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Leviticus 6-7 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

B. Instructions for the Priests

Chapter 6

The Daily Burnt Offering. The Lord said to Moses: [a]Give Aaron and his sons the following command: This is the ritual[b] for the burnt offering—the burnt offering that is to remain on the hearth of the altar all night until the next morning, while the fire is kept burning on the altar. The priest, clothed in his linen robe and wearing linen pants underneath, shall take away the ashes to which the fire has reduced the burnt offering on the altar, and lay them at the side of the altar. Then, having taken off these garments and put on other garments, he shall carry the ashes to a clean place outside the camp. The fire on the altar is to be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest shall put firewood on it. On this he shall lay out the burnt offering and burn the fat of the communion offering. The fire is to be kept burning continuously on the altar; it must not go out.

The Grain Offering.[c] This is the ritual of the grain offering. Aaron’s sons shall offer it before the Lord, in front of the altar. A priest shall then take from the grain offering a handful of bran flour and oil, together with all the frankincense that is on it, and this he shall burn on the altar as a token of the offering, a sweet aroma to the Lord. The rest of it Aaron and his sons may eat; but it must be eaten unleavened in a sacred place: in the court of the tent of meeting they shall eat it. 10 It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it to them as their portion from the oblations for the Lord; it is most holy, like the purification offering and the reparation offering. 11 Every male of Aaron’s descendants may eat of it perpetually throughout your generations as their rightful due from the oblations for the Lord. Whatever touches the oblations becomes holy.

High Priest’s Daily Grain Offering.[d] 12 The Lord said to Moses: 13 This is the offering that Aaron and his sons shall present to the Lord on the day he is anointed: one tenth of an ephah of bran flour for the regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening. 14 You shall bring it well kneaded and fried in oil on a griddle. Having broken the offering into pieces, you shall present it as a sweet aroma to the Lord. 15 The anointed priest descended from Aaron who succeeds him shall do likewise. This is the Lord’s due forever. The offering shall be wholly burned. 16 Every grain offering of a priest shall be a whole offering; it may not be eaten.

Purification Offerings.[e] 17 The Lord said to Moses: 18 Tell Aaron and his sons: This is the ritual for the purification offering. At the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, there also, before the Lord, shall the purification offering be slaughtered. It is most holy. 19 The priest who offers the purification offering shall eat of it; it shall be eaten in a sacred place, in the court of the tent of meeting. 20 Whatever touches its flesh becomes holy. If any of its blood spatters on a garment, the stained part must be washed in a sacred place. 21 A clay vessel in which it has been boiled shall be broken; if it is boiled in a copper vessel, this shall be scoured afterward and rinsed with water. 22 Every male of the priestly line may eat it. It is most holy. 23 But no purification offering of which some blood has been brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the sanctuary shall be eaten; it must be burned with fire.

Chapter 7

Reparation Offerings. [f]This is the ritual for the reparation offering. It is most holy. At the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, the reparation offering shall also be slaughtered. Its blood shall be splashed on all the sides of the altar. All of its fat shall be offered: the fatty tail, the fat that covers the inner organs, and all the fat that adheres to them, as well as the two kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which is removed with the kidneys. The priest shall burn these on the altar as an oblation to the Lord. It is a reparation offering. Every male of the priestly line may eat of it; but it must be eaten in a sacred place. It is most holy.

Because the purification offering and the reparation offering are alike, both have the same ritual. The reparation offering belongs to the priest who makes atonement with it. As for the priest who offers someone’s burnt offering, to him belongs the hide of the burnt offering that is offered. [g]Also, every grain offering that is baked in an oven or made in a pan or on a griddle shall belong to the priest who offers it, 10 whereas all grain offerings that are mixed with oil or are dry shall belong to all of Aaron’s sons without distinction.

Communion Sacrifices.[h] 11 This is the ritual for the communion sacrifice that is offered to the Lord. 12 [i]If someone offers it for thanksgiving, that person shall offer it with unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes made of bran flour mixed with oil and well kneaded. 13 One shall present this offering together with loaves of leavened bread along with the thanksgiving communion sacrifice. 14 From this the individual shall offer one bread of each type of offering as a contribution[j] to the Lord; this shall belong to the priest who splashes the blood of the communion offering.

15 [k]The meat of the thanksgiving communion sacrifice shall be eaten on the day it is offered; none of it may be kept till the next morning. 16 However, if the sacrifice offered is a votive or a voluntary offering,[l] it shall be eaten on the day the sacrifice is offered, and on the next day what is left over may be eaten. 17 But what is left over of the meat of the sacrifice on the third day must be burned in the fire. 18 If indeed any of the flesh of the communion sacrifice is eaten on the third day, it shall not be accepted; it will not be reckoned to the credit of the one offering it. Rather it becomes a desecrated meat. Anyone who eats of it shall bear the penalty.[m]

19 [n]Should the meat touch anything unclean, it may not be eaten, but shall be burned in the fire. As for other meat, all who are clean may eat of it. 20 If, however, someone in a state of uncleanness eats the meat of a communion sacrifice belonging to the Lord, that person shall be cut off[o] from the people. 21 Likewise, if someone touches anything unclean, whether it be human uncleanness or an unclean animal or an unclean loathsome creature, and then eats the meat of the communion sacrifice belonging to the Lord, that person, too, shall be cut off from the people.

Prohibition Against Blood and Fat. 22 The Lord said to Moses: 23 Tell the Israelites: You shall not eat the fat of any ox or sheep or goat. 24 Although the fat of an animal that has died a natural death or has been killed by wild beasts may be put to any other use, you may not eat it. 25 If anyone eats the fat of an animal from which an oblation is made to the Lord, that person shall be cut off from the people. 26 Wherever you dwell, you shall not eat any blood, whether of bird or of animal. 27 Every person who eats any blood shall be cut off from the people.

Portions from the Communion Sacrifice for Priests. 28 The Lord said to Moses: 29 Tell the Israelites: The person who offers a communion sacrifice to the Lord shall be the one to bring from it the offering to the Lord. 30 The offerer’s own hands shall carry the oblations for the Lord: the person shall bring the fat together with the brisket, which is to be raised as an elevated offering[p] before the Lord. 31 The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the brisket belongs to Aaron and his sons. 32 Moreover, from your communion sacrifices you shall give to the priest the right leg as a contribution. 33 The one among Aaron’s sons who offers the blood and the fat of the communion offering shall have the right leg as his portion, 34 for from the communion sacrifices of the Israelites I have taken the brisket that is elevated and the leg that is a contribution, and I have given them to Aaron, the priest, and to his sons as their due from the Israelites forever.

35 This is the priestly share from the oblations for the Lord, allotted to Aaron and his sons on the day they were brought forth to be the priests of the Lord, 36 which the Lord ordered to be given them from the Israelites on the day they were anointed, as their due throughout their generations forever.

Summary. 37 This is the ritual for the burnt offering, the grain offering, the purification offering, the reparation offering, the ordination offering, and the communion sacrifice, 38 which the Lord enjoined on Moses at Mount Sinai at the time when he commanded the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai to bring their offerings to the Lord.


  1. 6:2–6 This passage may have reference to the burnt offering that is offered in the morning and late afternoon each day (cf. Ex 29:38–42; Nm 28:3–8).
  2. 6:2 Ritual: Hebrew torah, which also has the broader meaning of “instruction.” The treatment of sacrifices in chaps. 6–7 recapitulates the offerings treated in 1–5 but now with more emphasis on priestly duties and prerogatives.
  3. 6:7–11 The passage is apparently concerned with the raw grain offering of 2:1–3.
  4. 6:12–16 This seems to refer to a grain offering offered twice daily by the high priest, perhaps identical to the regular grain offering in Nm 4:16 (cf. Neh 10:34). This offering is distinct from the grain offering that accompanies the daily burnt offering.
  5. 6:17–23 There are two types of purification offering: one whose blood is used inside the tent sanctuary (4:1–12, 13–21) and another whose blood was only used at the outer sacrificial altar (4:22–26, 27–31, 32–35). The carcasses of the former, as well as of purification offerings brought by the priests themselves (cf. 8:14–17; 9:8–11), are not eaten by priests but disposed of at the ash heap outside the camp, which itself is set up around the sanctuary (Ex 29:14; Lv 4:11–12, 21; 6:23; 8:17; 9:11; 16:27). The Letter to the Hebrews compares Jesus’ suffering “outside the gate” to the disposal of purification offering carcasses outside the camp (Hb 13:11–13).
  6. 7:1–6 These prescriptions may appear here rather than in 5:14–26 where this offering is first treated because the monetary equivalent of the offering might have been brought instead of an actual animal. See note on 5:15.
  7. 7:9–10 For the distinction between uncooked and cooked grain offerings, see 2:1–10 and note on 2:1. The contradiction between v. 9 and 2:10 may reflect a development in custom, with the distribution in v. 9 coming from earlier times, when sanctuary personnel was more limited.
  8. 7:11–36 This section discusses three types of communion sacrifice: the thanksgiving offering (vv. 12–15), a votive offering, and a voluntary offering (vv. 16–18). The latter two are similar and are thus mentioned together. Verses 19–36 apply to all types of communion sacrifice.
  9. 7:12–13 Four types of breads accompany the thanksgiving offering. Three types are cooked grain offerings comparable to those in 2:4–10. Also required are loaves of leavened bread (see 2:11).
  10. 7:14 Contribution: Hebrew terumah. This does not indicate a particular ritual action. The word simply means “gift, something set apart.”
  11. 7:15–18 Sacrifices must be properly consumed for them to be effective (cf. also 19:5–8; 22:30). Similar rules obtain for the Passover offering (Ex 12:10; Nm 9:12; cf. Ex 23:18; 34:25; Dt 16:4) and the ordination offering (Ex 29:34; Lv 8:32).
  12. 7:16 Votive or a voluntary offering: these are not specific types of offerings but rather motivations for bringing the communion sacrifice (cf. 22:18). A votive offering is brought as the consequence of a promise (vow) made to God. A voluntary offering is a spontaneous gift to God independent of a prior promise. See note on 27:2–13.
  13. 7:18 Bear the penalty: this refers in many cases to punishment by God (cf. 17:16; 19:8; 20:17, 19; Nm 18:1, 23; 30:16).
  14. 7:19–21 For ritual impurity, see note on 11:1–15:33.
  15. 7:20 Cut off: a common term in the Priestly source that cannot always be reduced to a simple English equivalent, since its usage appears to involve a number of associated punishments, some or all of which may come into play in any one instance (see Ex 12:15 and note). All the same, as a punishment from God, to be “cut off” (from one’s people) frequently appears to refer to termination of the offender’s family line (and perhaps in some cases an early death); see Lv 20:2–3, 20–21; Ru 4:10; Ps 109:13; Mal 2:12.
  16. 7:30 Raised as an elevated offering: these portions of the sacrifices were specially dedicated by lifting them in presentation before God’s abode. The sanctifying effect of this action is clearly seen in 23:17–20; Nm 6:19–20.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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