Leviticus 3-4

Sunday Evening Bible Study

July 6 , 1997


We have begun to look at God’s instruction book to the Levites concerning their priestly duties.

We’ve seen:

The burnt offering – total consecration

The grain offering –giving to God from my very substance

Leviticus 3 – The Peace Offering

:1 peace offering

Also known as "fellowship offerings"

The order the offerings were performed was significant.

Generally, the peace offering would follow the sin offering and burnt offering in sequence.

First you dealt with your sin, then you dedicated yourself to God.

Then you had fellowship with God.

ROM 5:1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

The peace offering was offered when –

A person wanted to express thanks to God for something.

A way of keeping a vow ("I promise to sacrifice to you if you’ll do this in my life …")

Just a way of saying "I love You" to the Lord.

At the dedication of the temple, Solomon sacrificed 142,000 peace offerings and the people feasted for two weeks (1 Kings 8:62-66).

:1 whether male or female

Ladies, don't get worried, even female animals were sacrificed, as here in the peace offering.

:1 without blemish

You don't give God your leftovers, you give God your best.

:2 lay his hand upon the head …

Again, the sense of identification between the animal and the one making the sacrifice.

In distinction from other offerings though, there was no confession of sin made over the animal.

With sin offerings and burnt offerings, you would lay hands on the animal, and confess your sins over the animal, your sins being the reason the animal was offered.

With the peace offering, you would give your thanks to the Lord, words of praise for what He had done in your life.

:2 sprinkle the blood upon the altar

I’m not sure this was done as a way of atoning for sins, as much as simply a way of disposing of the blood properly.

Blood was a very precious thing, and God didn’t want people taking it lightly. More about this later …

:5 a sweet savour unto the LORD

This particular things, the fat, the kidneys, the liver, etc., as they burned were a sweet smelling sacrifice to the Lord.

This was the only part of the peace offering that went to God.

:11 as food

"Food" is the key idea for the peace offering.

It's important to realize that the idea of the peace offering was the idea of having dinner with God.

An animal was killed and roasted. God got His portion (the fat, kidneys, liver), the priest got a portion (the breast, Lev.7:31), and you and your family got a portion (the rest).

And you would all sit down to dinner together.

An example of a "peace offering" –

(1 Sam 9:11-14 KJV) And as they went up the hill to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said unto them, Is the seer here? {12} And they answered them, and said, He is; behold, he is before you: make haste now, for he came to day to the city; for there is a sacrifice of the people to day in the high place: {13} As soon as ye be come into the city, ye shall straightway find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat until he come, because he doth bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get you up; for about this time ye shall find him. {14} And they went up into the city: and when they were come into the city, behold, Samuel came out against them, for to go up to the high place.

(1 Sam 9:22-24 KJV) And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlour, and made them sit in the chiefest place among them that were bidden, which were about thirty persons. {23} And Samuel said unto the cook, Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, Set it by thee. {24} And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, Behold that which is left! set it before thee, and eat: for unto this time hath it been kept for thee since I said, I have invited the people. So Saul did eat with Samuel that day.


God desires intimacy with you.

Those in the mid-east have the idea that if you share a meal with someone, it makes you closer to them. You eat the same food, are nourished with the same food, you grow closer together.

This is why sometimes you see that one group of people won’t eat with others (like the Egyptians and Hebrews) because they don’t want to get too close with them.

Yet to people who think like this, God says in a sense, "I want to be close to you, I want you to grow closer to me"

Jesus said:

REV 3:20 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.

God wants you to hang out with Him, so you will get to know Him better, and hopefully become a bit more like Him. We end up picking up the habits of the people we hang around with.


Fellowship with God produces fellowship with others.

If you brought a peace offering to God, it wasn’t just you and God at the dinner table, but your whole family benefited as well.

Your act of drawing closer to God would work to draw you closer to others as well.

We see this in the New Testament:

(1 John 1:3 KJV) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

We see this often in church when people tell us that they feel closer to the people in church than they do with their own family at home.

Why? Because we have something "shared", something in common, and it’s Jesus.

There’s no greater glue to stick two people together than Jesus.

Note: It’s no coincidence that the Greek word for "Fellowship", koinonia, is also the same word translated as "communion".

We share together the same Lord, we share together the same meal, and we have "sharing-ness", we have "fellowship" with each other.

:16 all the fat is the LORD's

In other words, the Jews were to have a "low-fat" diet.

There was a strict penalty for eating fat or blood, being cut off from fellowship.

(Lev 7:25 KJV) 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.

Why no fat?

There may have been dietary reasons. Now we know that fat is bad for you. Heart disease, etc. But I don't think so, I think this is just a by-product of what God's trying to prove.

The fat represents the best, the choicest.

That’s sounds strange in our society.

You get fat by having plenty, being prosperous.

(Prov 13:4 KJV) The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

(Prov 15:30 KJV) The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.

The fat was looked upon as the best part of the sacrifice. What makes a cut of meat the tastiest? Having fat laced through it.

Eli’s sons were wicked men because as the priest’s helpers, they abused the sacrifices so much that the people didn’t want to sacrifice anymore.

Part of their abuse was that they took the fat for themselves:

(1 Sam 2:15-17 KJV) Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. {16} And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. {17} Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

Later, God rebuked their father for this:

(1 Sam 2:29 KJV) Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?


Give God your best.

Too often we just give to God the leftovers.

Too often we just give him whatever time we have left.

God wants us to learn to give Him the best.

:17 you shall not eat any fat or any blood

Why blood?

Blood was the essence of life, the basis for atonement, the covering for sin.

(Lev 17:10-11 KJV) And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. {11} For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

God wanted His people to start identifying the blood with the life of the animal.

God wanted to use the blood as a way of covering our sins, by giving one life in exchange for another.

In the New Testament we read:

(Heb 9:22 KJV) And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

This is all leading us to one point –

(Mat 26:26-28 KJV) And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. {27} And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; {28} For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

God wanted the people to stay away from the blood, because He was going to have a special use for it, for His own Son to shed His blood to pay for our sins.

Leviticus 4 – The Sin Offering

:2 sin through ignorance

One of the qualifications of the sin offering.

The sin must have been unintentional, or, non-defiantly.

If a person sinned intentionally...

(Num 15:30-31 KJV) But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. {31} Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.

There was no sacrifice for willful, intentional sins.

Look at David, intentionally sinning with Bathsheba, he had to fall upon God for mercy.

PSA 51:1-3 (For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him,) (after he had gone in to Bathsheba.) Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.

PSA 51:16-17 For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased with burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.

We, on the other hand, are able to have ALL of our sins paid for by the blood of Jesus.

1JO 1:6-9 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and {yet} walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

:3 If the priest that is anointed do sin …

Actually, the high priest.

His price for sin, a bull.

:4 shall lay his hand upon the bullock’s head

Here, the priest would have to confess his sin, laying it on the animal.

Gill quoting the Rabbis:

… it must be his own hand, and not the hand of his wife, nor the hand of his servant, nor his messenger; and who also observes, that at the same time he made confession over the burnt offering both of his sins committed against affirmative and negative precepts: and indeed by this action he owned that he had sinned, and deserved to die as that creature he brought was about to do, and that he expected pardon of his sin through the death of the great sacrifice that was a type of.

:9 the two kidneys …

Note that God gets the fat, along with the kidneys, liver, just like the peace offering.

It seems that God likes these things …

:12 even the whole bullock …

The rest of the bull would be burnt outside the camp, not as a sacrifice, but as a way to dispose of the bull.

All that was used was the blood and the fat.

Perhaps this was to make a distinction between the burnt offering (giving oneself completely to God) and the sin offering (paying for your sins).

Perhaps the bull was considered too full of sin to be counted as a sacrifice to God, hence being taken outside the camp and burned.

:14 a young bullock

When the whole congregation sinned ignorantly …

The price for their sin, a bull.

:22-23 When a ruler hath sinned …

The price for his sin, a male goat.

:27-28 any one of the common people …

The price for sin - a female goat or a female lamb.

What's the point with the different prescriptions?


The more responsibility, the greater the sin.

Don't focus on the difference in people, but the difference in their positions.

It's not that one person's sin by itself is any more heavier than another's, but what kind of influence it has on others.

If some guy who sits in the back row of church gets caught having a pornography problem, it's devastating. It has separated him from God, it has greatly injured his marriage, his family, his relationships.

But if the pastor of a large church, a man seen on TV by millions, respected as a man of God by many, has preached the gospel for many years, is caught with a pornography problem, not only does he injure his relationship with God, his wife, his family, but many thousands are hurt too.

Some who have struggled with pornography may say, "What the heck?", and give up fighting. Some who were close to conversion may turn their backs, saying, "He's no different than anyone else..."

Paul wrote to Timothy:

1TI 5:19-20 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful {of sinning.}

Pray for me. This is indeed a fearful thing.