Leviticus 3:17
It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that you eat neither fat nor blood.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) A perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings.—Better, a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings; so the Authorised Version in the only three other passages in which it occurs. (Comp. Leviticus 23:14; Leviticus 23:21, where it is inverted; and 31.) That is, the law not to eat fat of beeves, sheep, or goats, is to be binding upon the Israelites throughout all their future generations, and is applicable to any place wherever they may dwell. As the full legislative formula only occurs four times in the Pentateuch, and is restricted to this book, it is important to render it uniformly in all the four passages. For the import of this statute see Leviticus 7:23-25.

Leviticus 3:17. All your dwellings — Not only at or near the tabernacle, not only of those beasts which you actually sacrifice, but also in your several dwellings, and of all that kind of beasts. Fat — Was forbidden, 1st, To preserve the reverence of the holy rites and sacrifices. 2d, That they may be taught hereby to acknowledge God as their Lord, and the Lord of all the creatures, who might reserve what he pleased to himself. 3d, To exercise them in obedience to God, and self-denial and mortification of their appetites, even in those things which probably many of them would much desire. Blood — Was forbidden, partly to maintain reverence to God and his worship; partly, according to Maimonides, out of opposition to idolaters, who used to drink the blood of their sacrifices; partly, with respect to Christ’s blood, thereby manifestly signified. God would not permit the very shadows of this to be used as a common thing. Nor will he allow us, though we have the comfort of the atonement made, to assume to ourselves any share in the honour of making it.3:6-17 Here is a law that they should eat neither fat nor blood. As for the fat, it means the fat of the inwards, the suet. The blood was forbidden for the same reason; because it was God's part of every sacrifice. God would not permit the blood that made atonement to be used as a common thing, Heb 10:29; nor will he allow us, though we have the comfort of the atonement made, to claim for ourselves any share in the honour of making it. This taught the Jews to observe distinction between common and sacred things; it kept them separate from idolaters. It would impress them more deeply with the belief of some important mystery in the shedding of the blood and the burning the fat of their solemn sacrifices. Christ, as the Prince of peace, made peace with the blood of his cross. Through him the believer is reconciled to God; and having the peace of God in his heart, he is disposed to follow peace with all men. May the Lord multiply grace, mercy, and peace, to all who desire to bear the Christian character.Blood - See Leviticus 17:11 note.

Throughout all your dwellings - The suet was neither to be eaten in sacrificial meals in the sanctuary, nor in ordinary meals in private houses.

17. ye eat neither fat nor blood—The details given above distinctly define the fat in animals which was not to be eaten, so that all the rest, whatever adhered to other parts, or was intermixed with them, might be used. The prohibition of blood rested on a different foundation, being intended to preserve their reverence for the Messiah, who was to shed His blood as an stoning sacrifice for the sins of the world [Brown]. Throughout all your dwellings; not only at or near the tabernacle, nor only of those beasts which you actually sacrifice, but also in your several dwellings, and of all that kind of beasts.

That ye eat neither fat: this was forbidden,

1. To preserve the reverence of the holy rites and sacrifices.

2. That they might be taught hereby to acknowledge God as their Lord, and the Lord of all the creatures, who might reserve what he pleased to himself.

3. To exercise them in obedience to God, and self-denial, and mortification of their appetites, even in those things which probably many of them would much desire.

Nor blood: this was forbidden, partly, to maintain reverence to God and his worship; partly, out of opposition to idolaters, who used to drink the blood of their sacrifices; partly, with respect unto Christ’s blood, thereby manifestly signified; and partly, for moral admonition about avoiding cruelty, &c. It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations,.... That is, unto the end of the Mosaic dispensation, until the Messiah comes, and his sacrifice is offered up, and his blood is shed, till that time in all generations: and

throughout all your dwellings; wherever their habitations should be, it is a law to be observed:

that ye eat neither fat nor blood; the Jewish writers think, that this is not to be restrained to the fat and blood of sacrifices, because these were not offered in their dwellings, but in the tabernacle and temple, and therefore interpret it of fat and blood in general; but what fat and blood are meant may be seen in Leviticus 7:23 the Targum of Jonathan adds,"but upon the top of the altar it shall be offered to the name of the Lord,''which seems to restrain it to the sacrifices.

It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither {f} fat nor blood.

(f) Eating fat was a symbol of carnality, and eating blood signified cruelty.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. Fat and blood forbidden

The prohibition is repeated more fully in Leviticus 7:23-27; cp. Leviticus 17:10 f. Note the 2nd pers. plur., and for the expression ‘a perpetual statute, etc.’ cp. Leviticus 23:14; Leviticus 23:21; Leviticus 23:31; Exodus 12:14; Exodus 12:17; Exodus 12:24.Verse 17. - Eat neither fat nor blood. These are forbidden to be eaten, as belonging to God. The fat, that is, the internal fat, is his portion in the common feast of the peace offering, and the blood is presented to him in all the animal sacrifices, as the material vehicle of life (see Leviticus 7:22-27). The remaining regulations as to the various sorts of the peace offerings, the priests' portions of them, and the festive meal on the sacrifices, are given in Leviticus 7:11-34.



The same rules apply to the peace-offerings of sheep and goats, except that, in addition to the fat portions, which were to be burned upon the altar in the case of the oxen (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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