INTRODUCTION TO LEVITICUS 3
This chapter contains the law of the peace offerings, and gives an account what they consisted of, and of the various rites and ceremonies used at them, as of the bullock and the rites appertaining to that, Leviticus 3:1 and of the lamb, and of the rites peculiar to it, Leviticus 3:6 and of the goat, and of the rites belonging to it, Leviticus 3:12 and the chapter is concluded with a law forbidding the eating of fat and blood throughout their dwellings for ever, Leviticus 3:17.
And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering,.... The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan render it, the "sacrifice of holinesses", or "sanctifications"; so called, not because they were more holy than other sacrifices; for they were what the Jews
if he offer it of the herd; that is, a bullock:
whether it be a male or female; as it might be either; showing, as some think, that in Christ Jesus, and in the Gospel churches, and under the Gospel dispensation, there is no distinction of male and female, with respect to blessings and privileges, Galatians 3:28 or rather as others, denoting both strength and weakness in Christ; strength in his obedience, and weakness in his sufferings; strong he was as the man of God's right hand made so by him, and yet was crucified through weakness:
he shall offer it without blemish before the Lord: signifying the perfection and purity of Christ's sacrifice of peace offering in the sight of God: "before the Lord"; this, according to Gersom, was on the west side of the court.
And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering,.... "His right hand with strength", the Targum of Jonathan says; perhaps both his hands were imposed; the Septuagint and Arabic versions read it in the plural number, "hands"; this same rite was used in the sacrifice of burnt offering; see Gill on Leviticus 1:4; which might be done in any place in the court where it was slain, only with this difference: according to Maimonides
and kill it at the door of the congregation; it seems as if it was not the priest, but the owner that brought it, and laid his hands on it, that killed it; and so the last mentioned writer says, that slaying the peace offering by a stranger was right; and as he and others
and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about; in like manner as the blood of the burnt offering was, and it was done with two sprinklings, which were as four
And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering,.... That is, the priest, not all of it, but some of it, even what is after mentioned:
an offering made by fire unto the Lord; for what was offered to the Lord was burnt, and is that part of it which is next mentioned in this and the following verse:
the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards; both that which covered them, and that which stuck to them; and the fat being the best, it was the Lord's, and offered to him, and denoted Christ the fatted calf, whose sacrifice is best and most excellent; and which was typified by that which Abel offered up, and which being of the fat of the flock, and offered up by faith in Christ's sacrifice, was more excellent than Cain's, Genesis 4:4.
And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks,.... Meaning either the two kidneys which were next the flanks, or the fat upon them, which was next to them; these, and the burning of them, may signify the burning zeal and flaming love and affections of Christ for his people, which instructed him, and put him upon offering himself a sacrifice of peace offering for them, see Psalm 16:7.
and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away; or the caul, which is a thin membrane or skin, in which the liver is enclosed, with the liver, together with the kidneys, he separated from the rest in order to burn, at least with a part of the liver; so Jarchi and Gersom interpret it, that he should take a little of the liver with the caul; and indeed some think the word rendered "caul" signifies a part of the liver, that which the Greeks call the "table", the broader part of it, like a table; and which word the Talmudists
And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar,.... That is, the fat of the several parts before mentioned; this signified the sufferings of Christ, by which our peace is made, and by whose death we are reconciled to God: this rite of burning the fat of the inwards of sacrifices was used by the Pagans, and is still retained by the idolatrous Indians to this day
upon the burnt sacrifice; which, as Gersom says, was the burnt offering of the daily sacrifice of the morning, which was offered first of all sacrifices; so Jarchi says,"we learn that the daily burnt offering preceded every other offering:'this was an eminent type of Christ's sacrifice:
which is upon the wood that is on the fire; that is, which burnt offering was laid upon the wood on the fire, and the fat of the peace offering upon that:
it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord; as Christ's sacrifice is, Ephesians 5:2; see Gill on Leviticus 1:9.
And if his offering, for a sacrifice of peace offering unto Lord, be of the flock,.... As it might be: and be either male or female; which he pleased:
he shall offer it without blemish; See Gill on Leviticus 3:1.
If he offer a lamb for his offering,.... Which was of the flock, and must be of the first year; this is a rule laid down by Maimonides
then shall he offer it before the Lord; bring it into the court, and present it to the priest.
And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering,.... The Targum of Jonathan adds here, as before,"his right hand with strength:"
and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation; in the court, in any part of it; for, as Gersom says, all places were right for this; the man that brought it killed it, or the butcher, as the Targum of Jonathan says here also as on Leviticus 3:2,
and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar; upon the four horns of it; see Gill on Leviticus 3:2.
And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering,.... That is, the priest, Aaron, or one of his two sons:
an offering made by fire unto the Lord; that part of it which was to be burnt with fire; and in the peace offering of the lamb there was something more than in the peace offering of the bullock, or of the goat, which follows:
the fat thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the backbone; not the rump or tail, but the fat of it; the copulative "and" is not in the text; wherefore Aben Ezra says, that Gaon was mistaken in reading it as we do, "the fat there of", and "the whole rump"; but it should be rendered, "its fat of the whole rump", or "tail": in the eastern countries
and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards; as before; See Gill on Leviticus 3:3.
And the two kidneys,.... The same direction is given here as about the bullock of the peace offering; see Gill on Leviticus 3:4.
And the priest shall burn it upon the altar,.... The fat of the tail, of the inwards, the two kidneys, and the caul of the liver:
it is the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord; or "bread"; this part of the offering that was burnt belonged to the Lord; it was his food, and what was accepted of by him, and therefore is elsewhere called the bread of God, Leviticus 21:8.
And if his offering be a goat,.... As it might be, and which also was of the flock:
then he shall offer it before the Lord; in the same place and manner as the bullock and the lamb, Leviticus 3:1
And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it,.... His right hand, according to the Targum of Jonathan, as before; the same directions are given for the killing of it, and for the sprinkling of its blood, as in the offerings of the bullock and lamb.
And he shall offer thereof his offering,.... The same rules are laid down about taking the fat off of several parts as in the sacrifice of the bullock; but nothing is said of the fat of the rump and tail, as is said of the lamb.
And the priest shall burn them upon the altar,.... Which shows that not the fat only, but the inwards and the kidneys, were burnt also; so Maimonides says
it is the food of the offering made by fire; which the Lord ate of, or accepted of:
for a sweet savour; as a type of the sweet smelling sacrifice of Christ, with which he is well pleased:
all the fat is the Lord's; that is, all that was upon the parts mentioned in the several sacrifices of peace offerings, which was to be taken off and burnt: though the Jewish writers understand it of all fat in general, and so interpret the law that follows.
It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations,.... That is, unto the end of the Mosaic dispensation, until the Messiah comes, and his sacrifice is offered up, and his blood is shed, till that time in all generations: and
throughout all your dwellings; wherever their habitations should be, it is a law to be observed:
that ye eat neither fat nor blood; the Jewish writers think, that this is not to be restrained to the fat and blood of sacrifices, because these were not offered in their dwellings, but in the tabernacle and temple, and therefore interpret it of fat and blood in general; but what fat and blood are meant may be seen in Leviticus 7:23 the Targum of Jonathan adds,"but upon the top of the altar it shall be offered to the name of the Lord,'which seems to restrain it to the sacrifices.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://pro.studylight.org/
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34