Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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LEVITICUS - Chapter 3

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Leviticus iii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Peace-offerings. Peace, in the Scripture language, signifies happiness, welfare, or prosperity; in a word, all kind 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. (Challoner) --- 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, chap. 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. (Du Hamel) --- Of these sacrifices "of the perfect," none of the unclean could taste, chap. vii. 20. When only flour or bread was given, the donor received no part again.

Ver. 2. Which shall. Hebrew, "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 flamm a pingue liquefaciens. (Catullus, Epig. de Magis.)

Ver. 4. Flanks. St. Jerome sometimes translates the Hebrew loins, as the Septuagint and Symmachus do; (Psalm xxxvii. 7) and this Bochart believes is the most proper signification. (Calmet) --- 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. (Calmet) --- 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. (Haydock)

Ver. 8. It. Hebrew and Septuagint, "he shall slay," ver. 2, 13. (Calmet)

Ver. 9. Whole rump. Septuagint, "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. (Busbecque, ep. 3.) The tail was not sacrificed in any other species. (Menochius)

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

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. (Chap. xxi. 21.; Malachias 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. (Challoner) --- This distinction is sufficiently insinuated; (chap. vii. 25,) whence it also appears that the fat, here forbidden, is only that, which, in all sacrifices, appertains to the Lord, ver. 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 forbids the use of blood, chap. xvii. 13. Yet the Jews abstain from the fat also of all oxen, sheep, and goats; (Josephus, [Antiquities?] iii. 10,) and some, adhering to the words of this text, forbid the use of fat indiscriminately. (Calmet) --- Cornelius a Lapide condemns it, if the animal might be offered in sacrifice, though it were slain at home.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Of Peace-offerings.

1 And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace-offerings, *and he will offer of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer them without blemish before the Lord.

2 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his victim, which shall be slain in the entry of the tabernacle of the testimony, and the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall pour the blood round about upon the altar.

3 And they shall offer of the sacrifice of peace-offerings, for an oblation to the Lord, *the fat that covereth the entrails, and all the fat that is within:

4 The two kidneys, with the fat wherewith the flanks are covered, and the caul of the liver with the two little kidneys.

5 And they shall burn them upon the altar, for a holocaust, putting fire under the wood: for an oblation of most sweet savour to the Lord.

6 But if his oblation, and the sacrifice of peace-offering be of the flock, whether he offer male or female, they shall be without blemish.

7 If he offer a lamb before the Lord,

8 He shall put his hand upon the head of his victim: and it shall be slain in the entry of the tabernacle of testimony: and the sons of Aaron shall pour the blood thereof round about upon the altar.

9 And they shall offer of the victim of peace-offerings a sacrifice to the Lord: the fat and the whole rump,

10 With the kidneys, and the fat that covereth the belly and all the vitals, and both the little kidneys, with the fat that is about the flanks, and the caul of the liver with the little kidneys.

11 And the priest shall burn them upon the altar, for the food of the fire, and of the oblation of the Lord.

12 If his offering be a goat, and he offer it to the Lord,

13 He shall put his hand upon the head thereof: and shall immolate it in the entry of the tabernacle of the testimony. And the sons of Aaron shall pour the blood thereof round about upon the altar.

14 And they shall take of it for the food of the Lord's fire, the fat that covereth the belly, and that covereth all the vital parts :

15 The two little kidneys, with the caul that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the fat of the liver with the little kidneys:

16 And the priest shall burn them upon the altar, for the food of the fire, and of a most sweet savour. All the fat shall be the Lord's.

17 By a perpetual law for your generations, and in all your habitations: neither blood nor fat shall ye eat at all.



1: Year of the World 2514.

3: Exodus xxix. 13.