Scriptures

Leviticus 3

Introduction

‘If your offering is a fellowship offering, and you offer an animal from the herd, whether male or female, you are to present before the LORD an animal without defect. You are to lay your hand on the head of your offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash the blood against the sides of the altar. From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the LORD: the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. Then Aaron’s sons are to burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering that is lying on the burning wood; it is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.’ Leviticus 3:1-5

The Fellowship Offering

Everyone ate a portion of the fellowship offering, the offeror, the Lord, the priest, even the priest’s children. In the burnt offering and the grain offering, the Lord and the priest had a portion, but not the one making the offering, this signified communion with God.

When a person sits at a table and eats with someone, this signifies that they are at peace with the other person. Christ has become our peace offering, in Him both God and man find common food.

The significance of the fellowship offering is expanded upon later in Leviticus 7:11-34. Whilst the burnt offering was to be totally consumed by the fire as a sin offering to the Lord, the peace offering was a fellowship meal between the worshipper, his family and the priests. The meat of the offering was to be eaten by both the priests and the worshippers.

Although the main reason for this offering was to bring something to the Lord, there was also another reason, this meal keeps God’s priests and God’s people together. It’s important to remember that this offering was a gift to the priests, and in return the offeror was blessed to be able to sit down with God’s spiritual leaders, it was a real time fellowship. We can imagine them discussing spiritual and religious matters as they ate together.

‘If you offer an animal from the flock as a fellowship offering to the LORD, you are to offer a male or female without defect. If you offer a lamb, you are to present it before the LORD, lay your hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the LORD: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering presented to the LORD.’ Leviticus 3:6-11

Lamb Offering

The animals used were all to be without defect, Leviticus 3:1 / Leviticus 3:6-7 / Leviticus 3:12 / Leviticus 22:22-24, only the best was expected. They were bloody offerings of the flock or herd like the burnt offerings, a lamb or a goat, Leviticus 3:12-17. The fellowship offering was always accompanied by a meat and drink offering, Leviticus 7:11.

The fellowship offering was sometimes called the sacrifice of peace, Leviticus 7:11-38 / Leviticus 19:5-8 / Leviticus 22:21-25 / Numbers 6:13-20 / Deuteronomy 12:6 ff. This was all about communion with God and His people but God is always to be served first, Malachi 1:7.

There was three-fold purpose to this meal, it was a thanksgiving offering, Leviticus 7:11-13 / Leviticus 7:15, it was also vow sacrifice, Leviticus 7:16 / Numbers 6:14, and it was also a free will offering of joy and love, Leviticus 7:16.

The fellowship offering always followed other sacrifices and it was voluntary and could be offered anytime, Leviticus 19:5 / Leviticus 22:21-25, it was a holy offering that could be enjoyed by all who were clean within the family of the priest or even his servants, Leviticus 7:20 / Deuteronomy 12:17-18.

‘If your offering is a goat, you are to present it before the LORD, lay your hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. From what you offer you are to present this food offering to the LORD: the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the LORD’s.’ Leviticus 3:12-16

Goat Offering

Whatever the animal was being offered to the Lord, it was brought to the altar by the giver, who then laid his hands on it before killing it. The fat of the intestines, the richest part, the kidneys, the caul or midriff, was taken to the altar and burned. The blood was sprinkled on the altar, Leviticus 3:2 / Leviticus 3:8 / Leviticus 3:13, the blood and the fat belonged to God. The blood because it represented the life of an animal, the fat because it represented the best of the animal, Deuteronomy 32:15 / Psalm 119:70 / Proverbs 11:25 / Proverbs 13:4.

In the sin offering the priest was fed, in the burnt offering only God was fed, in the meal offering God and the priest are fed and, in the fellowship offering, God, the priests and the offerors were fed.

The breast and shoulder were the portion of the priests, Aaron and sons, Leviticus 7:31 / Leviticus 7:34. They had to eat it, that day, the only exceptions were those offerings for vows or free will offerings, they were eaten that day or no later than the next day, Leviticus 7:16.

Any left over to the third day had to be burned, Leviticus 7:17, to do otherwise was a sin, Leviticus 7:18. The right thigh went to the priest doing the offering, Leviticus 7:14 / Leviticus 7:32-34, the rest of the flesh belonged to the offeror, to be eaten that day, Leviticus 7:15, no-one unclean was to eat of the sacrifice, Leviticus 7:19-21.

Some commentators have suggested that the fat of the animal signifies something which is being stored up for hard times of famine and so, the fat symbolises the offerors dependency upon God to look after their future. that which was stored up for famine times.

‘This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.’ Leviticus 3:17

The fellowship offering or peace offering as some translations write it, is all about communion between God and His people, the priests and God’s people, in other words peace was to reign within God’s people. God wanted the fellowship offering to be a ‘lasting ordinance’, God repeats these words seventeen times throughout the Book of Leviticus and beyond, Exodus 24:5 / 1 Samuel 11:15 / 2 Kings 8:63.

It was a fellowship meal where God was the host because the animal sacrificed had been given over to God and no longer belongs to the giver. God directs what shall be burned, what shall be eaten, who shall eat it and where.

The Israelites weren’t permitted to eat the fat of the animal, which was the richest part of the animal, only to be given to God and they weren’t allowed to eat the blood of the animal, which represented the preciousness of life. No-one was to eat of the fat or the blood of animals, Nehemiah 8:10, the fat was always put on top of the fire to be consumed and the blood was used in the altar, Leviticus 3:17 / Leviticus 7:22-27.

A Picture Of Christ

As a sweet aroma offering portrays Christ as our peace, it was Christ who made peace, Colossians 1:20, it was Christ who proclaimed peace, and it is Christ who is our peace, Ephesians 2:14-18. The offering sets forth God as appeased and the sinner reconciled, God and the sinner were brought together in peace, both were satisfied with the finished work of Christ.

Back To Leviticus 2

Go To Leviticus 4

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Acts 2:38

MENU