Messiah 201
Messiah in the Temple Offerings
R' Richard Pustelniak
January 2, 2001

The Korban Olah
The Korban Minchah
The Zevach Shelamim
The Source Texts
Important Terms
The Missing "Process" Elements
The Zevach Shelamim's Position in "The Process"
The Preparation of the  Zevach Shelamim
The Essential Zevach Shelamim
The Chatat
The Asham

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Warning: The truths contained in this teaching are not for the faint of heart, or the lukewarm! You can be sure that haSatan (the adversary) will do all he can to keep you from understanding and applying the concepts and truths contained herein, but it is our prayer that every one who receives these notes will carefully consider and apply the contents to their lives.

VI. The Zevach Shelamim

VI-A. The Source Texts
bible iconWhen his offering is a sacrifice of a peace offering, if he offers it of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the L_RD. And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of meeting; and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall sprinkle the blood all around on the altar. Then he shall offer from the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire to the L_RD. The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; and Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is on the wood that is on the fire, as an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the L_RD. If his offering as a sacrifice of a peace offering to the L_RD is of the flock, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. If he offers a lamb as his offering, then he shall offer it before the L_RD. And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of meeting; and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar. Then he shall offer from the sacrifice of the peace offering, as an offering made by fire to the L_RD, its fat and the whole fat tail which he shall remove close to the backbone. And the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; and the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire to the L_RD. And if his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before the L_RD. He shall lay his hand on its head and kill it before the tabernacle of meeting; and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar. Then he shall offer from it his offering, as an offering made by fire to the L_RD. The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; and the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma; all the fat is the L_RD's. This shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall eat neither fat nor blood. (Lev 3:1-4:1, emphasis added)
bible iconThis is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which he shall offer to the L_RD: If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer, with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, or cakes of blended flour mixed with oil. Besides the cakes, as his offering he shall offer leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offering. And from it he shall offer one cake from each offering as a heave offering to the L_RD. It shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offering. The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day it is offered. He shall not leave any of it until morning. But if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offers his sacrifice; but on the next day the remainder of it also may be eaten; the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day must be burned with fire. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering is eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, nor shall it be imputed to him; it shall be an abomination to him who offers it, and the person who eats of it shall bear guilt. (Lev 7:11-18, emphasis added)
bible iconHe who offers the sacrifice of his peace offering to the L_RD shall bring his offering to the L_RD from the sacrifice of his peace offering. His own hands shall bring the offerings made by fire to the L_RD. The fat with the breast he shall bring, that the breast may be waved as a wave offering before the L_RD. And the priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons'. Also the right thigh you shall give to the priest as a heave offering from the sacrifices of your peace offerings. He among the sons of Aaron, who offers the blood of the peace offering and the fat, shall have the right thigh for his part. For the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering I have taken from the children of Israel, from the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and I have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons from the children of Israel by a statute forever. (Lev 7:29-34, emphasis added)
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VI-B. Important Terms

Zevach Shelamim ( ): An offering, signifying a celebration of the goodness of the Holy One, and expressive of a desire to share some kind of good news relating to Him. This offering resolves to a celebratory feast, revolving around the eating of the meat of the korban.

Zevach ( ): An offering that has been ceremonially slaughtered. The meat, provided in this manner is intended to serve as a ceremonial "food."

The Passover feast is a special zevach shelamim, which proclaims and celebrates our deliverance, from slavery in the days of Moses, and from sin and death in our Messiah.

bible iconThen Y'Shua said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven — not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever." (Jn 6:53-58, emendation added)

Shalom ( or ): Shalom is generally translated, "peace." But, as we have previously seen, a better word for "peace" is "menuchah." Shalom actually derives from a root that means wholeness, completeness, perfection, etc. It speaks to a state of being, where nothing is missing, and all is as it should be: health, prosperity, favor, peace, etc.

Shalom can also speak to a state of relationship, where one is in right relation, or has been reconciled to a right relation. Shalom does not mean "peace," but peace is a natural, and desired, by-product.

Shalam ( ): to reward, to cause to be finished, to make complete, to make restitution, to make perfect (as in nothing is missing or incomplete), etc.

Y'shalem ( ): means to restore, to replace what is missing, or (legally) to make whole, from some sort of damages (restitution).

Mizbeach ( ): altar, or literally, the "place where zevachim (plural of zevach) are brought."

Note that the mizbeach is to be constructed only of avanim sh'leimot ( ), whole, uncut stones. Notice the use of the root shared with shalom.

Terumah ( ): Literally, that which has been "raised up" or "lifted," from ruum ( ), which means to "raise," "lift" or "exalt." It speaks to the idea of offering a "gift" or "contribution."

Terumah is the portion of the zevach shelamim that is given to the officiating priest.

Aggadah ( ): the "telling" of a story, or commenting on an activity or account. More succinctly, an aggadah is a "proclamation," or wide distribution of some knowledge or information, to the benefit of the hearers.

In association with the zevach shelamim, the aggadah is the explanation, to the gathered assembly, relating the reason that the feast has been called and prepared.

bible iconFor I received from the L_rd that which I also delivered to you: that the L_rd Y'Shua on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the L_rd's death till He comes. (1Co 11:23-26, emphasis and emendation added)

This portion of the service is still operating in the celebratory feast that follows a wedding. At some point, near the end of the meal, the guests indicate their desire for a "telling": addresses by the bride, groom, and their representatives, the topics being, "How did you meet?", "How did you determine that he/she was the one?", "How have you changed each other's lives?", etc.

The intention expressed in the "telling" is to cultivate a desire, in the hearers, to obtain, or to gain access to, what is being proclaimed.

bible iconI say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. (Rom 11:11-18, emphasis added)

Cheilev ( or ) means a specific kind of fat, associated with a korban. This fat is separate from the meat (typically by a membrane), and not joined to it. Cheilev is easily pealed away from the korban.

The cheilev, along with the complete fat tail (present only on goats and sheep), constitutes the memorial portion of the zevach that rises to the Holy One, by being converted to smoke (katar) on the altar. This memorial portion represents the very best of the korban, hence the very best of the one offering the korban.

The cheilev must be distinguished from shuman (), which is the fat that is intertwined with meat and cannot be separated from it. We have already seen, in action, the root that shuman is built upon, in the shemen of the minchah offering. Shuman may be eaten, while cheilev, being what is offered to the Holy One, may never be eaten, in the same way that blood may never be eaten.

The term cheilev can also be used figuratively, in reference to the very best of some provision. Here we see that Pharaoh is not actually speaking of eating fat, per se, but was speaking of partaking of the very best that his empire could offer.

bible iconAnd Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Say to your brothers, 'Do this: Load your animals and depart; go to the land of Canaan. Bring your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat (cheilev) of the land. Now you are commanded — do this: Take carts out of the land of Egypt for your little ones and your wives; bring your father and come. Also do not be concerned about your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.'" Then the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them carts, according to the command of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. (Gen 45:17-21, emphasis and emendation added)
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VI-C. The Missing "Process" Elements

As stated in the introduction to this series, there are five types of korbanot, only two of which have anything whatsoever to do with sin. The other three are making completely different statements, expressing completely different ideas. Unfortunately, the only thing that most believers know, about our Messiah's korban, is that it atones for sin. As we shall see in the next section, if that is all our Messiah has done for us, we have only been brought back to where we first came in, and there are three essential korbanot still due. Actually, only one of the remaining korbanot is actually an offering made to the Holy One. The korban olah is an expression of whole-hearted, unreserved devotion and dedication to the Holy One, including all that one is, and all of that one's potential. The korban minchah, is an expression of relief, quietness of spirit, and peace that ensues when one has laid his own agenda at the altar, and has set off on G_d's path, responsible only for faithfulness. The korban in view, the zevach shelamim, is actually a celebration of the state of intimacy with our Creator, as well as an expression of our desire to share what we have gained with others.

We all know that our Messiah voluntarily laid down on that wood, and yielded up His life, while suspended between heaven and earth, like smoke, in order to fulfill for us all of the temple korbanot. His korban also represents the victory over strife and struggle, as well as the peace we have with our beloved Creator, which comes as result of our complete surrender to Him, and to His ways. If all we know about His korban is the propitiatory aspects of it, we are missing out on our very reason for living, as well as the very best of what He has provided and accomplished for us, thereby. The very goal of the process lies well beyond propitiation, with the "end" or "goal" of the law, for those that believe, being fellowship and intimacy with our loving Creator, and with those created in His image.

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VI-D. The Zevach Shelamim's Position in "The Process"

The following diagram shall serve to encapsulate our study of this offering:

package image

The relationship status, with the Holy One, where the zevach shelamim becomes available is indicated by the highlighted area on the map. Representations of previous korbanot were presented as highlighted boundaries between various relational areas on the map. This situation is not applicable with the zevach shelamim, since the relational status, where the offering is available, is the goal of the entire process. The zevach shelamim is not an offering that provides access to the next desired state of relationship with the Holy One. Rather, it is an expression of joy and appreciation that one has arrived at the destination of the journey. In this area of relationship, one is free to make the zevach shelamim whenever one is moved to do so.

As we shall see, in our study of the other offerings in this series, the highlighted area represents a relational state where there is no sin, nor its stain, associated with the individual. If sin, or its stain, would be present, the area of the map then occupied would be farther from its center. Also, as we shall see, the zevach shelamim would be unavailable to that individual, until the prohibiting conditions have been properly dealt with.

The zevach shelamim is unavailable to one who has not rectified any and all existing sin-related conditions, who has not been purified from any and all related impurities, and then, who has not yet made a full dedication of self to the Holy One. Without such a dedication, the celebratory statements, relating to the ensuing intimacy, would be disingenuous and devoid of any true meaning.

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VI-E. The Preparation of the Zevach Shelamim

The zevach shelamim must, generally, be prepared as follows. There are variations, according to specific type.

  1. The zevach is to be brought to the kohen with one's own hands. It cannot be offered by a designated proxy.

  2. Unlike the korban olah, which must always be male (significant of the kind of effort one is committing to), the zevach shelamim may be male or female (signifying that the intimacy being expressed is no respecter of gender).

  3. The officiating priest is to inspect the zevach, to ensure that it is not flawed or blemished. For the zevach to be devoid of imperfections speaks to the holiness and perfection of the true zevach, Messiah Y'Shua. If blemishes would be present, the coming establishment of mutual agency would only serve to be a mutual exchange of blemishes.

  4. Along with the zevach, the one making the offering is to bring a certain minimum amount of food, which is to include leavened and, frequently, unleavened loaves of bread, in various permissible forms. The unleavened bread represents the pure production of our Messiah, and the leavened loaves represent the less than perfect production of His earthly agents. In this way, we are able to see that the Holy One recognizes that whatever we can produce, regardless of effort or intent, will be always be mingled with some amount of human self-interest and intervention.

  5. The one offering the zevach then performs the rite of s'michat yadayim (the laying on of hands), establishing the relationship of mutual agency. The one making the offering shall henceforth act in and through his korban, and vice-versa.

  6. The officiating priest then performs the rite of sh'chitah (ceremonial slaughter), and the korban symbolically lays its life down in the presence and service of the Holy One, in this case, toward the goal of feeding the hearts, minds and spirits of those in the sphere of influence of the one making the offering.

  7. The zevach is divided into its distributional elements:

    1. The memorial portion for the Holy One (the cheilev and complete fat tail, if present), which is converted to smoke on the altar, rising symbolically to the Holy One. In this case, the portion converted to smoke is referred to as "food."

    2. The terumah (also a gift to the Holy One, but resolving to the possession of His interface) for the officiating priest, who must eat it in a holy place, and in a holy state. This portion consists of specified amounts of the leavened and unleavened loaves, as well as the breast and right thigh of the zevach, speaking of the heart and strength of the one offering it.

    3. The rest of the korban, is designated for the one making the offering, and his invitees.

  8. The memorial portion for the Holy One is converted to smoke on the altar, rising symbolically to Him, as His portion of the feast, His "food," if you will.

  9. The terumah, is offered as a "wave" or "heave" offering. This portion of the zevach shelamim is also given as a gift to the Holy One. The terumah is placed on the palms of the one making the offering, supported (from below) by the palms of the officiating priest. It is then "lifted and waved" as an expression of thanks and appreciation. The terumah is then given to the Holy One's interfacing agent, the officiating kohen (priest), who must eat it in a holy place, and in a holy state.

  10. The rest of the zevach, the bread loaves, and other provided feast foods are to be eaten by the one making the offering, and his invitees. This is the "feast" portion of the korban ceremony.

  11. At some point, near the end of the meal(s) of the feast, the one making the offering obtains the attention of the participants, and shares the aggadah, a proclamation of the goodness of G_d, and specifically, sharing the circumstances giving rise to the offering and its feast. There are many types of zevach shelamim: a free-will gift, the fulfillment of an articulated vow, the completion of a period of special dedication (such as a nazarite vow), an expression of thanksgiving for some kind of special mercy or provision on the part of the Holy One.

  12. Depending on the specific type of zevach shelamim, there is a specified time limit (one to two days), after which, the remaining elements of the feast that have not been eaten must be consumed out of existence by fire. This signifies that opportunity to be influenced by the aggadah is limited, and will definitely pass from availability.
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VI-F. The Essential Zevach Shelamim

Like the korban olah and the korban minchah, the zevach shelamim has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with sin. Rather, it is expressive of the goal of the entire process: intimacy with our Creator. It is essentially a shared meal, the participants being: the one making the offering, our Creator, His interfacing agent (our Messiah in effigy), those who share in the joyful intimacy with Him, as well as those who "could" share in that joy, if they would only make the right decisions and take the commensurate actions to make it so.

Sharing a meal is more than simply eating food. It is a symbolic joining of the participants, in that, the same food goes into the mouths of each, and becomes part of the bodies of each. Since G_d also partakes of a portion of the "food," He is also sharing this meal. As such, the zevach shelamim speaks beautifully of the relationship referred to by the Greek word, koinonia: fellowship, through common participation and sharing.

bible iconThat which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life-the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us —" that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship (koinonia) with us; and truly our fellowship (koinonia) is with the Father and with His Son Y'Shua the Messiah. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (1Jn 1:1-4, emphasis and emendation added)

This symbolic, intimate "joining" of participants is the reason that we are admonished not to eat with certain individuals. We ought not be joined, yoked together, or identified, with such folks.

bible iconBut now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. (1Co 5:11)

A zevach shelamim is intimately shared, where, sometimes, participants will dip into the common food pot, scoop up some of the contents with bread, and hand it to another participant, or, more intimately, actually place the food directly into the mouth of the other. It is a great honor when it is the sheikh, or leader, who is the one sharing his food in this manner, such as Boaz did for Ruth, or as Messiah did for His disciples, even, and most especially, with Judas, whom He did dearly love.

bible iconAnd Boaz answered and said to her, "It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The L_RD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the L_RD G_d of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge." Then she said, "Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants." Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, "Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar." So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back. (Ruth 2:11-14, emendation added)
bible iconY'Shua answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Y'Shua said to him, "What you do, do quickly." But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Y'Shua had said to him, "Buy those things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor. Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night. (Jn 13:26-30, emendation added)

Now, at a proper, intimate Passover seder, the leader, in order to ensure that each person gets the required quantity of any particular ceremonial food, dips for each participant, and hands it to each. Hence, Judas was not the only one receiving the dipped food from the Messiah. To fully show this, none of the other disciples knew that Judas was the betrayer. Y'Shua loved Judas, and included him in his intimate last seder.

As the korban olah speaks to the new birth experience, where the "prayer of salvation" should contain the essential element of complete submission, dedication and devotion to the Holy One, so the zevach shelamim speaks to the desire, yea even hunger, to share the gospel (good news) with others. Such activity does not enrich us, in the worldly sense, but it does fill us with great joy and celebration, especially when an invitee responds to our aggadah.


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