Scriptures

Leviticus 7

Introduction

‘These are the regulations for the guilt offering, which is most holy: The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be splashed against the sides of the altar. All its fat shall be offered: the fat tail and the fat that covers the internal organs, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which is to be removed with the kidneys. The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering presented to the LORD. It is a guilt offering. Any male in a priest’s family may eat it, but it must be eaten in the sanctuary area; it is most holy. ‘The same law applies to both the sin offering and the guilt offering: They belong to the priest who makes atonement with them. The priest who offers a burnt offering for anyone may keep its hide for himself. Every grain offering baked in an oven or cooked in a pan or on a griddle belongs to the priest who offers it, and every grain offering, whether mixed with olive oil or dry, belongs equally to all the sons of Aaron.’ Leviticus 7:1-10

Guilt Offering

As we enter this chapter, we find God being specific with His instructions for Aaron and his sons and their ceremonial duties in reference to their part of the offering made by the people, Leviticus 6:8-23.

The priests were permitted eat the meat from the animal sacrifices but they weren’t allowed to eat the skin or the fat from the animal. They were permitted to store up the flour from the grain offerings and the parched grains, but the meat had to be eaten straight after it had been offered, for obvious reasons, the meat would go off.

‘These are the regulations for the fellowship offering anyone may present to the LORD: ‘If they offer it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank offering they are to offer thick loaves made without yeast and with olive oil mixed in, thin loaves made without yeast and brushed with oil, and thick loaves of the finest flour well-kneaded and with oil mixed in. Along with their fellowship offering of thanksgiving they are to present an offering with thick loaves of bread made with yeast. They are to bring one of each kind as an offering, a contribution to the LORD; it belongs to the priest who splashes the blood of the fellowship offering against the altar. The meat of their fellowship offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the day it is offered; they must leave none of it till morning. ‘If, however, their offering is the result of a vow or is a freewill offering, the sacrifice shall be eaten on the day they offer it, but anything left over may be eaten on the next day. Any meat of the sacrifice left over till the third day must be burned up. If any meat of the fellowship offering is eaten on the third day, the one who offered it will not be accepted. It will not be reckoned to their credit, for it has become impure; the person who eats any of it will be held responsible. ‘Meat that touches anything ceremonially unclean must not be eaten; it must be burned up. As for other meat, anyone ceremonially clean may eat it. But if anyone who is unclean eats any meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the LORD, they must be cut off from their people. Anyone who touches something unclean—whether human uncleanness or an unclean animal or any unclean creature that moves along the ground—and then eats any of the meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the LORD must be cut off from their people. The LORD said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: ‘Do not eat any of the fat of cattle, sheep or goats. The fat of an animal found dead or torn by wild animals may be used for any other purpose, but you must not eat it. Anyone who eats the fat of an animal from which a food offering may be presented to the LORD must be cut off from their people. And wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal. Anyone who eats blood must be cut off from their people.’ Leviticus 7:11-27

The Fellowship Offering

For the fellowship offering everyone ate a portion of the peace 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 eat with someone, it signifies that they are at peace with them. Christ has become our peace offering, in Him, both God and man find common food. It is noteworthy that the fellowship offering was generally accompanied by a drink of wine, we see this bread and wine at the table of the Lord.

The fellowship offerings consisted of three offerings, the thanksgiving offering, Leviticus 7:12, the vow offering, Leviticus 7:16, and finally the freewill offering, Leviticus 7:29.

The Thanksgiving Offering

The thanksgiving offering was made in reference to what God had blessed the worshipper, Psalm 107:22. It was to be eaten the same day as it was offered, which means they spent time together in fellowship, Deuteronomy 12:12.

This was a real friends and family affair, where everyone came together to simply give thanks to God for His blessings. Because everyone brought an offering, this was a time of receiving and sharing for everyone involved.

The Vow Offering

The vow offering was made when an individual vowed to give something to God out of appreciation for God’s great blessings, Psalm 66:13-14 / Psalm 116:1-19. It was a free will offering in the sense that the worshipper chose to make the offering in thankfulness for all that God had done for them.

Notice that this offering was offered purposely, in other words, it was what they had decided before hand to give, Exodus 35:5 / Exodus 35:21 / 2 Corinthians 9:7. Because cakes and unleavened bread are mentioned, this tells us it was a real time of fellowship for all of God’s people and the priests.

‘The LORD said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who brings a fellowship offering to the LORD is to bring part of it as their sacrifice to the LORD. With their own hands they are to present the food offering to the LORD; they are to bring the fat, together with the breast, and wave the breast before the LORD as a wave offering. The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast belongs to Aaron and his sons. You are to give the right thigh of your fellowship offerings to the priest as a contribution. The son of Aaron who offers the blood and the fat of the fellowship offering shall have the right thigh as his share. From the fellowship offerings of the Israelites, I have taken the breast that is waved and the thigh that is presented and have given them to Aaron the priest and his sons as their perpetual share from the Israelites.’ Leviticus 7:28-34

The Free Will Offering

Within the fellowship offering there was a free will offering involved which we would call a gift. This means that no payment was made for the offering, otherwise the gift would be cancelled because the offeror would be receiving a reward for the offering they brought.

In this sense it was a freewill offering that cost the offeror something. If the offeror didn’t sacrifice something, then the offering would be useless because it didn’t mean nothing. In other words, the offering had to be a sacrifice by the one who brought it because no one else could pay for someone else’s sacrifice, it had to be personal.

The wave offering is in reference to the manner in which those portions were handled before God’s altar. The breast was waved, passed from right to left and left to right after being elevated in the hands of the worshipper. It was lifted up toward heaven and lowered perhaps a number of times.

Notice though that the meaning of this was the portion actually belonged to God, hence why they lifted it up and the lowering down of the offering indicates that God is returning it to the priests as a gift.

‘This is the portion of the food offerings presented to the LORD that were allotted to Aaron and his sons on the day they were presented to serve the LORD as priests. On the day they were anointed, the LORD commanded that the Israelites give this to them as their perpetual share for the generations to come. These, then, are the regulations for the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the ordination offering and the fellowship offering, which the LORD gave Moses at Mount Sinai in the Desert of Sinai on the day he commanded the Israelites to bring their offerings to the LORD.’ Leviticus 7:35-38

The various portions of these sacrifices were given to the priests, but again, notice that is God who is actually the giver. It’s important to remember that the law of sacrifice for sins did not begin at Mount Sinai, it begun when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, Genesis 3:21. What we find here is the beginning of the Law which given to Moses at Mount Sinai concerning all those different kinds of sacrifices.

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DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

1 John 1:9

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