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This is the ritual of the guilt offering. It is most holy; 2at the spot where the burnt offering is slaughtered, they shall slaughter the guilt offering, and its blood shall be dashed against all sides of the altar. 3All its fat shall be offered: the broad tail, the fat that covers the entrails, 4the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the appendage of the liver, which shall be removed with the kidneys. 5The priest shall turn them into smoke on the altar as an offering by fire to the L ord; it is a guilt offering. 6Every male among the priests shall eat of it; it shall be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy.

7 The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is the same ritual for them; the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. 8So, too, the priest who offers anyone’s burnt offering shall keep the skin of the burnt offering that he has offered. 9And every grain offering baked in the oven, and all that is prepared in a pan or on a griddle, shall belong to the priest who offers it. 10But every other grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall belong to all the sons of Aaron equally.

Further Instructions

11 This is the ritual of the sacrifice of the offering of well-being that one may offer to the L ord. 12If you offer it for thanksgiving, you shall offer with the thank offering unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of choice flour well soaked in oil. 13With your thanksgiving sacrifice of well-being you shall bring your offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14From this you shall offer one cake from each offering, as a gift to the L ord; it shall belong to the priest who dashes the blood of the offering of well-being. 15And the flesh of your thanksgiving sacrifice of well-being shall be eaten on the day it is offered; you shall not leave any of it until morning. 16But if the sacrifice you offer is a votive offering or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that you offer your sacrifice, and what is left of it shall be eaten the next day; 17but what is left of the flesh of the sacrifice shall be burned up on the third day. 18If any of the flesh of your sacrifice of well-being is eaten on the third day, it shall not be acceptable, nor shall it be credited to the one who offers it; it shall be an abomination, and the one who eats of it shall incur guilt.

19 Flesh that touches any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burned up. As for other flesh, all who are clean may eat such flesh. 20But those who eat flesh from the L ord’s sacrifice of well-being while in a state of uncleanness shall be cut off from their kin. 21When any one of you touches any unclean thing—human uncleanness or an unclean animal or any unclean creature—and then eats flesh from the L ord’s sacrifice of well-being, you shall be cut off from your kin.

22 The L ord spoke to Moses, saying: 23Speak to the people of Israel, saying: You shall eat no fat of ox or sheep or goat. 24The fat of an animal that died or was torn by wild animals may be put to any other use, but you must not eat it. 25If any one of you eats the fat from an animal of which an offering by fire may be made to the L ord, you who eat it shall be cut off from your kin. 26You must not eat any blood whatever, either of bird or of animal, in any of your settlements. 27Any one of you who eats any blood shall be cut off from your kin.

28 The L ord spoke to Moses, saying: 29Speak to the people of Israel, saying: Any one of you who would offer to the L ord your sacrifice of well-being must yourself bring to the L ord your offering from your sacrifice of well-being. 30Your own hands shall bring the L ord’s offering by fire; you shall bring the fat with the breast, so that the breast may be raised as an elevation offering before the L ord. 31The priest shall turn the fat into smoke on the altar, but the breast shall belong to Aaron and his sons. 32And the right thigh from your sacrifices of well-being you shall give to the priest as an offering; 33the one among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood and fat of the offering of well-being shall have the right thigh for a portion. 34For I have taken the breast of the elevation offering, and the thigh that is offered, from the people of Israel, from their sacrifices of well-being, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons, as a perpetual due from the people of Israel. 35This is the portion allotted to Aaron and to his sons from the offerings made by fire to the L ord, once they have been brought forward to serve the L ord as priests; 36these the L ord commanded to be given them, when he anointed them, as a perpetual due from the people of Israel throughout their generations.

37 This is the ritual of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the offering of ordination, and the sacrifice of well-being, 38which the L ord commanded Moses on Mount Sinai, when he commanded the people of Israel to bring their offerings to the L ord, in the wilderness of Sinai.

In these passages Moses confirms what we have seen before as to the rights of the priests, and also adds an exception to which he had not yet referred. In general, therefore, he claims for the priests whatever remained of the holier victims; and distinguishes them by this prerogative from the other Levites; from whence we gather how free from all self-seeking Moses was, when by God’s command he deprives his own sons not only of the dignity which was conferred on his nephews, but also of their pecuniary advantages. Let none, he says, but the sons of Aaron enjoy the sacred oblations, because they are divinely anointed that they may approach the altar. But, since some rivalry might have arisen among themselves, he adds a special law, that certain kinds of offerings should only be taken by the priest who had offered them. For although they ought all to have disinterestedly discharged their duties, and not to have been attracted by lucre, yet, that all might perform their parts more cheerfully, he appoints a reward for their labor and diligence. On this account he prescribes that the residue of the minha in the peace-offerings, and also the right shoulder of the victim, and the flesh that remained of the trespass-offerings, should be the recompense of the priest who had performed the office of atonement and sprinkling the blood. It is unquestionable that many were attracted by the desire of gain, who would otherwise have neglected their duties; but this was a proof of God’s fatherly indulgence, that He consulted their infirmity so that their hire might be a spur to their diligence. Meanwhile He did not desire to hire their services like those of slaves, so that they should be mercenaries in heart; but rather, when He reproves them by His Prophet because there were none of them who would “kindle fire on His altar for nought.” (Malachi 1:10.) He aggravates their ingratitude, not only because they would not give their services gratuitously, but because, when they received their hire, they defrauded Him who had appointed them to be His ministers.

Leviticus 7:11. And this is the law of the sacrifice. I have elsewhere 282282     Vide, p. 105. stated my reasons for calling this kind of sacrifice “the sacrifice of prosperities.” That they were offered not only in token of gratitude, but when God’s aid was implored, is plain both from this and other passages; yet in all cases the Jews thus testified that they acknowledged God as the author of all good things, whether they returned thanks for some notable blessing, or sought by His aid to be delivered from dangers, or whether they professed in general their piety, or paid the vows which they had made simply and without condition; for the payment of a conditional vow was an act of thanksgiving. At any rate, since in all they honored God with His due service, they gave proof of their gratitude. Hence this name was justly given to these sacrifices, because in them they either besought good success of Him, or acknowledged that what they had already obtained was owing to His grace, or asked for relief in adversity, or congratulated themselves on their welfare and safety. Moses, however, distinguishes one kind, as it were, from the others:, i.e., the sacrifice of thanksgiving, whereby they professedly returned thanks for some notable deliverance, which was not; always offered. 283283     These words are omitted in Fr. In this case he commands unleavened cakes fried in oil, wafers seasoned with oil, and fine flour fried to be offered, together with leavened bread; and also commands that the flesh of the sacrifice should be eaten on the day of the oblation, so that none should be left. In vows and free-will-offerings greater liberty is conceded, viz., that they might eat the residue on the next day, provided they kept nothing till the third day. In the passage which I have inserted from chapter 22, the words I have translated “unto your acceptance,” might also be rendered “unto His good-will,” (in beneplacitum,) for the gratuitous favor of God is called רצון, ratson. The meaning therefore is, if you would have your sacrifice accepted by God, take care that none of the flesh should remain to the following day. Others, however, understand it of man’s good-will, as if it were said, “at your own will,” or “as it shall please you.” And I admit, indeed, that the word רצון, ratson, is sometimes used in this sense; but since in the same chapter 284284     Viz., at ver. 19, vide infra, p. 380. In both cases it will be seen that A.V. is “at your own will,” whilst Ainsworth renders both “for your favorable acceptation." it can only be taken for God’s favor or acceptance, I have preferred avoiding a variation; yet I make no objection if any one likes the other reading better. But if my readers weigh well the antithesis, when it is presently added, that if the flesh should remain beyond the proper time 285285     That is, at Leviticus 22:20 the sacrifice would not be pleasing to God, they will agree with me. There is, indeed, an apparent discrepancy here, since in this way Moses would command the voluntary sacrifice to be eaten on the same day, which, however, he does not do. If we prefer understanding it of the liberal feelings of men, he will exhort the people cheerfully to offer their victims in thanksgiving. I have, however, shewn the meaning which I approve of, and thus it will be easy to reconcile these things, for God’s goodwill does not require this similarity, 286286     The Fr. throws some light on this rather obscure passage: “D’autant qu’il ne s’ensuit pas, que quarid ils offriront au bon plaisir de Dieu, il doyvent garder une facon pareille, et egale;” since it does not follow that when they shall offer at God’s good pleasure, they must observe a precisely similar method. nor is it necessary to observe the same mode of offering that they may be grateful; but they are said to offer “unto their acceptance,” when they intermix no corruption, but offer purely and duly. If the cause of this distinction is asked, it is no clearer to me than is the variety between the bread and wafers or cakes. It is certain, indeed, that God had a reason for dealing more strictly or more indulgently; but to inquire now-a-days as to things unknown, and which conduce not at all to piety, is neither right nor expedient.

16. But if the sacrifice of his offering. I have observed a little above that it is not a conditional but a simple vow which is here meant; because, if a person were under the obligation of a vow, 287287     Lat., “damnatus esset.” Fr., “si quelqu’un avoit voue, et obtenu ce qu’il demandoit;” if any one had vowed, and obtained what he asked. his payment was an act of thanksgiving, and thus his sacrifice was comprised under the first head. But it would not be without absurdity that similar things should be distinguished as if they differed. But inasmuch as many made gratuitous vows, Moses combines this kind of sacrifice with the free-will-offering, as standing in the same rank. It has also been stated that the consecrated meats were not kept too long, lest they should become tainted or putrified, and thus religion should fall into contempt. Perhaps, too, vainglory was thus provided against; for if it had been allowable to eat the meats salted, many would have made ostentatious offerings without expense. God, therefore, imposed a restraint, that they might offer their sacrifices more sparingly and reverently. The penalty is added, that; the sacrifice would not be acceptable to God, but rather abominable; and hence all who ate of them would be guilty. Moreover, when Moses says that polluted sacrifices would not be “imputed,” we may infer that those which are duly offered come into account before God, so that He reckons them as things expended for Himself. Still we must not, imagine them to be merits which lay Him under obligation; but because He deigns to deal so liberally with us, that no duty which we pay Him is useless.

19. And the flesh that toucheth. It was not indeed lawful to eat of any polluted flesh, but in the sacrifices there was a special reason for this, i.e., because the uncleanness involved sacrilege. On this account he commands it to be burnt, just like that which had not been consumed within the legitimate time; and the punishment is, 288288     “La punition est raise bien grieve;” the punishment awarded is very heavy. — Fr. that if any unclean person shall have touched the consecrated meat, he should be cut off from the people. The cruelty or immoderate severity of this has induced some to think that to be “cut off” is nothing more than to be cast out of the camp. But it is not wonderful that God should have thus severely dealt with those who knowingly and wilfully contaminated what was holy; for if any one had sinned in error, he was not to receive this sentence, but only he who had betrayed his open contempt of God by impious profanation of sacred things.

23. Speak unto the children of Israel. Since in all sacrifices the fat was consecrated to God, and was burnt on the altar, God forbade His people to eat fat even in their ordinary meals, in order that they might cultivate piety even in their homes. For unquestionably this was an exercise of piety, that they who were far away from the temple should still accustom themselves in their daily meals to the service of God. Nor am I ignorant of the allegories 289289     Vide on Leviticus 3:16, ante, p. 334. in which some interpreters indulge, but I willingly acquiesce in the reason which God reveals, viz., that the people was prohibited from eating fat, because He had assigned it to Himself. Nevertheless, the Law permits the fat of a carcase, 290290     See Margin, A. V. or of an animal torn (by beasts) to be applied to any use, provided they abstain from the fat of those animals which might be legally offered.

30. And no sin-offering. The exception is repeated both with reference to the sacrifices mentioned in the fourth chapter, and also to the solemn sacrifice, whereby the priest and the people were reconciled every year: for private persons individually atoned for their sins at less expense, and only the greater altar, which stood in the court, was sprinkled with blood; but if the priest reconciled God to the whole people, or to himself, in order that the intercession might be more efficacious, he entered the sanctuary to pour out blood on the opposite side of the veil. God now again commands that such victims should be entirely burnt. This passage, then, is nothing but a confirmation of the others in which a like command is given. Hence the Apostle, in an apt allusion, infers that the distinction of meats is abolished; for he says that the minor altar, which under the Law was hidden, is now laid open to us, (Hebrews 13:10,) and therefore we no longer eat of the legal sacrifices; yea, forasmuch as our One Priest has brought His blood into the sanctuary, it only remains for us to go forth with Him without the camp.

37. This is the law of the burnt-offering. In this conclusion Moses indicates that full provision had been made lest any addition should insinuate itself from man’s inventions to vitiate the sacrifices. In the day, he says, that God appointed the sacrifices to be offered to Him on Mount Sinai, He omitted nothing which was to be observed, lest men should dare to introduce anything except what He prescribed. And surely, when He had thus carefully embraced all the ceremonies, we may easily infer from hence how earnestly we should avoid all temerity and audacity in invention. The design, therefore, of Moses was in this brief admonition to exhort the people to soberness, lest they should transgress the limits placed by God.

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