Leviticus 3 Commentary

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Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Another Overview Chart of Leviticus - Charles Swindoll
A third Overview Chart of Leviticus

Adapted and modified from C. Swindoll
Leviticus 1-17 Leviticus 18-27
The Way to God
The Walk with God
The Approach: Offerings Practical Guidelines
The Representative: Priest Chronological Observances
The Laws: Cleansing
Physically & Spiritually
Severe Consequences
Verbal promises
Ritual for Worship
Worshipping a Holy God
Practical for Walking
Living a Holy Life
Location: Mt Sinai for one full year
Theme: How sinful humanity can approach and worship a holy God
Key Verses: Lev 17:11, 19:2, 20:7-8
Christ in Leviticus: In every sacrifice, every ritual, every feast
Time: about 1446BC

1) Sweet aroma

2) Voluntary

Heb = 'olah

1) Sweet aroma

2) Voluntary

Heb = minchah

1) Sweet aroma

2) Voluntary

Heb = selemim

1) Non-sweet aroma

2) Compulsory

Heb = chattath

Aka-Purification Offering

Atoning sacrifice of animals with no physical defects. The required offering varied with the situation and station of the person receiving its benefits

1) Non-sweet aroma

2) Compulsory

Heb = asam

Aka - Reparation or Guilt Offering

Atoning sacrifice of a ram or lamb with no physical defects

Scripture Lv 1:3-17-note
Lv 6:8-13-note
Cp Nu 15:1-16
Lv 2:1-16-note
Lv 6:14-18-note
Lv 7:12-13-note
Cp Nu 15:17-21
Lv 3:1-17-note
Lv 7:11-21-note, Lv 7:28-34-note
Cp Deut 12:20-28
Lv 4:1-5:13-note
Lv 6:24-30-note
Cp Nu 15:22-31
Lv 5:14-6:7-note
Lv 7:1-7-note




1) To propitiate for sin in general -Lv 1:4-note

2) To signify complete dedication & consecration to God hence called the whole burnt offering.

Acceptance before God for worship & service

Maintenance of fellowship with God

Recognition of the sovereignty of God

This offering accompanied all burnt offerings.

Signified homage & thanksgiving to God.

Recognition of God's bountiful provision

Expression of dedication, praise & thanksgiving to God

Acknowledging God as the source of provision and prosperity.

Celebration of peace & of God's covenant faithfulness...

Generally expressed peace & fellowship between the offerer & God & thus culminated in a community meal.

1) Thank offering: express thanks for unexpected blessing or deliverance

2) Votive Offering: to express gratitude for a blessing or deliverance granted when a vow had accompanied the petition.

3) Freewill Offering: to express gratitude to God without regard to any specific blessing or deliverance.

To atone for sins committed unknowingly, especially where no restitution was possible. Note Nu 15:30, 31: The sin offering was of no avail in cases of defiant rebellion against God.

Confession to God for impurities and offenses

Recognition of the effects of one's sins on others in the covenant community

Restoration of fellowship with God

To atone for sins committed in ignorance, esp where restitution was possible

Confession to men for impurities and deceptions

Willingness of the repentant believer to make proper restitution

Consists of According to wealth:
1) Bull without blemish-Lv 1:3–9-note

2) Male sheep or goat without blemish-Lv 1:10–13-note); 3 Turtledoves or young pigeons-Lv 1:14–17-note

3) Turtledoves or young pigeons-Lv 1:14–17-note

Three Types:
1) Fine flour mixed with oil and frankincense-Lv 2:1–3-note

2) Cakes made of fine flour mixed with oil and and baked an oven Lv 2:4-note, in a pan Lv 2:5-note or in a covered pan Lv 2:7-note

3) Green heads of roasted grain mixed with oil and frankincense-Lv 2:14, 15-note

According to wealth:
1) From the herd, a male or female without blemish-Lv 3:1–5-note

2) From the flock, a male or female without blemish-Lv 3:6–11-note

3) From the goats-Lv 3:12–17-note

Note: Minor imperfections were permitted when the peace offering was a freewill offering of a bull or a lamb-Lv 22:23

1) For the high priest, a bull without blemish-Lv 4:3–12-note

2) For the congregation, a bull without blemish-Lv 4:13–21-note

3) For a ruler, a male goat without blemish-Lv 4:22–26-note

4) For a commoner, a female goat or lamb without blemish-Lv 4:27–35-note

5) In cases of poverty, two turtledoves or two young pigeons (one for a sin offering, the other for a burnt offering) could be substituted-Lv 5:7–10-note

6) In cases of extreme poverty, fine flour could be substituted-Lv 5:11–13-note; cp Heb. 9:22-note

1) If the offense was against the Lord (tithes, offerings, etc), a ram w/o blemish was offered; restitution was reckoned according to the priest's estimate of the value of the trespass + 20% (Lv 5:15-16-note)

2) If the offense were against man, a ram w/o blemish was offered, restitution reckoned according to the priest's estimate + 20% (Lv 6:4-6-note)

Entirety burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 1:9-note except the skin-Lv 7:8-note Memorial portion burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 2:2, 9, 16-note Fatty portions burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 3:3–5-note 1) Fatty
portions to be burned on the altar of burnt offering Lv 4:8–10-note, Lv 4:19. 26-note, Lev 4:31, 35-note

2) When the sin offering was for the high priest or congregation, the remainder of the bull was to be burned outside the camp-Lv 4:11, 12-note, Lev 4:20, 21-note

Fat burned on altar of burnt offering-Lev 7:3-5-note
Skin only-Lv 7:8-note Remainder eaten in court of tabernacle-Lv 2:3, 10-note, Lev 6:16-18-note, Lv 7:14-15-note Breast (wave offering) & right thigh (heave offering)-Lv 7:30-34-note   Remainder eaten in holy place-Lv 7:6-7-note
None None Remainder to be eaten in the court by the offerer & family
1) Thank offering = eaten same day-Lv 7:15-note
None None
Consecration Service Fellowship Redemption for the sinner that he is Redemption for the sinner he commits
Christ He presented Himself to the Father to do His will He served His Father and men as Son of Man He is the common bond of fellowship between God & man He atoned for the guilt of sin He atoned for the damage of sin.
Signifies complete dedication of life to God

1) On part of Christ-Mt 26:39-44, Mk 14:36, Lk 22:42, Php 2:5-11-note

2) On part of believer-Ro 12:1-2-note, Heb 13:15-note

Signifies perfect humanity of Christ:

1) Absence of leaven ~ sinlessness of Christ-He 4:15-note, 1Jn 3:5

2) The presence of oil is emblematic of the Holy Spirit-Lk 4:18; 1Jn 2:20-note, 1Jn 2:27-note

Shadow of the peace believer has through Christ-Ro 5:1-2-note, 1Cor 10:16-18, 11:17-34, Col 1:20-note

NB: Only offering in which offerer shared

Thank Offering:

1Th 5:18-note

Heb 13:15-note

Prefigures fact that Christ's death...

1) Was made sin for us - 2Cor 5:20-21-note

2) He suffered outside the gate - Heb 13:11-13-note

Cp Lv 4:3-note, 1Ti 5:20

Cp Lv 4:27-note, 1Cor 8:9-13

Cp Lv 5:5-note, 1Jn 1:9-note

See Heb 9:22-note

Shadow of Christ as our Trespass offering - Col 2:13-note

Cp Lv 5:15-note, Lv 22:14-16

Cp Lv 6:2-5-note, Eph 4:25-32, Jas 5:16

See Isa 53:10

Adapted from Believer's Bible Commentary & Irving Jensen

William Barrick - Section Outline

I. Sacrificial System (Leviticus 1–7)

A. Prescript (Lev 1:1-2)

B. The Burnt Offerings (Lev 1:3-17; 6:8-13)

C. The Grain Offerings (Lev 2:1-16; 6:14-23)

D. The Peace Offerings (Lev 3:1-17; 7:11-36)

E. The Sin Offerings (Lev 4:1–5:13; 6:24-30)

F. The Guilt Offerings (Lev 5:14–6:7; 7:1-10)

G. Postscript (Lev 7:37-38)

Message of Leviticus 1–7: Good news! God has provided a means for sinners to be accepted and to enter His presence.

1. The Burnt Offering: 'olah (Lev 1:3-17; 6:8-13; cf. Nu 15:1-16)

♦ Acceptance before God for worship and service.

♦ Maintenance of fellowship with God.

♦ Recognition of the sovereignty of God.

 See Psalm 40:6-8-note (cf. Hebrews 10:6-8-note).

 See Psalm 50:7-23-note.

 See Romans 3:25-note.

 See 1 John 1:6-7-note.

2. The Grain/Non-Meat Offering: minchah (Lev 2:1-16; 6:14-23; cf. Nu 15:17-21)

♦ Recognition of God’s bountiful provision.

♦ Expression of dedication, praise, and thanksgiving to God.

 See Romans 12:1-2-note.

 See Philippians 4:18-note.

 See Hebrews 13:15-16-note.

3. The Peace/Fellowship Offering: selamim (Lev 3:1-17; 7:11-18; cf. Dt 12:20-28)

♦ Celebration of peace with God.

♦ Celebration of God’s covenant faithfulness.

♦ Participation in the communion/fellowship of the covenant community (fellow believers).

 See Romans 5:1-8-note.

 See 1 Corinthians 10:16-18; 11:17-34.

 See Hebrews 13:15-16-note.

4. The Sin/Purification Offering: chattat/chattath (Lev 4:1–5:13; 6:24-30; cf. Nu 15:22-31)

♦ Confession to God for impurities and offenses.

♦ Recognition of the effects of one’s sins might have on others in the covenant community.

♦ Restoration to fellowship with God.

 Compare Leviticus 4:3 with 1 Timothy 5:20.

 Compare Leviticus 4:27 with 1 Corinthians 8:9-13.

 Compare Leviticus 5:5 with 1 John 1:9-note.

 See Hebrews 9:22-note.

 See 1Peter 1:2-note.

 See 2Corinthians 5:20-21-note.

 See Hebrews 13:11-12-note.

5. The Guilt/Restitution Offering: asam (Lev 5:14–6:7; 7:1-10)

♦ Confession to men for impurities and deceptions.

♦ Willingness of the repentant believer to make proper restitution.

 Compare Leviticus 5:15 with Lev 22:14-16.

 Compare Leviticus 6:2-5 with Eph 4:25-32-note, James 5:16.

 See Isaiah 53:10.

(Source: Summary Notes from Dr William Barrick)


Leviticus 3:1 'Now if his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings, if he is going to offer out of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without defect before the LORD.

  • sacrifice: Lev 7:11-34 Lev 22:19-21 Ex 20:24 24:5 29:28 Nu 6:14 7:17 Jud 20:26 21:4 1Ch 21:26 Pr 7:14 Eze 45:15 Am 5:22 Ro 5:1,2 Col 1:20 1Jn 1:3
  • without: Lev 1:3 Nu 6:14 Mal 1:8,14 Heb 10:22
  • without defect: Lev 1:3 Nu 6:14 Mal 1:8,14 Heb 10:22 )

(Fellowship Offering)

Henrietta Mears has this simple outline...

Leviticus 1—Burnt Offering: "Surrender" of Christ for the world

Leviticus 2—Grain Offering: "Service" of Christ in life

Leviticus 3—Fellowship Offering: "Serenity" of Christ in life

Leviticus 4-5:13—Sin Offering: "Substitute" of Christ for sin

Leviticus 5:14-6:7—Guilt Offering: "Satisfaction" by Christ for demands of God

Read parallel passage Lev 7:11-34 which begins with "‘Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be presented to the LORD.

There are three principle passages in the Book of Leviticus which deal with the Peace Offering. They are:

A. Leviticus 3:1-17—the mechanics of the sacrifice

B. Leviticus 7:11-34—the meaning of the sacrifice

C. Leviticus 19:5-8—The “law of leftovers” (Deffinbaugh)

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates Lev 3:1

Now if his gift (doron) to the Lord is a sacrifice of deliverance (soterios/soterion), it he brings it from the cattle, whether male or female, he shall bring it without blemish before the Lord. (NETS-Septuagint)

Comment: Notice that the "offering" is a "gift" (doron) and the "peace offering" is a "sacrifice of deliverance."

Rob Morgan - The first seven chapters of Leviticus are devoted to describing the sacrifices and offerings of the ancient Israelites. These were the sacrifices to be offered on the altar just inside the gateway of the Tabernacle. If you remember from our series of studies last year on the Tabernacle, that altar just inside the gate of the Tabernacle represented the cross of Christ. Every day, opportunity was given for the Israelites to come and, with the assistance of the priests, to offering sacrifices and burnt offerings on that altar near the entrance of the Tabernacle, and those sacrifices all represented the One who would later die on the cross. There were five basic kinds of sacrifices, and they are described for us here in Leviticus 1-5. You have:

· The Burnt Offering in Leviticus 1

· The Grain Offering in Leviticus 2

· The Peace Offering in Leviticus 3

· The Sin Offering in Leviticus 4

· The Trespass Offering in Leviticus 5

In Leviticus 6-7, these five offerings are reviewed with some additional instructions given. That is the content of Leviticus 1-7. Do you see how important this is? Do you see how significant these offerings are? They were designed by God to teach us five different truths about the great coming One who would offer Himself on the cross for our sins. They are prophetic in nature. They are Messianic. They teach us about the sacrifice our Savior made for you and me. Who would not want to study these offerings and thus learn of Christ? (Leviticus 1 All on the Altar )

Andrew Bonar - THE PEACE-OFFERING** is introduced to our notice without any formal statement of the connection between it and the preceding offerings. That there is a connection is taken for granted, and the Prophet Amos 5:22, refers to this understood order when he says, “Though ye offer me burnt-offerings, and your meat-offerings, I will not accept them, neither will regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts.” The connection is simply this: a justified soul, devoted to the Lord in all things, spontaneously engages in acts of praise and exercises of fellowship. The Lord takes for granted that such a soul, having free access to Him now, will make abundant use of that access. Often will this now redeemed sinner look up and sing, “O Lord, truly I am Thy servant, I am Thy servant, and the son of Thy handmaid; Thou hast loosed my bonds; I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the Name of the Lord." (Ps 116:16) (Leviticus Commentary - best older work)

**Bonar note on "peace offering" - In Hebrew the word is always plural, except in Amos 5:22. It is in every other place שְׁלָמִים, perhaps equivalent to “things pertaining to peace”—things that spoke of peace, viz., the divided pieces of the sacrifice, some parts burnt on the altar, some feasted upon by the priest, some by the offerer. Various sorts of blessing, included in the word peace, were thus set forth.

Rooker notes that "This offering, in contrast to other sacrifices, was not restricted to the male gender but could be either male or female. This provision would be in harmony with part of the purpose of this offering, which was to provide food for the worshiper. As with the burnt offering the Israelite brought his offering to the tabernacle, where he placed his hand upon the animal and slaughtered it. Also as in the burnt offering sacrifice the priest was responsible for applying the blood to the altar and then burning the various parts of the offering (Lev 3:2)....Because the fellowship offering always included the partaking of a meal, birds were not candidates for this offering since they would be too small to provide an adequate amount of food. (New American Commentary)

Bob Deffinbaugh - Distinctives of the Peace Offering - There are several distinctives of the Peace Offering, as compared with the Burnt and Grain Offerings of Lev 1 and 2. It is these distinctives which provide us with the key to the unique role of this offering.

First, the animal sacrificed in the Peace Offering could be from the herd or from the flock (but not a bird), whether male or female.

Second, the offering was shared by God, by the priests, and by the offerer. All of the Burnt Offering was the Lord’s (except for the skin). Most of the Grain Offering was for the priests. But the Peace Offering was shared by all, each receiving their appointed portions.

Third, three of the occasions on which the Peace Offering was appropriate were for thanksgiving, for completing a vow, and for a freewill offering.

Fourth, the Peace Offering was unique in that there was a meal associated with this offering.

Fifth, the thanksgiving Peace Offering included leavened bread (Lev. 7:13).

Wenham - The peace offering was an optional sacrifice, which a man could bring when he felt like it. Lev. 7:12ff. gives three possible reasons for bringing it: as a confession offering, as a free-will offering, or to fulfill a vow. It did not form part of the regular daily offerings in the temple. Only at Pentecost was the peace offering officially demanded (Lev 23:19). whereas the burnt and cereal offerings were brought every morning and evening. The other principal difference between this sacrifice and the others was that the worshipper was allowed to eat part of the animal himself. In the burnt offering the whole animal was burned, and in the cereal offering all but the memorial handful was eaten by the priest. In the peace offering some of the animal was burned, some was eaten by the priests, and the rest was returned to the worshipper for his own consumption. The peace offering was therefore a festive meal eaten in or near the sanctuary. Although it is this aspect of the offering that naturally attracts most attention in the historical books of the OT, Leviticus says very little about it, being more concerned with the preliminary rituals and the priests' duties on these occasions. (NICOT)

Rooker - The fellowship offering appears to have been closely associated with the burnt offering, which it invariably followed. The procedures for the presentation of the sacrificial victim and the priests’ role in the disposal of the blood are virtually identical to those carried out for the burnt offering. Like the burnt offering and often in association with it, the fellowship offering was presented on momentous occasions in Israel’s history. (Ex 24:5; Lev 23:19; Dt 27:7; 1Sa 11:15; 1Ki 8:63–65) (New American Commentary)

Wolf - Of all the offerings, the most joyous and most flexible was the fellowship offering. Earlier translations called this sacrifice “the peace offering,” because the Hebrew word is built on the term shalom, which often means “peace.” Shalom also denotes “wholeness” and “well-being,” however, and the emphasis in this offering is primarily on the communion and fellowship of the offerer and his family with the priests and the Lord. The fellowship offering was an expression of praise to God for His goodness and for answered prayer. (An introduction to the Old Testament Pentateuch)

Peace Offerings could be

(1) Thanksgiving Offering (act of thanksgiving) (Lev. 7:12-15; Lev 22:29-30) - presented in response to a particular blessing an Israelite had experienced

(2) Votive Offering (fulfill a special vow) (Lev. 7:16; 22:21) - presented as a result of the worshiper making a vow to God (Jonah 2:9); To express thanks for answered prayer (made in the form of a vow).

Wenham - In difficult circumstances men of old often made a vow to the Lord that if he helped them they would do something for God. When they fulfilled their vow, they were expected to bring a peace offering. Jacob made a vow at Bethel, when he was fleeing from home, that if God brought him safe home again "the Lord shall be my God" (Ge 28:20-21). As a pledge of his vow he poured oil (v. 18) on top of the stone pillar.

(3) Free Will Offering (Lev. 7:16; 22:18, 21, 23, Ex 35:29, Ezra 1:4, 8:28, Ps 54:6). - presented as a general expression of gratitude to God. To express one's love for God.

All of these were all optional offerings, which an Israelite could offer at any time, except for the feast of Pentecost (Lev. 23:19) and the fulfillment of the Nazarite’s days of separation (Nu 6:13-20), when the offering was mandatory.

GotQuestions - Question: "What is a peace offering?" Answer: The modern idea of a peace offering is that of “a propitiatory or conciliatory gift.” A man who offends his wife will often visit a florist with the thought that bringing home flowers will help smooth things over—the bouquet will be a “peace offering” of sorts. Propitiate means “to make someone pleased or less angry by giving or saying something desired,” and conciliatory means “intended to placate or pacify.” These definitions are interesting because the phrase peace offering has come to mean something completely different—almost the exact opposite—of what it originally meant in the Bible. (Click to read full article)


Lev 3:1-5

Offering (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another [in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah!] - Does this root verb not help us discern the picture of "offering?") is a masculine noun which means that which is brought near (the altar), thus referring to an offering. Thus qorban/korban was a general term used for all Israelite sacrifices, offerings, or oblations. It is used in a variety of offerings in Leviticus.

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban twice in this passage with the noun doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Rooker - qorbān, from the root קָרֵב, qārēb, “to bring near,” indicated either the offering brought near or the means whereby one may live in nearness to God. The noun that is a general term for offerings is used to refer to offering of objects such as silver (Nu 7:13) and gold (Nu 31:50), but the term is most frequently used to refer to sacrificial offerings as here (Lev 1:2) and often in Leviticus. Indeed, all but two of the seventy-nine occurrences of the word are in Leviticus and Numbers. The word has been discovered inscribed on sacred objects around Jerusalem and is transliterated (Korban, Corban in NIV) in Mark 7:11.(New American Commentary)

Leonard Coppes has an excellent discussion of the major elements of qorban - (1) What is done by the offerer. His choice must reflect his self-sacrifice and consist of that which comes from his life’s sustenance and products (Vos BT, p. 175). (2) It must be without blemish because the best belongs to God. The offerer’s love and consecration should naturally lead him to present the best (Ge 4:4), and only this could reflect the moral purity of the necessary and perfect sacrifice (1Pet 1:19). (3) The gift being divinely specified (Lev 1–7) was brought to a divinely appointed place. (4) Acceptable worship depends on meeting God’s standards. Hands were laid on the living sacrifice setting it apart for the task, transferring to it not only the intentions but the guilt of the offerer. The self-confessed penalty of death was then vicariously inflicted upon the beast. Thus, the blood was procured as a covering (Heb 13:15), the flesh as fire food and a human life was symbolically devoted to God. The priest received the blood and flesh (or “meal”) presenting it according to the specifications of the intended rite. The whole was consummated by a divine indication of acceptance. One should be careful to note that unlike pagan concepts of sacrifice, the biblical teaching indicates that there was no transference of value to God. The central significance of Israel’s cult was spiritual (Ex 19:4–8; Jer 7:21ff.; Hos 14:3). (TWOT)

Oblation is used some 40x in the KJV (English - from "ob" = toward, in front of + latus = carried, borne) - Any thing offered or presented in worship or sacred service; an offering; a sacrifice.

Qorban in the NAS - offering(76), offering*(1), offerings(2), sacrifice(1).

Qorban - 78x in OT - Note that this is clearly a key word in Leviticus. - Lev 1:2-3, 10, 14; 2:1, 4-5, 7, 12-13; 3:1-2, 6, 7, 8, 12, 14; 4:23, 28, 32; 5:11; 6:20; 7:13, 14, 15, 29, 38; 9:7, 15; 17:4; 22:18, 27; 23:14; 27:9, 11; Nu 5:15; 6:14, 21; 7:3, 10, 11, 12, 17, 19, 23, 25, 29, 31, 35, 37, 41, 43, 47, 49, 53, 55, 59, 61, 65, 67, 71, 73, 77, 79, 83; 9:7, 13; 15:4, 25; 18:9; 28:2; 31:50; Neh 10:34; 13:31; Ezek 20:28; 40:43

Peace offerings (08002)(selem/shelem) is a noun which means fellowship offerings, thanksgiving offerings and all uses (except Amos 5:22) are in the plural form (selamim). The root Hebrew word conveys the idea of completion and fulfillment, of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship. The peace offerings were voluntary offerings (like burnt and grain offerings) given to God with thanks and praise.

Carr - Current understanding of the meaning of šelem follows three main lines of thought. First, šelem symbolizes the gift of shalom, i.e. the blessing of wholeness, prosperity, and the status of being at peace with God. This involves more than forgiveness of sin, in that fullness of life, prosperity, and peace with men is the expected result of shalom status. A second alternative is identified by de Vaux as “communion sacrifice,” i.e. one in which there is a sharing of the sacrificial animal and the resultant fellowship around a meal. The šĕlāmîm, then, were social occasions “before” (Hebrew = panim = face) the Lord never “with” the Lord (Dt 12:7, 18; 14:23, 26; 15:20). There is no sense of attaining mystical union with God through these sacrifices. Rather there is a sense of joyful sharing because of God’s presence. Note too, that a quarter of the animal is shared with the priest (Lev 7:32).Thirdly, the fact that the šelem usually comes last in the lists of the offerings (though not in the description of Lev 1–5), has prompted some scholars to argue that this is a “concluding sacrifice.” This derives šelem from the rare Piel meaning “to complete.” If this sense is correct, the NT references to Christ our Peace (e.g. Eph 2:14) become more meaningful, as he is the final sacrifice for us (cf. Heb 9:27; Heb 10:12)." (TWOT)

Selem is translated in the Lxx in most of its uses with the adjective soterios/soterion which describes the act of delivering or saving from great danger or peril and of healing, making whole, protecting and preserving. The significance of this particular Greek word in the context of the OT peace offerings is uncertain and it certainly does not imply that the human participants are "saved" in the classic NT sense as when by grace they believe in Jesus. Liddell-Scott give one instance in which soterios is used by Xenophon in the context of a thank offering for deliverance.

A number of uses of selem (1Sa 10:8; 11:15; 13:9; 2Sa 6:17-18; 24:25; 1Kgs 3:15; 8:63-64; 9:25; 2Kgs 16:13) are translated with the adjective eirenikos (from eirene from eiro = to join or bind together that which has been separated) means peaceful, peaceable, free from worry or as BDAG says "pertaining to being conducive to a harmonious relationship." Peace is a state of concord and harmony that is opposite of the hostility that occurs when two parties are at war.

Gregory Lint on selem - This was a voluntary sacrifice, except on a few very special occasions, where God wanted the people of Israel to use every expression of worship. The peace offering was used to show the worshiper's devotion and commitment to the Lord in a vow, but more commonly to freely offer praise, thanks and deep appreciation to the Lord for Who He is, as well as the great things He had done for them. It expressed gratefulness for the well-being his blessings had provided. Thus, it rejoiced in peace that comes from God and celebrated the wonderful fellowship with God He had graciously provided people through his covenant. An important part of this celebration was a fellowship meal where the worshiper ate with other family members, in the presence of God, the rest of the sacrificial animal, after offering certain parts to God. Thus, some call this a "fellowship offering." This was the only offering from which the worshiper could eat. Any animal without defect from the herd or flock was used for this offering, as well as a variety of breads. The blood was not used for atonement with this sacrifice. (The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

The meal sharing aspect of the peace offering reminds one of Christ's offer to the lukewarm church at Laodicea (Rev 3:14-19) to whom He declared...

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20-note)

Carr writes that "The ritual for offering a šelem is like that for the 'olah (burnt offering), except that only the fat around the intestines, the kidneys, the liver, and the fat of the sheep’s tail is burned on the altar (Lev 3). Characteristic of the šelem is the fact that the rest of the victim was shared by the priest and the worshiper who offered the sacrifice. The priests received as their part the breast and the right leg. The remainder was to be shared by the worshiper, his family, and guests. Whatever remained after three days was to be burned. According to Lev 7:12-17, 22:18–30, there were šĕlāmîm of praise (tôdâ) which was a free gift (minhah) accompanied by leavened and unleavened cakes offered in thanksgiving; šĕlāmîm of free inclination (nĕdābâ) offered freely out of devotion; and šĕlāmîm of special vows (nādar) offered in fulfillment of a previous promise. The distinctions among these three categories are not always precise. (TWOT)

Shelem in the NAS - peace offering(2), peace offerings(85).

Shelem - 84v - Ex 20:24; Ex 24:5 Ex 29:28; Ex 32:6; Lev 3:1, 3, 6, 9; 4:10, 26, 31, 35; 6:12; 7:11, 13-15, 18, 20-21, 29, 32-34, 37; 9:4, 18, 22; 10:14; 17:5; 19:5; 22:21; 23:19; Nu 6:14, 17-18; 7:17, 23, 29, 35, 41, 47, 53, 59, 65, 71, 77, 83, 88; 10:10; 15:8; 29:39; Dt 27:7; Josh 8:31; 22:23, 27; Jdg 20:26; 21:4; 1Sa 10:8; 11:15; 13:9; 2 Sam 6:17-18; 24:25; 1Kgs 3:15; 8:63-64; 9:25; 2Kgs 16:13; 1Chr 16:1f; 21:26; 2Chr 7:7; 29:35; 30:22; 31:2; 33:16; Pr 7:14; Ezek 43:27; 45:15, 17; 46:2, 12; Amos 5:22

Sacrifice (02077)(zebah from zabah - to slaughter for sacrifice) refers to an offering killed and presented by the worshiper to God as an act of devotion (to fill a special vow - Nu 15:3), thanksgiving (Lev 22:29, Ps 107:22, 116:17) or to meet the need for forgiveness (expiation, propitiation). The first specific mention of an animal sacrifice in Ge 4:4 (although it does not use the word zebah). The first use of zebah in Genesis describe sacrifices by Jacob (Israel) (Ge 31:54 - associated with the covenant between Jacob and Laban, Ge 46:1). In Ge 31:54 and Ex 18:12 we see zebah associated with sharing of a meal. In Ex 23:18 God refers to zebach as "My sacrifice." In the cutting of the Mosaic covenant, zebah played a major role providing the animal's blood that was sprinkled on the altar (Ex 24:5-6) and the people (Ex 24:7-8) to ratify the Mosaic covenant. In Ex 34:15 we see the first use of zebah in reference to sacrifices to the pagan deities (cf Lev 17:7, Jdg 16:23, 2Ki 5:17, 2Ki 10:19, Ps 106:28 is amplified in Nu 25:2 - this latter resulted in God sending a plaque killing 24,000! Nu 25:9). In contrast to heathen sacrifices that could be down at various sites throughout the land, the worship of the LORD (and the sacrifices) was to be centered in the place of His designation (Dt 12:5-6, 11). Gilgal, Bethel, and Shiloh were temporary centers before the Temple was built in Jerusalem (2Chr 7:12, contrast Ezek 20:28). Today worship is centered in the Word (Christ) who became flesh, because He made one sacrifice for all time (Heb 9:26). Samuel clearly instructed Saul to wait to sacrifice (1Sa 10:8), he blatantly disobeyed (1Sa 11:15) resulting in Samuel's classic reproof that "to obey is better than sacrifice." (1Sa 15:22) In Neh 12:43 we see a link between zebah and joy (rejoicing) when "they offered great sacrifices (zebah) and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar." (Cf "offer in His tent sacrifices [zebah] with shouts of joy.")

The first use of zebah in Leviticus 3:1 is found in the phrase "sacrifice of peace offerings." (Phrase occurs 30x - Lev 3:1, 6, 9; 4:10, 26, 31; 7:11, 20-21f, 37; 9:18; 19:5; 22:21; 23:19; Nu 6:17-18; 7:17, 23, 29, 35, 41, 47, 53, 59, 65, 71, 77, 83, 88; 1Ki 8:63) Zebah is also associated with other "offerings" (Ps 40:6) including "burnt offerings" (Ex 10:25, 1Sa 6:5).

Sacrifice (English definition - from Latin sacrificium; sacer, holy, and facere, to make) - To offer to God in homage or worship, by killing and consuming, as victims on an altar; to immolate, either as an atonement for sin, or to procure favor, or to express thankfulness; as, to sacrifice an ox or a lamb. A sacrifice is a surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable or of preventing some evil. Sacrifice is a ritual killing of and animal with the intention of propitiating or pleasing a deity. Almost universally, the peoples of ancient cultures offered sacrifices in order to win divine favor or even to sustain their so-called gods. Hebrew sacrifices were gifts to honor God and symbolized one owed everything to Him.

Sacrifice - From earliest times people expressed their devotion to God through presenting to him offerings and sacrifices. Some sacrifices expressed thanks, as people presented to God the best of their crops or animals (Genesis 4:4; Genesis 8:20). Others emphasized fellowship, both with God and with others, as the offerers ate part of the sacrifice in a meal with relatives and friends (Genesis 31:54). Other sacrifices were for forgiveness of sins, a slaughtered animal bearing the penalty that the offerers, because of their sins, should have suffered (Job 42:8). These basic elements of the sacrifices were later developed in the ceremonial law of Israel. (See the Complete Well written summary in Bridgeway Bible Dictionary)

Sacrifice - An offering made to God on his altar, by the hand of a lawful minister. A sacrifice differed from an oblation; it was properly the offering up of a life; whereas an oblation was but a simple offering or gift. (Sacrifice - American Tract Society Bible Dictionary)

SACRIFICES (of OT in relation to Christ).—Sacrifice is an act of homage resulting in a degree of friendship with God. So long as the creature is not incorporated into the Creator, homage must always be due from man to God. Not even under the gospel have we outgrown the attitude expressed by sacrifice. We have passed away from animal sacrifices, but we have passed into the region of the sacrifice of Christ. (Sacrifices - Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament)

Sacrifice (Nelson's Illustrated Dictionary) - the ritual through which the Hebrew people offered the blood or the flesh of an animal to God as a substitute payment for their sin.

As an aside - Shadows of Things to Come - Although zebah is not used in Genesis 3-4, some feel that Ge 3:21 was a "shadow" if you will of animal sacrifices. Thus Dr Henry Morris writes "This action is very instructive in several ways: (1) God considers clothing so vital in this present world that He himself provided it for our first parents; (2) the aprons fashioned by Adam and Eve were inadequate, testifying in effect that man-made efforts to prepare for God's presence will be rejected; (3) the clothing provided by God requires shedding the blood of two animals, probably two sheep. They were thus the first creatures actually to suffer death after Adam's sin, illustrating the basic Biblical principle of substitutionary atonement or "covering" which required the shedding of innocent blood as a condition of forgiveness for the sinner." (Defender's Study Bible Notes) Charles Ryrie tends to agree with Morris writing "The garments of skin were God's provision for restoring Adam's and Eve's fellowship with Himself and imply slaying of an animal in order to provide them." (Ryrie Study Bible) Allen Ross adds that "God is a saving God, however, and the fact that He clothed … Adam and Eve testifies to that. An animal was sacrificed to provide garments of skin, and later all Israel’s animal sacrifices would be part of God’s provision to remedy the curse—a life for a life. The sinner shall die! (Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 6:23) Yet he will live if he places his faith in the LORD, who has provided a Substitute. The skin with which God clothed Adam and Eve perpetually reminded them of God’s provision. Similarly in the fullness of time God accepted the sacrifice of Christ, and on the basis of that atonement He clothes believers in righteousness (Ro 3:21–26)." (Bible Knowledge Commentary) John MacArthur says "The first physical deaths should have been the man and his wife, but it was an animal—a shadow of the reality that God would someday kill a substitute to redeem sinners." (MacArthur study Bible) W A Criswell says "Man's covering for his nakedness was inadequate, but God provided a more suitable and durable covering. While the text does not specifically state that animal sacrifice occurred, it is implied from the description of God's procuring skins to clothe Adam and Eve. This was the first sacrifice of atonement for man's sin, prefiguring the death of Christ on the cross as a propitiation of man's sins (cf. Ro 3:25). This verse presented the gospel in symbolism: (1) the initial declaration of the necessity of the "shedding of blood" (Heb 9:22); and (2) an illustration of substitution, i.e., the death of the innocent for the guilty. In order to procure the skins to clothe Adam and Eve, God had to slay the animals and shed their blood. The Lord furnished the skins, fashioned the garments, and clothed Adam and Eve. God did it all; they did nothing. After divine condemnation and judgment for this first sin, God acted in mercy to provide a way of salvation, and He demonstrated His grace to cover the shame of man." These comments are certainly interesting, but it should be stated that not everyone agrees (at least not with all of these thoughts), so take it with a "grain of salt."

The first literal mention of sacrifice (but not using the Hebrew noun zebah) is in Genesis 4:1-5 describing the offerings of Cain and Abel. Youngblood explains that "Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain for two reasons. First, he gave the best that he had, whereas Cain simply offered whatever happened to be available. Second, Abel’s offering demonstrated that he was motivated by faith in God and that his attitude was pleasing to God (Ge 4:4–5; Heb. 11:4). Cain, by contrast, would soon demonstrate that his attitude was displeasing to God (Ed comment: Notice the details in Ge 4:5 "but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard." Notice that God looked first at the giver! Then He looked at the gift! Point? Gift is not "approved" if the Giver's attitude is not right before the Lord. = A perpetual principle!). He would become selfish, angry, and deceitful. He would then murder his brother, lie to God, and refuse to confess his sin or show remorse. It is a serious mistake to affirm that Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable to God because it was an animal sacrifice and that Cain’s sacrifice was unacceptable because he did not bring an animal. Genesis 4 makes no mention of offerings for the atonement of sin, and therefore to insist that the blood of an animal is mandated here is to read more into the account than is warranted. Attitude (Ed: The heart attitude! cf 1Sa 15:22-23, Ps 51:16-17) on the part of the offerer, not the nature of the offering, is in the forefront of the author’s concern in Genesis 4." (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)


Vine - The basic meaning of zebach is “sacrifice.” When a “sacrifice” had been slaughtered by the priest, he then offered it to God. The purpose was not just to create communion between God and man; rather, the “sacrifice” represented the principle that, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Lev. 17:11; cf. Heb. 9:22). In the act of “sacrifice” the faithful Israelite (Ed: I agree with Vine - sacrifices that were not offered in faith were futile - cp Heb 11:4, 6 - Abel's sacrifice was "better" because it was offered in faith! See also the phrase "sacrifices of righteousness." Dt 33:19, See also Spurgeon's comment on Ps 4:5 below). submitted himself to the priest, who, in keeping with the various detailed regulations, offered the “sacrifice” in accordance with God’s expectations. The “sacrifices” are the Passover “sacrifice” (Ex 12:27), “sacrifice” of the peace offering (Lev 3:1ff.), “sacrifice” of thanksgiving (Lev 7:12), and “sacrifice” of the priest’s offering (qorban/korban - word study; Lev 7:16). The zebach was not like the burnt offering ('olah - word study), which was completely burnt on the altar; and it was unlike the sin offering (chattat/chattath - word study), where the meat was given to the priest, for most of the meat of the zebach was returned to the person who made the “sacrifice.” The fat was burned on the altar (Lev 3:4-5), and the blood was poured out around the altar (Lev 3:2). The person who made the zebach had to share the meat with the officiating priest (Ex 29:28; Lev 7:31-35; Dt. 18:3). In view of the fact that the people shared in the eating of the zebach, the “sacrifice” became a communal meal in which the Lord hosted His people. Zephaniah’s message of judgment is based on this conception of “sacrifice”: “Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice, He has consecrated His guests.” (Zeph. 1:7). The Israelite came to the temple with the animal to be sacrificed. It was butchered, boiled, and eaten in the area of the sanctuary (1Sa 2:13). Apart from the sanctuaries, the Israelites also celebrated God’s goodness together in their native villages. The story of Samuel gives several good illustrations of this custom (cf. 1Sa. 9:13; 16:2-3). The prophets looked with condemnation on apostate Israel’s “sacrifices”: (Isa. 1:11, cp Isa 43:23-24). Hosea spoke about the necessity of Israel’s love for God: (Hos. 6:6). Samuel the prophet rebuked Saul with the familiar words "to obey is better than sacrifice" (1Sa 15:22)

Zebach is translated in the NAS as feasting(1 = Pr 17:1), offer(2), sacrifice(98), sacrifices(54), sacrificial(1), slaughter(1).

Zebach - 148v - Gen 31:54; 46:1; Ex 10:25; 12:27; 18:12; 23:18; 29:28; 34:15, 25; Lev 3:1, 3, 6, 9; 4:10, 26, 31, 35; 7:11-13, 15-18, 20-21, 29, 32, 34, 37; 9:18; 10:14; 17:5, 7-8; 19:5-6; 22:21, 29; 23:19, 37; Num 6:17-18; 7:17, 23, 29, 35, 41, 47, 53, 59, 65, 71, 77, 83, 88; 10:10; 15:3, 5, 8; 25:2; Deut 12:6, 11, 27; 32:38; 33:19; Josh 22:23, 26-28; Jdg 16:23; 1Sa 1:21; 2:13, 19, 29; 3:14; 6:15; 9:12-13; 11:15; 15:22; 16:3, 5; 20:6, 29; 2Sa 15:12; 1Kgs 8:62-63; 12:27; 2Kgs 5:17; 10:19, 24; 16:15; 1Chr 29:21; 2Chr 7:1, 4-5, 12; 29:31; Neh 12:43; Ps 4:5; 27:6; 40:6; 50:5, 8; 51:16-17, 19; 106:28; 107:22; 116:17; Pr 7:14; 15:8; 17:1; 21:3, 27; Eccl 5:1; Isa 1:11; 19:21; 34:6; 43:23-24; 56:7; 57:7; Jer 6:20; 7:21-22; 17:26; 33:18; 46:10; Ezek 20:28; 39:17, 19; 40:42; 44:11; 46:24; Dan 9:27; Hos 3:4; 4:19; 6:6; 8:13; 9:4; Amos 4:4; 5:25; Jonah 1:16; Zeph 1:7-8

2Chr 7:1 Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.

2Chr 29:31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, "Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the LORD, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the LORD." And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all those who were willing brought burnt offerings.

Comment: Note the order - consecration (heart right) and then sacrifices! This is an inviolable requirement for worship that would please Jehovah! Does this describe your approach on Sunday morning?

Ps 4:5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the LORD.

Spurgeon comments - Provided that the rebels had obeyed the voice of the last verse, they would now be crying,—"What shall we do to be saved?" And in the present verse, they are pointed to the sacrifice, and exhorted to trust in the Lord. When the Jew offered sacrifice righteously, that is, in a spiritual manner, he thereby set forth the Redeemer, the great sin-atoning Lamb; there is, therefore, the full gospel in this exhortation of the Psalmist. O sinners, flee ye to the sacrifice of Calvary, and there put your whole confidence and trust, for he who died for men is the LORD JEHOVAH.

Ps 40:6 Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired; My ears Thou hast opened; Burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required.

John MacArthur comments - He is not negating the commandment to offer sacrifices, but is emphasizing their being offered with the right attitude of heart (contra. Saul, 1Sa 15:22, 23; note the emphases on proper spiritual prerequisites for sacrifices in Ps 19:14; 50:7–15; 51:15–17; 69:30, 31; Is 1:10–15; Jer 7:21–26; Hos 6:6; Am 5:21–24; Mic 6:6–8; Mt 23:23).

Ps 51:16 For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased with burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.

Comment: God looks at the state of our heart before He accepts the gift from our hand! Indeed, "8 The sacrifice (zebah) of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD." (Pr 15:8, 21:27) "To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the LORD rather than sacrifice (zebah)." (Pr 21:3). In Hosea God says "I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice (zebah)." (Hos 6:6)

Eccl 5:1 Guard your steps as you go to the house of God, and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil.

Ryrie - In light of the futility of careless worship, Solomon sets forth an exhortation concerning proper worship. First, guard your steps. I.e., be careful, attentive. listen. I.e., with a view to obedience.

Isaiah 34:6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, It is sated with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, And a great slaughter in the land of Edom. (Cf zebah in Zephaniah 1:7-8)

Comment: This "sacrifice" is a prophecy of the return of Messiah as the Victorious Warrior. when he comes to Bozrah (Isa. 34:1-7; Isa 63:1-6) and from there will tread (Rev 19:15ff-note) the retreating armies of Antichrist to the Valley of Jehoshaphat (multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision) east of Jerusalem. The Messiah will ascend the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:3-4) and then presumably will enter Jerusalem according to Ezek 43:1ff. For more discussion of the incredible end-time events see Isaiah 63:1-6 commentary.

Isaiah 56:7 Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples."

MacArthur: In the (Millennial) kingdom of the Messiah, the Jerusalem temple will be the focal point for worship of the Lord by people of all ethnic backgrounds.

Daniel 9:27 "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."

Comment: These events will come to pass when (at the midpoint of the seven years) the Antichrist breaks his "Seven Year Covenant of Peace" with Israel and takes his place in the Temple displaying himself as God! (2Thes 2:3-5) See Daniel 9:27 Commentary

Without defect (08549)(tamim from the verb tamam = to be complete, entire or whole (literal sense in Lev 3:9, Ezek 15:5), refers to a action which is completed) has both physical (without defect) and spiritual (blameless, devout, upright) significance. Tamim has the fundamental idea of completeness or wholeness. Tamim deals primarily with a state of moral or ceremonial purity (e.g., animal sacrifices - 51x tamim refers to unblemished animals - Passover lamb in Ex 12:5 picturing of course Christ sinless perfection - 1Cor 5:7, "knew no sin" = 2Cor 5:21- note). Tamim can mean blameless, complete, whole, full, perfect. Tamim can refer to the "entirety" of a period of time (7 complete Sabbaths = Lev 23:15; full year = Lev 25:30). Joshua 10:13 records the miracle of the sun standing still for a "whole (tamim) day," allowing Joshua to extract vengeance on the Amorite coalition that had attacked him. Pr 1:12 refers metaphorically to the fate of the innocent being swallowed "whole" by the wicked, even as happens to those who go to the grave.

Stephen Renn - The adjective tamim means either “without blemish” or “blameless,” depending on the context in which it is found. It occurs about ninety times in the Old Testament with an approximately equal emphasis on the ritual and moral spheres. Tamim is used to mean “without blemish” in the pentateuchal legislative sections, and in Ezekiel it refers to animal sacrifices that are flawless. The term is applied to lambs (e.g., Ex 12: 5; Lev 14:10; 23:12; Nu 6:14; 28:9; 29:17-36; Ezek 46: 4); rams (e.g., Ex 29:1; Lev. 5:15; Nu 6:14; Ezek 45:23); bullocks (e.g., Lev. 4:3; Ezek 45:18); goats (e.g., Ezek 45:22; Lev. 4:23, 28); and heifers (e.g., Nu 19:2). Such an emphasis in the legislation of the covenant reinforces the absolute prerequisite of flawless animal specimens for sacrifices. In the realm of moral attributes, tamim frequently refers to people as “blameless.” Alternative, additional translations are “perfect,” “upright.” When tamim is applied to people in this sense, it does not refer to sinless perfection — rather, it signifies that those who are “blameless” are wholeheartedly devoted to God and desire to live in obedient submission to Him. Such an attitude is predicated of Noah (cf. Ge 6: 9) and David (cf. 2Sa 22:24). Abraham is commanded to walk blamelessly before God in Ge 17: 1. Joshua exhorts the Israelite tribes to serve God blamelessly — that is, with a genuine heartfelt sincerity (cf. Jos. 24:14). The psalmist writes that those who live blamelessly before God are favored by Him (Ps 15: 2; 18:32; 37:18; 84:11; 119:1). The writer of Proverbs makes a similar claim (cf. Pr 2:21; 11:5; 28:10, 18). Tamim is also applied to God, and in these contexts it is clear that this description refers to a literal and absolute perfection. The work and actions of God are described in this way (cf. Dt 32: 4; 2Sa 22:31; Ps 18:30), as is His law (cf. Ps 19: 7) and His knowledge (cf. Job 36: 4; 37:16)....Tamim is bound up primarily with the state of moral and ceremonial purity. Hence they may be translated “spotless,” “pure,” “without blemish,” “blameless,” or “undefiled.” (Expository Dictionary of Bible Words- Word Studies for Key English Bible Words Based on the Hebrew and Greek Texts; Coded to the Revised Strong's)

The first OT use of tamim describes Noah "These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless (Lxx = teleios = "meeting the highest standard" [BDAG]) in his time; Noah walked with God." (Ge 6:9) In the second use God tells Abraham " “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless." And remember God's commandments always include His enablements! It is thus fitting that David describes the Law of the LORD" as "perfect" (Lxx = amomos = without defects) (Ps 19:7). In fact, not only is His Word perfect, but His work is perfect (Dt 32:4) and His way is blameless (Ps 18:30) David says that the man who "may abide in" God's tent and "dwell on" His "holy hill" is the man "who walks with integrity (Lxx = amomos = without fault, morally blameless)." (Ps 15:2) Joshua in some of his parting words of wisdom to Israel declared "Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity (Lxx = euthutes = rectitude, honesty, integrity, uprightness) and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD." (Josh 24:14) The psalmist offers a great prayer we would all be wise to echo "May my heart be blameless (Lxx = amomos) in Thy statutes, that (expresses purpose or result of a blameless heart) I may not be ashamed." (Ps 119:80) One of my favorite verses in Psalms uses tamim - "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly (Lxx = akakia = guilelessness, innocence, integrity; "state of not being inclined to that which is base" [BDAG])." (Ps 84:11) The psalmist links tamim with a state of blessedness writing " How blessed are those whose way is blameless (Lxx = amomos), Who walk in the law of the LORD. (Ps 119:1)

Tamim can refer to a "full" year (Lev. 25:30) and a branch when it is "intact" (Ezek 15:5). Elihu was claims to be "perfect in knowledge" (Job 36:4).

In Leviticus tamim speaks of animals that are "without defect" (Lev 1:3, 1:10, 3:1, 6, 4:3, 23, 28, 32, 5:15, 18, etc) and in all of these the Lxx translates tamim with amomos which is fascinating for it is the same adjective used to describe the Lamb of God, Peter writing that we were redeemed "but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished (amomos) and spotless (aspilos), the blood of Christ." (1Pe1:19- note) The writer of Hebrews describes Jesus the same way asking "how much more will the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish (amomos) to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb 9:14-note)

Paul and Jude apply this truth to believers, those who have been covered by the blood of the Lamb...

Ephesians 1:4 (note) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless (amomos) before Him. In love

Colossians 1:22 (note) yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death (Jesus' offering was the culmination of all the OT offerings), in order to (Here is the purpose of Jesus' offering) present (Paristemi means to stand by or near or beside God in this case!) you before Him holy and blameless (amomos) and beyond reproach (anegkletos - not having been called up or arraigned before a judge and thus free of reproach, not accused of having done anything wrong! Wow, talk about the infinite mercy, grace and forgiveness of our loving holy God!) (See similar use of amomos in Eph 5:27 referring to Jesus presenting His Bride "holy and blameless"!)

Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless (amomos) with great joy

Paul exhorts us to life amomos lives

Php 2:14-15 (note) Do (present imperative - we need supernatural power to accomplish this = daily filled with the Spirit - Eph 5:18-note, walking by the Spirit - Gal 5:16-note) all things (no exceptions - the only way we can do this is by jettisoning self reliance and casting ourselves upon the Spirit in total dependence and submission to Him, Who alone can give us the desire and the power - see immediate context - Php 2:12-note, Php 2:13-note) without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that (Here is the holy purpose) you will prove yourselves to be blameless (amemptos = faultless) and innocent (akeraios = without admixture of evil), children of God above reproach (amomos) in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world

Vine - Tamim means “complete,” in the sense of the entire or whole thing: “And 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 …” (Lev. 3:9). The sun stood still for the “whole” day while Joshua fought the Gibeonites (Josh. 10:13). In Lev. 23:15 God commands that there be seven “complete” sabbaths after the first fruit feast plus fifty days and then that the new grain offering be presented. A house within a walled city must be purchased back within a “full” year if it is to remain the permanent property of the seller (Lev. 25:30).

This word may mean “intact,” or not cut up into pieces (Ezek. 15:5). Tamim may mean incontestable or free from objection. In Dt. 32:4 the word modifies God’s work: “His work is perfect.” The people of God are to avoid the idolatrous practices of the Canaanites. They are to “be perfect with the Lord thy God” (Dt. 18:13). Used in such contexts the word means the one so described externally meets all the requirements of God’s law (cf. Ps. 18:23). This word modifies the victim to be offered to God. It means that the victim has no blemish (Lev. 22:18-21) as “blemish” is defined by God (Lev. 22:19). In several contexts the word has a wider background. When one is described by it, there is nothing in his outward activities or internal disposition that is odious to God (Noah in Ge 6:9). This word describes Noah's entire relationship to God. In Jdg. 9:16, where tamim describes a relationship between men it is clear that more than mere external activity is meant: “Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely [literally, “in a sincere manner”], in that ye have made Abimelech king” This extended connotation of this nuance is also evidenced when one compares Ge. 17:1 with Ro 4 where Paul argues that Abraham fulfilled God’s condition but that he did so only through faith."

Tamim - translated in NAS - blameless(22), blamelessly(1), complete(1), entire(1), full(1), intact(1), integrity(4), perfect(5), sincerity(1), unblemished(2), uprightly(1), who is perfect(1), whole(2), without blemish(12), without defect(36).

Integrity (English word) (from Latin - integritas - from integer = a whole number as opposed to a fraction . Ponder that thought when it comes to our spiritual heart! Think "singleness of purpose", cp "this one thing" - Php 3:13-note, undivided heart - see great prayer - Ps 86:11-note) - 1. Wholeness; entireness; unbroken state. The constitution of the U. States guaranties to each state the integrity of its territories. The contracting parties guarantied the integrity of the empire. 2. The entire, unimpaired state of any thing, particularly of the mind; moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty. Integrity comprehends the whole moral character, but has a special reference to uprightness in mutual dealings, transfers of property, and agencies for others. (Webster - 1828)

Blameless (English) - Without fault; innocent; guiltless; not meriting censure.

Tamim - 85x in the OT - Ge 6:9; 17:1; Ex 12:5; 29:1; Lev 1:3, 10; 3:1, 6, 9; 4:3, 23, 28, 32; 5:15, 18; 6:6; 9:2f; 14:10; 22:19, 21; 23:12, 15, 18; 25:30; Num 6:14; 19:2; 28:3, 9, 11, 19, 31; 29:2, 8, 13, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 36; Deut 18:13; 32:4; Josh 10:13; 24:14; Jdg 9:16, 19; 1Sam 14:41; 2Sam 22:24, 26, 31, 33; Job 12:4; 36:4; 37:16; Ps 15:2; 18:23, 25, 30, 32; 19:7; 37:18; 84:11; 101:2, 6; 119:1, 80; Pr 1:12; 2:21; 11:5, 20; 28:10, 18; Ezek 15:5; 28:15; 43:22f, 25; 45:18, 23; 46:4, 6, 13; Amos 5:10

Study the uses of tamim in Psalms and Proverbs to understand how important the truths associated with tamim are to the spiritual life of every believer!

Ps 15:2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart.

Ps 18:23 I was also blameless with Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity.

Ps 18:25 With the kind Thou dost show Thyself kind; With the blameless Thou dost show Thyself blameless;

Ps 18:30 As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

Ps 18:32 The God who girds me with strength, And makes my way blameless?

Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Ps 37:18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless; And their inheritance will be forever.

Ps 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Ps 101:2 I will give heed to the blameless way. When wilt Thou come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.

Ps 101:6 My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.

Ps 119:1 Aleph. How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD.

Ps 119:80 May my heart be blameless in Thy statutes, That I may not be ashamed.

Prov 1:12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;

Prov 2:21 For the upright will live in the land, And the blameless will remain in it;

Prov 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

Prov 11:20 The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in [their] walk are His delight.

Prov 28:10 He who leads the upright astray in an evil way Will himself fall into his own pit, But the blameless will inherit good.

Prov 28:18 He who walks blamelessly will be delivered, But he who is crooked will fall all at once.

Henry Law - THE PEACE OFFERING. - Leviticus 3:1 - "On earth peace!" Thus angels' lips announce the Savior's birth. "On earth peace!" It comes, it lives, it thrives with Christ. "On earth peace!" Such is the olive-branch, which these brief lines would wave. "On earth peace!" Great Spirit, plant this happy inhabitant in each reader's heart! God strives in every way to bring poor sinners to His peaceful sway. Before the worlds, eternal councils planned the way of peace. When enmity began, grace hastened to reveal it. A stream of prophecy rolled the news onward. And here a graphic ordinance portrays it. A model stands to show the parts and working of the reconciling scheme. Some anxious soul sighs for felt peace with God. What shall be done? God smooths the way. His voice declares, let the sin-appeasing victim be now brought. Peace rightly sought shall surely be obtained. Now mark this VICTIM. It may be male or female. It may be taken from larger cattle, or from sheep or goats. Lev. 3:1, 6, 12. This is permission of unusual breadth. The prince—the peasant—from richest pastures, or bare mountain's brow, may readily obtain the expiating means. The purport is both gracious and distinct. Where is the man, who would have peace with God? No barrier keeps him back. No distant search is needed. The appointed offering touches his threshold. The soul at every moment may find Christ. The hand may grasp Him at each turn. He is the nearest object to the rich man's hall. He sits beside each Lazarus at the gate. He is ever present—ever willing. No sinner pines in wretchedness, because the Peace offering is beyond his reach. Behold Me—take Me—is the burden of the Gospel-cry. But from whatever flock the male or female came, one test must prove it. It must be without defect, free from fault. A blameless type proclaims the blameless Lord. He is the essence of pure excellence. He was made flesh without corruption's taint. His walk on earth was as holy as His throne in heaven. If but one speck had soiled Him, it would have turned God's smile into a frown. To have bought favor for Himself would then have cost His all. But now His hands are sinless; therefore they can take our sins. He needs no payment for Himself; and so can buy our peace. (The Gospel in Leviticus)

Before the LORD (61x in 59v in Leviticus out of 259 total uses in OT) - Lev 1:3, 5, 11; 3:1, 7, 12; 4:4, 6f, 15, 17f, 24; 5:19; 6:7, 14, 25; 7:30; 8:26f, 29; 9:2, 4f, 21, 24; 10:1f, 15, 17, 19; 12:7; 14:11f, 16, 18, 23f, 27, 29, 31; 15:14f, 30; 16:7, 10, 12f, 18, 30; 19:22; 23:11, 20, 28, 40; 24:3f, 6, 8;

F B Meyer - A sacrifice of Peace-offering - In the burnt-offering the priest burnt all; but in the peace-offering a part only was burnt, “the fat, kidneys, and caul.” The inner parts were consumed as God’s portion, whilst Aaron and his sons fed on the breast and the shoulder. In that feast God and the priests participated; and it is an emblem of our participation in the joy of God, over the person and work of Jesus.

Think of this blessed feast with God. We who were once far off in the wicked and hostile imaginings, are now made nigh; we sit at God’s table as his children, and hear Him say, Let us make merry and be glad; this my son was dead, and is alive again.

We have Peace with God. — We are justified by faith in Jesus. In Him we stand before God, accepted and beloved. The curse is exchanged for blessing; distance for presence; the husks of the swine for the fatted calf. The past is for ever under the blood; above us is the clear heaven of God’s love.

We have the Peace of God. — The very peace that fills our Father’s heart, undisturbed by the storms of care and strife which sweeps this lower world, is ours also. We sit in heavenly places; his peace, like a sentry, keeps our hearts and minds against molestation; the peace of God rules in us, bringing every thought into subjection to itself. We have perfect peace because our mind is stayed on Him.

We have the God of Peace. — According to the Apostle’s fervent hope and prayer, He is with us. Not the gift, but the Giver; not I, but He; not the river only, but the source. We may well open our doors to admit such a guest, in having whom we receive the Author and Giver of concord, unity, and unbroken rest.

Dr William Barrick - Principles Involved in the Old Testament Sacrificial System (Reference)

1. Old Testament sacrifices were to be offered by believers only. Those believers were indoctrinated and obedient (i.e., they exhibited right teaching and right behavior).

◆ Israelite believers: Leviticus 1:2-3-note; Lev 2:1-note

◆ Foreign believers: Leviticus 17:8-note; Lev 22:18, 25-note; Numbers 15:14-16; Isaiah 56:6-8

2. Old Testament sacrifices were to be the outward demonstration of a vital faith. Without faith the sacrifices were worthless (cf. Hebrews 11:4-note).

◆ 1 Samuel 15:22-23

◆ Psalm 51:15-19-note

◆ Isaiah 1:11-15-note

◆ Micah 6:6-8-note

3. Old Testament sacrifices did not save from sin nor forgive sins. The Levitical sacrifices included no provision for the sinful nature of mankind. The animal sacrifices were insufficient to atone for the sins of human beings—only a human life could atone for a human life.

◆ Compare Leviticus 1:3-note with Psalm 49:5-9-note.

◆ Galatians 3:10-14

◆ Hebrews 10:1-18-note

◆ 1 Peter 1:18-19-note

4. Old Testament sacrifices did not take care of every sin—especially willful, defiant sin. Many sins required capital punishment—no sacrifice would avail for such sin. (Note: That no sacrifice was available for capital offenses does not mean that God did not or could not forgive capital offenses. The legal consequences required death. Such consequences should not be confused with one’s ultimate spiritual relationship to God.)

◆ Leviticus 24:10-23-note

◆ Numbers 15:30

5. Old Testament sacrifices had fellowship with God as their chief object. They outwardly symbolized forgiveness for sins, which resulted in continued communion with the covenant-keeping God of Israel.

◆ Exodus 29:42-43; 30:36

6. Old Testament sacrifices declared, emphasized, and magnified sin and its consequences.

◆ Romans 3:19-20-note; Ro 5:20a-note; Ro 7:5-11-note

◆ Galatians 3:21-22

7. Old Testament sacrifices declared, emphasized, and magnified God’s holiness, righteousness, love, grace, mercy, and sovereignty.

◆ Psalm 119:62-note

◆ Nehemiah 9:13

◆ Matthew 23:23

◆ Romans 7:12-note

8. Old Testament sacrifices demonstrated that there was no totally independent access to God for the Old Testament believer under the Mosaic legislation.

◆ Hebrews 9:8-10-note

9. Old Testament sacrifices demonstrated that God’s desire with regard to the giving of His people did not go beyond their normal ability. The sacrificial objects (cattle, sheep, goats, doves; flour, oil, wine, and frankincense) were all immediately available to the individual Israelite. God did not require that His people bring something exotic or beyond their normal means. He did not require them to extend themselves to the point of either economical discomfort or disaster.

◆ 1 Corinthians 16:2

◆ 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 through 2Cor 9:1-27

10. Old Testament sacrifices emphasized the ministry of the priesthood.

◆ Leviticus 1:9-note; Lev 2:8-note; Lev 4:20-note; Lev 6:6-note

◆ Hebrews 5:1-note-Through Heb 10:1-25-note

◆ 1 Peter 2:5-note

11. Old Testament sacrifices involved the recognition of God’s covenant with His people.

◆ Leviticus 2:13-note

◆ Psalm 50:5, 16-note

12. Old Testament sacrifices were commanded by God for the maintenance of the priesthood. The covenant community provides for those who minister.

◆ Leviticus 7:34-35-note

◆ Nehemiah 13:5

◆ Malachi 3:8-10-note

Leviticus 3:2 'He shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and slay it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood around on the altar.

  • lay: Lev 1:4,5 8:22 16:21,22 Ex 29:10 Isa 53:6 2Co 5:21 1Jn 1:9,10
  • slay: Lev 1:11 Zec 12:10 Ac 2:36-38 3:15,26 4:10-12,26-28)

Lay his hand - Lev 1:4; 3:2, 8, 13; 4:4, 24, 29, 33; Job 9:33; Mk 7:32 - See Leviticus 4:29 Commentary for more detailed notes including discussion by C H Spurgeon. Click here for another discussion by Spurgeon.

The ISBE writes that "Sprinkling (blood, water, oil) formed an important - if not the essential - part of the act of sacrifice." (Ref)

Sprinkle (02236)(zaraq) means to sprinkle, to toss, to throw, to scatter in abundance, to be sprinkled and most of the OT uses (see below) refer to the priest's actions in carrying out the rituals of the sacrifices and offerings.

The first use by Moses describes "throwing" the soot from a furnace into the air in the presence of Pharaoh (Ex 9:8, 10). When Job's friends saw him coming at a distance and could scarcely even recognize him, they threw (sprinkled) dust over their heads toward heaven to demonstrate their grief (too bad they did not maintain this attitude!) (Job 2:12). In the ratification of the Old Covenant, Moses took half the blood and sprinkled it on the altar (Ex 24:6-8) signifying the solemn binding nature of the covenant God was making with Israel. In Ex 29 which describes the consecration (Ex 29:1) of Aaron and his sons as priests to Jehovah, Moses was to take some of the blood of the ram and sprinkle it around on the altar (twice - Ex 29:16, 20; cp Lev 8:24).

The priests were to sprinkle blood on the altar in the burnt offering (Lev 1:5,11, Lev 9:12, 2Ki 16:15), the peace offering (Lev 3:2, 8, 13, Lev 9:18, 17:5-6, 2Ki 16:13), the guilt (trespass) offering (Lev 7:2). Godly King Josiah destroyed the false gods and scattered their powder over the graves of those who had worshiped them (2Chr. 34:4). In 2Chr 29 King Hezekiah led the nation to sacrifice ("seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats" - Lev 4:3-14 called for only one of each animal, but Hezekiah choose seven - surely reflecting his desire for complete forgiveness) a sin offering "for the kingdom, the sanctuary and Judah" and they sprinkled the blood on the altar (2Chr 29:21-22). This must have been a dramatic scene! In 2Chr 30 we see a description of sprinkling the blood of Passover lambs (2Chr 30:15-16, cp 2Chr 35:11)

In Ezekiel 10:2 zaraq is used to depict the coming destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon (Ezek 10:2-note = "coals of fire" scattered over the city). In addition to the use of zaraq in the context of judgment, it is also used in the context of salvation. In a prophetic promise of the New Covenant (Ezek 36:26-27-note, cp "New Covenant" in Jer 31:31-34) which would be given by Jehovah to Israel, He says "I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean." (Ezek 36:25-note) This promise, while given to the Israelite exiles in Babylon, was inaugurated (with allusion to blood, albeit not "sprinkled") by Jesus at the Passover meal (Last Supper) with His Jewish disciples at His first coming and will be completely fulfilled by Jesus at His Second Coming when "THE DELIVERER (Jesus, King of kings, Lord of lords, Rev 19:16) WILL COME FROM ZION (and) HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB," declaring that "THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS." (Ro 11:26-27-note)

TWOT - Sprinkling was an integral aspect of the purification rite. Blood was sprinkled to indicate or confirm sanctification (Ex 29:20; Lev 1:5), as well as for hygienic purposes which had a definite religious meaning (Lev 17:6). Zaraq....speaks of judgment: Moses threw dust in the air to bring the plague of boils upon Egypt (Ex 9:8, cp Ezek 10:2).

Zaraq is translated scatter(2), scattered(1), sprinkle(13), sprinkled(15), sprinkles(1), threw(2), throw(1).

The Lxx translates zaraq in all the uses in Leviticus with the verb proscheo which means to pour on. The verb passo meaning to sprinkle with is used in other passages (Ex 9:8, 10)

Zaraq - 33v - Ex 9:8, 10; 24:6, 8; 29:16, 20; Lev 1:5, 11; 3:2, 8, 13; 7:2, 14; 8:19, 24; 9:12, 18; 17:6; Num 18:17; 19:13, 20; 2 Kgs 16:13, 15; 2Chr 29:22; 30:16; 34:4; 35:11; Job 2:12; Isa 28:25; Ezek 10:2; 36:25; 43:18; Hos 7:9

See Sprinkle; Sprinkling - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

The one desiring to give a peace offering brought his animal to the entrance of the tabernacle or tent meeting = Lev 3:1-2 (cattle), Lev 3:7-8 (sheep), Lev 3:12-13 (goats). The entrance is depicted below on the left side ("The One Way").

Meeting (04150)(moed from the verb ya'ad meaning to appoint or fix) can refer to either a time or place of meeting. Here in the phrase "tent of meeting" the word for "meeting" is moed. The Septuagint (Lxx) translates moed with the noun marturion which means testimony, i.e., an objective act, circumstance, or statement that serves as a means of proof of something. Marturion is used twice in the NT in the phrase "tabernacle of testimony." (Acts 7:44, Rev 15:5-note)

The tent of meeting was a precursor to the Tabernacle. Only the high priest on the Day of Atonement could enter the holy place in God’s presence and even he could do so only under the terms God revealed to Moses.

Tent of meeting - "There are two “Tents of Meeting”: the one that stood outside the camp (see, e.g., Ex 33:7) and the one that stood in the midst of the camp (Ex 40:2; Nu 2:2ff) and served as the LORD’s residence until the construction of the Temple in the days of Solomon (Ex 27:21; 29:4; 1Kgs 8:4; 2Chr 5:5, etc.; cf. 2Sa 7:6). Ex 40:35 uses both “tabernacle” and “tent of meeting” to refer to the same tent: “Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” It is clear that “tent of meeting” in Lev 1:1 refers to the “tabernacle.” The latter term refers to the tent as a “residence,” while the former refers to it as a divinely appointed place of “meeting” between God and man. This corresponds to the change in terms in Ex 40:35, where “tent of meeting” is used when referring to Moses’ inability to enter the tent, but “tabernacle” when referring to the LORD taking up residence there in the form of the glory cloud. The quotation introduced here extends from Lev 1:2 through Lev 3:17, and encompasses the burnt, grain, and peace offering regulations." (Leviticus 1 - NET Bible Notes)

What was the tent of meeting? - The phrase tent of meeting is used in the Old Testament, specifically in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, as the name of a place where God would meet with His people, Israel. Usually, the “tent of meeting” was used as another name for the Tabernacle of Moses. However, before the tabernacle was constructed, God met with Moses in a temporary tent of meeting: “Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the ‘tent of meeting.’ Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. . . . As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses” (Exodus 33:7, 9). The fact that Moses set up the tent of meeting outside of the camp underscored that the people had broken fellowship with God at Sinai when they had made the golden calf (see Exodus 33:3). After the tabernacle was built, Moses no longer needed his temporary tent, and the term tent of meeting began to be applied to the tabernacle. (Read Entire Well Done Article)

Tony Garland has this note on tabernacle of testimony in Rev 15:5 - Tabernacle (Ed: He is referring to the NT use of the term Tabernacle) is skēnēs (see related word skenos), which denotes God’s dwelling place. Of the testimony is tou martyriou , which can also be translated of the witness (Nu 18:2). The term testimony or witness referred primarily to the tablets of the Ten Commandments which stood as a witness of the Mosaic Covenant and the entire body of Mosaic Law which Israel came under at Mount Sinai. “And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you” (Ex 25:16). This testimony set forth God’s law, especially as embodied by the Ten Commandments, and now stands as a witness against the immoral actions of the nations in their rejection of God. The “tabernacle of the Testimony” (Ex. 38:21) was the meeting place, also called “the tabernacle of meeting” (Ex 30:26), where God would meet with the children of Israel. It contained “the ark of the Testimony” (Ex 30:26; 21:7) from which it derived the name tabernacle of the Testimony. The Levites were entrusted with the service of the tabernacle of the Testimony, to transport and attend to it (Nu 1:50). God’s presence dwelt between the cherubim over the mercy seat of the ark within the tabernacle. The earthly tabernacle was patterned after the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven. See Interesting Chart Comparing the Earthly Patterned After the Heavenly. See The Abiding Presence of God. See Tabernacle in the Wilderness. When the heavenly temple was last opened, the ark of His covenant (the “testimony”) was seen together with manifestations of judgment (Rev. 11:19-note). The same idea is present here. Whatever is about to come forth from the temple is a manifestation of God’s judgment for those who fall short of the testimony (witness) of the law and who have not sought Christ for refuge from God’s wrath. The righteous requirement of the law judges those who are guilty and under judgment of God’s wrath (Ro 2:12-note; Ro 3:19-20-note). For “the law brings about wrath” (Ro 4:15-note). Believers will not be subject to the written requirements which were taken away in Christ (Ro 7:6-note; Col. 2:14-note). (Reference)

Martin Manser on Tent of Meeting - A tent pitched by Moses outside the Israelite camp in the wilderness. There Moses met with God and others would enquire of the Lord. God’s presence was shown there by a pillar of cloud. It seems to predate the construction and setting up of the tabernacle, after which, the term became synonymous with the tabernacle. Moses pitched the Tent of Meeting outside the Israelite camp - Ex 33:7 The tent was outside the camp because of the Lord’s estrangement from his people (Ex 33:3) following their making the golden calf. It was possibly a temporary structure used until the tabernacle was completed. The Tent of Meeting was where the faithful met with God - Moses See also Ex 33:9,11 Those who wished to enquire of the Lord Ex 33:7 - Joshua Ex 33:11. The pillar of cloud at the Tent of Meeting - It indicated God’s presence Ex 33:9. Those who saw the cloud worshipped the Lord Ex 33:10. The Tent of Meeting and the tabernacle = This Tent of Meeting may be distinct from the tabernacle Ex 25:8-9. The tabernacle was constructed (in accordance with detailed instructions) after the Tent of Meeting See also Ex 35:10-11; Ex 39:32-43. The tabernacle was set up after the Tent of Meeting Ex 40:1-2,33. The Tent of Meeting as a synonym for the tabernacle - Ex 40:2 Afterwards “Tent of Meeting” became a synonym for the tabernacle, especially the tent part of the whole complex. See also Ex 40:6-7,22,24,29-30,34-35; Lev 1:1; Lev 24:3; Nu 1:1; Nu 31:54; Dt 31:14-15; Jos 18:1; Jos 19:51; 1Sa 2:22; 1Ki 8:4 pp 2Ch 5:5; 1Ch 6:32; 1Ch 9:21; 2Ch 1:3 (Dictionary of Bible Themes)

Henry Law - God next directs the offerer to "lay his hand on the head of his offering." Lev. 3:2. This act denotes the transfer of all guilt. The burdened one thus rolls off his load. The lightened shoulder thus receives relief. This is the happiest exercise of faith (Ed: Note Law's use of "faith" - simply laying one's hand mechanically accomplished absolutely nothing -- it was merely "going through the motions"). It knows, that Christ is called, and comes, and dies, to take His people's guilt. It sees Him ever ready to receive the weight. With rapid step it ventures near. With eager hand it casts off misery. The unburdened conscience grasps deliverance (Ed: But see Heb 9:9-note, Heb 9:13-note, Heb 10:22-note). Believer, why should you lie in dust, oppressed and crushed by fears? Why are your eyes so dull to see heart-ease? Hark! our Peace offering presents (Christ) Himself. Christ calls, Give Me your every sin—transmit the whole mass of it to Me! I will remove it, so that God no more shall find it. Wrong not your soul—obey. There is no peace, while sin-distress weighs down. There is all peace, when the huge mountains of sin sink. The sting extracted leaves no pain. The victim is then slain. Lev. 3:2. Here is the wondrous fact, which is the light of types, and rites, and prophecies, and solemn texts. Here is the brightest sunshine of the Bible-page. Death is denounced, as the desert of sin (1Cor 15:55). But, through amazing grace, it falls on Christ! (2Cor 5:21-note, Ro 8:3-note, 1Pe 2:24-note, Isa 53:6) He claims the dying place. He gives His life to the avenging stroke. Each blood-besprinkled altar preached a peace thus bought. It told of sin-satisfying agony, and reconciling blood, and an accepted surety. It showed the price all paid—the wrath removed—the curse endured—the flock all free (Gal 3:13). Reader, you often hear and read this blessed truth. Say, is this peace-procuring work the perfect rest of your reposing soul? Do you sit down beneath the cross and sing, 'The enmity died there?' (Eph 2:14-16-note) (The Gospel in Leviticus)

Shall lay his hand on the head of his offering (Lev 3:2, 8, 13) - Spurgeon sees this act of the offerer laying his hands on the sacrificial animal as symbolic of confession, acceptance, transference, and identification (See Spurgeon's discussion in Leviticus 1 Notes).

Sprinkle the blood around on the altar (Lev 1:5, 1:11, 3:2, 8, 13, Lev 5:9, 7:2, 8:11, 19, 24, 30, 9:12, 18, 17:6, Nu 18:17, 2Ki 16:13-15, 2Chr 29:22, Ezek 43:18) - When Moses ratified the Old Covenant he sprinkled half the blood on the people and the other half on the altar (Ex 24:9). Blood was sprinkled around the altar at Aaron and his son's induction into the priesthood (Ex 29:15-21).

Leviticus 3:3 'From the sacrifice of the peace offerings he shall present an offering by fire to the LORD, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails,

  • fat: or, suet, Lev 3:16 4:8,9 7:3,4 Ex 29:13,22 Dt 30:6 Ps 119:70 Pr 23:26 Isa 6:10 Ezek 36:26 Mt 13:16 15:8 Ro 5:5 6:6)

Peace offerings (08002)(selem/shelem - word study)

Offering by fire - Lev 3:3, 5, 9, 11, 14, 16.

To the LORD (101x in 92v) - Lev 1:2, 9, 13f, 17; 2:1ff, 8ff, 14, 16; 3:3, 5f, 9, 11, 14; 4:3, 31, 35; 5:6f, 15; 6:6, 15, 18, 20ff; 7:5, 11, 14, 20f, 25, 29f, 35, 38; 8:21, 28; 17:4ff, 9; 19:5, 21, 24; 21:6; 22:3, 15, 18, 21f, 24, 27, 29; 23:3, 6, 8, 12f, 16ff, 20, 25, 27, 34, 36ff, 41; 24:7; 25:2, 4; 27:2, 9, 11, 14, 16, 21ff, 26, 28, 30, 32;

Criswell on fat - The "fat" of the animal was looked upon as being the choicest part; hence, it belonged to God (cf. 7:23-25). The separable fatty portions included: (1) the net of fat which stretched from the stomach and enveloped the bowels; (2) the fat attached to the viscera, which could easily be peeled off; (3) the two kidneys and the fat upon them; and (4) the net of fat covering the liver. If the peace offering was of the sheep, a fifth portion included the fat tail (vv. 9, 10), which sometimes weighed as much as 15 pounds among broad-tailed species. (Believer's Study Bible)

Henry Law - The slaughtered animal was then divided. The best—the choicest of the parts, were placed upon the burning altar. Devouring flames preyed on them. Lev. 3:3-5. Another portion was the priest's own due. Lev. 7:31, 32. The rest supplied the offerer with food. Here is a wondrous feast! Three parties are regaled. O my soul, you too are called. The Gospel-banquet has an open door. Each hungry soul may find a welcome seat. 1. God claims His share. All, which seems rich and precious, is first brought to Him. The holy fire reduces it to dust. It is the fuel of the raging blaze. Thus Jesus meets the fierceness of Jehovah's wrath. Thus every attribute is as filled as an overflowing cup. Justice exacts its dues. Anger, and righteous vengeance, and pledged truth have large demands. But are they not content, when they have reveled at this costly table? God's name is honored in a God-man slain! and heaven takes up a hymn of peace. Reader, in faith place Christ between God and your sins, and then, live, rejoice, work, die in the sweet knowledge, that God's scales are full. 2. Provision is then made for those who ministered. The altar-servant never lacks. They, who leave all for God, have all in God. Zeal in His cause is richest gain. The Lord is never debtor unto man. Strength spent for Him is strength recruited with the best supplies. Toil in His vineyard is the wealth of wealth. His service is a golden mine. It is a field, where harvests always wave. Each happy workman finds his wages in his work. But mark what constitutes the priestly food. It is part of the self-same victim, in which God delights. The dying Jesus regales heaven. The dying Jesus regales earth. But the refreshment mainly cheers the pastor's heart. Here, then, we clearly learn, that ministers derive their health—their vigor—their success, from the grand truth of peace through Christ. Those cannot work with zeal—with unction—and with fervent love, who have not tasted this substantial feast. Knowledge of reconciling grace is the grand pulpit-power. It warns the heart. It girds the loins. It arms with courage, which no difficulties check. It brings an energy, which cannot flag. You Ministers, live at this table. Rejoice in the victim, who slays wrath, and opens wide the gates of peace. And then strong in the Lord, and tranquil in His love, go toil, strive, pray, until thronging numbers crowd the banquet-house, where Christ is All. 3. The offerer then takes his part and eats. Here is a teaching fact. We see the essence of true faith. It finds soul sustenance in Jesus' work. Light in the head will not give peace. Lips may be fluent to depict Christ's praise, while all within is death. The outward handling of truth lulls not the conscience-fears. More is required. Christ to be peace must be received within. The hungry soul must draw sweet juices from the dying Lamb! Wretched are they, who mourn, and pine, and starve, when such supplies are near! A solemn warning is adjoined. The legally unclean might not partake. Lev. 7:20. Impurity excluded from the table of peace. Means are provided to cleanse stains. But means neglected, raise exclusion's bar. They are cast out, who seek the wedding with no wedding-robe. Mat. 22:13. Reader, this precept loudly testifies, that none taste peace, who willfully offend. Sin willingly retained must plunge into a troubled sea. Can Israel prosper, while accursed goods are hidden? Can he gain health, who lingers in infected air? Shall he, who sows the whirlwind, reap a calm? The path of evil leads from peace. The love of evil hides God's smile. But the believer hourly mourns, that sad corruption follows him as his shadow. He loathes iniquity, but still its roots are deep, and constant outbreaks prove its life. His thoughts, his words, his works fly, as vile broods of vipers from a vile nest. May he not venture to the Peace offering feast, while this indwelling evil is his plague? The ordinance foresees the case; and thus provides. Unleavened cakes must fill the offerer's hand. Lev. 7:12. This leaven is the emblem of the tainting principle. Its presence teaches, that sinners may draw near, although the hated trouble be not dead. Reader, if you have any light from heaven, you see poor nature's proneness to transgress. While flesh is flesh, its tendencies are base. This malady should not obstruct your way to peace. No, let it prompt you to more vigorous effort. When the wolf prowls, the lambs leave not the fold. Your restless foe should drive you to the fort of peace.

We next are told what special motives prompted the Peace offering. They were two-fold; a sense of gratitude for mercies past, and a desire to bind the heart by vow. Lev. 7:12, 16. He, who would praise—he, who would vow, thus sought the altar. Here are spiritual dealings, which cannot be performed, until the soul knows peace with God. These are plants, which only bloom in reconciliation's sunshine. These are barks, which only glide on tranquil waves. Believer, let not this teaching be in vain. There is no moment, when the inner man should not flow forth in boundless streams of praise. Count—but the number baffles thought—count, if you can, the crowning mercies, which fill high your cup. Each MERCY should awaken songs of love. Next, weigh your mighty DEBTS to God. He ever lives, pouring His blessings on your head. Each binds you to devote your all to His one service. His throne should ever hear your self-surrendering vows. But mark, you cannot praise nor vow apart from peace in Christ. These are the acts of an accepted child. This is free converse with a reconciled Father. Praise only lives, where peace abounds. He only consecrates himself, who fears no wrath. You must draw near in Christ, or you can never serve. When the Peace offering came, as token of thanksgiving, it must be eaten before the morning's light. When it bore witness to a voluntary vow, the rule was still the same. The feast must be without delay. No remnant on the third day might be touched. Lev. 7:15, 16. Who can hear this, and not discern the tenderness of grace? God would not leave one moment's space between the cross and peace. The Gospel-cry is, Rejoice, Rejoice. Why tarry? Why linger? Why hesitate? What mean those miserable doubts? Why such trembling and reluctant steps? God spreads a feast of peace, and bids His guests sit down to instant joy! Believer, hasten to obey. Today, this hour, receive the gladness of the offered blessing. There is some lurking pride—some seeds of unbelief in slow acceptance of this gracious boon. Reader, this offering was ordained "to guide your feet into the way of peace." Come then to the banner of the Prince of Peace. Is not His kingdom peace above, within, around, forever? The Spirit cries, "Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end." Is. 9:7. Hear, and the Lord of Peace Himself will give you peace, always, by all means. 2 Thess. 3:16. (The Gospel in Leviticus)

Leviticus 3:4 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys. 

  • Lev 3:10,15 4:9 7:4 8:16,25 9:10,19 Ex 29:13 *marg: Ex 29:22

Leviticus 3:5 'Then Aaron's sons shall offer it up in smoke on the altar on the burnt offering, which is on the wood that is on the fire; it is an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.

  • Aaron's: Lev 1:9, 4:31,35, 6:12, 9:9,10 Ex 29:13 1Sa 2:15,16 1Ki 8:64 2Chr 35:14 Ezek 44:7,15)
  • on the burnt: Lev 6:12 1Pe 2:5)



Then - always take note of this expression of time as it is a word that indicates something following next after in order of position, narration, or enumeration, and as you might imagine is very important in prophetic writings.

Burnt offering (05930)('olah - word study)

A soothing aroma is a Hebrew phrase composed of two words ("reah-nihoah") and is associated with each of the first three Levitical offerings (burnt, grain and peace), for produce a soothing aroma (an "odor of rest" - see below) to the LORD. (Lev 1:9; 2:2, 3:5, 16, etc.).

Soothing (pleasing) aroma - 42x in 42v - Note first use of Noah's sacrifice - Ge 8:21; Ex 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12; 3:5, 16; 4:31; 6:15, 21; 8:21, 28; 17:6; 23:13, 18; Num 15:3, 7, 10, 13f, 24; 18:17; 28:2, 6, 8, 13, 24, 27; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36; Ezek 6:13; 16:19; 20:28, 41

Soothing (05207)(nihoah from nuach = to rest) means a quieting, soothing, tranquilizing. In 20 of the 43 uses of nichoach, this noun (usually with the sense of an adjective) is used with the phrase "burnt offering." Almost all uses describe the odor of a sacrifice as pleasing or acceptable to God. Sadly, we see this word used to describe Israel's offering to idols (Ezek 6:13-note, Ezek 15:19, Ezek 20:28), which is in stark contrast with Jehovah's assessment of His rebellious people in Ezek 20:14 where they are described as a soothing aroma! - “As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples (Gentiles) and gather you from the lands where you are scattered (A prophecy that is unfulfilled, but which will be when Messiah returns and all Israel is saved - Ro 11:26-27-note); and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations."

Aroma (fragrance) (07381)(reah from ruach = breath, wind) means scent or odor. Reah refers to the “scent or smell” of a person or thing as when Isaac smelled Jacob's garments and concluded (falsely) that they had the aroma of Esau (Ge 27:27 where reah is used 3x). In Lev 26:31 God is warning if Israel disobeyed (see Lev 26:14-16) "I will not smell your soothing aromas." In Ezekiel 6:13 God said He would punish Judah because "they offered soothing aroma (reah) to all their idols." In Ezekiel 16:19 God accused Judah of making and offering sacrifices to idolatrous images (Ezek 16:17-18) = "offer before them [their idols] for a soothing aroma." (cp similar accusation in Ezek 20:28) See preceding discussion of for use of reah in Ezek 20:14.

The first use is the soothing ( ) aroma (reah) given off by Noah's burnt offerings (Ge 8:20-21) where "soothing" (hannihoah) reflects a play on the name "Noah" which means "rest"!

An interesting cluster of uses of reah is found in the intimate love story described in Song of Solomon, where pleasant smells play a major role in the intimate relationship (Song 1:3, 12-note; Song 2:13-note; Song 4:10-11-note; Song 7:8, 13-note)

Vine notes that 43 uses of reah "refer specifically to sacrifices made to God and appear in Genesis-Numbers and Ezekiel. In Song 1:12 reach signifies the “fragrance” of perfume and in Song 2:3 the “fragrance” of a flower. This word is used of a bad “smell” in Ex 5:21 “… Because ye have made our savor to be abhorred [Hebrew literally = "you have made our aroma stink"] in the eyes of Pharaoh." Most frequently reah is used of the “odor” of a sacrifice being offered up to God. The sacrifice, or the essence of the thing it represents, ascends to God as a placating “odor” (Ge 8:21).

Mounce on reah - pleasing and acceptable: fragrance; unpleasing and unacceptable: stench; both connotations are used of sacrifices as accepted or rejected by God. In common usage, it can refer to the fragrance of perfume (Song 1:1), the scent of vines (Song 2:13), the odor of garments (Song 4:11), or the smell of one’s breath (Song 7:8).

Aroma (Webster) - a distinctive pervasive and usually pleasant or savory smell, the quality that makes a thing perceptible to the olfactory sense; figuratively, a subtle pervasive quality or atmosphere

Reah is translated (NAS) as aroma(43), aromas(1), fragrance(9), odious*(1), scent(1), smell(3).

Reah - 55v - Gen 8:21; 27:27; Ex 5:21; 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12; 3:5, 16; 4:31; 6:15, 21; 8:21, 28; 17:6; 23:13, 18; Lev 26:31; Num 15:3, 7, 10, 13f, 24; 18:17; 28:2, 6, 8, 13, 24, 27; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36; Job 14:9; Song 1:3, 12; 2:13; 4:10-11; 7:8, 13; Jer 48:11; Ezek 6:13; 16:19; 20:28, 41; Hos 14:6 (= speaking of Israel in the Millennium)

Reah is translated in Septuagint (Lxx) with the noun which means odor (pleasant - Jn 12:3), fragrance, smell. Friberg notes that osme was also "figuratively; (a) from the Middle Eastern concept that an odor from something is communicating its power sweet smell, fragrance (2Cor 2:14-16) and (b) as a term for acceptable sacrifice aroma, fragrance of Christ Who "gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma (literally "an odor of a sweet smell")." (Eph 5:2 read the comments on the beautiful NT fulfillment of all of the OT soothing aromas! )

Dr S Lewis Johnson has an interesting comment on the "fragrant aroma" of Christ in Eph 5:2 - Now when he says “to God, for a sweet-smelling savor,” students of the Bible know immediately what Paul is talking about....he’s talking specifically about such places as the burnt offering. Three times in the description of the burnt offering, when the Israelite brought the animal, put his hand on the animal’s head, and the animal was slain, three times in Leviticus 1 (Lev 1:9, 13, 17) it was said, that that sacrifice produced the odor of a sweet smell to the LORD. The interesting thing about that Hebrew expression is that it really means something like this: an odor of rest to the Lord (Ed: Hebrew word translated sweet is nihoah = restful, quieting, tranquilizing as nihoah is derived from nuach meaning to rest). In other words, it’s an expression that means, essentially, that as God looks at the sacrifice which is offered in payment of a debt owed to Him, He rests! He finds it an "odor of rest." So, instead of executing His judgment against the person who (Ed: in faith, not mechanically, not simply "intellectually") has offended the throne of God, He rests and is satisfied (Ed: propitiated)! The penalty is paid (Ed: Cp Jesus' words "It is finished" = "Paid in Full! -  tetelestai perfect tense of teleo ." The Lord Jesus expressed this when he said on the cross, “It is finished!” And the finishing of the offering led the throne of God to smell a sweet savor, an odor of rest. So that God is satisfied by the cross of Christ, and men are saved when they, too, become satisfied with what Christ has done and stop relying on their own good works, or anything else they may be relying upon in order to be saved.! (Note)

In another note (excuse the duplication) Johnson comments on "soothing aroma" noting that "In the Hebrew text ("reah-nihoah"odor of rest, and the word translated “rest” in that literal expression is the one from which the name Noah comes. That was his name: “rest giver” or “rest” was his name. So the idea is that as a result of our Lord smelling the sweet savor of the sacrifice he has an odor of rest. And because it is an odor of rest, His claims are met in the sacrifice and He, therefore, rests. This stresses the fact that the animal completely satisfies God and in the antitype is a (beautiful) reference to our Lord Jesus’ finished work. When he said, “It is finished,” it was then that in the whole Godhead there was an odor of rest. It’s a beautiful expression - an odor of rest and is referred in the New Testament in Ephesians 5:2, “An odor of a sweet smell to the Lord.” (Hebrews 2:1-16)

G Campbell Morgan - Lev. 3:5 - These words, "of a sweet savor," (soothing aroma) are used with reference to the first three offerings, the Burnt Offering, the Meal Offering, the Peace Offering. They are not used of the Sin Offering or of the Trespass Offering. Every one of these offerings was made by fire. In the case of the first three the fire brings out the savor; in that of the last two it destroys. The suggestiveness of all this, it is impossible to escape. Fire is pre-eminently a symbol of God, and of certain facts about His character and activities. Invariably it speaks of some aspect or activity of His holiness (cf Ex 3:2, 5). It is a symbol of what He is as the Holy One, in that only things which are in conformity with that nature can live in His presence. It is therefore a symbol of His wrath as He consumes that which is contrary to His nature. It is also a symbol of cleansing in that He purifies from all alloy those things which do conform to His character. Therefore, the offerings which represented sin and trespass, the fire destroyed; but those which represented devotion, service, fellowship, it affected so as to bring out the savor pleasing to God. The God of holiness is a God of fire (Ex 24:17, Dt 4:24, 9:3, Isa 29:6, Heb 12:29-note), and He is to man what man is in regard to Himself. If man be in rebellion, a sinner persisting in his sin, the fire destroys him. If he be yielded, the fire brings out the beauty of character. Christ knew the fire bringing out sweet savor in His absolute perfections; He knew it as consuming, as He represented the sinner, and was made sin. (Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)

Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary has a good summary of peace offerings - This sacrificial offering was also called a heave offering and a wave offering. This was a bloody offering presented to God (Lev 3:1; fellowship offering, NIV). Part of the offering was eaten by the priest (representing God’s acceptance) and part was eaten by worshipers and their guests (non-officiating priests or Levites and the poor, Dt. 12:18; 16:11). Thus, God hosted the meal, communing with the worshiper and other participants. This sacrifice celebrated covering of sin, forgiveness by God, and the restoration of a right and meaningful relationship with God and with life itself (Judg. 20:26; 21:4). There were three kinds of peace offerings: (1) thank offerings in response to an unsolicited special divine blessing; (2) votive (vowed) offerings in pursuit of making a request or pledge to God; and (3) Free Will Offering spontaneously presented in worship and praise.

Donald Campbell - One of the Old Testament offerings was called the peace offering (“fellowship offering,” NIV). Inasmuch as the Hebrew concept of peace embraces health, prosperity, security, and peace with God, the rendering “peace offering” is preferable. (R. K. Harrison suggests the translation “sacrifice of well-being.”) The unique feature of this offering was the communal meal in which the worshipers, their families, and a Levite partook of a major portion of the sacrifice after it was offered. Brought as an act of thanksgiving, a vow, or a freewill offering, the peace offering was designed to give the worshiper an opportunity to express gratitude to God for His blessings (Lev. 3; 7:11-36). (Theological Wordbook)

Wenham writes that peace offering (whether of cattle, sheep or goats) "concluded with the worshipper and his friends or family joining in a sacred meal to eat up the rest of the meat. In the words of Dt. 12:7, "You shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the Lord your God has blessed you." Leviticus gives very few details about the meal itself. Lev 7:20 stipulates that all participants must be in a state of ritual purity. Lev 7:15-16 states that the meat should be eaten up on the same day, if it is a confession sacrifice, and by the following day if it is for other purposes. (NICOT)

We see a reference to the joyful nature of the communal meal associated with the peace offerings in Deuteronomy...

Deut 27:5 (For Context read Dt 27:1-5) “Moreover, you shall build there an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones; you shall not wield an iron [tool] on them. 6 “You shall build the altar of the LORD your God of uncut stones; and you shall offer on it burnt offerings (animal entirely consumed) to the LORD your God; 7 and you shall sacrifice peace offerings and eat there, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God.

Deut 16:10 “Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the LORD your God blesses you; 11 and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name.

Again in Deut 12:17-18

Deut 12:17 “You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or new wine, or oil, or the first-born of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the contribution of your hand. 18 “But you shall eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your God will choose, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all your undertakings.

To the LORD (101x in 92v) - Lev 1:2, 9, 13f, 17; 2:1ff, 8ff, 14, 16; 3:3, 5f, 9, 11, 14; 4:3, 31, 35; 5:6f, 15; 6:6, 15, 18, 20ff; 7:5, 11, 14, 20f, 25, 29f, 35, 38; 8:21, 28; 17:4ff, 9; 19:5, 21, 24; 21:6; 22:3, 15, 18, 21f, 24, 27, 29; 23:3, 6, 8, 12f, 16ff, 20, 25, 27, 34, 36ff, 41; 24:7; 25:2, 4; 27:2, 9, 11, 14, 16, 21ff, 26, 28, 30, 32;

Leviticus 3:6 'But if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD is from the flock, he shall offer it, male or female, without defect.

  • sacrifice: Ga 4:4 Eph 1:10, 2:13-22)(be of: Lev 3:1,1:2,10 Isa 60:7
  • male: Gal 3:28
  • shall: Lev 3:1-17 Ac 4:27 Ro 12:1-2 Titus 2:11,12)


Lev 3:6-11

Offering (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another [in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah!] - Does this root verb not help us discern the picture of "offering?") is a masculine noun which means that which is brought near (the altar), thus referring to an offering. Thus qorban/korban was a general term used for all Israelite sacrifices, offerings, or oblations. It is used in a variety of offerings in Leviticus.

Peace offerings (08002)(selem/shelem - word study)

Without defect (08549)(tamim from the verb tamam = to be complete, entire or whole (literal sense in Lev 3:9, Ezek 15:5), refers to a action which is completed) has both physical (without defect) and spiritual (blameless, devout, upright) significance. Tamim has the fundamental idea of completeness or wholeness.

Leviticus 3:7 'If he is going to offer a lamb for his offering, then he shall offer it before the LORD,

  • offer: Lev 3:1 1Ki 8:62 Eph 5:2,12 Heb 9:14

Before (06440)(panim/paniym/paneh from panah = to turn) means the face (as that part of our body which turns). Panim is always in plural, perhaps because face is a combination of a number of features (but that is supposition). The face identifies person and reflects attitude and sentiments of person.

The Lxx translates panim with the Greek enanti (en = in + anti = opposite - that part of space which is opposite). Enanti literally speaks of place and means in the presence of, over against, opposite. Think of this truth in the context of a man taking an offering to Jehovah! It is as if it is carried out in His very presence! (Which it is for He is omnipresent). Enanti is used figuratively of a relevant viewpoint in the eyes of, in the sight of. It pertains to someone’s perspective or perception of something.

Before the Lord - 259x in 245v - Gen 10:9; 13:10; 18:22; 19:13, 27; 24:52; Exod 6:12, 30; 16:9, 33; 22:11; 23:17; 27:21; 28:12, 29f, 35, 38; 29:11, 23ff, 42; 30:8, 16; 34:23f, 34; 40:23, 25; Lev 1:3, 5, 11; 3:1, 7, 12; 4:4, 6f, 15, 17f, 24; 5:19; 6:7, 14, 25; 7:30; 8:26f, 29; 9:2, 4f, 21, 24; 10:1f, 15, 17, 19; 12:7; 14:11f, 16, 18, 23f, 27, 29, 31; 15:14f, 30; 16:7, 10, 12f, 18, 30; 19:22; 23:11, 20, 28, 40; 24:3f, 6, 8; Num 3:4; 5:16, 18, 25, 30; 6:16, 20; 7:3; 8:10f, 21; 10:9; 14:37; 15:15, 25, 28; 16:16f, 38, 40; 17:7; 18:19; 20:3, 9; 25:4; 26:61; 27:5, 21; 31:50, 54; 32:20ff; Deut 1:45; 4:10; 6:25; 9:18, 25; 10:8; 12:7, 12, 18; 15:20; 16:11, 16; 18:7, 13; 19:17; 24:4, 13; 26:5, 10, 13; 27:7; 29:10; 31:11; Josh 4:13; 6:8, 26; 7:23; 18:6, 8, 10; 19:51; Judg 11:11; 20:23, 26; 1 Sam 1:12, 15, 19, 22; 2:17f, 21; 6:20; 7:6; 10:19, 25; 11:15; 12:3, 7; 15:33; 21:6f; 23:18; 26:19; 2 Sam 3:28; 5:3; 6:5, 14, 16f, 21; 7:18; 21:6, 9; 1 Kgs 2:45; 8:59, 62, 64f; 9:25; 19:11; 22:21; 2 Kgs 16:14; 19:14f; 22:19; 23:3; 1 Chr 11:3; 16:33; 17:16; 22:18; 23:13, 31; 29:22; 2 Chr 1:6; 7:4; 14:13; 18:20; 19:10; 20:13, 18; 27:6; 31:20; 33:23; 34:31; Job 1:6; 2:1; Ps 95:6; 96:13; 98:9; 102:1; 109:14f; 114:7; 116:9; Prov 15:11; Isa 37:14; Jer 4:26; 36:7, 9; Ezek 41:22; 43:24; 44:3; 46:3, 9; Dan 9:20; Zeph 1:7; Zech 2:13; 6:5; Mal 3:14; Luke 1:76; 2 Pet 2:11; Rev 11:4

Leviticus 3:8 and he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and slay it before the tent of meeting, and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar.

  • he shall: Lev 3:2-5,13 4:4,15,24 Isa 53:6,11,12 2Co 5:21 1Pe 2:24
  • slay it: Eph 2:18 3:12 Heb 10:19-22
  • sprinkle: Lev 1:5, Lev 1:11 Mt 3:17 2Co 5:19)

Lay his hand on the head of his offering - This phrase lay hand on head is frequent in Leviticus - Lev 1:4 Lev 3:2 Lev 3:8 Lev 3:13 Lev 4:4 Lev 4:15 Lev 4:24 Lev 4:29 Lev 4:33 Lev 16:21 (Day of atonement) Lev 24:14. Cp Ex 29:10, 15, 19, Nu 8:12 See Leviticus 4:29 Commentary for more detailed notes including discussion by C H Spurgeon.

Sprinkled (02236)(zaraq - word study)

Leviticus 3:9 'From the sacrifice of peace offerings he shall bring as an offering by fire to the LORD, its fat, the entire 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,

  • fat: Lev 3:3,4 Pr 23:26 Isa 53:10
  • Lev 7:3 8:25 9:19 Ex 29:22

Sacrifice (02077)(zebah from zabah - to slaughter for sacrifice) refers to an offering killed and presented by the worshiper to God as an act of devotion (to fill a special vow - Nu 15:3), thanksgiving (Lev 22:29, Ps 107:22, 116:17) or to meet the need for forgiveness (expiation, propitiation).

Peace offerings (08002)(selem/shelem - word study)

Without defect (08549)(tamim from the verb tamam = to be complete, entire or whole (literal sense in Lev 3:9, Ezek 15:5), refers to a action which is completed) has both physical (without defect) and spiritual (blameless, devout, upright) significance. Tamim has the fundamental idea of completeness or wholeness.

Leviticus 3:10 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys.

Repeats Lev 3:4 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys.

Leviticus 3:11 'Then the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire to the LORD.

  • offer: Lev 3:5 Ps 22:14 Isa 53:4-10 Ro 8:32
  • food: Lev 3:16, 21:6,8,17,21,22 22:25 Nu 28:2 Eze 44:7 Mal 1:7,12 1Co 10:21 Rev 3:20

Then - expression of time

Eichrodt in Theology of the Old Testament adds that "The whole tenor of ancient Israel’s belief in Yahweh is irreconcilable with the idea that God is fed by the sacrifice, bound up as this is with God’s dependence on man. The central concept of the covenant asserts no less than that Yahweh already existed and had proved his power, before ever Israel sacrificed to him.… Here the offering of food and drink reminds men that God is the sole Giver of life and nurture; and it is for this reason that their gifts to Him take the form of the necessities of life."


Rooker - What is unique about the offering of the flock is the designation of the offering as lehem, food or bread (Lev 3:11). Sacrificial offerings are also designated as God' "food" in Lev 21:6 and Nu 28:2. The reference to the offering as food does not indicate that the Israelites believed that the Lord actually needed physical sustenance to survive, although this was the view among pagan cultures (see Ps 50:12–13). This belief is completely foreign to the Old Testament....this was the only offering shared with the worshiper, who would participate by actually eating the meat of the sacrifice. The worshiper in this sense shared a meal with the Lord, which means that he had fellowship with him. This concept of having fellowship through the sharing of a meal sheds light on Paul’s warning in 1Cor 10:18–22 that partaking of a sacrifice offered to an idol or demon is in effect having fellowship with it. (New American Commentary)

In Numbers God specifically refers to "My food" - "Command the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be careful to present My offering, My food (lehem) for My offerings by fire, of a soothing aroma to Me, at their appointed time.'" (Nu 28:2)

S. Lewis Johnson has an interesting comment on "Food...to the LORD" - "Now isn’t that striking? The sacrifice is called "food for Jehovah." Now, you read through the Old Testament and you will find that the offerings were called bread for Jehovah. They are called food for Jehovah. Why? Because the thing that pleases God is the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not please Him (the Father) except in so far as He (the Son) is seen in us. A holy God cannot ever be satisfied in unholy men. So whenever He is satisfied with us, it is because there is a manifestation of our Lord Jesus in us. So the sacrifice is food for Jehovah -- That’s why the Father kept saying "This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased." (Mt 3:17, 17:6, Mk 1:11, Lk 3:22, 2Pe 1:17-note) He found His "food." He found His "bread" in the perfect obedience of the Son of God (Ed: Compare Jesus' own remark on "food" - Jn 4:34). And, incidentally, He still does today. We are "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph 1:6KJV-note) of course, but all of our life in sanctification (Ed: In the day to day living out of the Christian life - see Three Tenses of Salvation) is pleasing to the Lord only in so far as Christ is seen in us." (S. Lewis Johnson - The Peace Offering)

Food (03889)(lehem from lacham = to use as food, to eat) means bread or food and in a general sense refers to anything God has approved for nourishment (First use = Ge 3:19; 25:34; Ps. 147:9). Lehem could refer to a loaf of bread (grain flour mixed and baked = Ex 29:2), any consumable grain product distinguished from meat (1Sa 25:11) or food in general as representative of anything that could be consumed including meat (Lev 3:11).

Lehem - translated in NAS as bread(188), food(87), fruit(1), loaves(3), meal(7), meal*(1), meals(2), prey(1), provision(1), showbread*(4), something(1).

Lxx translates lehem with artos (Mt 4:3) which means bread or by metonymy food or nourishment (Lk 15:17). BDAG - a baked product produced from a cereal grain.

Webster's defines bread as "1. A mass of dough, made by moistening and kneading the flour or meal of some species of grain, and baked in an oven, or pan. 2. Food in general."

Duane A. Garrett - Bread was the essential food of the ancient Israelites. Indeed, the very word "bread" could be used generically for any kind of food. Meat was eaten by peasants only at festival occasions, and other foods supplemented bread. As the mainstay of life, bread came to be a primary metaphor for life and sustenance. Bread in the Bible functions as a social bond. The giving of bread to another is a major element of hospitality and serves as a sign of respect and concern (Genesis 14:18; 18:6; 19:3; Deuteronomy 23:4; Ruth 2:14; 1 Samuel 25:18; 28:24; 2 Samuel 16:1-2 ). Conversely, to take someone's bread and then turn against that person is to commit a heinous offense of ingratitude and betrayal, as in the case of Judas Iscariot (Psalm 41:9; John 13:18-30 ). Metaphorically, eating the "bread of idleness" is to indulge oneself without doing one's household duty (Proverbs 31:27 ). Also, bread can symbolize a financial investment (Ecclesiastes 11:1 ). The ritual and theological texts of the Bible often refer to bread. It played a role in the consecration of the Aaronic priests (Exodus 29:2-3 ). Bread was also used as part of an offering of thanksgiving to God (Leviticus 7:12-13 ). Of particular importance in Israel's worship is unleavened bread. In the first Passover, the eating of unleavened bread typified the haste of Israel's departure from Egypt (Exodus 12:8-11 ), although there are already indications that leaven is associated with the pervasive influence of evil (Exodus 12:14-20 ). So important was this concept that a special festival of unleavened bread was instituted (Leviticus 23:6 ). (Bread, Bread of Presence - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

See Related Articles on Bread:

Vine - Lehem refers to “bread,” as distinguished from meat. The diet of the early Hebrews ordinarily consisted of bread, meat, and liquids = (Dt. 8:3). “Bread” was baked in loaves = (1Sa 2:36). Even when used by itself, lehem can signify a “loaf of bread” = (1Sa 10:4). In this usage, the word is always preceded by a number. “Bread” was also baked in cakes (2Sa 6:19). A “bit of bread” is a term for a modest meal. So Abraham said to his three guests - "piece of bread" = (Ge 18:4-5). In 1Sa 20:27, lehem represents an entire meal. Thus, “to make bread” may actually mean “to prepare a meal”: “A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry" (Eccl. 10:19). The “staff of bread” is the “support of life” = (Lev. 26:26). The Bible refers to the “bread of the face” or “Bread of the Presence,” which was the bread constantly set before God in the holy place of the tabernacle or temple = (Ex 25:30). In several passages, lehem represents the grain from which “bread” is made = (Ge 41:54). The meaning “grain” is very clear in 2Ki 18:32. Lehem can represent food in general. In Ge 3:19 it signifies the entire diet. This nuance may include meat, as it does in Jdg. 13:15-16. In 1Sa 14:24, 28, lehem includes honey, and in Pr 27:27 goat’s milk. Lehem may also represent “food” for animals (Ps 147:9; cf. Pr 6:8). Flesh and grain offered to God are called “the bread of God”: (Lev. 21:6; cf. Lev 22:13). There are several special or figurative uses of lehem. The “bread” of wickedness is “food” gained by wickedness = (Pr. 4:17). Compare the “bread” or “food” gained by deceit (Pr 20:17) and lies (Pr 23:3). Thus, in Pr 31:27 the good wife “looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness”—i.e., unearned food. The “bread of my portion” is the food that one earns (Pr. 30:8). Figuratively, men are the “food” or prey for their enemies: (Nu 14:9). The Psalmist in his grief says his tears are his “food” (Ps 42:3). Evil deeds are likened to food = (Job 20:14). In Jer 11:19, lehem represents “fruit from a tree” and is a figure of a man and his offspring. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)

Baker - Lehem often indicates grain which was used for preparing bread (Isa. 28:28). The manna was bread from the Lord, heavenly bread (Ex. 16:4, 8, 12, 15; Neh. 9:15; Ps. 105:40). Bread was set on the table of showbread in the Tabernacle and termed the “bread of the presence” (Ex. 25:30). Some bread was used as a wave offering to the Lord (Lev. 23:17). Baked from the produce of the early harvest, this word indicates the “bread of the first fruits” (2 Kgs. 4:42). It was used in figurative language to indicate the bread of affliction or adversity (Deut. 16:3; Isa. 30:20) or the bread of tears (Ps. 80:5[6])."

Merrill - This Hebrew word for bread or food is a common term used literally hundreds of times in the OT. In Leviticus it is first used in Lev 3:11 in connection with the fellowship offering. Numerous times in Leviticus it is used in a literal manner meaning "bread" or "food" (Lev. 7:13; 8:26, 31, 32; 22:7,13, 25; 23:14, 17, 18, 20; 24:7; 26:5, 26). However in Lev. 21:6 it is used in a figurative manner, as was done in Lev. 3:11, as a parallel to the offerings made to the LORD by fire. God does not "eat" as humans do but as food brings pleasure to a hungry man so the offerings presented to God bring him pleasure. In Lev. 21 lehem is used 5x to signify both what is presented to the LORD and that which the priest would eat of the offering (Lev. 21:6, 8, 17, 21, 22). (Bible Knowledge Word Study)

Lehem - 276v - Ge 3:19; 14:18; 18:5; 21:14; 25:34; 27:17; 28:20; 31:54; 37:25; 39:6; 41:54f; 43:25, 31f; 45:23; 47:12f, 15, 17, 19; 49:20; Exod 2:20; 16:3f, 8, 12, 15, 22, 29, 32; 18:12; 23:25; 25:30; 29:2, 23, 32, 34; 34:28; 35:13; 39:36; 40:23; Lev 3:11, 16; 7:13; 8:26, 31f; 21:6, 8, 17, 21f; 22:7, 11, 13, 25; 23:14, 17f, 20; 24:7; 26:5, 26; Num 4:7; 14:9; 15:19; 21:5; 28:2, 24; Deut 8:3, 9; 9:9, 18; 10:18; 16:3; 23:4; 29:6; Josh 9:5, 12; Jdg 7:13; 8:5f, 15; 13:16; 19:5, 19; Ruth 1:6; 2:14; 1 Sam 2:5, 36; 9:7; 10:3f; 14:24, 28; 16:20; 17:17; 20:24, 27, 34; 21:3f, 6; 22:13; 25:11, 18; 28:20, 22; 30:11f; 2 Sam 3:29, 35; 6:19; 9:10; 12:17, 20f; 13:5; 16:1f; 1 Kgs 4:22; 5:9; 7:48; 11:18; 13:8f, 15ff, 22f; 14:3; 17:6, 11; 18:4, 13; 21:4f, 7; 22:27; 2 Kgs 4:8, 42; 6:22; 18:32; 25:3, 29; 1 Chr 9:32; 12:40; 16:3; 23:29; 2 Chr 4:19; 13:11; 18:26; Ezra 10:6; Neh 5:14f, 18; 9:15; 10:33; 13:2; Job 3:24; 6:7; 15:23; 20:14; 22:7; 24:5; 27:14; 28:5; 30:4; 33:20; 42:11; Ps 14:4; 37:25; 41:9; 42:3; 53:4; 78:20, 25; 80:5; 102:4, 9; 104:14f; 105:16, 40; 127:2; 132:15; 136:25; 146:7; 147:9; Pr 4:17; 6:8, 26; 9:5, 17; 12:9, 11; 20:13, 17; 22:9; 23:3, 6; 25:21; 27:27; 28:3, 19, 21; 30:8, 22, 25; 31:14, 27; Eccl 9:7, 11; 10:19; 11:1; Isa 3:1, 7; 4:1; 21:14; 28:28; 30:20, 23; 33:16; 36:17; 44:15, 19; 51:14; 55:2, 10; 58:7; 65:25; Jer 5:17; 11:19; 37:21; 38:9; 41:1; 42:14; 44:17; 52:6, 33; Lam 1:11; 4:4; 5:6, 9; Ezek 4:9, 13, 15ff; 5:16; 12:18f; 13:19; 14:13; 16:19, 49; 18:7, 16; 24:17, 22; 44:3, 7; 48:18; Dan 10:3; Hos 2:5; 9:4; Amos 4:6; 7:12; 8:11; Obad 1:7; Hag 2:12; Mal 1:7

Some representative uses of lehem...

Ps 14:4 Do all the workers of wickedness not know, Who eat up my people [as] they eat bread, [And] do not call upon the Lord?

Ps 37:25 I have been young, and now I am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Or his descendants begging bread.

Ps 41:9 Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.

Ps 42:3 My tears have been my food day and night, While [they] say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

Ps 53:4 Have the workers of wickedness no knowledge, Who eat up My people [as though] they ate bread, And have not called upon God?

Ps 78:20 “Behold, He struck the rock, so that waters gushed out, And streams were overflowing; Can He give bread also? Will He provide meat for His people?”

Ps 78:25 Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance.

Ps 80:5 Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears, And Thou hast made them to drink tears in large measure.

Ps 102:4 My heart has been smitten like grass and has withered away, Indeed, I forget to eat my bread.

Ps 102:9 For I have eaten ashes like bread, And mingled my drink with weeping,

Ps 104:14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth,

Ps 105:16 And He called for a famine upon the land; He broke the whole staff of bread.

Ps 105:40 They asked, and He brought quail, And satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

Ps 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved [even in his] sleep.

Ps 132:15 “I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her needy with bread.

Ps 136:25 Who gives food to all flesh, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Ps 146:7 Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free.

Ps 147:9 He gives to the beast its food, [And] to the young ravens which cry.

Leviticus 3:12 'Moreover, if his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD,

  • goat: Lev 3:1,7-17 1:2,6,10 9:3,15 10:16 22:19-27 Isa 53:2,6 Mt 25:32,33 Ro 8:3 2Co 5:21


Lev 3:12-17

Offering (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another [in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah!] - Does this root verb not help us discern the picture of "offering?") is a masculine noun which means that which is brought near (the altar), thus referring to an offering. Thus qorban/korban was a general term used for all Israelite sacrifices, offerings, or oblations. It is used in a variety of offerings in Leviticus. The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban twice in this passage with the noun doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Leviticus 3:13 and he shall lay his hand on its head and slay it before the tent of meeting, and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar.

  • lay his hand: Lev 3:1-5,8 Isa 53:6,11,12 2Co 5:21 1Pe 2:24 3:18
  • sprinkle: Lev 3:2,8 Isa 52:15 Ro 5:6-11,15-21 Heb 12:24 1Pe 1:2)

Lay his hand on its head - A picture of substitution - the animal victim's life in place of the offerer's life. Mention of this practice in Lev 24:14 is more difficult to explain - ESV Study Bible says " The laying on of hands prior to the stoning has been commonly explained in such a way that the congregation, having overheard the curse and become defiled, devolves the guilt onto the culprit, and his death makes atonement for the guilt. Alternatively, it may be taken as a gesture simply to indicate who it is that had cursed the name of the LORD."

Lay his hand on the head of his offering - This phrase lay hand on head is frequent in Leviticus - Lev 1:4 Lev 3:2 Lev 3:8 Lev 3:13 Lev 4:4 Lev 4:15 Lev 4:24 Lev 4:29 Lev 4:33 Lev 16:21 (Day of atonement) Lev 24:14. Cp Ex 29:10, 15, 19, Nu 8:12 See Leviticus 4:29 Commentary for more detailed notes including discussion by C H Spurgeon.

Sprinkled (02236)(zaraq - word study)

Tent of meeting - See note on Lev 3:2 

Meeting (04150)(moed from the verb ya'ad meaning to appoint or fix) can refer to either a time or place of meeting (eg, in "tent of meeting" the word for "meeting" in Lev 3:13 is moed). Appointed sign, appointed time, appointed season, place of assembly, set feast. An appointed meeting time in general (Gen. 18:14; Ex. 13:10). Moed often designates a determined time or place without any regard for the purpose. Since the Jewish festivals occurred at regular intervals, this word becomes closely identified with them. Thus moed is a common term for the worshiping assembly of God's people. A specific appointed time, usually for a sacred feast or festival (Hos. 9:5; 12:9).

Vine - The phrase, “tabernacle of the congregation,” (tent of meeting) is a translation of the Hebrew ohel moed (“tent of meeting”). The phrase occurs 139 times. It signifies that the Lord has an “appointed place” by which His presence is represented and through which Israel was assured that their God was with them. The fact that the tent was called the “tent of meeting” signifies that Israel’s God was among His people and that He was to be approached at a certain time and place that were “fixed” (yaad) in the Pentateuch. In the kjv, this phrase is translated as “tabernacle of the congregation” (Ex 28:43) because translators realized that the noun edah (“congregation”) is derived from the same root as moed The translators of the Septuagint had a similar difficulty. They noticed the relation of moed to the root ud (“to testify”) and translated the phrase ohel hamoed as “tabernacle of the testimony.” This phrase was picked up by the New Testament in Rev. 15:5-note. Of the three meanings, the appointed “time” is most basic. The phrase “tent of meeting” lays stress on the “place of meeting.” The “meeting” itself is generally associated with “time” or “place.” The Septuagint has the following translations of moed: kairos (time), heorte (“feast; festival”). The English translators give these senses: “congregation” (kjv, rsv, nasb, niv); “appointed time” (nasb); “appointed feast” (rsv, nasb); “set time” (rsv, nasb, niv). (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)

Tent of meeting - 146x in 143v in NAS - Ex 27:21; 28:43; 29:4, 10f, 30, 32, 42, 44; 30:16, 18, 20, 26, 36; 31:7; 33:7; 35:21; 38:8, 30; 39:32, 40; 40:2, 6f, 12, 22, 24, 26, 29f, 32, 34f; Lev 1:1, 3, 5; 3:2, 8, 13; 4:4f, 7, 14, 16, 18; 6:16, 26, 30; 8:3f, 31, 33, 35; 9:5, 23; 10:7, 9; 12:6; 14:11, 23; 15:14, 29; 16:7, 16f, 20, 23, 33; 17:4ff, 9; 19:21; 24:3; Num 1:1; 2:2, 17; 3:7f, 25, 38; 4:3f, 15, 23, 25, 28, 30f, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 47; 6:10, 13, 18; 7:5, 89; 8:9, 15, 19, 22, 24, 26; 10:3; 11:16; 12:4; 14:10; 16:18f, 42f, 50; 17:4; 18:4, 6, 21ff, 31; 19:4; 20:6; 25:6; 27:2; 31:54; Deut 31:14; Josh 18:1; 19:51; 1 Sam 2:22; 1 Kgs 8:4; 1 Chr 6:32; 9:21; 23:32; 2 Chr 1:3, 6, 13; 5:5

Leviticus 3:14 'From it he shall present his offering as an offering by fire to the LORD, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails,

  • fat: Lev 3:3-5,9-11 Ps 22:14,15 Pr 23:26 Jer 20:18 Mt 22:37, 26:38 Ro 12:1,2

Leviticus 3:15 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys. 

  • Lev 3:4

Leviticus 3:16 'The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire for a soothing aroma; all fat is the LORD'S.

  • food: Lev 3:11
  • fat: Lev 3:3-5,9-11,14,15, 4:8-19,26,31,7:23-25, 8:25, 9:24, 17:6 Ex 29:13,22 1Sa 2:15,16 2Ch 7:7 Isa 53:10 Mt 22:37

Soothing aroma (NIV - "pleasing aroma") - indicates Jehovah's acceptance of the sacrifice.

All the fat is the LORD'S - This may have also had medicinal significance as high fat diets are associated with a variety of disorders including atherosclerosis and associated heart disease and strokes.

Fat (02459)(heleb) means fat but can also mean "the best," the best or fatty portions of an offering (Ge 4:4; Lev. 4:26). Fat is used in the phrase the “fat of the land” which refers to the best part of the land (Ge 45:18). Figuratively, a a heart grown fat symbolized a heart that had become callous and thus insensitive to God (Ps. 17:10, 73:7, 119:70). Swanson comments that heleb meant "the finest, best part, i.e., the figurative extension of fat as a choice portion, pertaining to olive and wine products and other products as choice, as the feature of an object (Nu 18:12, 29-30 = "best"; Dt 32:14 and Ps 81:16 = finest")."

Lxx translates heleb with stear (Gives us English stearin) which means fat. In Nu 18:29-30 "best" (heleb) is translated with the Greek noun aparche which was a technical term for the first portion of grain and fruit harvests and flocks offered to God

Heleb translated in NAS as best(5), fat(74), fat portions(2), fatness(1), finest(2), finest*(1), marrow(1), portions of fat(5), unfeeling(1).Heleb - 70v - Gen 4:4; 45:18; Exod 23:18; 29:13, 22; Lev 3:3f, 9f, 14ff; 4:8f, 19, 26, 31, 35; 6:12; 7:3f, 23ff, 30f, 33; 8:16, 25f; 9:10, 19f, 24; 10:15; 16:25; 17:6; Num 18:12, 17, 29f, 32; Deut 32:14, 38; Judg 3:22; 1 Sam 2:15f; 15:22; 2 Sam 1:22; 1 Kgs 8:64; 2 Chr 7:7; 29:35; 35:14; Job 15:27; 21:24; Ps 17:10; 63:5; 73:7; 81:16; 119:70; 147:14; Isa 1:11; 34:6f; 43:24; Ezek 34:3; 39:19; 44:7, 15

Merrill - Although from a practical viewpoint burning the fat from the many fellowship offerings would be both a representative and an easy portion of the animal to bum since fat bums well with little odor, there may well be more to this regulation than pragmatics. It may be that the fat was thought to be a delicacy or "the best" (cf. Deut. 32:13-14; the KJV actually translates heleb as "the best" in Nu 18:12, 29-30, 32) and therefore symbolized the wonderful nature of the worshiper's relationship with the LORD. In addition, since the kidneys are referred to in the OT as the seat of emotions (Job 19:27; Ps. 16:7; 26:2) in the same manner that modern society talks of the heart, it is also possible to see the fat (along with the mentioned kidneys) as a dedication of the worshiper's deepest emotions to God. It is also possible, though less likely, that the LORD was protecting his people from a diet high in fat even as they fellowshipped with him (cf. Lev. 3:17; 7:23, 25). [With] (Bible Knowledge Word Study})

Leviticus 3:17 'It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat or any blood.'"

  • perpetual: Lev 6:18, 7:36, 16:34, 17:7, 23:14 Nu 19:21)(eat: Lev 3:16 Dt 32:14 Ne 8:10
  • blood: Lev 7:23,25-27, 17:10-14 Ge 9:4 Dt 12:16,23, 15:23 1Sa 14:32-34 Eze 33:25, 44:7,15 Mt 16:24, 26:28 Acts 15:20,21,29 Eph 1:7, 5:26 1Ti 4:4

Ryrie - No mention is made of a peace offering of birds because they would not provide enough food for a meal. The poor would have to share in the peace offerings brought by others.

Perpetual statute - 15x in 15v - Ex 27:21; 29:9; 30:21; Lev 3:17; 10:9; 23:14, 21, 31, 41; 24:3; Num 10:8; 15:15; 18:23; 19:10, 21. (See also Ex 28:43; Lev 7:36; 17:7; Ezek 46:14) Obviously this phrase serves to highlight important principles.

Perpetual (Everlasting, Eternal, Forever) (05769)(olam - word study)

The Lxx translates olam with the phrase "eis ton aiona" which literally means "into the ages."

Statute (05769)(huqqah from haqaq = to cut in, inscribe, decree) refers to something prescribed, an enactment. Given the derivation (to cut), huqqah thus alludes to the practice of inscribing or incising laws in stone. The upshot is that this ordinance regarding the fat was one that conveyed a sense of gravity and was not to be held lightly.

Shall not eat...any blood - This would have been necessary here since it was the first offering in which the participants could eat, thus God made an exception for blood.

Rooker explains that "Since life is a gift of God, blood, the unique manifestation of this gift, must not be eaten but given back to God, the Source of life. The burning of the fat and the sprinkling of blood against the altar signified the giving of the life of the animal back to God upon its death."

Peter Pell on the relationship of the Peace Offering and Christ - The finished work of Christ in relation to the believer is seen in the peace offering. The Lord Jesus is our peace (Eph. 2:14), having made peace through the blood of His cross (Col. 1:20). He preached this peace to those who were afar off and to those who were near (Eph. 2:17), thus breaking down the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile. In Christ, God and the sinner meet in peace; the enmity that was ours is gone. God is propitiated, the sinner is reconciled, and both alike are satisfied with Christ and with what He has done.

Wenham links the OT peace offerings with the NT Lord's Supper - Christ's death on the cross is a closer parallel to the burnt offering. His sharing of his body and blood with his disciples forms the closer parallel to the peace offering. Other similarities between the Christian communion service and the OT peace offering can be drawn. Both demand that the worshipper should be clean, i.e., in a fit state to participate. "Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord" (1 Cor. 11:27; cf. Lev. 7:20). Divine punishment is promised on those who eat without discerning the body. "That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died" (1 Cor. 11:30). Here Paul is putting the provisions of Leviticus into more modern terms. The first recorded peace offering was at Sinai, when the ten commandments were given. It is therefore highly appropriate for the Decalog, or our Lord's summary of the law, to be read at the Lord's supper. (NICOT)

Rooker sums up the peace (fellowship) offering - In Leviticus the worshiper is God’s invited guest to enjoy the festive meal. Similarly, in the Lord’s Supper the believer is invited to feast regularly upon the blood and body of the lamb of God. The participant is only warned to be clean in order to participate (Lev 7:20; 1Cor 11:27).The focus and main feature of the fellowship offering was fellowship with God. This fellowship was made possible by atonement through sacrifice. The fellowship offering was not presented until the burnt offering had been made. In order for anyone to have fellowship with God, an atoning sacrifice on behalf of the sinner must be made.

The Fellowship Offering
Bob Deffinbaugh

An excellent, pragmatic discussion of The Fellowship Offering or Peace Offering and below is his entire message...


As I have studied the Book of Leviticus this past week, I have come to realize several things which greatly motivate and enhance my study. Let me share these with you as we commence our study of the “Fellowship” or “Peace” Offering.

First, I have begun to appreciate the opportunity to consider the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice one-by-one. A friend of mine tells the story of the woman who is trying to decide how she should confess her sins. She asks, “Shall I ’fess ’em as I does ’em, or shall I bunch ’em?” The problem of “bunching” is very much related to our study of the offerings. The offerings of the Old Testament are something like the tools in John Maurer’s shop: He has a particular tool for each particular task, and you never use the wrong tool for the task.

The Old Testament seems to have more offerings than we can count. That can lead to a fair bit of frustration on the part of the New Testament saint. There is a very important lesson to be learned here, which may help to motivate us in our study of these offerings. There is no one Old Testament offering which sums up the work of our Lord, and thus we must see that Christ’s death, burial and resurrection served to accomplish many different functions, not just one. I believe that it is Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer who lists over thirty things which the death of Christ accomplished.

We tend to “bunch” the benefits of the work of Christ, rather than to deal with them one at a time, and in so doing we miss much of the blessing which could be ours. One great contribution of the offerings in the Book of Leviticus is that they portray the blessings of the death of Christ, the Lamb of God, individually. The Old Testament saint would sacrifice the various offerings and would grasp, to some degree, the blessings God had given him. With each offering was associated some particular blessing. For us, all the blessings of God are realized by one offering, made once for all, the death of Christ at Calvary. In the Old Testament offerings, we are given the privilege to pause and to focus on the particular benefits and blessings we have received in Christ’s death, and to do so one at a time.

Second, every sacrifice that an Israelite offered was of a certain type, and for a specific purpose. Every offering has very exacting rules as to what is offered, how it is offered, and by whom it is offered. For example, the Peace Offering could be eaten on the day it was sacrificed, or on the day after, but not on the third day. To eat this sacrificial meat on the third day would have serious consequences (Lev. 19:5-8). A burnt offering had to be a male, while the Peace Offering could have been a male or a female, but not a bird. An ox or a lamb with an overgrown or stunted member could be offered for a freewill Peace Offering, but not for a votive Peace Offering (Lev. 22:23). Because of the consequences for failing to observe the “laws” of the offerings, one must be very certain what offering he was making, and then do it in accordance with all the laws God had laid down.

If you would, the law prescribed the plan, the way in which every offering was to be made. Before men could follow the plan, they had to determine the purpose, that is they had to decide which offering they were about to make, and why. Thus there was a built-in safeguard against mindless ritual, in which one went through the motions of making an offering without really thinking about what he was doing or why. The Israelite’s worship was to involve his whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. The precise regulations encouraged the Israelite worshipper to engage his mind in his worship.

Third, the only meat which an Israelite ate from their cattle was that which was offered as a Peace Offering. I know this is hard to believe, but listen to the command of God as given in Leviticus 17:

“Any man from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox, or a lamb, or a goat in the camp, or who slaughters it outside the camp, and has not brought it to the doorway of the tent of the meeting to present it as an offering to the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD, bloodguiltiness is to be reckoned to that man. He has shed blood and that man shall be cut off from among his people” (Lev. 17:3-4).

These are strong words indeed! Any animal that was slaughtered had to be offered to God as a sacrifice. Any blood that was shed, was shed as a part of a sacrifice. Thus, any meat that was eaten (at least from the cattle of the Israelites) had to be that which was first offered to God as a part of a sacrifice at the tent of meeting. And since the Peace Offering was the only sacrifice of which the Israelite could eat, every time the Israelite wanted to eat meat for dinner, he had to offer a Peace Offering.

There are three principle passages in the Book of Leviticus which deal with the Peace Offering. They are:

A. Leviticus 3:1-17—the mechanics of the sacrifice

B. Leviticus 7:11-34—the meaning of the sacrifice

C. Leviticus 19:5-8—The “law of leftovers”

Leviticus 3 is structured similarly to Leviticus 1. The regulations for the sacrifice of the Peace Offering are dealt with in terms of the kind of animal sacrificed. Thus, in Lev 3 we find the following structure:

A. Leviticus 3:1-5—offerings from the herd

B. Leviticus 3:6-17—offerings from the flock

1. a lamb (Lev 3:7-11)

2. a goat (Lev 3:12-17)

Leviticus 7:11-34 is structured differently:

A. Lev. 7:11—Introduction

B. Lev. 7:12-14—Grain Offerings which accompany the Peace Offering

C. Lev. 7:15-34—The flesh of the Peace Offering

1. Its Defilement— Lev 7:15-27

a. By delay, Lev 7:15-18

b. By contact with unclean thing, vv. 19-21

c. By definition, Lev 7:22-27

2. Its Distribution—Lev 7:28-34

The Peace Offering

Imagine for the moment that you are an Israelite in the days of Moses, and that you are about to make a Peace Offering, according to all of the regulations in the Pentateuch. You could offer a Peace Offering as an act of thanksgiving (Lev. 7:12; 22:29-30), or to fulfill a special vow (Lev. 7:16; 22:21), or as a freewill offering (Lev. 7:16; 22:18, 21, 23). These were all optional offerings, which an Israelite could offer at any time, except for the feast of Pentecost (Lev. 23:19) and the fulfillment of the Nazarite’s days of separation (Nu 6:13-20), when the offering was mandatory.

You would begin by selecting an animal without any defect, either male or female, from the herd or from the flock (Lev. 3:1, 6). You would then bring this animal to the doorway of the tent of meeting, where you would lay your hand upon its head (Lev 3:2, 8, 13), thus identifying your sin with this animal, and yourself with its death. When you have slain the animal, the priests will collect the blood which is shed and sprinkle it around the altar (Lev 3:2, 8, 13).

The animal would then be skinned and cut into pieces. The priests would then take the fat of the animal, along with the kidneys and the lobe of the liver, and burn it on the altar of burnt offering (Lev 3:3-5; 9-11; 14-16). God’s portion of the Peace Offering would be the blood and the fat (Lev. 3:16-17; cf. Lev 17:10-13). The priests would be given the breast and the right thigh of the animal (cf. Ex. 29:26-28; Lev. 7:30-34; 10:14-15). Aaron and his sons receive the breast (Lev 7:31), while the thigh goes to that priest who offers up the Peace Offering (Lev 7:33).

Along with the fat which is offered up to God there would also be the appropriate offering of grain. In the case of a thanksgiving offering both leavened and unleavened cakes were to be offered, some of which was burned on the altar, and the rest of which was to go to the priests (Lev 7:12-13). This was not the only grain offering which was leavened, for the celebration of Pentecost included the offering of leavened bread (Lev. 23:17). Those who would tell us that leaven is always a symbol of evil, and that, as such, it can never be used in conjunction with Israel’s worship or offerings, have some explaining to do here.

Since the fat and blood are offered to God and the breast and the right thigh are given to the priest, the rest of the sacrificial animal is left for the offerer to eat. Thus, after the offering of the fat portions on the altar, the Israelite would eat a meal, partaking of the portions of the sacrificial animal which remained. Not much is said about the meal that is eaten (in Leviticus 3). In contrast, there is considerable emphasis placed on the disposal of the meat of the Peace Offering (cf. Lev. 7:15-18; 19:5-8). I call this, “the law of the leftovers.” The meat of the thanksgiving Peace Offering must be eaten on the day it is sacrificed (Lev 7:15); if it is a votive offering or a freewill offering, it can be saved and eaten on the next day, but then must be burned (Lev 7:16-18; 19:5-8). The one who disobeys this regulation must be cut off from his people (Lev 19:8).

Distinctives of
the Peace Offering

There are several distinctives of the Peace Offering, as compared with the Burnt and Grain Offerings of Lev 1 and Lev 2. It is these distinctives which provide us with the key to the unique role of this offering.

First, the animal sacrificed in the Peace Offering could be from the herd or from the flock (but not a bird), whether male or female.

Second, the offering was shared by God, by the priests, and by the offerer. All of the Burnt Offering was the Lord’s (except for the skin). Most of the Grain Offering was for the priests. But the Peace Offering was shared by all, each receiving their appointed portions.

Third, three of the occasions on which the Peace Offering was appropriate were for thanksgiving, for completing a vow, and for a freewill offering.

Fourth, the Peace Offering was unique in that there was a meal associated with this offering.

Fifth, the thanksgiving Peace Offering included leavened bread (Lev. 7:13).

The Origin and Meaning
of the Peace Offering

Sacrifices were not new to the Israelite, nor to the pagan, for that matter. The laws of Leviticus which pertain to the offerings do not initiate sacrifice, they merely seek to regulate it. The reason for these regulations, as for most all laws, is that men are abusing certain privileges. Before we seek to discern the meaning of the Peace Offering, let us take a moment to trace the history of sacrifice from the biblical data we are given.

Sacrifice was first offered by Adam and Eve and by their sons. Animals had to be slaughtered for the skins which covered the nakedness of Adam and his wife (Gen. 3:21). Then, in Genesis 4, Cain and Abel made offerings to God (Ge 4:1-5). Abel offered a blood (animal) sacrifice. It is especially interesting to note the wording here: “And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions” (Ge 4:4a, emphasis mine).

In the first recorded animal sacrifice by men, we are told that the “fat portions” are offered. And thus we read in Leviticus, “all fat is the LORD’s” (Lev. 3:16b). Then, after the flood, Noah offered animal sacrifices to God as burnt offerings (Ge 8:20), and as a result, God made a covenant never to destroy mankind in this way again (Ge 8:21-22). God then pronounced a blessing on Noah and his sons, and gave the animals to them for food, seemingly for the first time (Ge 9:1-3). There was the stipulation, however, that the blood of the animals could not be eaten (Ge 9:4-5), which, if it is not the precedent for this command in Leviticus, is surely somehow related: “‘It is a perpetual statue throughout your generations in all your dwellings; you shall not eat any fat or any blood’” (Lev. 3:17). The prohibition against shedding man’s blood is then stated, along with the institution of capital punishment, as the penalty for murder (Gen. 9:5-7).

It is my speculation that from this time on, no animal was sacrificed apart from some kind of sacrificial ceremony, at which time the blood was poured out, and perhaps the fat was offered up in fire to the Lord. I believe that this practice persisted, in a perverted form, by the pagans who descended from Noah and his sons. I say this on the basis of two biblical texts:

So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play (Exod. 32:6).

“The reason is so that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing in the open field, that they may bring them in to the LORD, at the doorway of the tent of meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the LORD. And the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and offer up the fat in smoke as a soothing aroma to the LORD. And they shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat demons with which they play the harlot. This shall be a permanent statute to them throughout their generations” (Lev. 17:5-7).

Before Moses had descended from Mt. Sinai with God’s instructions, which included the sacrifices, the Israelites were offering “peace offerings” as a part of their heathen worship. They did not learn to make peace offerings from Moses, and so they must have known similar offerings from their past. The text in Leviticus 17 is even more explicit. The reason why God ordered the Israelites to slaughter every animal as a sacrifice before the tent of meeting (Lev. 17:1-4) was because they were slaughtering their animals outside the camp in the open field, not in a neutral way, but as a part of a heathen ritual which involved the worship of “goat demons” (Lev 17:7). Thus, the regulations of Leviticus pertaining to the offerings were to deal with the corrupted form of offering, which I believe stems from the sacrifices of Abel, and later of Noah.

The killing of animals by the shedding of their blood thus was originated by God, and was normally associated with atonement (covering sin) and with God’s blessing, as expressed in His covenants. The Book of Genesis thus laid a vital foundation for the origins of worship and of sacrifice, intended to correct the distortions and perversions of it over time by sinful men. Much of Israel’s understanding of the Peace Offering (and the rest) was therefore based on the divine revelation of Genesis.

In the Book of Exodus we find further revelation concerning the Peace Offering, which would assist the Israelite in understanding the significance of this offering. God spoke specifically of the Peace Offering in Exodus 20:24: “

‘You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.’”

Again, in Exodus 24, we find the Peace Offering. You will recall that God has just proclaimed the details of the Mosaic Covenant to Moses, and in Ex 24 this covenant will be formally ratified. Thus, we read:

And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the sons of Israel, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to the LORD. … Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they beheld God, and they ate and drank (Ex 24:4-5, 9-11, emphasis mine).

Numbers 7 is an account of the gifts and offerings which were initially offered by the leaders of Israel (Nu 7:2), which includes peace offerings. It seems to me that in both Exodus 24 and Numbers 7 the leaders are acting representatively for the people in making their peace offerings. While it is not stated per se in Exodus 24, it would seem to me that the meal which was eaten by the leaders of Israel in God’s presence was the prototype and predecessor of the peace offering which would be made in conjunction with the tabernacle. Where did the leaders of Israel get the food which they ate in God’s presence? I think that it was that which remained from the peace offerings of Ex 24:5.

It is against the backdrop of Genesis and Exodus, in the light of the previous sacrifices and peace offerings of God’s people, that the Israelite was to understand the peace offering. But this is not all the information we have concerning the meaning of the Peace Offering. In addition, we have (1) the meaning of the original term employed for the Peace Offering, (2) the instructions and regulations pertaining to the Peace Offering, (3) biblical examples of the Peace Offering, and, (4) the ability to distinguish this offering from the others (knowing the primary significance of the other offerings at least enables us to discern what facets of Israel’s relationship to God have not yet been enacted by their sacrificial ritual). Let us briefly consider each of these, so that we can discern the meaning of the Peace Offering to the Israelite of Moses’ day.

(1) The meaning of “peace.”

There is considerable difference of opinion as to exactly what the Hebrew term employed for the “Peace” Offering actually means. Nevertheless, there is some help to be gained from a consideration of the general meaning of the root word. Essentially “peace” has the connotation of “wholeness” or “completeness.”

An illustration of biblical “wholeness” can be seen in marriage, specifically in the marriage of Adam and Eve. When God made Adam, he was initially alone. When Adam named the animals, they all passed before him—in pairs! There was Mr. and Mrs. Sheep, Mr. and Mrs. Ox, and so on. Adam began to feel incomplete, and rightly so. God said that Adam’s aloneness was not good, and so he made a mate for him—Eve. When the two were joined together, they became one flesh. Adam became “whole” when he became one with Eve.

So the Israelites became whole when they become one with God in worship. “Peace” describes this wholeness. I believe “peace” refers to the condition of acceptance (cf. Lev. 19:5, “So that you might be accepted”) which the Israelite experienced with God by virtue of the sacrifices, resulting in an inner peace on the part of each Israelite. Since the offerer places his hand on the animal that is sacrificed, the element of sin is clearly present. This offering assures the offerer that he has peace with God, based upon the shedding of innocent blood.

(2) The instructions pertaining to the Peace Offering.

In particular, the most striking features of this offering are that the offerer personally partakes of the sacrificial meat by means of a festive meal. I take it, that in so doing the focus here is more upon the experiential benefits to the offerer than in the previous offerings. In the Burnt Offering, the offerer received none of the sacrificed animal at all. In the Grain Offering, the same was true, although the priests fared better here. But it is in the Peace Offering, indeed, only in the Peace Offering, that the offerer gets something back, something like a rebate. I believe this suggests that the emphasis falls on the benefits to the offerer, that the offerer is here more in view than previously has been the case.

(3) The biblical examples of the Peace Offering.

In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah made a vow to the Lord that she would dedicate her son to the Lord if He would but give her a boy child. When God answered her prayer, she fulfilled her promise, thus completing her vow. Thus, in obedience to the instructions found in Leviticus pertaining to the Peace Offering, Hannah went to Shiloh and gave her son to the Lord, offering her Peace Offering at this time (1Sa 1:22-28). As she had experienced the “wholeness” of child-bearing and of being able to fulfill her vow, she offered her “peace” offering.

In many other instances the Peace Offering was offered in the history of Israel. Interestingly, this offering was made both in times of great sorrow (e.g. Jdg. 20:26; 21:4) and in times of great joy (e.g. Dt. 27:7; Josh. 8:31; 1Sa 11:15). In each instance the Peace Offering focuses on the benefits, the wholeness, which Israel is experiencing, or which she had lost (and for which she hopes), the offering then being an act of faith, a looking forward to a future wholeness or peace, which God will grant His people.

(4) The Peace Offering as contrasted to the Burnt and Grain Offerings.

I said at the outset of this message that each of the sacrifices focuses on one particular facet of God’s grace and of the benefits which God’s people experience through the sacrifices. The Burnt Offering focus on the satisfaction of God’s righteousness because of the sacrificial death of the animal offered. Here, as it were, the emphasis falls on God, and the satisfaction of His anger, due to the general fallen condition of man. The Grain Offering focuses on the Israelite’s dependence upon God, not only for forgiveness and spiritual life, but for physical life. The Peace Offering focuses on the Israelite’s “peace with God,” the joys and the peace of mind which comes from knowing that God is at peace with us. Thus, whether it is the joy that God has enabled the Israelite to fulfill his vow, or in thanks for some gracious act of God, or a freewill offering, the Israelite’s peace with God is in view.

The Peace Offering and
the Contemporary Christian

(1) Christ is our Peace Offering. The primary significance of the Peace Offering of the Old Testament is to be found in its antitype, Jesus Christ. In the offering of the Peace Offering the Israelite was benefited by the peace of knowing and experiencing God’s forgiveness. In fact, it was more than this. God’s anger was not just appeased, God was no longer angry with the offerer, His favor was with him. There is the sense in which Christ’s death appeased (propitiated) God’s anger, but the “Peace Offering” aspect of Christ’s work went beyond this. Because of Christ, God is no longer angry with the one who has identified with Him by faith, He is favorably disposed to Him. And because this is true, we can experience the inner peace that comes from knowing God’s favor is directed toward us. Just as our love for God is reflected in a love for man, so our “peace with God” also manifests itself in a peace with men. This is the message which Paul proclaimed:

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father (Eph. 2:13-18).

Some versions have translated the “Peace Offering” the “Fellowship Offering.” Both terms, “peace” and “fellowship” are appropriate, in my opinion. Through Christ’s death we have peace and fellowship with God and peace and fellowship with man. The meal that the offerer of the Peace Offering enjoyed, along with his fellow-Israelites, whom he invited, signified the peace which the sacrifice brought about.

Years ago, Dr. Billy Graham wrote a book entitled, Peace With God. There are a lot of expressions used for conversion which I do not care for, because they are not really biblical, but this expression, “peace with God” expresses, perhaps better than any other, the blessing which salvation brings to the believer. Have you experienced this peace with God my friend? The Bible tells us that we are born at enmity with God. That is our natural state (cf. Eph. 2:1-3). That condition of hostility, Paul tells us in Ephesians 2, is remedied and removed by the blood of Christ, and enmity with God is replaced by peace with God, and with our fellow men.

We are hearing a lot of talk these days about “fulfillment” and “self-realization” and the like. We can read much about “reaching our full potential” and having a “positive self-image,” but all these goals fall far short of the joy of having peace with God, through faith in our great Peace Offering, Jesus Christ. I urge you, if you have never received this gift, do so today, by simply trusting in Jesus Christ as your Peace Offering to God. When you receive Christ as your Peace Offering you will be able to sing with conviction and assurance, “It Is Well With My Soul,” for this is the peace which God offers us in Christ.

(2) The meaning of a meal. Throughout the Bible, the meal has a meaning much greater than that which our culture attributes to it. I believe that for the people of God, and often for the pagans (cf. Exod. 32:6; Num. 25:1-3), the meal had a deeply religious significance. I do not think that the Peace Offering was the origin of this significance, but rather a reflection of it. Before Leviticus, Abraham offered meat and a meal to his unknown visitors (Ge 18), as did Lot (Ge 19). Later on, it was significant when the Levite was seeking a meal and a place to lodge without success (Judges 19). The festive meal which was a part of the Peace Offering simply added to the significance which the meal already had. Here, the meal was a symbol of the peace which the Israelite had with God and with men, through the sacrifice of the innocent victim.

When you stop to think of it, the New Testament is saturated with stories and teachings related to the dinner table. In Luke 14 the entire chapter is dealing with “meals,” precipitated by the fact that our Lord associated with the “wrong kind of people” at the table, at least in the minds of the scribes and Pharisees (cf. Mark 2:16). Our Lord taught, for example, that one should not invite those to dinner who are wealthy and influential, and who can thus return the favor to us in some way (Lk 14:12-14). Was not this especially applicable at the meal associated with the Peace Offering, when the poor would only be able to participate if the more affluent invited them? (Remember, there was no “poor people’s” alternative for the Peace Offering, as there was for the Burnt Offering, for example.)

The story of the “prodigal son” takes on even more significance once we understand the nature of the “Peace Offering.” (Lk 15:11-32) What was it that the prodigal son missed so much in that foreign land, when he was longing to eat the pods which the pigs were eating, but his father’s table? And what was it that angered the older brother, if it was not the father’s slaying of the fatted calf? Now, in the light of what we know of the Peace Offering, what would the father have had to do, before the fatted calf could have been eaten? It would have been offered first as a Peace Offering. What, then, did the fatted calf signify, if not the fact that the son had been accepted by the father, and that there was “peace” in the family again? The Peace Offering deepens our grasp of the significance of meals in the New Testament.

So, too, the significance of meat and of meals enhances our grasp of the problem which Paul dealt with in 1 Corinthians of eating meats, especially those eaten in the home of an unbelieving neighbor, who may very well have obtained meat which was involved in a pagan ritual, or which might take place in the meal itself.

The Peace Offering helps the Christian to understand the significance of a meal, especially since the Lord’s Table was initially conducted as a part of a meal (cf. 1Cor. 11:23-34). The Lord’s Table, or Communion, is, in large measure, the New Testament version of the Peace Offering festive meal. The Peace Offering sacrifice is not offered, for our Peace Offering is Christ, who died once for all, to make peace between men and God, and between men and men. The celebration goes on, however, and so in the communion service we are reminded of our unity with others, as well as our unity with God:

“Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread” (1Cor. 10:16-17).

Because of the significance of the Lord’s Table, as it pertains to the peace which Christ has accomplished on the cross, misconduct at this table is taken most seriously, even as infractions of the regulations pertaining to the Peace Offering are sobering.

The newly born church manifested its life and fellowship by sharing meals from “house to house” (Acts 2:46). One of the greatest barriers between the Jewish believers and the Gentile saints was that of eating (cf. Acts 10, Acts 11). Thus, when Peter departed from what God had taught him in this passage, Paul rebuked him for departing from the very essence of the gospel (Gal. 2:11-21).

The coming of our Lord and joy and peace experienced by true believers at this time are thus appropriately described in “banquet terms”:

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude and as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready … And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God” (Rev. 19:6-7, 9).

The dinner table has become much more secular to us than it ever was to the people of earlier times. I suspect that some of this is due to the pace of our lives, and to the instant “TV” dinners, which are eaten before the TV, rather than at the table, or which are gulped down at a “fast food” chain outlet. How much we can make of the meal table is suggested by the Peace Offering meal of the Old Testament, and by the Lord’s Table of the New. May God enable us to make more of the meal table, and to meditate more on the peace which Christ has won for us on the cross. (Online Version on Bible.org)

Rob Morgan

Here’s the way it should be…

• When we wake up in the morning and look out the window, we should say, “Lord, this is the day you have made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

• When we leave our house and arrive at work, we should pause, glance around the sky to see if any birds are singing, and we should pause to thank God for the sky, the clouds, the rain, the sunshine, or the snow.

• When we encounter problems and frustrations during the day, we should say, “Now, Lord, give me wisdom to deal with this and cause it to work out for good as You have promised.”

• When we have a stressful encounter with another person, we should remain at peace with ourselves, praying for wisdom and doing our best to “live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

• When we take our meals, we should bow our heads in thankful recognition of the abundance of God’s provision.

• When we commit a sin, we should take it seriously and confess it earnestly, readily removing it from our hearts and lives.

• When we close our eyes at night, we should say, “Thank you, Lord, for the blessings of this day. Now I’m going to put everything ‘on hold’ for a few hours while I sleep and my body rests. I am trusting You to stay alert and take care of things while I’m sleeping. May the Holy Spirit bless my subconscious mind during the night.”

• The next morning we should wake up, look out the window, and say, “Another day the Lord has made!”

That’s the way it should be. An attitude of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. A firm confidence that God is in charge of every day. An absence of fear and failure.

I’m not describing a carefree life or a life without stress and strain, but I am describing a life that carries with it a sort of “heavenly carelessness” that trusts God with all things, prays without ceasing, rejoices in all things, and lives in the abundance of God’s peace. That’s the kind of life Jesus Christ wants to develop in us, for He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). The apostle Paul said, “For He Himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

In other words, Jesus Christ died on the cross that our lives might dwell in the midst of this kind of peace, for He is our Peace Offering. And that brings us to our study today in the book of Leviticus. I know that Leviticus is considered the dullest and driest book of the Bible, but that’s because most of us have never taken the time to really study it.

For the sake of those of you who have just dropped in today or who might be on vacation, let me share a word of background about this book and about our series of studies. When you read through the Bible, you begin with Genesis, which tells how the world began, how life began, and it tells us how the Jewish nation began. That’s very important in God’s eyes, because the Jewish nation is the bloodline through which the Messiah would come into the world to provide redemption for all. We have three great men in Genesis: Abraham and his son and grandson, Isaac and Jacob. The sons of Jacob migrated to Egypt and by the end of the book of Genesis, the Jewish people had become a slave-nation under the lash of the Pharaohs.

The second book of the Bible takes up the story. Exodus tells us how God raised up a deliverer named Moses who liberated the Children of Israel and led them out of Egypt and toward the Promised Land. This nomadic people stopped at an isolated mountain in the desert, Mount Sinai, and there God gave them the Ten Commandments. There they also built a special tent for worshipping God. This tent and its courtyard was known as the Tabernacle; and when you entered the Tabernacle courtyard, you saw a very austere piece of equipment—it was a large bronze altar on which animals were sacrificed. That’s where the book of Exodus ends.

When we begin reading the third book in the Bible—Leviticus—the first thing we encounter in chapter 1-7 are descriptions of the five great sacrifices that were to be offered on that altar. That’s how the book of Leviticus begins—with seven rather tedious chapters giving us the details of these five primary offerings.

Now, all of that would be recondite and abstruse – as boring and meaningless to us as ashes – were it not for one thing. These sacrifices and offerings were designed by God to be prototypes of Jesus Christ, and each one of them is prophetic. It is a prophetic object lesson. These are symbols and pictures of Christ. And Almighty God wanted us to know 1400 years in advance what our Lord Jesus was going to do on the cross, so He gave us five incredible emblems of Calvary in the five ancient sacrifices.

Without question and without doubt, these offerings point directly to Jesus Christ. They are like laser beams of light that burn through the centuries until they pinpoint with unfailing accuracy the wooden beams of Calvary. There are five different offerings because God wanted us to know, in advance, five different aspects of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Leviticus 1 describes the burnt offering. What distinguished this offering? It was totally consumed by the flames. The key words in Leviticus 1 are: All on the altar. It speaks of the totality of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us.

Leviticus 2 describes the grain offering. What distinguished this offering? It was the only offering that did not involve blood. It wasn’t an animal offering; it was an offering of bread. It represented, not the death of Christ, but His life. The key words in Leviticus 2 are: fine flour. It represented the perfect humanity of Christ.

Now today we come to the third offering, which is the Peace Offering or the Fellowship Offering. It signifies the fact that by offering Himself as our Sacrifice, Jesus made possible our peace with God, our peace with Himself, our peace with one another, and our peace with ourselves. It signifies the fact that, as Paul said, He is our peace. As Isaiah said, He is our Prince of Peace. Let’s read portions of this passage, then I’ll point out a few things about it.

Leviticus 3:1-5: 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 blemish before the Lord. 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. 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, 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; 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.

Lev 3:11: …and the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire to the Lord.

Lev 3:16-17: …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. This shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall eat neither fat nor blood.

If that sounds like advice you might hear on the Food Network when they’re talking about how to carve up and slice various pieces of meat for the grill, that’s exactly what it is. Think grilling out. Think the meat section at the supermarket. Think the local butcher. Think barbeque. This is an offering that was designed to be eaten. Here’s what happened. A family wanted to celebrate a special event, so they brought the fattened calf to the Tabernacle in thanksgiving to God. The animal was slain, the fat was removed and burned, and the blood was drained and sprinkled on the altar.

God knew that that the fat would only clog up our arteries anyway, so He allowed that to be His portion. The blood was sprinkled on the altar and the fat was burned on the grill. The rest of the animal was cooked over the flames to become a meal for the worshipper and for the priests.

Some of you grew up on the farm where animals were raised and slaughtered and the meat was eaten or salted and stored away. My family didn’t raise our own beef. I remember every once in a while my dad telling me that he had bought half a cow, but I never quite understood that terminology. I always wondered which half of the cow he had purchased. I had an uncle who raised and killed a hog every year, but we never attended the festivities. The reports were that everyone had a great time (except, I suppose, for the hog).

But it all seems a little messy to me. I’m squeamish, and I don’t even carve our Thanksgiving Turkey. All these years, Katrina has cooked the turkey and handed it to me, and I’ve handed it right back. I told her, “I don’t do turkeys.” I don’t even eat chicken with the bone in it.

When I acquire a piece of beef or chicken, I like for it to be all nice and tidy and bloodless and ready for the grill. But people who grow up on farms or people who are butchers by trade think nothing of it. It’s a part of the culture. And in biblical times, when people ate beef or mutton, they had to raise and slaughter the animals themselves.

This passage tells them how and where to do it, how to cut up the animal, and what parts to eat and what parts to avoid eating. Twenty-five hundred years ago, in His infinite wisdom, God warned His people against eating the fat that we now know to be unhealthy for consumption. This passage says, “When you kill an animal for food, here are the parts to eat and the parts to avoid. The parts to avoid can be My part. I’ll take that part. You can drain out the blood and sprinkle it on the altar as a symbol of the blood of my Son who will die on the cross, and you can burn the fatty portions on the altar as an act of thanksgiving to Me. But then you take the rest of it—the good parts, the protein, the lean meat—and enjoy it. Eat the steak and enjoy it. Eat the roast beef and enjoy it.”

That was the Peace Offering.

There is some indication in Leviticus 17 that every time an Israelite family slaughtered an animal for food, they were to do it in this way and to consider it a Peace Offering. In other words, this offering was simply to be woven into their normal, everyday lives. It was somewhat akin to our bowing our heads and giving thanks before our meals. Let me give you an example in 1 Samuel 9. This is the story of how Israel gained her first king. A young man named Saul was sent by his father to track down some runaway donkeys, and when he was unable to find them, he decided to consult the prophet Samuel, so he met some girls and asked them if they knew where Samuel was.

As they went up the hill to the city, (Saul) met some young women going out to draw water, and said to them, “Is the seer here?” And they answered them and said, “Yes, there he is, just ahead of you. Hurry now; for today he came to this city, because there is a sacrifice of the people on the high place.”

In other words, this is the Fourth of July. This is Labor Day. This is a holiday, and we’re going to have a community picnic. We’re going to all grill out together. Samuel is coming to oversea the Peace Offering as we prepare the animal for the grill.

As soon as you come into the city, you will surely find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat.

This is the Peace Offering. Another example is in the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. When the boy returned, what did the father do? He told the servants to kill the fatted calf. They were going to celebrate the reconciliation of the boy to his dad by offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving and having a feast together.

The Peace Offering, then, was an offering in which the fat and blood were removed from the animal. The blood was sprinkled on the altar and the fat was burned on the grill. The rest was enjoyed in a communal meal by the worshippers.

What does it convey? The blood sprinkled on the altar and the fat offered on the grill represented the fact that we now have peace with God. And the communal meal signified the fact that we now have peace and fellowship and communion with one another. That’s why some translations call this the Peace Offering and others call it the Fellowship Offering. It conveys harmony. It conveys blessing. It conveys that fact that Jesus Christ came to establish peace with God

Ephesians 2:12-13 puts it this way:

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle way of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

When Jesus Christ died on the wooden beams of Calvary, His blood splattered against the cross, giving us a basis for having peace with God. And His broken body also made us one with each other, giving us a basis for communion with each other. Blood splattered and flesh enjoyed. Peace with God and a feast with one another. Even as John told us: If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

How, then, do we enter more earnestly and successfully into God’s peace? Here are four suggestions.

First, make Jesus Christ the Lord of all your difficulties. Give your problems to Him. Let go and let God. Place them on the altar. Cast all your cares of Him for He cares for you. Do this consciously and deliberately.

Second, memorize the great verses in the Bible about God’s peace, some of which I’ve quoted in this message.

Third, meditate on those verses. This is the missing ingredient in Bible study. We have too much noise, too many technical contraptions around us all the time. We need quiet walks, quiet bicycle rides, quiet car trips, and quiet moments to think. When we study and memorize Scripture, it’s like swallowing a jewelry box whole. Meditation is the key that unlocks that internalized box and allows us to start bedecking our lives with the jewels.

Fourth, master your emotions. In the power of the Holy Spirit and using the tools of the Scripture you’ve memorized and meditation on, cast our discouragement and fear, anger and anxiety. Cast these things out like Jesus casting out demons. Make up your mind that you aren’t going to let these emotions and moods master your heart. Take yourself in hand and choose to live in God’s peace. Sometimes it’s a matter of sheer, sanctified, Spirit-empowered will-power.

What happens when we do these things?

• When we wake up in the morning and look out the window, we can say, “Lord, this is the day you have made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

• When we leave our house and arrive at work, we can pause, glance around the sky to see if any birds are singing, and thank God for the sky, the clouds, the rain, the sunshine, or the snow.

• When we encounter problems and frustrations during the day, we can say, “Now, Lord, give me wisdom to deal with this and cause it to work out for good as You have promised.”

• When we have a stressful encounter with another person, we can remain at peace with ourselves, praying for wisdom and doing our best to “live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

• When we take our meals, we can bow our heads in thankful recognition of the abundance of God’s provision.

• When we commit a sin, we can take it seriously and confess it earnestly, readily removing it from our hearts and lives.

• When we close our eyes at night, we can say, “Thank you, Lord, for the blessings of this day. Now I’m going to put everything ‘on hold’ for a few hours while I sleep and my body rests. I am trusting You to stay alert and take care of things while I’m sleeping. May the Holy Spirit bless my subconscious mind during the night.”

• The next morning we can wake up, look out the window, and say, “Another day the Lord has made!”

He is our Burnt Offering who lay all on the altar and gave Himself fully for you and me.

He is our Grain Offering for He represented the fine flour of a perfect manhood.

He is our Peace Offering because His sacrifice of Himself gives us peace with God and communion with one another so we can say: “What a fellowship! What a joy divine!”

Does the peace of Christ rule in your heart? Does the Prince of Peace reign in your life? Have you given yourself to Him, and taken for yourself His blessings of eternal life. The Bible say: “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And those who do can say:

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.