)
3:1: THE PEACE OFFERING was not new, but the laws governing it were new – the how, by whom and where it was to be offered … (Genesis 31:54) provides background for the peace offering: “Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his brethren; and they ate bread and drank and stayed all night on the mountain …” They dined together in peace … Leviticus 7:11; 19:5-8; and 22:21-25 also provide more details concerning the peace offering … Christ Himself is our peace offering – (Ephesians 2:14; and Colossians 1:20), and through Him we are reconciled to God and one another in peace … Through Him we also offer our entire self-body and soul – to God, with whom we find peace – (Romans 5:1, & v. 10) …
The Law of Peace Offerings
11 ‘This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which he shall offer to the Lord:
5 ‘And if you offer a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, you shall offer it of your own free will. 6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day. And if any remains until the third day, it shall be burned in the fire. 7 And if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It shall not be accepted. 8 Therefore everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the hallowed offering of the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from his people.
21 And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, to fulfill his vow, or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it. 22 Those that are blind or broken or maimed, or have an [a]ulcer or eczema or scabs, you shall not offer to the Lord, nor make an offering by fire of them on the altar to the Lord. 23 Either a bull or a lamb that has any limb too long or too short you may offer as a freewill offering, but for a vow it shall not be accepted.
24 ‘You shall not offer to the Lord what is bruised or crushed or torn or cut; nor shall you make any offering of them in your land. 25 Nor from a foreigner’s hand shall you offer any of these as the bread of your God, because their corruption is in them, and defects are in them. They shall not be accepted on your behalf.’”
Christ Our Peace
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Faith Triumphs in Trouble
5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
3:3-5: Portions of the animal were offered as a burnt offering to God, but the new covenant we are to offer all the members of our body to Him in the service of righteousness and holiness – (Romans 6:19; Romans 12:1; GrgTheo; Nic)
19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness [a]for holiness.
Living Sacrifices to God
3:8: The sacrificial animal was to be killed BEFORE THE DOORS OF THE TABERNACLE OF TESTIMONY … The blood was then sprinkled ALL AROUND ON THE ALTAR … Both statements show the close connection between the altar and the tabernacle of testimony … The altar speaks of the cross, and the tabernacle speaks of heaven … Thus, the cross is connected to heaven, for after Jesus ascended to the Father, he sprinkled His blood on the heavenly altar – (Hebrews 9:11-24) …
The Heavenly Sanctuary
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things [a]to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, [b]sanctifies for the [c]purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without [d]spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
The Mediator’s Death Necessary
16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every [e]precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are [f]purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no [g]remission.
Greatness of Christ’s Sacrifice
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be [h]purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are [i]copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
- The Church worships in heaven, for worship is heaven on earth … Thus, the bread and wine of the Eucharist become in a mystery the body and blood of Christ, His very blood sprinkled on the heavenly altar …
3:16: Anyone eating the fat portions of the offered animal was cut off from his people … The fat was considered the best, and the best was to be reserved for the Lord alone … As to the blood, it was never to be eaten … God’s response is strong: “I will set My face against the soul who eats blood and will utterly destroy him from his people” – (Leviticus 17:10) … Not only is the life of the flesh in the blood, but the blood has been given by God to make atonement for the soul – (See, Leviticus 17:11; and the notes) …
10 ‘And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people
11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’
Notes from Leviticus 17:11 – will be read from my Orthodox Study Bible …