This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Leviticus 7:11-34

 "And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried. Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the LORD, and it shall be the priest’s that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings. And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning. But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice: and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten: But the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity. And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire: and as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof. But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat. And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use: but ye shall in no wise eat of it. For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people. Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, He that offereth the sacrifice of his peace offerings unto the LORD shall bring his oblation unto the LORD of the sacrifice of his peace offerings. His own hands shall bring the offerings of the LORD made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the LORD. And the priest shall burn the fat upon the altar: but the breast shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings. He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part. For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel." — Leviticus 7:11-34 KJV.


11. The law of… the peace offerings —
See chap. 3, notes. There are added to the description given there the chief elements of the bread offering, namely, unleavened cakes and oil. Both offerings are eucharistic, affording an expression of gratitude to Jehovah for the peace which he gives to the obedient, and of fellowship with all the children of Israel. Here the peace offering appears under three divisions, the תּוֹדָה (todha), or thanksgiving; the נָדַר (nedher), or vow, and the נְדָבָה (n’dhabha); the freewill. The last was quite inferior, since a defective victim might be sacrificed. Leviticus 22:23. The three are thus distinguished — the first is an outgushing of praise for spontaneous tokens of Jehovah’s goodness; the second is an obligatory requital for some act of Divine beneficence done in consideration of a vow; and the third has regard to no special benefaction, but affords a method of taking the initiative in seeking God.

13. He shall offer… leavened bread — This requirement does not conflict with the prohibition of leaven in Leviticus 2:11, because it is not burned, but eaten in a joyful banquet where it is proper to gratify the palate.

14. Heave offering — According to rabbinical tradition, the manner of heaving was to lay the oblation on the hands of the offerer, the priest putting his hands underneath and then moving them upwards and downwards. The import of heaving in sacrifices is supposed to be a presentation to God, who rules in heaven above and in the earth beneath. It was given to the priest as his representative.

15. The flesh… shall be eaten the same day — The right shoulder, or heave offering, and the wave breast were to be eaten by the priests and their families in the camp, or in Jerusalem, and the remainder of this sacrifice was returned to the offerer, to be eaten by himself and his friends, denoting that they were admitted to a state of intimate companionship with God, sharing part and part with him and his priests, having a standing in his house and a seat at his table. It was an occasion of peculiar joy and gladness, strikingly prefiguring the Lord’s Supper, rightly called the Holy Eucharist, or Thanksgiving, and the blessedness of eating and drinking in the kingdom of God. Luke 14:15. He shall not leave any… until the morning — It would be very improper to expose to putrefaction any thing considered holy. This is supposed to be the ground of the prohibition. Harmer thinks that it is aimed at the Arabian practice of drying the meats presented in sacrifice, which is contrary to both the genius of the Mosaic and of the Christian dispensations. The Gospel does not impart to the believer grace to be put aside for a time of future need, as a soldier puts several days’ rations in his haversack when he is to be separated from his base of supplies, nor does it require him to live on old experiences, since only unbelief can cut him off from access to the bread of life. He is therefore taught to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

16. A vow, or a voluntary offering — See verse 11, note. Since these were inferior offerings, they were considered less sacred. Hence two days were allowed for eating them. There was little difficulty in this matter where friends were numerous and near. The requirement to eat within one or two days would often induce the offerer to invite the poor to this religious banquet. Theodoret, Clericus, and others, assert that the limit of two days was designed to compel the worshipper to invite the poor to his religious banquet. It is more probable that it is a safeguard against the desecration of holy things.

18. Neither shall it be imputed unto him — It shall not be reckoned or accounted as a worthy act, as was Abraham’s faith. Genesis 15:6. Obedience is more acceptable than sacrifice, without which an offering becomes an abomination. Isaiah 1:11-15.

20. The soul… having his uncleanness — This verse implies that there is an order in the religious exercises of the Hebrews. The ceremonially impure could bring but one acceptable oblation, the sin offering, for the removal of his defilement. Eucharistic offerings from hands impure are not a sweet savour unto Jehovah, but a stench in his nostrils. The first duty of an impenitent sinner is not to lay earthly holocausts upon God’s altar, but to “cease to do evil.” That soul shall be cut off from his people — This must be understood as the punishment of an audacious and defiant trampling down of Jehovah’s authority, a high-handed sin, and not a mere inadvertence. The cutting off denotes not mere excommunication, but, “the punishment of death in general, without defining the manner.” — Gesenius. Probation is made up of small things. These are tests of character more practicable than requirements of greater seeming importance. Divine authority infuses a moral element into mere ritualism. Hence positive precepts, as the Christian sacraments, are often a higher test of faith than commandments, which find their reason in man’s moral nature. See Butler’s Analogy, part ii, chap. 1.


23. Eat no manner of fat — This prohibits only the interior fat or suet of the sacrificial animals, whether offered in sacrifice or slain for food. See Leviticus 3:3, 17, notes. Some writers assert that only the internal fat of animals offered to God is forbidden, since “the fat (suet) of lambs, rams, and goats,” was one of the provisions graciously bestowed on the Israelites. Deuteronomy 32:13, 14. But this question is answered in the next verse.

25. Of the beast, of which men offer — This is evidently an interdict of the fat of the entire class of sacrificial animals, and not of the particular victims. Fat promotes cutaneous diseases. The prohibition of this article of diet also raised up a barrier between the Israelites and the idolatrous nations by restraining the former from partaking of the festive banquets of the latter. Michaelis suggests that the prohibition of fat was for the purpose of promoting the culture of the olive, and Knobel maintains that it was because the mouth of man is unclean. A better reason is, because it would be an infringement of Jehovah’s rights to eat as common food that which he had sanctified unto himself.

26. Ye shall eat no… blood —
To this prohibition there is no exception. It has especial respect to the atoning blood of sacrifice, first of the type and then of the great Antitype.

30. A wave offering — The rabbies say that the offering was laid upon the hands of the offerer. The priest, putting his hands beneath, moves the offering to and fro horizontally. But it is not certain from Exodus 29:26, 27 whether the waving was done by the offerer alone or by the help of the priest. The significance of this peculiar motion is doubtful. The rabbies say that it symbolically teaches that Jehovah is present in every quarter of the earth. The breast thus waved was eaten by the priest and his family.


33. Shall have the right shoulder — Because this was not easily divisible it could not be shared by the families of the priests in common. Hence it is divinely allotted to him who sprinkles the blood.


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