And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And if his offering be a goat.—The directions about the goat as a peace offering are the same as those about an ox. No mention of male or female is here made, because this point is already stated in Leviticus 3:6. Unlike the burnt offering (Leviticus 1:10), the goat is here separated from the sheep because of the difference in the oblation, arising from the
broad tail of the sheep, which does not exist in the goat.Leviticus 1:10 note. Birds were not accepted as peace-offerings, most probably because they were, by themselves, insufficient to make up a sacrificial meal. And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Leviticus 3:3, Leviticus 3:4) and goats (Leviticus 3:14, Leviticus 3:15), the fat tail of the sheep was to be consumed as well. תמימה האליה: "the fat tail whole" (Leviticus 3:9), cauda ovilla vel arietina eaque crassa et adiposa; the same in Arabic (Ges. thes. p. 102). The fat tails which the sheep have in Northern Africa and Egypt, also in Arabia, especially Southern Arabia, and Syria, often weigh 15 lbs. or more, and small carriages on wheels are sometimes placed under them to bear their weight (Sonnini, R. ii. p. 358; Bochart, Hieroz. i. pp. 556ff.). It consists of something between marrow and fat. Ordinary sheep are also found in Arabia and Syria; but in modern Palestine all the sheep are "of the broad-tailed species." The broad part of the tail is an excresence of fat, from which the true tail hangs down (Robinson, Pal. ii. 166). "Near the rump-bone shall he (the offerer) take it (the fat tail) away," i.e., separate it from the body. עצם, ἁπ. λεγ., is, according to Saad., os caudae s. coccygis, i.e., the rump or tail-bone, which passes over into the vertebrae of the tail (cf. Bochart, i. pp. 560-1). In Leviticus 3:11 and Leviticus 3:16 the fat portions which were burned are called "food of the firing for Jehovah," or "food of the firing for a sweet savour," i.e., food which served as a firing for Jehovah, or reached Jehovah by being burned; cf. Numbers 28:24, "food of the firing of a sweet savour for Jehovah." Hence not only are the daily burnt-offerings and the burnt and sin-offerings of the different feasts called "food of Jehovah" ("My bread," Numbers 28:2); but the sacrifices generally are described as "the food of God" ("the bread of their God," Leviticus 21:6, Leviticus 21:8, Leviticus 21:17, Leviticus 21:21-22, and Leviticus 22:25), as food, that is, which Israel produced and caused to ascend to its God in fire as a sweet smelling savour. - Nothing is determined here with regard to the appropriation of the flesh of the peace-offerings, as their destination for a sacrificial meal was already known from traditional custom. The more minute directions for the meal itself are given in Leviticus 7:11-36, where the meaning of these sacrifices is more fully explained. - In Leviticus 3:17 (Leviticus 3:16) the general rule is added, "all fat belongs to Jehovah," and the law, "eat neither fat nor blood," is enforced as "an eternal statute" for the generations of Israel (see at Exodus 12:14, Exodus 12:24) in all their dwelling-places (see Exodus 10:23 and Exodus 12:20).
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