And you shall take all the fat that covers the inwards, and the lobe that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, and burn them on the altar.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards.—Whole burnt offerings were, comparatively speaking, of rare occurrence in the ancient world. Usually, parts only of the victims were consumed by fire upon the altar; the greater portion was either eaten by the priests and the worshippers, or burnt elsewhere than on the altar. Among the parts regarded as most fitting to be consumed on the altar, the fat always held a high place. This is to be accounted for either by its being considered a delicacy, or by the readiness with which it caught fire and kindled into a clear bright blaze.
The caul that is above the liver—i.e., the membrane which covers the upper portion of the liver, sometimes called “the little omentum.”Leviticus 8:3. Leviticus 3:3 4:19, to signify either the mortification of their inward and most beloved lusts, or the dedication of the best of all sacrifices, and of their inward and best parts, to God and his service.
and the caul that is above the liver; which seems to design the diaphragm or midriff; but the Septuagint renders it, "the lobe of the liver"; and Ben Melech says it is to be interpreted with the liver, for he says he took a little of the liver with the caul:
and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar; the Targum of Jonathan is, lay them in order on the altar; it is not easy to say, since fat is taken both in a good and bad sense, what is designed by the burning of it: as fat often designs the best, it being burned on the altar may signify that the best is to be given to the Lord, and we are to honour him with the best things we have, which should be devoted to his service; or as fat renders insensible, and stupefies and makes men heavy, and inclines to a carnal and vicious disposition, and the inward parts and reins being the seat of carnal desires, affections, and lusts; it may denote that the inward part of man is very wickedness, and that the inward corruptions of nature, and the carnal affections and fleshly lusts, are to be mortified and destroyed, at least the power of them to be subdued and restrained.And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. The parts of the sin-offering which were regularly consumed upon the altar: see Leviticus 4:8 f. On the parts in question, see more fully on Leviticus 3:4.
the fat that covereth the entrails] i.e., probably, what is called technically the ‘great omentum,’ a highly fatty membrane, which in ruminants covers the whole of the paunch, and extends partially over the intestines. See Leviticus in SBOT., Plate opp. to p. 4, and p. 65; EB. iv. 4206.
the caul (i.e. net) upon the liver] the appendix (Heb. the redundance) upon the liver, i.e., as Moore in the Orient. Studien Th. Nöldeke gewidmet (1906), ii. 761 ff., has convincingly shewn, what is called technically the lobus caudatus, or tail-shaped lobe, a small finger-shaped appendix—in the Mishna, Tamid iv. 3, it is actually called ‘the finger of the liver’—projecting from the liver close to the right kidney (cf. Leviticus 3:4, to be rendered as RVm.). This, as Moore shews, is how the term was understood by the oldest interpreters, LXX., Onk., Pesh., and in the Mishna: LXX. ὁ λοβὸς does not mean, as Bochart and many others supposed, ‘the greater lobe’ of the liver itself, but ‘the lobe’ κατʼ ἐξοχήν, i.e. this appendix, which was specially important in ancient divination (cf. Aesch. P. V. 495; Eurip. Electra, 828: see also Jastrow in O.T. and Semitic Studies in memory of W. R. Harper, 1908, ii. 289, 294, 326, in a paper on Bab. liver-divination)1. It was no doubt this ancient significance of the lobus caudatus which led to its being specially selected for consumption upon the altar. The rend, caul (i.e. net, the ‘lesser omentum’) is first found in Jerome (reticulum).
 Both Etruscan and Babylonian models of the liver, as mapped out for diviners, shew the lobus caudatus very distinctly (Moore, 768): see an ill. of a Bab. model in Jeremias, ATLAO. 358 (2590) = Gressmann, Altor. Texte u. Bilder zum AT. (1909), ii. 51.
burn them] consume them in sweet smoke: Heb. hiḳṭir, lit. make odorous (the cogn. Arab, means to exhale odour in roasting), or turn into sweet smoke (cf. the Greek κνίση, of the steam of a burning sacrifice, as Il. i. 317). The word is always used of burning either a sacrificial offering or incense; and must be distinguished from sâraph, the ordinary Heb. word for burn (i.e. to destroy by fire) vv. 14, 32, &c. In Ex. hiḳṭir recurs vv. 18, 25, Exodus 30:7-8; Exodus 30:20, Exodus 40:27 : it is frequent in Lev. (Exodus 1:9; Exodus 1:13, &c.), and also occurs elsewhere (as 2 Kings 16:15).Verse 13. - Thou shalt take all the fat, etc. Among all nations who have offered sacrifices, it has been very usual to select certain parts of the victim only for burning upon the altar, and to dispose otherwise of the remainder. The Greeks commonly burnt on the altar the thighs and the fat only. The Romans burnt certain parts of the intestines only, and called them prosecta, prosiciae, or ablegmina. In Egypt, according to Herodotus, the greater part of the body was burnt; but the head, the neck, the shoulders, and the lower part of the legs, as well as the paunch, were reserved and not burnt (Herod. 2:40). The fat was generally regarded as the best part of the offering, and most acceptable to the gods. This was probably on account of its burning with a bright flame and helping to consume the rest of the offering. The caul that is above the liver. Probably the membrane which covers the upper part of the liver, sometimes called "the small omentum." (reticulum jecoris, Vulg.) Leviticus 1-7. It will be more advisable therefore to defer the examination of this ceremony till we come to Leviticus 8, where the consecration itself is described. The same may also be said of the expiation and anointing of the altar, which are commanded in Exodus 29:36 and Exodus 29:37, and carried out in Leviticus 8:11.
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