Leviticus 7


The law of the trespass-offering, and the priest's portion in

it, 1-7.

As also in the sin-offerings and meat-offerings, 8-10.

The law of the sacrifice of peace-offering, 11,

whether it was a thanksgiving-offering, 12-15;

or a VOW or voluntary offering, 16-18.

Concerning the flesh that touched any unclean thing, 19, 20,

and the person who touched any thing unclean, 21.

Laws concerning eating of fat, 22-25,

and concerning eating of blood, 26, 27.

Farther ordinances concerning the peace-offerings and the

priest's portion in them, 28-36.

Conclusion of the laws and ordinances relative to

burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, sin-offerings, and

peace-offerings, delivered in this and the preceding chapters,

37, 38.


Verse 1. Trespass-offering] See end of the chapter.

See Clarke on Le 7:38.

Verse 2. In the place where they kill the burnt-offering]

viz., on the north side of the altar, Le 1:11.

Verse 3. The rump] See Clarke on Le 3:9,

where the principal subjects in this chapter are explained, being

nearly the same in both.

Verse 4. The fat that is on them] Chiefly the fat that was

found in a detached state, not mixed with the muscles; such as

the omentum or caul, the fat of the mesentery, the fat about the

kidneys, &c. See Clarke on Le 3:9, &c.

Verse 8. The priest shall have to himself the skin] Bishop

Patrick supposes that this right of the priest to the skin

commenced with the offering of Adam, "for it is probable," says

he, "that Adam himself offered the first sacrifice, and had the

skin given him by God to make garments for him and his wife; in

conformity to which the priests ever after had the skin of the

whole burnt-offerings for their portion, which was a custom among

the Gentiles as well as the Jews, who gave the skins of their

sacrifices to their priests, when they were not burnt with the

sacrifices, as in some sin-offerings they were among the Jews,

see Le 4:11. And they employed them to a superstitious use,

by lying upon them in their temples, in hopes to have future

things revealed to them in their dreams. Of this we have a proof

in Virgil, AEn. lib. vii., ver. 86-95.

"-------------huc dona sacerdos

Cum tulit, et caesarum ovium sub nocte silenti

Pellibus incubuit stratis, somnosque petivit;

Multa modus simulncra videt volitantia miris,

Et varias audit voces, fruiturque deorum

Colloquio, atque imis Acheronta affatur Avernis.

Hic et tum pater ipse petens responsa Latinus

Centum lanigeras mactabat rite bidentes,

Atque harum effultus tergo stratisque jacebat

Velleribus. Subita ex alto vox reddita luco est."

First, on the fleeces of the slaughter'd sheep

By night the sacred priest dissolves in sleep,

When in a train, before his slumbering eye,

Thin airy forms and wondrous visions fly.

He calls the powers who guard the infernal floods,

And talks, inspired, familiar with the gods.

To this dread oracle the prince withdrew,

And first a hundred sheep the monarch slew;

Then on their fleeces lay; and from the wood

He heard, distinct, these accents of the god.


The same superstition, practised precisely in the same way and

for the same purposes, prevail to the present day in the

Highlands of Scotland, as the reader may see from the following

note of Sir Walter Scott, in his Lady of the Lake:-

"The Highlanders of Scotland, like all rude people, had various

superstitious modes of inquiring into futurity. One of the most

noted was the togharm. A person was wrapped up in the skin of a

newly-slain bullock, and deposited beside a water-fall, or at the

bottom of a precipice, or in some other strange, wild, and

unusual situation, where the scenery around him suggested nothing

but objects of horror. In this situation he revolved in his mind

the question proposed; and whatever was impressed upon him by his

exalted imagination, passed for the inspiration of the

disembodied spirits who haunt these desolate recesses. One way

of consulting this oracle was by a party of men, who first

retired to solitary places, remote from any house, and there they

singled out one of their number, and wrapt him in a big cow's

hide, which they folded about him; his whole body was covered

with it except his head, and so left in this posture all night,

until his invisible friends relieved him by giving a proper

answer to the question in hand; which he received, as he fancied,

from several persons that he found about him all that time. His

consorts returned to him at day-break; and then he communicated

his news to them, which often proved fatal to those concerned in

such unwarrantable inquiries.

"Mr. Alexander Cooper, present minister of North Virt, told me

that one John Erach, in the Isle of Lewis, assured him it was his

fate to have been led by his curiosity with some who consulted

this oracle, and that he was a night within the hide above

mentioned, during which time he felt and heard such terrible

things that he could not express them: the impression made on him

was such as could never go off; and he said, for a thousand

worlds he would never again be concerned in the like performance,

for it had disordered him to a high degree. He confessed it

ingenuously, and with an air of great remorse, and seemed to be

very penitent under a just sense of so great a crime: he declared

this about five years since, and is still living in the Isle of

Lewis for any thing I know."-Description of the Western Isles, p.

110. See also Pennant's Scottish Tour, vol. ii., p. 301; and Sir

W. Scott's Lady of the Lake.

Verse 9. Baken in the oven]

See Clarke on Le 2:5, &c.

Verse 12. If he offer it for a thanksgiving] See the notes at

the end of this chapter. See Clarke on Le 7:38.

Verse 15. He shall not leave any of it until the morning.]

Because in such a hot country it was apt to putrefy, and as it

was considered to be holy, it would have been very improper to

expose that to putrefaction which had been consecrated to the

Divine Being. Mr. Harmer supposes that the law here refers

rather to the custom of drying flesh which had been devoted to

religious purposes, which is practised among the Mohammedans to

the present time. This, he thinks, might have given rise to the

prohibition, as the sacred flesh thus preserved might have been

abused to superstitious purposes. Therefore God says, Le 7:18,

"If any of the flesh of the sacrifice-be eaten at all on the

third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed

unto him that offereth it; it is an abomination, and the soul

that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity." That is, on Mr.

Harmer's hypothesis, This sacred flesh shall avail nothing to him

that eats it after the first or second day on which it is

offered; however consecrated before, it shall not be considered

sacred after that time. See Harmer's Obs., vol. i., p. 394,

edit. 1808.

Verse 20. Having his uncleanness upon him] Having touched any

unclean thing by which he became legally defiled, and had not

washed his clothes, and bathed his flesh.

Verse 21. The uncleanness of man] Any ulcer, sore, or

leprosy; or any sort of cutaneous disorder, either loathsome or


Verse 23. Fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.] Any other fat

they might eat, but the fat of these was sacred, because they

were the only animals which were offered in sacrifice, though

many others ranked among the clean animals as well as these. But

it is likely that this prohibition is to be understood of these

animals when offered in sacrifice, and then only in reference to

the inward fat, as mentioned on Le 7:4. Of the fat in any other

circumstances it cannot be intended, as it was one of the

especial blessings which God gave to the people. Butter of kine,

and milk of sheep, with FAT of LAMBS, and RAMS of the breed

of Bashan, and GOATS, were the provision that he gave to his

followers. See De 32:12-14.

Verse 27. Whatsoever soul-that eateth any manner of blood]

See Clarke on Ge 9:4.

Shall be cut off-excommunicated from the people of God, and so

deprived of any part in their inheritance, and in their blessings.

See Clarke on Ge 17:14.

Verse 29. Shall bring his oblation] Meaning those things

which were given out of the peace-offerings to the Lord and to

the priest.-Ainsworth.

Verse 30. Wave-offering]

See Clarke on Ex 29:27.

Verse 32. The right shoulder]

See Clarke on Ex 29:27.

Verse 36. In the day that he anointed them]

See Clarke on Ex 40:15.

Verse 38. In the wilderness of Sinai.] These laws were

probably given to Moses while he was on the mount with God; the

time was quite sufficient, as he was there with God not less than

fourscore days in all; forty days at the giving, and forty days

at the renewing of the law.

As in the course of this book the different kinds of sacrifices

commanded to be offered are repeatedly occurring, I think it

best, once for all, to give a general account of them, and a

definition of the original terms, as well as of all others

relative to this subject which are used in the Old Testament, and

the reference in which they all stood to the great sacrifice

offered by Christ.

1. ASHAM, TRESPASS-offering, from asham, to be

guilty, or liable to punishment; for in this sacrifice the guilt

was considered as being transferred to the animal offered up to

God, and the offerer redeemed from the penalty of his sin, Le 7:37.

Christ is said to have made his soul an offering for sin, (,)

Isa 53:10.

2. ISHSHEH, FIRE-offering, probably from ashash,

to be grieved, angered, inflamed; either pointing out the

distressing nature of sin, or its property of incensing Divine

justice against the offender, who, in consequence, deserving

burning for his offence, made use of this sacrifice to be freed

from the punishment due to his transgression. It occurs Ex 29:18,

and in many places of this book.


yahab, to supply. The word occurs only in Ho 8:13, and

probably means no more than the continual repetition of the

accustomed offerings, or continuation of each part of the sacred


4. ZEBACH, a SACRIFICE, (in Chaldee, debach, the

zain being changed into daleth,) a creature slain in

sacrifice, from zabach, to slay; hence the altar on which

such sacrifices were offered was termed mizbeach, the place

of sacrifice. See Clarke on Ge 8:20.

Zebach is a common name for sacrifices in general.

5. CHAG, a festival, especially such as had a periodical

return, from chagag, to celebrate a festival, to dance

round and round in circles. See Ex 5:1; 12:24. The circular

dance was probably intended to point out the revolution of the

heavenly bodies, and the exact return of the different seasons.

See Parkhurst.

6. CHATTATH and CHATTAAH, SIN-offering, from

chata, to miss the mark; it also signifies sin in general, and

is a very apt term to express its nature by. A sinner is

continually aiming at and seeking happiness; but as he does not

seek it in God, hence the Scripture represents him as missing his

aim, or missing the mark. This is precisely the meaning of the

Greek word αμαπτια, translated sin and sin-offering in our

version; and this is the term by which the Hebrew word is

translated both by the Septuagint and the inspired writers of the

New Testament. The sin-offering was at once an acknowledgment of

guilt, in having forsaken the fountain of living waters, and

hewed out cisterns that could hold none; and also of the firm

purpose of the offerer to return to God, the true and pure

fountain of blessedness. This word often occurs.

See Clarke on Ge 4:7; and "Ge 13:13".

7. COPHER, the EXPIATION or ATONEMENT, from caphar, to

cover, to smear over, or obliterate, or annul a contract. Used

often to signify the atonement or expiation made for the pardon

or cancelling of iniquity. See Clark's note on "Ex 25:17".

8. MOED, an APPOINTED annual festival, from yaad,

to appoint or constitute, signifying such feasts as were

instituted in commemoration of some great event or deliverance,

such as the deliverance from Egypt. See Ex 13:10, and thus

differing from the chag mentioned above.

See Clarke on Ge 1:14.

9. MILLUIM, CONSECRATIONS or consecration-offerings, from

mala, to fill; those offerings made in consecrations, of

which the priests partook, or, in the Hebrew phrase, had their

hands filled, or which had filled the hands of them that offered

them. See Clarke on Ex 29:19;

and see 2Ch 13:9.

10. MINCHAH, MEAT-offering, from nach, to rest,

settle after toil. It generally consisted of things without

life, such as green ears of corn, full ears of corn, flour, oil,

and frankincense; (see on Le 2:1, &c.;) and may be considered

as having its name from that rest from labour and toil which a

man had when the fruits of the autumn were brought in, or when,

in consequence of obtaining any rest, ease, &c., a significant

offering or sacrifice was made to God. It often occurs.

See Clarke on Ge 4:3.

The jealousy-offering (Nu 5:15)

was a simple minchah, consisting of barley-meal only.

11. MESECH and MIMSACH, a MIXTURE-offering, or MIXED

LIBATION, called a DRINK-offering, Isa 55:11, from

masach, to mingle; it seems in general to mean old wine mixed

with the less, which made it extremely intoxicating. This

offering does not appear to have had any place in the worship of

the true God; but from Isa 65:11, and Pr 23:30, it seems to

have been used for idolatrous purposes, such as the Bacchanalia

among the Greeks and Romans, "when all got drunk in honour of the


12. MASSEETH, an OBLATION, things carried to the temple to

be presented to God, from nasa, to bear or carry, to

bear sin; typically, Ex 28:38; Le 10:17; 16:21;

really, Isa 53:4,12. The sufferings and death of Christ

were the true masseeth or vicarious bearing of the sins of

mankind, as the passage in Isaiah above referred to sufficiently

proves. See this alluded to by the Evangelist John, Joh 1:29;

and see the root in Parkhurst.

13. NEDABAH, FREE-WILL, or voluntary offering; from

nadab, to be free, liberal, princely. An offering not commanded,

but given as a particular proof of extraordinary gratitude to God

for especial mercies, or on account of some vow or engagement

voluntarily taken, Le 7:16.

14. NESECH, LIBATION, OR DRINK-offering, from

nasach, to diffuse or pour out. Water or wine poured out at the

conclusion or confirmation of a treaty or covenant. To this kind

of offering there is frequent allusion and reference in the New

Testament, as it typified the blood of Christ poured out for the

sin of the world; and to this our Lord himself alludes in the

institution of the holy eucharist. The whole Gospel economy is

represented as a covenant or treaty between God and man, Jesus

Christ being not only the mediator, but the covenant sacrifice,

whose blood was poured out for the ratification and confirmation

of this covenant or agreement between God and man.

15. and OLAH, BURNT-offering, from alah,

to ascend, because this offering, as being wholly consumed,

ascended as it were to God in smoke and vapour. It was a very

expressive type of the sacrifice of Christ, as nothing less than

his complete and full sacrifice could make atonement for the sin

of the world. In most other offerings the priest, and often the

offerer, had a share, but in the whole burnt-offering all was

given to God.

16. KETORETH, INCENSE or PERFUME-offering, from

katar, to burn, i. e., the frankincense, and other aromatics

used as a perfume in different parts of the Divine service. To

this St. Paul compares the agreeableness of the sacrifice of

Christ to God, Eph 5:2:

Christ hath given himself for us, an offering-to God for a

SWEET-SMELLING savour. From Re 5:8 we learn that it was

intended also to represent the prayers of the saints, which,

offered up on the altar, Christ Jesus, that sanctifies every

gift, are highly pleasing in the sight of God.

17. KORBAN, the GIFT-offering, from karab to

draw nigh or approach. See this explained on Le 1:2.

Korban was a general name for any kind of offering, because

through these it was supposed a man had access to his Maker.

18. SHELAMIM, PEACE-offering, from shalam, to

complete, make whole; for by these offerings that which was

lacking was considered as being now made up, and that which was

broken, viz., the covenant of God, by his creatures'

transgression, was supposed to be made whole; so that after such

an offering, the sincere and conscientious mind had a right to

consider that the breach was made up between God and it, and that

it might lay confident hold on this covenant of peace. To this

the apostle evidently alludes, Eph 2:14-19:

He is our peace, (i. e. our shalam or peace-offering,) who has

made both one, and broken down the middle wall; having abolished

in his flesh the enmity, &c. See the whole passage, and

See Clarke on Ge 14:18.

19. TODAH, THANK-offering, from yadah, to confess;

offerings made to God with public confession of his power,

goodness, mercy, &c.

20. TENUPHAH, WAVE-offering, from naph, to

stretch out; an offering of the first-fruits stretched out before

God, in acknowledgment of his providential goodness. This

offering was moved from the right hand to the left.

See Clarke on Ex 29:27.

21. TERUMAH, HEAVE-offering, from ram, to lift

up, because the offering was lifted up towards heaven, as the

wave-offering, in token of the kindness of God in granting rain

and fruitful seasons, and filling the heart with food and

gladness. As the wave-offering was moved from right to left, so

the heave-offering was moved up and down; and in both cases this

was done several times. These offerings had a blessed tendency

to keep alive in the breasts of the people a due sense of their

dependence on the Divine providence and bounty, and of their

obligation to God for his continual and liberal supply of all

their wants. See Clarke on Ex 29:27.

In the above collection are comprised, as far as I can

recollect, an explanation of all the terms used in the Hebrew

Scriptures which signify sacrifice, oblation, atonement,

offering, &c., &c., as well as the reference they bear to the

great and only sufficient atonement, sacrifice, oblation, and

satisfaction made by Christ Jesus for the sins of mankind. Larger

accounts must be sought in authors who treat professedly on these


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