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(MT versing)
The Priest's Part in the Offerings The Law of the Trespass Offering Instructions to Priests Concerning Sacrifices (6:8-7:38) Repayment Offerings The Rights of the Priests
7:1-10 7:1-10 7:1-6 7:1-6
7:7-10 7:7-10 7:7-10
The Law of Peace Offerings Fellowship Offerings e. the communion sacrifice
7:11-14 7:11-14 7:11-18 7:11-15 7:11-17
7:15-18 7:15-18
7:16-19a General Rules
7:19-21 7:19-21 7:19-21 7:19b-21 7:18-27
Fat and Blood May Not Be Eaten
7:22-27 7:22-27 7:22-27 7:22-27
The Portion of Aaron and His Sons The Priest's Portion
7:28-34 7:28-34 7:28-36 7:28-36 7:28-34
7:35-36 7:35-36 Conclusion
7:37-38 7:37-38 7:37-38 7:37-38 7:35-38

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.
  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.


  1. Exactly when the different rituals were brought together is uncertain. Surely many of them came from the exodus period (Lev. 7:38) but others from later periods. See The Interpreters Bible, vol. 2, pp. 40-41.

  2. There are two different terms translated "sacrifice" that need to be distinguished.
    1. term used for all animal/blood offerings given to YHWH (BDB 256)
    2. term for the act of "slaying" the animal (BDB 1006)
     Both are translated "sacrifice" in English.

  3. Leviticus 6-7 clarifies the information of chapters 1-5.
    1. wholly burnt offering ‒ 'ola (BDB 750, cf. Lev. 1:3-17; 6:8-13; 7:8)
    2. grain/cereal offering ‒ minha (BDB 585, cf. Lev. 2:1-16; 6:14-23; 7:9-10)
    3. peace offering ‒ shelem (BDB 1023, cf. Lev. 3:1-17; 7:11-34)
    4. sin offering ‒ hatta't (BDB 308, cf. Lev. 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30)
    5. guilt offering ‒ 'asam (BDB 79, cf. Lev. 5:14-6:7; 7:1-7)


1"Now this is the law of the guilt offering; it is most holy. 2In the place where they slay the burnt offering they are to slay the guilt offering, and he shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar. 3Then he shall offer from it all its fat: the fat tail and the fat that covers the entrails, 4and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe on the liver he shall remove with the kidneys. 5The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire to the Lord; it is a guilt offering. 6Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy. 7The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is one law for them; the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. 8Also the priest who presents any man's burnt offering, that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has presented. 9Likewise, every grain offering that is baked in the oven and everything prepared in a pan or on a griddle shall belong to the priest who presents it. 10Every grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall belong to all the sons of Aaron, to all alike.

7:1-10 This paragraph gives more information related to the guilt offering of Lev. 5:14-19.


▣ "it is most holy" The SINGULAR NOUN (BDB 871) is constructed with the PLURAL form plus the ADJECTIVE "most" (BDB 214). See full note at Lev. 6:17 and SPECIAL TOPIC: HOLY.

7:2 "sprinkle" See full note at Lev. 4:6.



7:3 "fat tail" The sheep and goats mentioned were desert animals that stored water and nutrients in their fat tails. This is similar to the camel's hump.

7:4 "kidneys. . .liver" Their inner organs were viewed by Israelites as the seat of the emotions, or possibly, morality (cf. Ps. 26:2; Jer. 11:20; 12:2; 17:10; 20:12).

NASB, NRSV, NJB, JPSOA, REB  "the loins"
NKJV, Peshitta  "the flanks"
NET  "sinews"
LXX  "thighs"
The MT has כסל (BDB 492, KB 489), which has been understood in several senses.
  1. BDB
    1. loins
    2. stupidity
    3. confidence
  2. KB
    1. loins
    2. side
    3. euphemism for genitals
  3. NIDOTTE, vol. 2, p. 680
    1. sinews
    2. tendons
    3. not loins
This term outside the Bible occurs mostly in Akkadian medical texts. Its only occurrences outside Leviticus (cf. Lev. 3:4,10,14; 4:9; 7:14) in the OT are Job 15:27; Ps. 38:7.


7:7-8 The officiating priest of the guilt and sin offerings shall have

  1. the meat to eat, Lev. 7:7
  2. the skin, Lev. 7:8

7:7 "makes atonement"See SPECIAL TOPIC: ATONEMENT.

7:9-10 There were several ways the grain offering could be prepared.

  1. natural (just as it is)
  2. baked in the oven (see SPECIAL TOPIC: BAKING BREAD)
  3. cooked in a pan
  4. cooked on a griddle
The priest offers a small "memorial portion" and receives the rest as food.

11"Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be presented to the Lord. 12If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil. 13With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14Of this he shall present one of every offering as a contribution to the Lord; it shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings.

7:11-21 These three paragraphs (NASB) give more information about the peace offering (cf. Lev. 3:1-17).

7:11-14 These are instructions for the priest on how to perform the "peace offering" (Leviticus 3).

15"Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning. 16But if the sacrifice of his offering is a votive or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what is left of it may be eaten; 17but what is left over from the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire. 18So if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings should ever be eaten on the third day, he who offers it will not be accepted, and it will not be reckoned to his benefit. It shall be an offensive thing, and the person who eats of it will bear his own iniquity.

7:15-18 These are instructions about how the meat of the peace offering is to be eaten.

  1. by whom
  2. time
It is difficult to know if the specific regulations about food was because
  1. of hygienic/health reasons (see R. K. Harrison, Tyndale Commentaries, p. 78)
  2. of restrictions on Israelites from Canaanite sacrificial rituals
I think #2 fits best.

7:16 There are two types of sacrifices.

  1. votive ‒ related to a vow
  2. freewill ‒ related to thanking God for His blessing or restoration into His favor

7:18 "should ever be eaten" The NASB adds the italicized word "ever" to indicate an intensified Hebrew grammatical feature (i.e., an INFINITIVE ABSOLUTE and an IMPERFECT VERB from the same root, BDB 37, KB 46). This same feature is also in Lev. 7:24, "must certainly not eat it."

7:18-21 There are serious consequences for not obeying YHWH's instructions.

  1. Lev. 7:18 ‒ third day meat is unacceptable and offensive to YHWH. One who eats it shall bear his iniquity.
  2. Lev. 7:20 ‒ eating a sacrifice in a ceremonially unclean state causes a divinely sent death (i.e., lit. "shall be cut off from his people," Lev. 7:21,25,27; 17:4,9; 18:29; 19:8; 20:17-18; 22:3)
  3. Lev. 7:21 ‒ eating food classified as "unclean" (Leviticus 11) is called "detestable thing" (BDB 1054), which may refer
    1. to an unclean animal (cf. Lev. 11:10,11,12,13,20,23,41,42)
    2. possibly to a pagan sacrifice denoting idolatry
NASB  "reckoned"
NKJV, Peshitta  "imputed"
NRSV, TEV, LXX  "credited"
NJB  "no credit"
JPSOA  "not count"
REB  "counted to his credit"
This is the VERB (BDB 362, KB 359, Niphal IMPERFECT) which has such powerful theological significance in Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6 and Ps. 106:30-31. Its basic meaning is to count or reckon something to another. Here, if a person does not abide by God's guidelines, then the sacrifice is
  1. not accepted
  2. not reckoned
  3. an offensive thing
  4. the person bears his own iniquity
NASB, JPSOA  "an offensive thing"
NKJV, NRSV, Peshitta  "an abomination"
TEV  "unclean"
NJB  "as rotten meat"
REB  "tainted"
NET  "spoiled"
LXX  "a defilement"

The MT has the word לוגפ (BDB 803, KB 909), which seems to be a technical ritual term for "spoiled" or "unclean animal flesh."

  1. Lev. 7:18; 19:7 ‒ a peace offering remaining into the third day
  2. Isa. 65:4 ‒ broth from an unclean meat
  3. Ezek. 4:14 ‒ referring to any type of unclean or improperly prepared meat

These are the only occurrences of the word in the OT.

▣ ""shall bear his own iniquity" This is theologically parallel to "be cut off from his people."

This VERB (BDB 669, KB 724) has two distinct meanings in a given context (NIDOTTE, vol. 3, p. 162).
  1. It if refers to God's actions, it denotes "remove/forgive iniquity" (cf. Exod. 34:7; Num. 14:18; Ps. 32:5; 85:2; Isa. 33:24; Hos 14:2; Mic. 7:18).
  2. If it refers to a human person's actions, it denotes that he/she bears his own punishment (cf. Exod. 28:43; Lev. 5:1,17; 7:18; 17:16; 19:8; Num. 5:31; 18:1,23), which involved divine punishment, probably death.

19"Also the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned with fire. As for other flesh, anyone who is clean may eat such flesh. 20But the person who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the Lord, in his uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from his people. 21When anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the Lord, that person shall be cut off from his people."

NASB  "detestable thing"
NKJV  "abominable unclean thing"
NRSV, JPSOA  "any unclean creature"
NJB  "any foul thing"
REB  "swarming creature"
Peshitta  "creeping thing"
The JPSOA has a footnote about this problem:
"Heb. sheqes, lit. 'Abomination'; several MSS and ancient versions read sheres, 'swarming things'" (cf. Lev. 5:2).
The USB has שקצ, "abomination" but suggests שרצ, "reptile," which it gives a "C" rating (i.e., considerable doubt). The NEB and REB follow this suggestion. It is also found in the Samarian Pentateuch and Targum Onkelos.

22Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23"Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall not eat any fat from an ox, a sheep or a goat. 24Also the fat of an animal which dies and the fat of an animal torn by beasts may be put to any other use, but you must certainly not eat it. 25For whoever eats the fat of the animal from which an offering by fire is offered to the Lord, even the person who eats shall be cut off from his people. 26You are not to eat any blood, either of bird or animal, in any of your dwellings. 27Any person who eats any blood, even that person shall be cut off from his people.'"


7:23-27 Israelites were forbidden to eat

  1. the fat of animals
    1. from sacrifices
    2. found dead
    3. torn by beasts
  2. the blood
Both of these belong to YHWH. They symbolize life and vitality, both of which are gifts from YHWH (cf. Lev. 17:11). If one eats these they are are "cut of from his people."
  1. excommunicated (driven out of the camp)
  2. forfeits his/her life (by divine agency and may include the whole family)

7:24 "but you must certainly not eat it" This is an INFINITIVE ABSOLUTE and an IMPERFECT VERB from the same root (BDB 37, KB 46, cf. Lev. 7:21), which denotes intensity.

28Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 29"Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'He who offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to the Lord shall bring his offering to the Lord from the sacrifice of his peace offerings. 30His own hands are to bring offerings by fire to the Lord. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be presented as a wave offering before the Lord. 31The priest shall offer up the fat in smoke on the altar, but the breast shall belong to Aaron and his sons. 32You shall give the right thigh to the priest as a contribution from the sacrifices of your peace offerings. 33The one among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood of the peace offerings and the fat, the right thigh shall be his as his portion. 34For I have taken the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution from the sons of Israel from the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons as their due forever from the sons of Israel.'"

7:28-34 These are further instructions about the peace offering.

  1. the responsibility of the offerer, Lev. 7:29-30
  2. the priest's part of the sacrifice, Lev. 7:31-34

7:30 "presented as a wave offering"This is literally "waved as a wave offering" (BDB 631-632). There has been disagreement on how the piece of meat (or other sacrifice) was "waved" (cf. Exod. 29:24).

  1. "up and back," meaning first given to God (i.e., "elevated," NIDOTTE, vol. 4, pp. 335-337), then His giving it back (Egyptian wall reliefs)
  2. "side to side," possibly drawing special attention to the gift (rabbinical interpretation, Jewish Study Bible, p. 221)
It is possible that the "heave" offering of Lev. 7;14 and the "wave" offering of 7:30 are separate rituals. I think they are the same. See
  1. Robert Girdlestone, Synonyms of the OT, p. 203, who suggests that
    1. wave offering (tenuphah, BDB 631, KB 682) was "shaking to and fro"
    2. heave offering (terumah, BDB 632) was "elevated"
  2. S. R. Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the OT, pp. 100-105, suggests that the usage of the word in Exod. 25:2 demonstrates it may come from another Semitic root meaning "additional gift," meaning an added sacrifice
  3. Milgrom, quoted in NIDOTTE, vol. 3, p. 65, thinks the two words denoted different ritual acts
    1. tenuphah, BDB 631, KB 682, always occurs in the Tabernacle (i.e., "before the Lord")
    2. terumah, BDB 632, is said to be "to the Lord" but never "before the Lord"

7:32 The "breast" (i.e., front half of sacrifice without the shoulders) was given to all male priests but the "thigh" (i.e., the right back leg) was given exclusively to the officiating priest. It was the choice part of the sacrificial animal.

35"This is that which is consecrated to Aaron and that which is consecrated to his sons from the offerings by fire to the Lord, in that day when he presented them to serve as priests to th Lord. 36These the Lord had commanded to be given them from the sons of Israel in the day that He anointed them. It is their due forever throughout their generations."

NASB  "that which is consecrated"
NKJV  "the consecrated portion"
NRSV, REB, NET  "the portion allotted"
TEV  "part of the food offered"
NJB  "the food burnt"
JPSOA  "prerequisites"
LXX  "the anointing"
Peshitta  "the portion of the anointing"
The MT has a form of the root for "anoint" (BDB 603). The JPSOA's footnote has "lit. 'anointment,' i.e. accruing from anointment.'" KB (KB 644) suggests it comes from another root related to Akkadian "measure," thereby denoting "the share" or "the allotment" of a priest (cf. Num. 18:8).
Therefore, this could refer to
  1. the priest's initial anointing
  2. the priest's portion from the sacrifice he performed

7:36 Notice that two phrases/words which denote an ongoing ritual/ordinance occur together.

  1. "forever," BDB 761; cf. Lev. 3:17; 6:18,22; 7:34,35; 10:9,15; 16:29,31,34; 17:7; 23:14,21,31,41; 24:7,8,9; 25:32,34,46); see SPECIAL TOPIC: FOREVER ('olam)
  2. "throughout their generations," cf. Lev. 3:17; 6:11; 7:36; 10:9; 17:7; 21:17; 22:3; 23:14, 21,31,41,45; 24:3; 25:30
Be careful of importing the English sense of eternity into these terms/phrases. Context, context, context!

37"This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering and the ordination offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings, 38which the Lord commanded Moses at Mount Sinai in the day that He commanded the sons of Israel to present their offerings to the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai."

7:37-38 This is a summary statement concluding chapters 1-7.

NASB, TEV, REB  "the ordination offering"
NKJV  "the consecrations"
NRSV, JPSOA  "the offering of ordination"
NJB  "investiture sacrifice"
Peshitta  "the consecration"
 The MT has a root (BDB 571) which denotes
  1. the setting/placing of jewels in a setting ‒ Exod. 23:7; 35:9,27
  2. the initial offering of the installation of priests to their office and duties ‒ Lev. 7:37; 8:22,29,33; Exod. 29:22,25,27,31
This refers to Lev. 6:19-23.




This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

  1. What makes an offering "most holy"?
  2. Why do the fat and blood belong exclusively to YHWH?
  3. Explain Lev. 7:18 in your own words.
  4. What made an animal "clean" or "unclean"?
  5. What does the phrase "cut off from his people" imply?
  6. What is the difference between a "wave offering" in Lev. 7:30 and a "wave offering" in 7:34?

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