Leviticus 3:1 ¦ And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD.

Leviticus 3:2 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and AaronŐs sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.

Leviticus 3:3 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,

Leviticus 3:4 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.

Leviticus 3:5 And AaronŐs sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

 

This chapter opens with instructions regarding peace offerings.  According to the Hebrew, this seems to be a voluntary sacrifice of thanksgiving in general for GodŐs blessings.  It may come from either the herds/cattle or the flocks/sheep or goats and can be either male or female, but it must be without blemish.  This section provides instruction for offering from the herd.  Again, the offerer must lay his hand on the head of the offering to identify it as personal and kill it at the door of the tabernacle.  The priests then sprinkle the blood upon and around the altar.  The offering consists of all the fat on the inside of the animal—the two kidneys and their fat covering by the flanks (the loins), and the fat around the liver connected to the kidneys. All of it is burned on the wood on the altar by the priests, the sons of Aaron.

 

The LORD is very clear about the details regarding each type of offering; even though they are very similar, He doesnŐt consider the differences to be minor.  He continues to emphasize that only the sons of Aaron are to serve as priests for the people of Israel; and as our Creator, He has the right to make all the rules.  The thank offering does not serve as a type of JesusŐ sacrifice for our sin, so the gender of the animal doesnŐt matter.  Still, it is important that the animal be without blemish because God wants and deserves our very best.  The blood sprinkled on and around the altar seems to typify the truth that we should lay our lives on the altar in gratitude to the LORD for His blessings. 

 

The Hebrew for ŇfatÓ makes reference to the richest or best part and in that regard is an apt type of GodŐs blessings. 

 

Since this is a voluntary offering showing gratitude for GodŐs blessings, it brings Him pleasure when it is offered.

 

Leviticus 3:6 ¦ And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto the LORD be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish.

Leviticus 3:7 If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the LORD.

Leviticus 3:8 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and AaronŐs sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar.

Leviticus 3:9 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,

Leviticus 3:10 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.

Leviticus 3:11 And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto the LORD.

 

The same general instructions apply to offering a lamb as detailed for an animal from the herd.   Evidently, these animals have more fat since the whole rump is to be included in the offering as well as the fat detailed from a herd animal.  Though I/we may not agree that this fat is the best part of the animal doesnŐt matter; God has determined that it is.

 

Leviticus 3:12 And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD.

Leviticus 3:13 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about.

Leviticus 3:14 And he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,

Leviticus 3:15 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.

Leviticus 3:16 And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the LORDŐS.

 

The same general instructions also apply to offering a goat as detailed for an animal from the herd.  

 

Again it is emphasized that all the fat, the richest, choicest part of the animal, is the LORDŐs. 

 

No instruction has yet been given for what to do with the rest of the meat from the animals; I believe that will come in later chapters.

 

Leviticus 3:17 It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.

 

The LORD now declares through Moses that the Jewish people are never to eat the fat or the blood from animals.  The blood is to be drained and only the lean meat consumed.  We have already seen that the scripture declares the blood to represent life, and only God is sovereign in matters of life and death.  Abstaining from eating the fat provided a continual reminder that one should always be willing to sacrifice to give God his/her best.