The Peace Offering: 6 Old Testament References

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Have you ever wondered about the ancient rituals and practices in the Old Testament?

In particular, what was the significance of the peace offering?

How did it play a role in seeking divine fellowship and guidance?

Join us as we delve into six poignant passages from the Old Testament that shed light on the purpose and practice of the peace offering.

These references found in Leviticus and other books provide valuable insights into the various types of peace offerings, the role of priests, and the significance of seeking divine fellowship and guidance through these offerings.

Prepare to be amazed as we uncover the hidden meaning behind these ancient customs and their relevance in our lives today.

Leviticus 3:1-5 – The Peace Offering of the Herd

Leviticus 3:1-5 introduces the peace offering with detailed instructions. Offerers were instructed to present a male or female from the herd without blemish to the Lord.

The act of laying hands on the offering and burning the fat on the altar symbolized a pleasing aroma to the Lord. This passage vividly depicts devotion and the desire for communion with the divine through the peace offering.

If we delve further into Leviticus 3:1-5, we find a rich symbolism that underlines the significance of the peace offering. By presenting an unblemished animal from the herd, individuals sought to express their utmost devotion and dedication to the Lord.

The act of laying hands on the offering served as a physical connection, an intimate gesture that conveyed the desire for divine fellowship and guidance.

Furthermore, the burning of the fat on the altar was not merely a ritualistic act; it held deep spiritual meaning. The aroma of the burning fat was believed to ascend to the heavens, symbolizing a pleasing offering to the Lord.

It represented a tangible manifestation of the individual’s commitment and longing for communion with the divine.

“And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caulet that is above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.”

This passage from Leviticus 3:1-5 underscores the meticulous attention given to the peace offering. Every detail of the offering was to be presented and handled with utmost reverence and care.

It served as a reminder of the importance of sincerity and wholehearted devotion in seeking divine communion.

In the tranquil setting of the ancient worship rituals, the peace offering of the herd stood as a poignant expression of faith and reverence.

Through this act, individuals sought to establish a profound connection with the divine, offering themselves as vessels of peace and seeking harmony in their relationship with God.

A Symbol of Unity and Reconciliation

The peace offering of the herd not only symbolized individual devotion but also played a vital role in fostering unity and reconciliation within the community.

By partaking in the peace offering, worshippers demonstrated their commitment to maintaining harmonious relationships with one another, as well as with the divine.

The peace offering of the herd, as depicted in Leviticus 3:1-5, serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of seeking divine fellowship and guidance. It exemplifies the deep faith and devotion of ancient worshippers as they offered themselves, their animals, and their hearts to the Lord.

This passage invites us to reflect on the role of peace offerings in our own lives, as we strive for communion and peace in our relationships, both human and divine.

Leviticus 7:11-15 – The Law of the Peace Offering

Leviticus 7:11-15 provides profound insights into the law of the peace offering, revealing the diverse expressions of faith and thankfulness in the religious practices of the Old Testament.

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This passage not only explores the different types of peace offerings but also emphasizes the significance of thanksgiving offerings, vows, and voluntary offerings.

The law of the peace offering allows individuals to express their gratitude, fulfill vows, or seek fellowship with God through various offerings. One such offering mentioned in Leviticus 7:11-15 is the thanksgiving offering, which serves as an act of appreciating God’s blessings and provision.

This form of offering allows worshippers to give thanks for specific blessings received or in general for God’s goodness in their lives.

“And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that one may offer to the Lord. If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of fine flour well mixed with oil.

With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving he shall bring his offering with loaves of leavened bread. And of it he shall offer one loaf from each offering, as a gift to the Lord. It shall belong to the priest who throws the blood of the peace offerings.” – Leviticus 7:11-14

Type of OfferingDescription
Thanksgiving OfferingAn offering made to express gratitude for specific blessings or God’s overall goodness.
Vow OfferingsAn offering made to fulfill a vow or commitment made to God.
Voluntary OfferingsAn offering made willingly and voluntarily to seek fellowship with God.

The inclusion of unleavened cakes mixed with oil and other offerings in the thanksgiving offering showcases the abundance and variety of ways in which worshippers could express their thankfulness.

The offerings presented in the peace offering demonstrate the importance of fellowship and communion with God, highlighting the multifaceted nature of faith and devotion.

law of the peace offering

Leviticus 7:31-34 – The Priest’s Portion

The priests, who served as mediators between the people and God, received a special portion of the peace offerings in accordance with Leviticus 7:31-34. This portion consisted of the breast and the right shoulder of the offering.

This allocation to the priests highlights the reciprocal relationship between worshipers, the priesthood, and God. While the peace offerings symbolized peace and sought divine fellowship, they also played a vital role in supporting the community’s spiritual leaders – the priests.

The priest’s portion served as a tangible reminder of the importance of the priestly role in facilitating communication and communion with God. It signified the priest’s authority and responsibility in mediating between the people and the divine.

By receiving a portion of the peace offerings, the priests were not only sustained but also recognized as integral to the worship practices and spiritual welfare of the community.

Let us reflect on the significance of the priest’s portion in the peace offering, recognizing the importance of these mediators in ancient worship rituals.

“When the breast is waved as a wave offering before the Lord, the priest shall have the breast as his portion forever. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘This is the portion of Aaron and of his sons, from the Lord’s food offerings, from the day they were presented to serve as priests of the Lord.

The Lord commanded this to be given them by the people of Israel, from the day that he anointed them. It is a perpetual due throughout their generations.'” – Leviticus 7:34

Key Points:

  • The priests received a portion of the peace offerings, including the breast and the right shoulder.
  • This allocation underscored the reciprocal relationship between worshipers, the priesthood, and God.
  • The priest’s portion supported the community’s spiritual leaders and highlighted their role as mediators.
  • It emphasized the significance of the priestly role in facilitating communication and communion with God.

Leviticus 9:18-21 – The Peace Offering at the Tabernacle’s Consecration

During the consecration of Aaron and his sons, peace offerings were made alongside burnt offerings. This significant event marked a moment of profound communal and divine fellowship, showcasing the role of the peace offering in important religious and community milestones.

Leviticus 9:18-21 serves as a powerful example of seeking divine blessing during pivotal moments and seeking communion with God through the peace offering.

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As stated in Leviticus 9:18-21, Aaron and his sons brought forth the peace offerings as an act of worship and obedience. This offering symbolized their desire for peace and harmony with God, seeking His favor and blessings.

The combination of peace offerings and burnt offerings during the tabernacle’s consecration emphasized the multifaceted relationship between the divine and the people, encompassing both communion and sacrifice.

Through the peace offering, the people expressed gratitude, devotion, and their commitment to honoring God. It was not merely a ritualistic act but a heartfelt gesture of seeking divine presence and guidance in their lives and the life of the community.

“And Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.

And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” – Leviticus 9:22-24

This passage from Leviticus exemplifies the awe-inspiring moment when God’s glory manifested itself to the people, affirming the acceptance of their offerings and establishing a profound connection between the divine and the human.

The peace offering played a vital role in this encounter, symbolizing the desire for divine communion and divine acceptance of the people’s devotion.

This visual representation of divine approval deeply moved the people, prompting them to acknowledge their awe and prostrate themselves in reverence. It is an incredible testament to the power and significance of the peace offering in forging a shared bond between the divine and humanity.

To further illustrate the peace offering’s role at the tabernacle’s consecration, we can explore a detailed comparison between the peace offering and the burnt offering:

Peace OfferingBurnt Offering
Symbolized peace and harmony with GodSymbolized complete surrender and dedication to God
Signified seeking divine fellowship and guidanceSignified total reliance on God’s mercy and forgiveness
Expressed gratitude, devotion, and commitmentRepresented atonement for sins
Burned on the altar as a pleasing aroma to the LordBurned entirely on the altar as a dedication

The comparison between the peace offering and the burnt offering highlights the unique aspects of each ritual while underscoring their shared purpose of seeking divine favor and establishing a connection with God.

As we delve into the Old Testament references, it becomes evident that the peace offering played a crucial role in ancient worship rituals. It served as a means of expressing gratitude, seeking guidance, and fostering communal and spiritual unity.

Leviticus 9:18-21 serves as a captivating example of how the peace offering symbolized divine fellowship during significant milestones, leaving a lasting impact on the worshippers and the community at large.

Peace Offering at the Tabernacle's Consecration

1 Samuel 10:8 – Saul’s Instructions for Peace Offerings

In 1 Samuel 10:8, Samuel instructs Saul to wait seven days for him to come and offer burnt offerings and peace offerings.

This instruction underscores the importance of patience, obedience, and the role of peace offerings in seeking divine guidance and favor. It serves as a valuable lesson in waiting on divine timing with obedience and hope.

Saul's Instructions for Peace Offerings

As Saul awaited Samuel’s arrival to offer the peace offerings, he demonstrated an unwavering trust in God’s timing and an understanding of the divine significance of these offerings.

The peace offering symbolized seeking divine guidance, favor, and reconciliation with God. Through obedience to Samuel’s instructions and the act of presenting the peace offering, Saul’s faith and devotion were displayed.

The peace offering, along with burnt offerings, played a vital role in establishing a connection between individuals and the divine. It served as a means to seek divine guidance, favor, and to establish peace and fellowship with God.

Saul’s adherence to the instructions for peace offerings highlights the importance of following divine guidance and the faith required to wait on God’s timing.

“Wait for me seven days until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”

1 Samuel 10:8

Samuel’s instructions to Saul not only emphasized obedience, but they also highlighted the significance of waiting and seeking divine guidance before taking action. The peace offering held the power to align individuals with the divine will and provide clarity and direction.

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This account in 1 Samuel 10:8 serves as a reminder that seeking divine guidance and offering peace offerings go hand in hand.

Through patience, obedience, and the act of presenting peace offerings, individuals can connect with the divine, seek God’s favor, and receive the guidance needed for their journey.

2 Chronicles 33:16 – King Manasseh’s Repentance

After a reign marked by idolatry and sin, King Manasseh experiences a transformative moment of repentance. Recognizing the error of his ways, he takes significant steps towards restoration and reconciliation with God.

In 2 Chronicles 33:16, we witness the power of the peace offering in this process of redemption and the restoration of fellowship.

To demonstrate his sincere repentance, King Manasseh repairs the altar of the Lord, symbolizing the restoration of the sacred place of worship.

This act of reverence and humility signifies a turning point in his relationship with God, highlighting the significance of seeking forgiveness and restoration through tangible actions.

“He also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, as well as all the altars which he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside the city.”

This powerful quote from 2 Chronicles 33:16 illustrates King Manasseh’s commitment to cleansing the spiritual landscape and purging it from all forms of idolatry.

By removing foreign gods and their accompanying altars, he demonstrates his sincere repentance and desire to restore the purity of worship in Judah.

The peace offering served as a pivotal element in this process of redemption. In verse 16, we learn that King Manasseh offers peace and thanksgiving offerings to the Lord.

This act of worship signifies his genuine remorse, gratitude, and desire to restore fellowship with God.

Through the peace offering, King Manasseh seeks to mend the broken relationship with the divine and regain the favor and blessings of the Lord. The peace offering’s role in repentance and reconciliation is evident in this profound moment of transformation in King Manasseh’s life.

King Manasseh's Repentance

This striking image visually encapsulates the powerful impact of repentance and the restoration of fellowship with God. As King Manasseh humbly offers his peace and thanksgiving offerings, he embodies the profound transformation that can occur when we seek reconciliation and forgiveness with a contrite heart.

In 2 Chronicles 33:16, we witness the redemptive power of the peace offering and its role in restoring fellowship with God. King Manasseh’s repentance serves as a timeless reminder of the transformative potential of seeking forgiveness, reconciliation, and a renewed relationship with the divine.

Key Elements of King Manasseh’s RepentanceImplications
Repairing the altar of the LordSymbolizes the restoration of sacred worship and devotion
Removal of foreign gods and idolsSignifies the rejection of idolatry and a return to exclusive worship of the Lord
Offering peace and thanksgiving offeringsExpresses genuine remorse, gratitude, and a desire to restore fellowship with God
Transformation and restorationHighlights the redemptive power of repentance and the potential for reconciliation with the divine

Do Old Testament References to Peace Offerings Present Similar Messages to New Testament Parables about Peace?

The Old Testament references to peace offerings and the New Testament parables teaching about peace share a similar message of reconciliation and harmony. Both emphasize the importance of making peace with others and seeking forgiveness, demonstrating the timeless value of peace in human relationships.


Throughout the Old Testament, the peace offering emerges as a profound and meaningful practice in ancient worship rituals. By exploring the six referenced passages, we have gained valuable insights into the purpose and significance of peace offerings.

These passages emphasize the importance of seeking divine fellowship, expressing gratitude, fulfilling vows, and seeking divine guidance through the peace offering.

The instructions for presenting peace offerings, as outlined in Leviticus and other books, showcase the dedication and devotion of worshipers.

The peace offering served as a tangible expression of their desire for communion with the divine. It symbolized peace and harmony between the worshiper and God, creating a sacred bond that fostered spiritual growth and divine favor.

Moreover, the role of priests in the peace offering is highlighted, underscoring their significance as mediators between the people and God.

The priest’s portion of the peace offering served not only as a provision for their sustenance but also as a demonstration of the reciprocal relationship between the worshipers and the priesthood.

It emphasized the communal aspect of worship and the support needed to maintain spiritual leadership.

In summary, the peace offering played a crucial and transformative role in the religious practices of the Old Testament. It provided a meaningful way for worshipers to seek divine fellowship, express gratitude, fulfill vows, seek divine guidance, and restore fellowship when repentance was necessary.

The peace offering serves as a reminder of the timeless human desire for a harmonious relationship with the divine, transcending time and offering valuable lessons for spiritual growth and connection.

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