Leviticus Chapter 3
We will be looking at the Peace Offering in this lesson. The Hebrew name for the peace offering is (zebach shelamim), which means sacrifice of peace offerings. This was a festive feast and was along with and after the burnt offering, meat offering, and Firstfruits. This offering symbolizes the peace that comes through Jesus Christ after He has reconciled us to Father God. There is a peace that true Christians have, that is actually beyond the world’s comprehension. Just the fact that we have no fear of death, sets us aside from the world. The believers have hope of the resurrection, as we said in a previous lesson. Peace offerings were a way of thanking God for His bountiful blessings.
Leviticus 3:1 “And if his oblation [be] a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer [it] of the herd; whether [it be] a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD.”
“Peace offering”: The slain animal offering differs from the burnt offering. The fat and the kidneys were removed from the bullock or heifer, after the blood. If it was a lamb being offered, the rump was also removed. The inner parts were burned and the remainder provided sustenance for the priests. This typifies Christ as our peace offering on the cross, for He is also our “peace” (Eph. 2:13-17).
We see that both males and females are acceptable in this offering. This peace offering does not relate to the physical body of Jesus Christ is why this is so. The peace of God comes to both male and female, when we receive Jesus as our Savior. Take note that all offerings are to be without blemish. Of course, LORD here is Jehovah. Their herd consisted not only of cattle, but sheep, and goats, as well. This would mean then, that they could bring a bull, or cow, a he goat or a she goat, or a ram or an ewe.
Leviticus 3:2 “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.”
The peace offering, the burnt offering, the meat offering, and the firstfruits offering were all just inside the door of the tabernacle. This is like a brand new Christian who has just received the Lord Jesus as their Savior. What overwhelming joy there is when one sinner comes to Christ. It calls for a celebration, and that is what the peace offering is all about. We see again, the laying of the hand on the animal’s head to show the transfer of the person’s sin (symbolically), to the offering. Actually, this offering will turn into a feast. The sons of Aaron and the one who offers will eat of this meat after it is properly prepared. We see, in this blood, that the Lord Jesus is the one who brings this peace. It is as if we are thanking Him for His sacrifice of His blood for us. Jesus made peace with God for us, He is our peace.
Ephesians 2:14 “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];”
Leviticus 3:3 “And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that [is] upon the inwards,”
This fat and the inwards that were burned on this bronze altar, were a sweet smelling savor unto the Lord. This offering to God recognized where the peace of God came from. This is like a prayer of thanksgiving from us to God. Remember, on this same altar, the covenant with God and His people had been sealed with the salt. There is plenty to rejoice about. Since we are looking at types and shadows, we can see the Lord’s supper with the apostles shadowed in this peace offering. Notice in the next few verses, that the priests partake of the food from this offering. The priests symbolize Jesus’ followers then and now.
Leviticus 3:4 “And the two kidneys, and the fat that [is] on them, which [is] by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.”
Meaning either the two kidneys which were next the flanks, or the fat upon them, which was next to them. These, and the burning of them, may signify the burning zeal and flaming love and affections of Christ for his people. “The fat”: All of the fat was dedicated to the Lord 3:3-5, 9-11, 14-16).
“And the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away”: Or the caul, which is a thin membrane or skin, in which the liver is enclosed. With the liver, together with the kidneys, he separated from the rest in order to burn, at least with a part of the liver.
We see in this that the portion to be burned is the kidney and all of the fat. This is to be burned as a sweet savor to the Lord. Later on in this same chapter the people are told to not eat fat or blood, that they belong to God. One of the terrible practices of Satan worshippers today is the drinking of blood. This would be a horrible abomination to God.
Leviticus 3:5 “And Aaron’s sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which [is] upon the wood that [is] on the fire: [it is] an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD.”
That is, the fat of the several parts before mentioned. This signified the sufferings of Christ, by which our peace is made, and by whose death we are reconciled to God. This rite of burning the fat of the inwards of sacrifices was used by the Pagans, and is still retained by the idolatrous Indians to this day.
“Upon the burnt sacrifice”: Which, as Gersom says, was the burnt offering of the daily sacrifice of the morning, which was offered first of all sacrifices. So Jarchi says, “we learn that the daily burnt offering preceded every other offering.” This was an eminent type of Christ’s sacrifice.
“Which is upon the wood that is on the fire”: That is, which burnt offering was laid upon the wood on the fire, and the fat of the peace offering upon that.
“It is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord”: As Christ’s sacrifice is (Eph. 5:2; see note on Lev. 1:9).
This is to be burned on the brazen altar. The priests, the sons of Aaron, were to do the burning. Remember one more time that the priests symbolize the Christians. This shows us that in our thanksgiving to God, we should also give offerings to His work.
Leviticus 3:6 “And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto the LORD [be] of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish.”
As it might be: and be either male or female; which he pleased. In the peace offering either male or female could be offered, but in the burnt offering only the male. So here no birds can be offered, but in the burnt offering they might. There, all was consumed with fire; and in the peace offering, divided.
“He shall offer it without blemish” (see note on Lev. 3:1).
We notice again here, that there is provision made for those who are too poor to bring a specific offering. This just shows me that regardless of how poor you are; you are not exempt from giving. God allows those who have less to give less, but He does not exempt them from giving. Since this is still the peace offering and does not typify the body of Jesus, a male or female can be given. This still must be a first class offering, not any damaged goods.
Leviticus 3:7 “If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the LORD.”
Which was of the flock, and must be of the first year. This is a rule laid down by Maimonides, that where ever this word is used in the law, it signifies one of the first year.
“Then shall he offer it before the Lord”: Bring it into the court, and present it to the priest.
This is just going into more detail about each of the offerings. In fact, this was included (in verse 1), when male or female of the herd were mentioned.
Leviticus 3:8 “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar.”
“He shall lay his hand upon the head”: The offeror of the sacrifice, by touching the head with the hand, indicates identification, symbolically shifting the guilt and penalty for his own sins to the sacrifice. This act finds its typical fulfillment in justification by faith through Christ. This is the third and last of the sweet savor offerings, which show Christ in His own human perfection, and His willingness to lovingly obey the Father’s will.
We discussed earlier, that the laying the hand over on the animal’s head was as if this animal represented the offeror before God. This offering of thanksgiving to the Lord should not be a private affair. When we are praising God, we should not be ashamed to do it in front of others. We should tell the world that God has blessed us. The person offering the lamb should not touch the altar. The sons of Aaron will place the meat to be burned, and sprinkle the blood as well.
Leviticus 3:9 “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; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that [is] upon the inwards,”
That is, the priest, Aaron, or one of his two sons.
“An offering made by fire unto the Lord”: That part of it which was to be burnt with fire. And in the peace offering of the lamb there was something more than in the peace offering of the bullock, or of the goat, which follows.
“The fat thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the backbone. Not the rump or tail, but the fat of it. Some sheep and lambs had very large tails, and very fat ones, the least weighing ten or twelve pounds. The largest above forty, and were put in little carts for ease and safety (see note on Exodus 29:22). Now such as were “whole”, entire, perfect, and without blemish, as the word signifies. The fat of them that was next to the backbone was to be taken off of such as were brought for peace offerings.
“And the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards”: As before (see note on Lev. 3:3).
Rump here means the fat tail of an oriental sheep. All fat was to be burned in all of these offerings. The only reason I can see this mentioned separately here, is, that most of the other animals did not have these fat tails. The reason this fat is mentioned so many times is that God wants to impress upon them the importance of not eating fat. The fat belonged to God. I say, again, all fat was to be burned as a sweet savor to the Lord. We need to go over a few things in this lesson one more time, so that we will not forget them. The peace offering was to be offered on the bronze altar just inside the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. The offeror was to kill the animal. The offeror was to place his hand upon the animal’s head while he was killing it to show that the animal represented the offeror. For the peace offering, the animal could be male or female. This was a thank offering and did not shadow the very body of Christ. This thank offering was shared by the person offering it and the priests, after the fat and blood and the inward parts were offered to God. The part offered to God must be burned upon the burnt altar.
Leviticus Chapter 3 Questions
1. Which offering does this lesson deal with?
2. What is the Hebrew name for the peace offering?
3. What does it mean?
4. What other offerings were made on the same altar?
5. Christians have no fear of ________.
6. What hope do the Christians have that the world does not have?
7. What animal could be offered in the peace offering?
8. What must be the condition of the animal offered?
9. What animals did their herds consist of?
10. Where was the person to kill the animal?
11. Who was to sprinkle the blood upon the altar?
12. What overwhelming joy there is when one __________ comes to ________.
13. Who will be allowed to eat of this meat after it is properly prepared?
14. Where do we find the Scripture that says He is our peace?
15. What part of this offering was to be burned upon the fire, an offering to God?
16. This peace offering is like a prayer of _________________.
17. What had the covenant of God been sealed with?
18. What 2 things are not to be eaten, because they belong to God?
19. What is one of the terrible practices in the church of Satan today?
20. Do the poor have to sacrifice? Explain.
21. Should the offering of praise be made privately or publicly?
22. What does rump mean in verse 9?
23. Why is the fat mentioned over and over?
24. Name at least 4 things we repeated about this offering at the end of the lesson.