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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



LEVITICUS 3

 

CHAPTER III.

 

Ver. 1.  Peace-offerings.  Peace, in the Scripture language, signifies happiness, welfare, or prosperity; in a word, all kinds of blessings.  Such sacrifices, therefore, as were offered either on occasion of blessings received, or to obtain new favours, were called pacific or peace-offerings.  In these some part of the victim was consumed with fire on the altar of God: other parts were eaten by the priests, and the persons for whom the sacrifice was offered.  Ch. --- Female beasts might here be sacrificed, but not birds.  The victims were either offered to praise God for past favours, or to comply with some vow, or were perfectly free.  C. vii. 12.  Three sorts of victims, the ox, the sheep, and the goat, denoted all those who served God in innocence, or in the state of penance.  D.  Of these sacrifices "of the perfect," none of the unclean could taste.  C. vii. 20.  When only flour or bread was given, the donor received no part again.

 

Ver. 2.  Which shall.  Heb. "which he gives, he shall slay it...the priests shall pour," &c.  Yet some assert, that laymen were not allowed to approach the altar.

 

Ver. 3.  Fat.  All the fat was carefully presented to the Lord.  The Persians offered this alone.  Omentum in flamma pingue liquefaciens.  Catul. Epig. de Magis.

 

Ver. 4.  Flanks.  S. Jerom sometimes translates the Heb. loins, as the Sept. and Sym. do; (Ps. xxxvii. 7) and this Bochart believes is the most proper signification. C. --- Two is not specified in the Latin, nor little in the Hebrew.

 

Ver. 5.  For a.  Some translate, "upon the," others "after the burnt-sacrifice;" as if that were always to be offered first, every day.  C. --- But is seems that the peace-offering was an imitation of the holocaust, with respect to the fat, caul, and kidneys, which were to be entirely consumed.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  It.  Heb. and Sept. "he shall slay," v. 2, 13.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Whole rump.  Sept. "the loin without blemish."  The tail of the Arabian sheep is extremely large and fat, weighing eight or ten pounds; so that it is necessary to support it on a vehicle.  Busbecq. ep. 3.  The tail was not sacrificed in any other species.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  With, &c.  Heb. "and the two kidneys with their fat by the flanks, and the great lobe of the liver, above the kidneys, shall they take."  H. --- All our affections must be consecrated to God, and our passions kept under.  D.

 

Ver. 11. Food, destined for the honour of God, and to be consumed by fire.  In other places, God calls these sacrifices his food, and the altar his table.  C. xxi. 21.  Mal. i. 7. 12.

 

Ver. 17.  Fat.  It is meant of the fat, which by the prescription of the law was to be offered on God's altar: not of the fat of meat, such as we commonly eat.  Ch. --- This distinction is sufficiently insinuated; (C. vii. 25,) whence it also appears that the fat, here forbidden, is only that, which, in all sacrifices, appertains to the Lord, v. 9, 10.  The fat which was intermingled with the flesh might be eaten, and even the rest if the animal was not sacrificed.  God repeatedly forbade the use of blood.  C. xvii. 13.  Yet the Jews abstain from the fat also of all oxen, sheep, and goats; (Josep.  iii. 10,) and some, adhering to the words of this text, forbid the use of fat indiscriminately.  C. --- A Lapide condemns it, if the animal might be offered in sacrifice, though it were slain at home.

 

 








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