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Roy Gane: Earlier divine speeches in Leviticus concerning voluntary and mandatory sacrifices were directed to the Israelite people as a whole (1:2—voluntary; 4:2—mandatory). Now two speeches by the Lord (6:8–23 and 6:24–7:21) are addressed to “Aaron and his sons” (6:9, 25), that is, the priests. Here there are supplementary instructions regarding the same kinds of sacrifices as in 1:1–6:7 and in the same order (burnt, grain, purification, reparation), except that the well-being offering is now placed last (7:11–21). The well-being offering comes at the end because the main organizing principle is apportionment of sacrifices, which distinguishes between most holy offerings accessible only to priests (6:8–7:10), and holy offerings (i.e., well-being offerings), of which laypersons can also receive physical benefit (7:11–21).

Gordon Wenham: These laws underline that scrupulous attention to detail and punctilious obedience to God’s instructions were expected in priest and worshipper, otherwise “the man who offered it will not be accepted” (7:18).

Allen Ross: To lead the congregation in corporate worship is both a great privilege and an enormous responsibility. In the following passages something of the responsibility concerning the ritual is laid out for the priests. It is all part of the covenant that the LORD made with Levi, a “covenant of life and peace”; and the appropriate response to both the covenant and its administration was reverential fear (Mal. 2:1–9).

Perry Yoder: The previous instructions were addressed to the entire nation because all Israel was to be familiar with these rituals and know their part in them. However, certain aspects of temple worship pertained specifically to the priests and what happened in the sacred area.

The type of language also changes. Previously the instructions were given in the form of cases—when this is the case, then do this. Here, however, the language becomes prescriptive: this is what you will do. This change is indicated already by the introduction, Command Aaron and his sons (v. 9a NRSV). The commands that follow are labeled regulations (v. 6:9b). This is the first time the word torah (regulations) is used in Leviticus.

Mark Rooker: The primary focus in this section is the role of the priests in partaking of the victims that have been offered for food. It was of preeminent importance for the priest to know exactly what kind and what portion of the sacrificial animal was for his food.


“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 9 ‘Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law for the burnt offering: the burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire on the altar is to be kept burning on it. 10 And the priest is to put on his linen robe, and he shall put on undergarments next to his flesh; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire reduces the burnt offering on the altar, and place them beside the altar. 11 Then he shall take off his garments and put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. 12 And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it. It shall not go out, but the priest shall burn wood on it every morning; and he shall lay out the burnt offering on it, and offer up in smoke the fat portions of the peace offerings on it. 13 Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out.’”

Robert Vasholz: This altar was the only physical object outside the Holy Place that was designated Most Holy. Making atonement for it seven days purified it. In Exodus 29:37 it reads: whatever touches it will be holy. The sentiment that is expressed throughout Leviticus teaches that what this means is that anyone or anything that is not consecrated to the Lord must not come in contact with the altar. Only a Levite could touch the altar. The altar was anointed with oil when the priests were consecrated (Lev. 8:10–11) and cleansed once a year with the blood of bulls and goats on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:18–20). . .

Local shrines would always pose a temptation to forsake the Lord. A singularly approved altar also tended to assure that the Levitical priests would minister sacrifices. This priestly prerogative is highlighted in Leviticus. Leviticus sees no atonement at the altar as effectual without the participation of a Levitical priest.

Roy Gane: 6:8–12 concerns maintenance of the altar fire (cf. 1:7). A threefold repetition emphasizes that keeping the fire going is of paramount importance (6:9, 12, 13). Leviticus 9:24 will later tell us why: The Lord himself lit it! So when the altar fire consumes a sacrifice, it is the Lord consuming it by fire.

Allen Ross: Perpetual fire signified that the way of access to God by the sacrifice of the burnt offering was always ready and available. . . Those who minister must take care in personal sanctification and spiritual service to ensure that people may always find access to the holy God.

Perry Yoder: In preparation for this ritual, the priest dons his linen garments (v. 10). These are perhaps a robe and underpants. The latter are to cover his “nakedness” and extend from his waist to his thighs (Exod 28:42).

The ritual itself is outlined as follows:

1) Each morning the priest approaches the altar, removes the ashes, and places them beside the altar.

2) He then changes into different clothes, preparing for duties outside the tabernacle (v. 11).

3) The priest carries the ashes outside the camp and disposes of them in a clean place. This place is referred to in 4:12.

The ritual of building up the fire for another day has the following steps (6:12):

1) wood is fed into the fire to invigorate it;

2) a regular whole burnt offering is placed on the fire (Exod 29:38-39); and

3) the fat of this offering is burned.

The goal of this ritual is stated again: the fire on the altar must burn continuously (Lev 6:13).

Mark Rooker: The occasion of bringing the wood for the sacrificial offerings was also the subject of much discussion in Jewish literature, which mentions the hardship and dangers often involved in making this provision by the Israelite people.

Kenneth Mathews: The perpetual fires on Israel’s altar and the daily offerings were a continual demonstration of the people’s worship of the living God who symbolically had taken up residence in the Tent of Meeting among his people.


A. (:14-18) Directions for the Priests Eating the Grain Offerings Brought by Lay People

“Now this is the law of the grain offering: the sons of Aaron shall present it before the LORD in front of the altar. 15 Then one of them shall lift up from it a handful of the fine flour of the grain offering, with its oil and all the incense that is on the grain offering, and he shall offer it up in smoke on the altar, a soothing aroma, as its memorial offering to the LORD. 16 And what is left of it Aaron and his sons are to eat. It shall be eaten as unleavened cakes in a holy place; they are to eat it in the court of the tent of meeting. 17 It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it as their share from My offerings by fire; it is most holy, like the sin offering and the guilt offering. 18 Every male among the sons of Aaron may eat it; it is a permanent ordinance throughout your generations, from the offerings by fire to the LORD. Whoever touches them shall become consecrated.”

R. K. Harrison: Levitical rituals make it abundantly clear that it is a very responsible matter for persons to stand in the service of the living God. By their initial act of commitment they enter into a relationship of holiness to God, and must fulfil the Lord’s will in the manner in which he prescribes it, not as they think it might be done. For the Christian, holiness is the result of the Holy Spirit’s work in the individual life, removing that which is alien to the nature of Christ and enabling the believer to grow in grace (cf. Eph. 4:15; 2 Pet. 3:18, etc.) so that he can begin to match the stature of Christ. Because holiness is a matter of personality, it cannot be conveyed mechanically by contact with ‘consecrated’ elements, amulets and similar trinkets.

B. (:19-23) Directions for Grain Offerings Brought by Priests

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 20 ‘This is the offering which Aaron and his sons are to present to the LORD on the day when he is anointed; the tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening. 21 It shall be prepared with oil on a griddle. When it is well stirred, you shall bring it. You shall present the grain offering in baked pieces as a soothing aroma to the LORD. 22 And the anointed priest who will be in his place among his sons shall offer it. By a permanent ordinance it shall be entirely offered up in smoke to the LORD. 23 So every grain offering of the priest shall be burned entirely. It shall not be eaten.’”

Roy Gane: Because the high priest sacrifices his special grain offering on his own behalf, it must be wholly burned up (v. 22), with no portion serving as an agent’s commission.

Allen Ross: The point of this section is that the high priest, the spiritual leader, offered his own dedicatory offering in the presence of the congregation, beginning with his consecration to ministry and thereafter twice a day. If he was going to exhort people to make the meal offering and if he was going to lead them in the ritual, he had to make this offering himself. The main difference was that the priest’s offering was completely burned on the altar—he could not accept his own offering, only the LORD could accept it. . .

Ministers must assure worshipers that God accepts sincere dedication—not only by how they receive the acts of dedication but also by how they themselves live dedicated lives.

Perry Yoder: the text stresses that the scheduled grain offering belongs entirely to God. These verses underline what has already been said. The high priest must be clear that unlike the voluntary grain offering of the laity, eaten mostly by the priests, this offering is to be burned whole. To make this point even more emphatic, a general regulation concludes this unit: every priestly grain offering is to be burned in its entirety. It is never to be eaten (6:23).

Kenneth Mathews: Since the priest ate a portion of the offering, the instructions of when, what, and where the portions were to be eaten were crucial. After the priest burned up a small memorial portion of flour (v. 15), the remaining flour belonged to all the priests as their stipend for service (v. 18). They cooked the flour without leaven into a variety of bread products and ate them in the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting. Only in this especially holy area could they consume the bread. That the bread was holy can be seen by the last statement in verse 18: “Whatever touches [the food offerings] shall become holy” (also v. 27). This means that the holy bread symbolically communicated holiness to whoever ate the bread (for touching the altar, see Exodus 29:37; 30:29). For laypeople to eat the bread would put them in peril since the bread was designated for only priests to eat. The priests alone as especially holy servants could legitimately consume the food offerings of the Lord. They were the only authorized persons to represent the Lord, and they therefore alone could eat the Lord’s food. The food offering belonged to the Lord, but he gave of his food to the priests. The warning does not spell out the consequences, but we can surmise from other occasions when the holy things of God were trivialized that the penalty included death (see 10:1, 2).


“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 25 ‘Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: in the place where the burnt offering is slain the sin offering shall be slain before the LORD; it is most holy. 26 The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. It shall be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the tent of meeting. 27 Anyone who touches its flesh shall become consecrated; and when any of its blood splashes on a garment, in a holy place you shall wash what was splashed on. 28 Also the earthenware vessel in which it was boiled shall be broken; and if it was boiled in a bronze vessel, then it shall be scoured and rinsed in water. 29 Every male among the priests may eat of it; it is most holy. 30 But no sin offering of which any of the blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the holy place shall be eaten; it shall be burned with fire.’”

Roy Gane: Chapter 4 did not say what happens to the remaining meat of an “outer altar” purification offering, which is sacrificed on behalf of a chieftain or commoner (4:22–35). Leviticus 6:24–30 now fills in the blank: It belongs to the officiating priest. Because the meat is “most holy” (6:29), it carries restrictions: The priest must eat it in the courtyard of the tabernacle, and it can only be shared with males among priestly family members.

Allen Ross: Ministers must assure people who seek forgiveness on the basis of the purifying blood of the holy sacrifice that God has forgiven them.

Perry Yoder: The focus of this passage is on the disposition of the meat after the ritual of forgiveness (Lev 4). Since only a small portion of the animal, the viscera, is burned on the altar, the meat remains (see 4:26, 31, 35). What happens to this meat? The priest who offers the sacrifice (lit. makes purification) eats it (6:26). Since the whole carcass of an animal is too much for one person to eat, the text says, Any male in a priest’s family may eat it; it is most holy (v. 29). This most holy meat must be eaten in the courtyard of the sanctuary, and only by priests who are in a state of purity. Furthermore, because this flesh is most holy, anything that touches it becomes holy (v. 27a). This is another example of contagious holiness within the holy realm (very rare overall).

But what happens if a garment is spattered by the blood of a cleansing offering? The spot needs to be washed in a holy place (v. 27). As for pots coming into contact with holy meat, if they are made of clay, they are to be broken: they have become indelibly stained with holiness. If they are metal, they must be scoured and rinsed to remove their contracted holiness so they can be reused.

The text has been referring to the cleansing offering presented on the courtyard altar. The matter is different for those sacrifices whose blood is brought into the tent, as with the cleansing offering for the high priest (4:3-12). The flesh of this animal must not be consumed by the priests but must be entirely burned up. The guilty party cannot profit from their guilt. Also, the increased holiness of the place where the blood is placed causes a corresponding increase in the holiness of the animal’s meat.

Kenneth Mathews: Since the offerings typically include the slaughter of animals, an excess of blood had to be dealt with. Blood represented the life force of an animal, and since life is the sole propriety of the Lord, the priests had to be careful in honoring the victim’s life. The proper handling of the blood evidenced the priests’ recognition that God is the giver of life and that he has demanded the death of the sacrifice to make atonement for the sin of the guilty person or to purify the ritually impure person.


“Now this is the law of the guilt offering; it is most holy. 2 In the place where they slay the burnt offering they are to slay the guilt offering, and he shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar. 3 Then he shall offer from it all its fat: the fat tail and the fat that covers the entrails, 4 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe on the liver he shall remove with the kidneys. 5 And the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire to the LORD; it is a guilt offering. 6 Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy. 7 The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is one law for them; the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. 8 Also the priest who presents any man’s burnt offering, that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has presented. 9 Likewise, every grain offering that is baked in the oven, and everything prepared in a pan or on a griddle, shall belong to the priest who presents it. 10 And every grain offering mixed with oil, or dry, shall belong to all the sons of Aaron, to all alike.’”

Kenneth Mathews: After describing what to do with the blood and fat, further instructions followed that clarified when the priests could obtain benefit from a person’s burnt offering or grain offering (7:8–10). Although the burnt offering required the burning up of the entire animal, the hide was reserved for the officiating priest as his remuneration for serving at the altar. He presumably could sell the leather or use it for himself. The grain offerings too could be enjoyed by the officiating priest, and in one case the grain offering was provided for all the priests.


“Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings

which shall be presented to the LORD.”

Kenneth Mathews: The peace offerings expressed communion between the worshipper and God. They were the only offerings from which the offerer could eat a portion of the sacrificed animal. The extent of the details in our passage was necessary since the fellowship meal could be eaten by the laity. This meant that the priests were especially needed to oversee that all was carried out according to the right ritual procedures. The priests too enjoyed designated portions, and together the meal was a fellowship feast to which the offerer invited friends and family members. It was a celebratory feast acknowledging the peace that the worshipper and all those who ate of the meal had in joyful fellowship. Unlike all the other sacrifices, the peace offerings entailed three subtypes, each distinguished by the motivation for the gift: the thank offering, the vow offering, and the freewill offering.

Allen Ross: Out of gratitude or devotion to the LORD, the worshiper brings a peace offering to the sanctuary to be eaten within prescribed times in the presence of the LORD and in communion with the priests and the congregation, carefully ensuring the sanctity of the entire process in order to remain acceptable to God. . .

Worshipers who celebrate peace with God—either with praises or vows or freewill offerings — must do so by bringing to the LORD an offering that can be shared, being careful to avoid defilement.

A. (:12-15) Offered as a Thanksgiving Offering

“If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil. 13 With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14 And of this he shall present one of every offering as a contribution to the LORD; it shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings. 15 Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning.”

Perry Yoder: If the motive is thankfulness, then the sacrifice is a thank offering and must be supplemented with a grain offering. This supplement may take three forms:

1) baked unleavened bread mixed with oil,

2) baked unleavened crackers mixed with oil, or

3) fried unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed and moistened with oil.

B. (:16-21) Offered as a Votive or Freewill Offering

“But if the sacrifice of his offering is a votive or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice; and on the next day what is left of it may be eaten; 17 but what is left over from the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire. 18 So if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings should ever be eaten on the third day, he who offers it shall not be accepted, and it shall not be reckoned to his benefit. It shall be an offensive thing, and the person who eats of it shall bear his own iniquity. 19 Also the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned with fire. As for other flesh, anyone who is clean may eat such flesh. 20 But the person who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the LORD, in his uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from his people. 21 And when anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his people.”

Mark Rooker: The offerings that accompanied vows or freewill offerings were to be eaten on the day the sacrifice was made. If the entire offering was not to be eaten right away, however, it could be consumed on the following day (7:16-17). If the meat was not eaten by the following day, the meat became desecrated. If any portion of this offering remained until the third day, it had to be burned. If a person were to eat of this offering (that had remained uneaten for three days), he would bear its iniquity (“be held responsible”). In other words, God would see to it that the offender was punished. These fellowship offerings later may have been accompanied by the singing of a psalm to God (e.g., Ps 116:17-19).

Gordon Wenham: The peace offering is the only offering which laymen were allowed to eat. Some parts of the sacrificial animal were given to the priests, but the main part was returned to the worshipper for his own consumption. This section is concerned with regulating this sacred meal, specifying who may eat what, and when. For many Israelites the peace offering was the main, some would say the only, opportunity they had to eat meat. For this reason this section leads into other more general regulations governing the consumption of meat (vv. 22ff.).

Perry Yoder: Leviticus 7:19-21 warns against contaminating the meat of this sacrifice. These instructions can be divided into three groups, answering the following questions:

1) What happens if the meat touches something unclean? Such meat is to be treated like meat that is left on the third day: it is to be burned with fire.

2) Who may eat the meat of the peace offering? The answer is simple: anyone who is ritually clean (see chs. 11–15 for the purity rules).

3) What happens if someone unclean eats the meat or even touches it? That person will be cut off (7:20-21).

C. (:22-27) Prohibition against Eating Fat or Blood

1. (:22-25) Prohibition against Eating the Fat

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23 ‘Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, You shall not eat any fat from an ox, a sheep, or a goat. 24 Also the fat of an animal which dies, and the fat of an animal torn by beasts, may be put to any other use, but you must certainly not eat it. 25 For whoever eats the fat of the animal from which an offering by fire is offered to the LORD, even the person who eats shall be cut off from his people.’”

2. (:26-27) Prohibition against Eating the Blood

“And you are not to eat any blood, either of bird or animal, in any of your dwellings. 27 Any person who eats any blood, even that person shall be cut off from his people.”

Kenneth Mathews: The fat was reserved for the Lord and was to be consumed by fire on the altar as his rightful portion. This was likely because the fat was deemed the best part of the meat and served as a fuel that fed the altar fires. An exception to eating the fat was if the animal in question was not a species permitted for a food offering (vv. 22–25). If the beast was a type that could be offered but it had been made unfit by its natural death or torn by wild beasts, the animal’s fat could be used for purposes other than worship, such as oil for lamps. But under no circumstances could the fat be ingested. The blood, too, was owned by the Lord; it was most precious since it represented the life of the animal. All creatures belong to God; he determines life and death. For a person to eat blood would be a false claim on the life of the victim that would usurp the Lord’s sole right as Creator.

Gordon Wenham: The fat of animals that may be sacrificed, oxen, sheep, and goats, belongs to God (v. 23). It must be burned and not eaten. If, however, the animal dies of natural causes, it can no longer be offered in sacrifice, because only unblemished animals are fit for God. In this situation it is not to be wasted. The fat may be used for any purpose apart from being eaten, presumably for lighting, polish, and other household purposes (v. 24). 11:39–40 and 17:15 allow the flesh of such an animal to be eaten, but state that anyone who does so becomes unclean and must wash afterward. Deuteronomy prefers Israel to maintain her holiness unblemished and recommends giving the carcass to the resident alien or selling it to foreigners. Deut. 14:21

In no circumstances may blood be consumed. Eating blood means eating meat from which the blood has not been drained (e.g., 1 Sam. 14:33). Blood is the means of atonement in all the animal sacrifices and may not be eaten (cf. Lev. 17:10ff.). Both prohibitions were difficult to enforce, but divine retribution is threatened against offenders: that person will be cut off from his people (vv. 25, 27).

Mark Rooker: In this paragraph there are two prescriptions which if violated resulted in the offender “being cut off” (7:25, 27). The Israelites were admonished that they were not to eat the fat of sacrificial animals and that they were never to eat the blood since life belonged only to God (cf. Lev 17; Gen 9:4-6). The fear that blood might be consumed even applied to carcasses of animals because there would be uncertainty about whether all the blood was drained (17:24). The fat of the fellowship offering was prohibited to the Israelite because it was this portion that was to be the Lord’s (3:17). The fat laid upon the altar was an expression of offering the best to God. The fact that the eating of blood was universally prohibited while the prohibition of eating fat was restricted to a sacrificial animal may indicate that the fat of a non-sacrificial animal could be eaten (17:13).

D. (:28-36)

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 29 ‘Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, He who offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to the LORD shall bring his offering to the LORD from the sacrifice of his peace offerings. 30 His own hands are to bring offerings by fire to the LORD. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be presented as a wave offering before the LORD. 31 And the priest shall offer up the fat in smoke on the altar; but the breast shall belong to Aaron and his sons. 32 And you shall give the right thigh to the priest as a contribution from the sacrifices of your peace offerings. 33 The one among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood of the peace offerings and the fat, the right thigh shall be his as his portion. 34 For I have taken the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution from the sons of Israel from the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons as their due forever from the sons of Israel. 35 This is that which is consecrated to Aaron and that which is consecrated to his sons from the offerings by fire to the LORD, in that day when he presented them to serve as priests to the LORD. 36 These the LORD had commanded to be given them from the sons of Israel in the day that He anointed them. It is their due forever throughout their generations.’”

Mark Rooker: This section anticipates the next major division of Leviticus, “The Institution of the Priesthood,” when the summary statement in vv. 35–36 says these contributions are to take effect when Aaron and his sons are inaugurated. The summary statement thus concludes the section on the “Disposal of Offerings,” while the last two verses of Leviticus 7 conclude the entire first seven chapters.

Kenneth Mathews: Supporting the worship of the Lord:

The final directives in this chapter address the ongoing support of the ministry at the tabernacle. If there is to be a worship service with offerings for atonement overseen by God-called ministers, there must be responsibility on the part of the worshipper to contribute to the material aspects of the worship service. The meat of the peace offerings was a vital means for supporting the work of the Lord. An Israelite, when making his offering, gave the breast and thigh of the animal to the priests as their portion of the celebration. The word that appears in verse 35, translated “portion,” occurs only in this passage in the whole Old Testament. The word was carefully chosen by the author because of its connection to the related word translated “anointed” that appears in verse 36. That verse refers to the ordination service of the priests who received anointing oil as a sign of their unique role as mediators of the offerings made to the Lord. By this wordplay the text ties the exclusive “portion” of the gift to the exclusively ordained ministers.

Robert Vasholz: The wave offering is a derivative from a verb (√nwf) that means to swing back and forth. This, in fact, is what the priest did: he waved the offering before the Lord. Waving offerings were common practices in Moses’ time. The meaning of the symbolism in the ancient world varied. At a minimum, the wave offering signals an offering that extends heavenward to the sanctuary on high.

David Guzik: everything connected to the eating of it had to be holy (ceremonially clean).

· The place had to be holy (in the court of the tabernacle of meeting).

· The person preparing or eating the meat had to be holy (Everyone who touches its flesh must be holy).

· The blood from the meat was holy (you shall wash that on which it was sprinkled).

· The pot it was cooked in was holy (the earthen vessel in which it is boiled shall be broken…. in a bronze pot, it shall be both scoured and rinsed in water).


“This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering and the ordination offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings, 38 which the LORD commanded Moses at Mount Sinai in the day that He commanded the sons of Israel to present their offerings to the LORD in the wilderness of Sinai.”

R. K. Harrison: The colophon in Leviticus 7:37–38 marks the termination of an important section of legislative material, authenticates it, and dates it decisively in the second millennium bc. There can be absolutely no question of this colophon being a forgery, or a retrojection by a much later editor to the age of Moses. Like other examples of its kind from Mesopotamia, it testifies to authorship and date, just as the title page of a modern book does. The entire body of legislation gives every indication of antiquity, containing examples of early sacrificial technical terminology, some elements of which had already become obsolete in the time of Moses. The antiquity and continuity of priestly materials is characteristic of the ancient Near Eastern nations, and is thus unexceptional in ancient Israelite circles. Not merely can this section be assigned in its entirety with complete confidence to the Mosaic period, but because of the nature of the material and the degree of veneration accorded to the scribe who compiled it, there must be considerable doubt as to whether any other than the most minor textual modifications were made throughout the entire history of its transmission.