The Peace Offering of the Herd.
1. if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace
offering—"Peace" being used in Scripture to denote prosperity
and happiness generally, a peace offering was a voluntary tribute of
gratitude for health or other benefits. In this view it was
eucharistic, being a token of thanksgiving for benefits already
received, or it was sometimes votive, presented in prayer for benefits
wished for in the future.
of the herd—This kind of offering
being of a festive character, either male or female, if without
blemish, might be used, as both of them were equally good for food,
and, if the circumstances of the offerer allowed it, it might be a
2. he shall lay his hand upon the head of his
offering—Having performed this significant act, he killed it
before the door of the tabernacle, and the priests sprinkled the blood
round about upon the altar.
3. he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace
offering—The peace offering differed from the oblations
formerly mentioned in this respect: while the burnt offering was wholly
consumed on the altar, and the freewill offering was partly consumed
and partly assigned to the priests; in this offering the fat alone was
burnt; only a small part was allotted to the priests while the rest was
granted to the offerer and his friends, thus forming a sacred feast of
which the Lord, His priests, and people conjointly partook, and which
was symbolical of the spiritual feast, the sacred communion which,
through Christ, the great peace offering, believers enjoy. (See further
on Le 19:5-8; 22:21).
the fat that covereth the inwards—that
is, the web work that presents itself first to the eye on opening the
belly of a cow.
the fat … upon the
inwards—adhering to the intestines, but easily removable from
them; or, according to some, that which was next the ventricle.
4-11. the two kidneys … of the flock …
the whole rump—There is, in Eastern countries, a species of
sheep the tails of which are not less than four feet and a half in
length. These tails are of a substance between fat and marrow. A sheep
of this kind weighs sixty or seventy English pounds weight, of which
the tail usually weighs fifteen pounds and upwards. This species is by
far the most numerous in Arabia, Syria, and Palestine, and, forming
probably a large portion in the flocks of the Israelites, it seems to
have been the kind that usually bled on the Jewish altars. The
extraordinary size and deliciousness of their tails give additional
importance to this law. To command by an express law the tail of a
certain sheep to be offered in sacrifice to God, might well surprise
us; but the wonder ceases, when we are told of those broad-tailed
Eastern sheep, and of the extreme delicacy of that part which was so
particularly specified in the statute [Paxton].
12. if his offering be a goat—Whether
this or any of the other two animals were chosen, the same general
directions were to be followed in the ceremony of offering.
17. ye eat neither fat nor blood—The
details given above distinctly define the fat in animals which was not
to be eaten, so that all the rest, whatever adhered to other parts, or
was intermixed with them, might be used. The prohibition of blood
rested on a different foundation, being intended to preserve their
reverence for the Messiah, who was to shed His blood as an atoning
sacrifice for the sins of the world [Brown].