Summary of passage: Leviticus 2 describes the procedure for bringing a grain offering to the Lord. Leviticus 3 describes the procedure for bringing the fellowship offering to the Lord. Leviticus 4 describes the procedure for bringing the sin offering to the Lord.
Leviticus 5 lists various specific reasons people can sin either knowingly or unknowingly and once he becomes aware of his sin, he is considered guilty and must make atonement for his sin.
Leviticus 6 continues the list of Leviticus 5 with the same consequences and then repeats much of Leviticus 1-4. Leviticus 7 repeats Leviticus 3 & 5 and describes the priestly portions.
6) The Grain Offering: The grain offering was to be of fine flour with oil and incense poured on it and taken to Aaron’s sons. Aaron’s sons would burn a portion of this and keep a portion for themselves. It’s purpose was for the Lord as an expression of thanks for all He has provided. Note this offering was the only one prepared at home and then brought.
The Fellowship Offering (or Peace Offering): An animal without defect to the Lord was offered. The person is to lay his hand on the animal and slaughter it. Aaron’s sons will sprinkle the blood on the altar. Aaron’s sons will burn the fat to the Lord. It’s purpose was to honor the Lord and represent peace and fellowship with Him and brings the person closer to Him. The meat was shared–the priest received a portion and the person ate the rest as a fellowship meal with God.
The Sin Offering: A young bull without defect was offered. He is to lay his hand on the animal and slaughter it. The blood will be sprinkled by Aaron’s son on the altar and on the ground. The fat will be burned for the Lord. The rest of the bull must be taken outside the camp and burned on a wood fire. This purpose was to atone for any sin done unintentionally or anything done that is forbidden by the Lord’s commands.
Leviticus 5 gives specific occasions for a sin offering as well: not telling the truth or standing for the truth, becoming ceremonially unclean, or swearing a false oath (not keeping a promise is another way to think of this).
The Guilt Offering: A ram without defect is to be offered. It is to be slaughtered and its blood sprinkled on the altar. Its fat is to be burned but some can be eaten by a male in the priest’s family. The person must also make restitution and bring one-fifth of the value of what was damaged to the priest. The purpose was to make restitution and atonement for what the person has failed to do in violation of the Lord’s holy things and sins committed unintentionally.
7a) The definition of atonement according to Webster’s Dictionary is “reconciliation; reparation for an offense or injury.”
b) Jesus made atonement for all of our sin through faith in his blood. The sacrifices here tell a similar story. The blood covered up the Israelites’ sins in God’s eyes.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Romans says offer your body. Ephesians says to live a life of love. Philippians says money if you read around it. Hebrews the better verse is 16 which says to do good, share with others, and praise Him. I try to sacrifice my wants and desires for others and live a Godly-life. I try to give generously and praise Him and offer up my body as a holy temple. I know I fall short. But I pray to be closer every day.
Conclusions: Ugh! This was boring to say the least so in my summaries I tried to sum it up. I am not looking forward to Leviticus. After the excitement of Exodus, Leviticus is like the arrival home after an intense adventure. Question 7c added insult to injury with MORE reading. Good thing our break is coming cause we’ll need it!
I would recommend reading the Notes and attending the lectures as much as possible in order to glean more out of these chapters because it will be too easy to dismiss these as antiquated and not get anything out of it with just a cursory read or study.
End Notes: Leviticus 2: The ancient Jew thought of the word “leaven” as we would think of the word “sin.” It could corrupt. Honey was a common sacrifice to pagan deities and God did not want to be associated with the pagan gods. Also, note how leaven and honey are additives. God does not want additives. He wants us pure as we are.
Salt represented this purity. It preserves just as is. It was also costly. We will see salt again in Numbers.
Leviticus 3: The fat is considered to be the best portion of the animal. Hence, it was the part of the animal burned and offered to God.
“The entire fat tail closest to the backbone” is where the best meat of the animal lies.
The fat (our best) and the blood (our life) belonged to God.
Scholars say the eating of fat and blood was prohibited to keep the Israelites healthy and free from disease and parasites.
Leviticus 4: The sin offering was for those who believed in God and sinned. It wasn’t for those whose hearts were hard and didn’t care if they sinned or not. It was for God’s people who were truly sorry, repented, and needed cleansing.
Note the priest had to atone for his sin with the same sacrifice as that of the whole community (verses 13-14). This shows the priests were held to a higher standard and also was a forerunner of what Christ would do for us.
Note with the sin offering none could be kept unless it was for the priest from another individual. Hence, you couldn’t bring the offering because you wanted some of the meat. It was fully to atone for sins and be right with the Lord.
The only difference between the offering for the ruler and the people was the ruler’s offering had to be male.
Leviticus 5: God obligated anyone who knew the truth to tell it. All were responsible for keeping each accountable to His laws.
Confession of guilt and making amends still applies today. Ignorance is no excuse for sinning. It is your responsibility to know the laws (just like today) and follow them. Otherwise, face the consequences.
Leviticus 6: Sinning against a neighbor required restitution as well. Get right with God and others. Commit a crime against someone else and you committed it against God as well. But God promises all sin will be covered here no matter what it is.
The burnt offering burned for a long time on the altar. Priests could have a portion of the grain offering and the sin offering if it wasn’t for the whole community.
Leviticus 7: Peace or fellowship offerings were voluntary as a way to be closer with God. The meat did have to be eaten within three days. To eat of it the person had to be clean–to be with God, you must be clean.
Interesting facts: Why don’t the Jews then make sacrifices still today? They substitute good works instead of sacrifices and believe this is sufficient to be right with God.