The Peace Offering

LEB 3:1-17; Leviticus 7:11‑34  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 11
(Read Leviticus 3:1-17; 7:11-341And 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 the Lord. 2And 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. 3And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 4And 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. 5And 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 savor unto the Lord. 6And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto the Lord be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. 7If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the Lord. 8And 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. 9And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the Lord; 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, 10And 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. 11And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord. 12And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the Lord. 13And 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. 14And he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 15And 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. 16And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savor: all the fat is the Lord's. 17It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood. (Leviticus 3:1‑17)
11And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the Lord. 12If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried. 13Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. 14And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the Lord, and it shall be the priest's that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings. 15And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning. 16But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice: and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten: 17But the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire. 18And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity. 19And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire: and as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof. 20But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. 21Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the Lord, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. 22And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 23Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat. 24And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use: but ye shall in no wise eat of it. 25For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people. 26Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. 27Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. 28And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 29Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, He that offereth the sacrifice of his peace offerings unto the Lord shall bring his oblation unto the Lord of the sacrifice of his peace offerings. 30His own hands shall bring the offerings of the Lord made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the Lord. 31And the priest shall burn the fat upon the altar: but the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons'. 32And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings. 33He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part. 34For 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. (Leviticus 7:11‑34)
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Let it be at once observed that the Peace Offering was not an offering to make peace, but an offering that celebrated and rejoiced in peace already made. As another has said, " It is the offering, which typifies to us the communion of saints, according to the efficacy of the sacrifice with God, with the priest who has offered it in our behalf, with one another, and with the whole body of saints as priests to God." The blood of the sacrifice had indeed to be sprinkled round about the Altar. It is on the ground of shed blood alone that the communion of saints as to the death of Christ is based. The believer appropriates the Sin Offering first, and then being set free in conscience, he can joyfully enter into common thoughts with God about the wondrous sacrifice of His blessed Son, as typified in the Peace Offering.
A female as well as a male was admissible in this Offering, since its aspect was not so wholly for God as the Burnt Offering was, when only a male could be offered. Turtle doves or young pigeons were not admissible. It presupposes some strength of feeling that would lead the offerer to come forward with a Peace Offering.
The offerer laid his hands on the head of the Offering, type of the believer's appropriation of Christ, and his identification with Him. The blood was sprinkled upon the Altar round about. The fat parts of the animal, that which speaks of inward power and strength, were burned upon the Altar, surely teaching there can be no communion apart from the death of Christ.
Leviticus 7:12, 1312If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried. 13Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. (Leviticus 7:12‑13) shows that when this Offering was presented as a thanksgiving, a Meat Offering might accompany it, thus showing how one aspect of Christ's death touches another aspect. It is impossible in such a theme, concerning such a Person and such a work, to place one aspect of Christ's death, as it were, in a watertight compartment. Thoughts of Christ's death lead us to the contemplation of His wondrous life; and the contemplation of His wondrous life leads us to worshipful meditation on His death.
As to this Meat Offering we read, " Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his Peace Offerings " (Lev. 7:1313Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. (Leviticus 7:13)). There is one other occasion where leaven is brought in in connection with the offerings to the Lord. This is the New Meat Offering (Lev. 23:1717Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord. (Leviticus 23:17)). Apart from these two exceptions, and of Amos 4:55And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God. (Amos 4:5), offering of unleavened bread is always emphasized.
It would be well to explain why this is so at this juncture, though it is anticipating in measure what we shall say when we speak of the Feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23).
In Leviticus 7:1313Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. (Leviticus 7:13) we read that the leavened bread was offered with the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving. Here it is what the Offerer presents to God in the way of thanksgiving. The previous verse insists on unleavened bread and unleavened wafers. Is there any contradiction here?
Far be the thought. In the case of unleavened bread and unleavened wafers, both are typical of our blessed Lord, and therefore had to be unleavened to set forth the Lord's perfect freedom from sin in thought, word and deed. But if it is a question of OUR offering a thanksgiving sacrifice, the presence of leaven is but the acknowledgment that in OUR offering there may be ignorance, self-complacency, pride, lack of becoming reverence, even of rivalry. It is painful to hear defective or erroneous things said in thanksgiving, or to see a brother standing to a worship hymn with his hand in his pocket, or sitting in a careless lounging attitude. If they were in the presence of their earthly King, or President, there would be care and right reverence given in everything.
Surely the Spirit of God removes the leaven from the offering when presented to God. It is encouraging to know that, however failing our presentation to God of praise and thanksgiving may be, God delights to be thus approached.
We read that the offerer of a Peace Offering with " his own hands shall bring the offerings of the LORD made by fire " (Lev. 7:3030His own hands shall bring the offerings of the Lord made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the Lord. (Leviticus 7:30)), showing how individual exercise has to be present on such an occasion as approaching God in communion concerning the sacrifice of our blessed Lord on the cross.
The offerer had to bring the fat with the breast, that " the breast may be waved for a Wave Offering before the LORD." The fat was burned upon the Altar, and the breast became the portion of Aaron and his sons. Similarly the right shoulder was a Heave Offering to the LORD, and became the portion of the offering priest.
What do we learn from the Breast, the Wave Offering and the Shoulder, the Heave Offering? It is very sweet that what is presented to God, the Breast waved (Lev. 7:3030His own hands shall bring the offerings of the Lord made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the Lord. (Leviticus 7:30)) is typical of the holy affections of our Lord, leading Him through death, and appreciated by His Father with infinite delight, and is also the communion of saints: God's full portion and ours. The Shoulder heaved speaks of the strength of the sacrifice, how the one supreme sacrifice of our Lord has once and forever set us in the presence of God in cloudless favor. The right shoulder was the portion of the priest who offered the blood of the Peace Offering (Lev. 7:3333He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part. (Leviticus 7:33)), thus setting forth our joy in communion as we think of the death of Christ.
This is seen very happily in that wonderful meeting when the saints gather to remember the Lord in His death. The Lord gets His portion, the Father gets His, as His Son is well spoken of, we get our portion, and what a wonderful portion it is. The one loaf speaks of communion embracing the whole Church of God. The Wave Offering goes up to God, the appreciation of the wonderful love of our Lord that took Him to the cross; the Heave Offering is heaved up, the appreciation of the strength of that sacrifice that can take us from the power of darkness and translate us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
Finally in the case of a vow or a voluntary Offering, the food of the Peace Offering had to be eaten the same day, and if any remained to the third day, it had to be burned with fire. Anyone eating it the third day would commit an abomination against the LORD, and would have to bear his iniquity.
This teaches us that we must take our place in the worship of the Lord in the power and strength of present communion. This might stretch further with one than another, but when that limit is reached, it is a serious thing to go into the Lord's presence, if not in communion of soul.
This is still further emphasized when Leviticus ends with a solemn warning, that if a soul eats of the sacrifice of the Peace Offering having uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. We get an example of this when we read of the Corinthian believers turning the Lord's hallowed supper into an occasion for surfeiting and drunkenness. We read, " For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep " (1 Cor. 11:3030For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (1 Corinthians 11:30)); that is, many were hindered from the partaking of the Lord's supper, and in extreme cases many died under the hand of God in judgment. Fit for glory they were by the grace of God and the atoning sacrifice of Christ; unfit for earthly testimony for Christ, and removed in discipline, but all that they "should not be condemned with the world." How God does insist on personal holiness on the part of those, who have to with the holy things of the Lord.