And the priest shall burn the fat on the altar: but the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons'.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Leviticus 1:2) for offerings in general. Waving (a moving to and fro, repeated several times) or heaving (a lifting up once) the offering was a solemn form of dedicating a thing to the use of the sanctuary. Exodus 29:26.
but the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons; which being waved before the Lord for a wave offering, was the Lord's, and so was given to his priests to eat of, for the service done by them, it being but reasonable that they that serve at the altar should live of it; and thus, with other things, a maintenance was provided for the priests and their families, as ought also to be for Gospel ministers under the present dispensation.And the priest shall burn the fat upon the altar: but the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons'.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Leviticus 17:15; Leviticus 22:8); but it might be applied "to all kinds of uses," i.e., to the common purposes of ordinary life. Knobel observes on this, that "in the case of oxen, sheep, and goats slain in the regular way, this was evidently not allowable. But the law does not say what was to be done with the fat of these animals." Certainly it does not disertis verbis; but indirectly it does so clearly enough. According to Leviticus 17:3., during the journey through the desert any one who wanted to slaughter an ox, sheep, or goat was to bring the animal to the tabernacle as a sacrificial gift, that the blood might be sprinkled against the altar, and the fat burned upon it. By this regulation every ordinary slaughtering was raised into a sacrifice, and the law determined what was to be done with the fat. Now if afterwards, when the people dwelt in Canaan, cattle were allowed to be slaughtered in any place, and the only prohibition repeated was that against eating blood (Deuteronomy 12:15-16, Deuteronomy 12:21.), whilst the law against eating fat was not renewed; it follows as a matter of course, that when the custom of slaughtering at the tabernacle was restricted to actual sacrifices, the prohibition against eating the fat portions came to an end, so far as those animals were concerned with were slain for consumption and not as sacrifices. The reason for prohibiting fat from being eaten was simply this, that so long as every slaughtering was a sacrifice, the fat portions, which were to be handed over to Jehovah and burned upon the altar, were not to be devoted to earthly purposes, because they were gifts sanctified to God. The eating of the fat, therefore, was neither prohibited on sanitary or social grounds, viz., because fat was injurious to health, as Maimonides and other Rabbins maintain, nor for the purpose of promoting the cultivation of olives, as Michaelis supposes, nor to prevent its being put into the unclean mouth of man, as Knobel imagines; but as being an illegal appropriation of what was sanctified to God, a wicked invasion of the rights of Jehovah, which was to be punished with extermination according to the analogy of Numbers 15:30-31. The prohibition of blood in Leviticus 7:26, Leviticus 7:27, extends to birds and cattle; fishes not being mentioned, because the little blood which they possess is not generally eaten. This prohibition Israel was to observe in all its dwelling-places (Exodus 12:20, cf. Leviticus 17:10), not only so long as all the slaughterings had the character of sacrifices, but for all ages, because the blood was regarded as the soul of the animal, which God had sanctified as the medium of atonement for the soul of man (Leviticus 17:11), whereby the blood acquired a much higher degree of holiness than the fat.
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