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The זבח שׁלם (zebach sh'lamim- peace offering) is the third qorbanot described in Scripture and is found in Leviticus chapter 3.

Now if his offering is a sacrifice [zebach] of peace offerings [sh'lamim], if he is going to offer out of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without defect before the LORD. (Leviticus 3:1)

 

The details of the sh'lamim that are described in Leviticus chapter 3 are listed in the chart below.

Sh'lamim
What is
Offered?
Without
Defect?
Slain By
Whom?
Slain Where? Soothing
Aroma?
Entrails?
Male or female from the herd- (Lev 3:1) Yes-
(Lev 3:1)
Offerer-
(Lev 3:2)
Before the tent of meeting-
(west of the altar- Lev 3:2)
Yes-
(Lev 3:5)
The fat that covers the entrails and is on the entrails, two kidneys, and the liver are burned up as an olah-
(Lev 3:3-5)
Male or female lamb-
(Lev 3:6-7)
Yes-
(Lev 3:6)
Offerer-
(Lev 3:8)
Before the LORD-
(west of the altar- Lev 3:7)
No The entire fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails and is on the entrails, two kidneys, and the liver are burned up as an olah-
(Lev 3:9-11)
Male or female goat-
(Lev 3:6, 12)
Yes-
(Lev 3:6)
Offerer-
(Lev 3:13)
Before the tent of meeting-
(west of the altar- Lev 3:13)
Yes-
(Lev 3:16)
The fat that covers the entrails and is on the entrails, two kidneys, and the liver are burned up as an olah-
(Lev 3:14-16)

 

In all of these cases, the Aaronic priest offers up the blood of the sacrifice and sprinkles it around the altar (Leviticus 3:2, 8, 13). The fat that covers the entrails and is on the entrails and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver is removed with the kidneys and burned up as an olah before the LORD.

There are four items of particular interest regarding the sh'lamim:

  1. For the lamb offering the "fat tail" [alyah] is included with the entrails as an olah.
  2. The lamb offering is not described as a "soothing aroma" like the other types of animals.
  3. The lamb offering is described as "food" [Hebrew: lechem] to the LORD in Leviticus 3:11.
  4. In describing the goat offering Scripture includes the observation "all the fat [chelev] is the LORD's". This word implies "the choicest parts" and tells us that "G-d gets the best parts" of the sh'lamim.

 

The chapter concludes with the statement

It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat or any blood. (Leviticus 3:17)

 

In practice, it is impossible to remove all of the fat that may be marbled into a piece of meat. The practical application of this commandment is that the choice parts (the fat and membranes that cover the liver and kidneys) are not eaten and are offered up as an olah before the Lord.

 

Law for Zebach Sh'lamim

The "law for zebach sh'lamim" is found in Leviticus chapter 7 and includes:

Instructions for the bread:

  • If the person offers the sh'lamim by way of thanksgiving [al todah] then along with the sh'lamim he shall offer unleavened cakes [matzah challah] mixed with oil and unleavened wafers [matzah] spread with oil, and cakes [challah] of fine flour mixed with oil. (Lev 7:12)
  • With the sh'lamim the offerer shall bring near [qarab] his offering [qorban] with "cakes of leavened bread" [challah lechem chametz]. (Lev 7:13)
  • The offerer shall bring one of each of these (unleavened cakes, unleavened wafers, cakes of fine flour, and cakes of leavened bread) as a contribution [terumah] to the LORD which shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the sh'lamim. (Lev 7:14)

 

Instructions for the flesh:

  • The flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offering [todah zebach sh'lamiv] shall be eaten on the day it is offered; none of it shall be left over until morning. (Lev 7:15)
  • But if the qorban is not a sh'lamim but is related to a vow (NASB: votive) [neder] or is spontaneous (NASB: freewill) [nedahbah] then it shall be eaten on the day it is offered and on the next day what is left of it may be eaten. (Lev 7:16 and Lev 19:6)
    • Whatever is left over from the flesh of the qorban on the third day shall be burned with fire. (Lev 7:17 and Lev 19:6)
    • If any of the flesh of the zebach sh'lamim is eaten on the third day, he who offers it will not be accepted and it will not be counted to his benefit. It is an offensive thing [Heb: pigul- foul thing, refuse] and the person who eats of it will bear his own iniquity [Heb: avon] (Lev 7:18) and cut off from his people. (Lev 19:8)
  • The flesh touches anything unclean shall not be eaten but shall be burned with fire. (Lev 7:19)
  • Everyone who is clean [Heb: tahor] may eat of the flesh of the sh'lamim. (Lev 7:19)
    • The person who is in uncleanness [Heb: tumah] and eats the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his people. (Lev 7:20)
    • When anyone touches anything unclean [Heb: tamei], whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing [Heb: sheqets], and eats of the flesh of the sh'lamim which belong to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his people. (Lev 7:21)

 

General instructions:

  • The person that brings the sh'lamim, his own hands are to bring the offerings by fire to the LORD. (Lev 7:30)
    • He shall bring the fat [chelev] with the breast that the breast may be presented as a wave offering [Heb: tenufah] before the LORD. (Lev 7:30)
  • The priest shall offer up the fat [chelev] in smoke on the altar but the breast shall belong to Aaron and his sons. (Lev 7:31)
  • The person that brings the sh'lamim shall give the right thigh to the priest as a contribution [terumah- "heave offering" (see Other Offerings)] from the sh'lamim. (Lev 7:32)
    • The son of Aaron who offers the blood of the sh'lamim and the fat, the right thigh shall be his portion. (Lev 7:33)
    • G-d has taken the breast of the wave offering [tenuphah] and the thigh of the contribution [terumah] from the sons of Israel from the sh'lamim and given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons as their due [Heb: choq olam] from the sons of Israel. (Lev 7:34)
    • This is that portion which is consecrated to Aaron and that which is consecrated to his sons from the offerings by fire to the LORD in the day when he presented them to serve as priests to the LORD. (Lev 7:35)
    • These the LORD commanded to be given to them from the sons of Israel in the day that he anointed them. It is their due forever throughout their generations. (Lev 7:36)

 

Additional instruction for the zebach is found in Leviticus 17:

  • Any person from the house of Israel or from the aliens who sojourn among them who offers a sacrifice [zebach] and does not bring it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to offer it to the LORD shall be cut off from his people. (Lev17:8)

 

Additional details regarding the requirement for an animal to be "without defect" for the sh'lamim are found in Leviticus 22:

  • If a peace offering is given to fulfill a special vow or as a freewill offering, whether it is from the herd or of the flock, it must be perfect to be accepted: there shall be no defect in it. (Lev22:21)
  • Those that are blind, fractured, maimed, or that have a running sore, eczema, or scabs shall not be offered to the LORD. (Lev 22:22)
  • An animal that has an overgrown or stunted member (LXX has "mutilated ears or tailless") may be presented for a freewill offering but not for a vow. (Lev 22:23)
  • Anything with bruised, crushed, torn, or cut testicles shall not be offered to the LORD. (Lev 22:24)
  • An animal must be at least 8 days old before it can be offered. (Lev 22:27)
  • An animal and its young must not be killed on the same day. (Lev 22:28)

 

 

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Yom Shishi, 20 Elul, 5779

Friday, September 20, 2019

 

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