Leviticus 5-7 Every male among the priests may eat of it in a holy place

From Leviticus 5-7

The sacrificial system was the means by which the Levites received food and were provided for. Parts of the offerings they kept for food.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

Our passage continues the laws regarding the sacrificial system. In today’s reading we see how the priests were provided for.

1000 Bible Images. (2009). Stuttgart, Germany: German Bible Society.

7 “This is the law of the guilt offering. It is most holy. 2 In the place where they kill the burnt offering they shall kill the guilt offering, and its blood shall be thrown against the sides of the altar. 3 And all its fat shall be offered, the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails, 4 the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. 5 The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering to the LORD; it is a guilt offering.

6 Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place. It is most holy. 7 The guilt offering is just like the sin offering; there is one law for them. The priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. 8 And the priest who offers any man’s burnt offering shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering that he has offered. 9 And every grain offering baked in the oven and all that is prepared on a pan or a griddle shall belong to the priest who offers it. 10 And every grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall be shared equally among all the sons of Aaron. (Lev 7.1-10)

‘The priest shall have it’. The priests had no land from which they could support themselves. They relied on the sacrifices people were bringing for their food and clothing.

11 “And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that one may offer to the LORD. 12 If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of fine flour well mixed with oil. 13 With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving he shall bring his offering with loaves of leavened bread. 14 And from it he shall offer one loaf from each offering, as a gift to the LORD.

It shall belong to the priest who throws the blood of the peace offerings. 15 And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning. 16 But if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow offering or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what remains of it shall be eaten. 17 But what remains of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned up with fire. 18 If any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering is eaten on the third day, he who offers it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be credited to him. It is tainted, and he who eats of it shall bear his iniquity. (Lev 7.11-18)

‘Gift to the LORD’. The sacrifices were considered as gifts to the LORD. The death of the sacrifice transferred it from the earthly to heavenly realm.

19 “Flesh that touches any unclean thing shall not be eaten. It shall be burned up with fire. All who are clean may eat flesh,

20 but the person who eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of the LORD’s peace offerings while an uncleanness is on him, that person shall be cut off from his people.

21 And if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether human uncleanness or an unclean beast or any unclean detestable creature, and then eats some flesh from the sacrifice of the LORD’s peace offerings, that person shall be cut off from his people.” (Lev 7.19-21)

‘While uncleanness is on him’. The meat is holy and must be treated accordingly. Ritually impure persons are not allowed to eat the sacrificial flesh. Violation of this rule is serious.

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

At the Israelite sanctuary, priests who carried out spiritual transactions for their people received various kinds of “agents’ commissions” from God. This system was necessary because only the Aaronic priests were authorized to officiate at the altar and inside the sacred Tent, and they needed a source of livelihood. (Gane, R., 2004. Leviticus, Numbers, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.)

Story of Jesus

When Jesus sent out his disciples to proclaim the kingdom of God, he expected they would receive support from those who they ministering to.

10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. (Lk 10.1-8)

In what ways do you support those who serve you in Christian ministry?

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