Peace Offerings

Leviticus 3:1-17

The peace offering is an animal offering of either cattle, sheep or goat. It may be either male or female, but it must be unblemished. The individual making the offering must bring it to the Tabernacle and rest his hands upon its head while it is slaughtered (as is mentioned for the burnt offering of the bull in 1:4). The blood of the animal is sprinkled on the altar, and portions of the animal are burnt. Although it does not state as much explicitly in our portion, other parts of the animal are consumed by the priests, and what remains is eaten by the one who offers the sacrifice, along with his family.


The peace offering is unique in that it is the only sacrifice which is shared between God (symbolically, through the burnt portions), the priests and the owner; and it is the only sacrifice which may be eaten anywhere in Jerusalem. The Israel Bible explains that according to the Sages, this is precisely why it is called a peace offering — it demonstrates and promotes the peace between the parties which share it. The name of Jerusalem, too, comes from the root word for peace, shalom, and it is therefore fitting that it may be eaten anywhere within the city.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think there are so many options for voluntary offerings? What might be the differences between them?


Comments ( 5 )

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  • DannyLee ben Israel

    In regards to the question at the head of this section, I’m reminded of the concept of “free will”. We were created in the beginning for fellowship with Hashem. From the very beginning, rules were made for granted access into his presence. He gave us a free will (voluntary choice) so we could choose whether to obey Him or not. I think it should be understood that for a teacher, singer, or otherwise, a captive audience would be unrewarding. Throughout Scripture, Elohim has advocated and demonstrated the concept of a voluntary, “willing heart”. For those who do or abstain from things just because “that’s the law” don’t have the willing heart required to enter into the presence of our Elohim.

  • SueJean Heinz

    I think that Hashem has given us so many options for voluntary offerings so that everyone has a way to come and have fellowship with HIM.

    We would never think of going to visit a friend for dinner without bringing something along to share at the table. When we come before Elohim, HE gives us clear instructions about what is okay for us to bring to HIS table. If we follow HIS instructions, we will be welcomed to HIS table and we will be at peace with HIM.

    If we think that we can bring whatever we want to HIS altar, we are in error and would be in danger of death as Aaron’s two sons learned by offering “strange fire”.
    I’m glad that HE gives us clear instructions about what we can bring.

  • Diana Brown

    A person must check their own heart with the Spirit’s Guidance as you pray for Wisdom. We must ask ourselves two questions….”Am I blameless before God?” and “If someone took me to court, would I be found guilty by a judge on the charges that person brought against me?”
    Go and make peace before you are hauled off to Judgment by God or jail by others. Ask the Lord to show you how to make Peace with Him and your neighbor and be quick to do it while there is time and daylight to work in. Peace offerings show us how to keep from having to engage in unrelenting conflict. Various voluntary offerings show us how to apply our hearts and mind in seeking peace so we will not be unstable in any of our ways.

  • Theresa

    From what I understand the meat offering can be applied to a guilty conscience. The meal offering is in place for those who cannot afford an animal sacrifice. Please give me more guidance on these. The peace offering I understand the best. I know God loves me and His mercy endures forever, people not so much. Sometimes I wish I could lay my hands on the head of an animal and transfer all my worries, frustrations and hurts from people and see them slaughtered. I need the peace from God to be applied to relationships with people. A peace that overpowers and resists anything that disturbs her. This is not a passive peace, but an overwhelming peace. To eat the meat of peace with people, the priests and God Himself. I believe Jerusalem needs this too. Shalom.

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