Concerning the trespass-offering. (1-10) Concerning the peace-offering. (11-27) The wave and heave offerings. (28-34) The conclusion of these institutions. (35-38)
Verses 1-10 In the sin-offering and the trespass-offering, the sacrifice was divided between the altar and the priest; the offerer had no share, as he had in the peace-offerings. The former expressed repentance and sorrow for sin, therefore it was more proper to fast than feast; the peace-offerings denoted communion with a reconciled God in Christ, the joy and gratitude of a pardoned sinner, and the privileges of a true believer.
Verses 11-27 As to the peace-offerings, in the expression of their sense of mercy, God left them more at liberty, than in the expression of their sense of sin; that their sacrifices, being free-will offerings, might be the more acceptable, while, by obliging them to bring the sacrifices of atonement, God shows the necessity of the great Propitiation. The main reason why blood was forbidden of old, was because the Lord had appointed blood for an atonement. This use, being figurative, had its end in Christ, who by his death and blood-shedding caused the sacrifices to cease. Therefore this law is not now in force on believers.
Verses 28-34 The priest who offered, was to have the breast and the right shoulder. When the sacrifice was killed, the offerer himself must present God's part of it; that he might signify his cheerfully giving it up to God. He was with his own hands to lift it up, in token of his regard to God as the God of heaven; and then to wave it to and fro, in token of his regard to God as the Lord of the whole earth. Be persuaded and encouraged to feed and feast upon Christ, our Peace-offering. This blessed Peace-offering is not for the priests only, for saints of the highest rank and greatest eminence, but for the common people also. Take heed of delay. Many think to repent and return to God when they are dying and dropping into hell; but they should eat the peace-offering, and eat it now. Stay not till the day of the Lord's patience be run out, for eating the third day will not be accepted, nor will catching at Christ when thou art gone to hell!
Verses 35-38 Solemn acts of religious worship are not things which we may do or not do at our pleasure; it is at our peril if we omit them. An observance of the laws of Christ cannot be less necessary than of the laws of Moses.
Leviticus 7:1-27 . THE LAW OF THE TRESPASS OFFERING.
1. Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering--This chapter is a continuation of the laws that were to regulate the duty of the priests respecting the trespass offerings. The same regulations obtained in this case as in the burnt offerings--part was to be consumed on the altar, while the other part was a perquisite of the priests--some fell exclusively to the officiating minister, and was the fee for his services; others were the common share of all the priestly order, who lived upon them as their provision, and whose meetings at a common table would tend to promote brotherly harmony and friendship.
8. the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt offering which he hath offered--All the flesh and the fat of the burnt offerings being consumed, nothing remained to the priest but the skin. It has been thought that this was a patriarchal usage, incorporated with the Mosaic law, and that the right of the sacrificer to the skin of the victim was transmitted from the example of Adam
11-14. this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings--Besides the usual accompaniments of other sacrifices, leavened bread was offered with the peace offerings, as a thanksgiving, such bread being common at feasts.
15-17. the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings . . . shall be eaten the same day that it is offered--The flesh of the sacrifices was eaten on the day of the offering or on the day following. But if any part of it remained till the third day, it was, instead of being made use of, to be burned with fire. In the East, butcher-meat is generally eaten the day it is killed, and it is rarely kept a second day, so that as a prohibition was issued against any of the flesh in the peace offerings being used on the third day, it has been thought, not without reason, that this injunction must have been given to prevent a superstitious notion arising that there was some virtue or holiness belonging to it.
18. if any of the flesh of the sacrifice . . . be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither . . . imputed--The sacrifice will not be acceptable to God nor profitable to him that offers it.
20. cut off from his people--that is, excluded from the privileges of an Israelite--lie under a sentence of excommunication.
21. abominable unclean thing--Some copies of the Bible read, "any reptile."
22-27. Ye shall eat no manner of
Leviticus 7:28-38 . THE PRIESTS' PORTION.
29-34. He that offereth the sacrifice of his peace offerings unto the Lord--In order to show that the sacrifice was voluntary, the offerer was required to bring it with his own hands to the priest. The breast having been waved to and fro in a solemn manner as devoted to God, was given to the priests; it was assigned to the use of their order generally, but the right shoulder was the perquisite of the officiating priest.
35-38. This is the portion of the anointing of Aaron--These verses contain a general summing up of the laws which regulate the privileges and duties of the priests. The word "anointing" is often used as synonymous with "office" or "dignity." So that the "portion of the anointing of Aaron" probably means the provision made for the maintenance of the high priest and the numerous body of functionaries which composed the sacerdotal order.
in the day when he presented them to minister unto the Lord, &c.--that is, from the day they approached the Lord in the duties of their ministry.