Chapter 7

Priestly Regulations for the Guilt Offering

    • The following are the instructions for the guilt offering:

      • The animal must be killed where the burnt offerings are killed and the priest must sprinkle its blood on all sides of the altar. All of the animal’s fat must be burned on the altar (the fat of the tail, surrounding the internal organs, the two kidneys and their fat, and the long lobe of the liver.) Males from the priest’s family are allowed to eat the rest of the meat, but it must be eaten in a holy place. The instructions for the guilt offering and the sin offering are the same- they both belong to the priest making atonement. If the offering is a burnt offering, the priest can also keep the hide of the animal. Any of the grain offerings that are cooked (baked in the oven, or prepared on a griddle or pan) belong to the priest who presents the offering. The other grain offerings (whether it’s dry flour or flour mixed with olive oil) must be shared equally among the priests.”

More Instructions for the Peace Offering

    • The following are the three different types of peace offerings that can be presented to the Lord:

      • If it is an expression of thanksgiving, the usual animal sacrifice should be accompanied with cakes of unleavened bread (cakes mixed with olive oil, wafers spread with olive oil, and well-kneaded cakes of fine flour mixed with olive oil.) Along with this unleavened bread, loaves of leavened bread must also be presented. A portion of each of the cakes presented to the Lord will belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood on the altar. The meat from the animal that is sacrificed must be eaten on the same day it is offered, it can’t be saved for the next day.”

        • It (the thanksgiving sacrifice) was given to express gratitude to God (Jeremiah 33:11) in circumstances such as answered prayer (Psalm 50:14-15) or safe travels (Psalm 107:22-25). Although yeast was prohibited from being burned on the altar, leavened bread could still be eaten by the priests and their families.” (HCSB commentary)

      • If it is an offering to fulfill a vow or a voluntary (freewill) offering, the meat should be eaten the day it is offered, but if there is any left over on the second day it can still be eaten. However, any meat that is still left on the third day is contaminated and must be burned up. If anyone eats the leftover meat on the third day, the Lord will not accept the offering from the person who offered it. Anyone who eats the leftover meat on the third day must be punished for their sin. Also, meat that touches anything unclean cannot be eaten- it must be burned up as well. Meat can only be eaten by people who are ceremonially clean. If a ceremonially unclean person eats any meat from a peace offering they will be cut off from the community. If a person touches anything unclean (human or animal) and then eat meat from the peace offering, that person must be cut off from the community.”

        • The vow offering, the second category of fellowship (peace) sacrifice, was brought as an expression of gratitude to fulfill a vow (Genesis 28:20; II Samuel 15:7-8; Proverbs 7:14). The freewill (voluntary) offering, the third category of fellowship (peace) sacrifice, was a voluntary expression of gratitude toward God for any reason. (Deuteronomy 16:10; Psalm 54:6)” (HCSB commentary)

        • In contrast to the ‘peace offering of thanksgiving,’ which was presented as the expression of thanks to the Lord, the offering to fulfill a vow related to a vow made by a worshiper. The festive meal that followed was more relaxed and could extend into the next day. However, because the vow offering involved a vow made to God, it was still more restrictive than the voluntary offering, which could even use a deformed animal (22:23). The Hebrew term for contaminated (piggul) occurs in only three other places (19:7; Isaiah 65:4; Ezekiel 4:14). It is always used in reference to meat that is unacceptable for sacrifice or human consumption.” (NLT Illustrated Study Bible)

        • What does it mean to be cut off from the community? The NLT Illustrated Study Bible explains the three interpretations, “Three interpretations are possible for this expression, all of them very grave: (1) The person was subject to God’s judgment and faced an early death by natural causes (17:10-14). (2) The person was executed by the community (Exodus 31:14). (3) The person lost communal membership in Israel, either by banishment (such as by excommunication) or by shunning the person and treating him or her as unclean (Leviticus 18:24-30; 23:29-30, where ‘cut off’ seems distinct from ‘destroy.’)

Fat and Blood Prohibited

    • The Lord told Moses to give the Israelites the following instructions:

      • Do not eat the fat of an animal (even from cattle, sheep, or goat.) Don’t use the fat of an animal that you find dead, but you can use the fat for other purposes. Anyone who eats the fat of an animal that has been sacrificed to the Lord will be cut off from the community. You must never (regardless of where you live) eat the blood of any bird or animal. Anyone who does will be cut off from the community.”

        • In the sacrificial system, the fat and the blood of all altar offerings belonged to God. They were offered before any sacrifice could be eaten. Consuming blood was specifically forbidden because it represented the very life of the animal (17:10-16). The injunction against eating fat might have been because fat, considered to be the best part of the offering, belonged to God. Animals found dead had not been drained of their blood and were therefore unclean. Their fat was unfit to offer to the Lord and could not be eaten. However, it could be used for any other purpose, such as greasing cart axles, waterproofing animal hides, and other household uses.” (NLT Illustrated Study Bible)

The Portion for the Priests

    • The Lord told Moses to give the Israelites the following instructions:

      • When you bring a peace offering to the Lord, bring it with your own hands. Bring the fat of the animal and its breast as a special offering to the Lord. The priest will burn the fat on the altar, but the breast (also called the “wave offering”) belongs to Aaron and his sons. Give the right thigh of your peace offering (sometimes called the “contribution” or “heave offering”) to the priest who offers the blood and the fat of the offering. I have set aside (since the day they were anointed) the breast and the right thigh of the sacrifices as the priest’s permanent portion (their share) from the Israelites.”

        • The peace offering was a shared meal between God, the priest, the worshiper, and his guests. The breast (in some older translations called a ‘wave offering’) and thigh (sometimes called the ‘contribution’ or ‘heave offering’) were specifically designated as the priest’s portion. After these offerings were taken into the Tabernacle and presented before the Lord, they could then be eaten.” (NLT Illustrated Study Bible)

      • The presentation (breast or wave) offering (tenuphah) and the contribution (thigh or heave) offering (terumah) were usually distinguished as two movements performed with an offering, the tenuphah being a horizontal motion ‘extending and bringing back,’ and the terumah being a vertical motion ‘raising and lowering.’ Recent research, based on Egyptian relief from Karnak, indicates that the so-called ‘wave offering’ (tenuphah) should now be understood as an elevation offering, a ritual of elevating and lifting the offering in dedication to God. The ‘contribution’ (thigh) offering (terumah) is to be understood as a gift.” (HCSB commentary)

    • These are the instructions for the burnt offering, grain offering, sin offering, guilt offering, ordination offering, and peace offering which the Lord gave to Moses on Mount Sinai when He commanded the Israelites to present their offerings to the Lord in the Wilderness of Sinai.