Restrictions And Limitations Concerning Sacrifices

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This section of Scripture deals with restrictions and  limitations concerning sacrifices. All sacrifices, whether made by Israelites or non Israelites, must be made without blemish (vv. 17-21). Nothing but perfect sacrifices should be offered to God. The prohibition of offering deformed animals is explained.(vv. 22-25). Just as the priests had to be free from physical defects, so did the sacrifices that they offered have to be perfect or the Lord would not accept them. The priest who had respect for his ministry and high regard for the sacrifices of God would only accept those animals that met God’s requirements. Gentiles are symbolized by unclean animals, and Israel by clean animals while the priests are symbolized by sacrificial animals. The one exception that allowed an animal with certain defects was in the case of a “freewill offering” (v. 23).

Limitations are also given concerning young sacrificial animals. They were not an acceptable offering before the eighth day after they were born. Also any animal was not to be slaughtered on the same day as their mothers (vv. 26-28).  This special requirement about the age of the offering shows the tender heart of the Creator toward His creation. A calf or lamb younger than one week who was transported any distance to the sanctuary might die in the process. The time limitationfor eating a thanksgiving offering was that it must be eaten the same day (vv. 29-30). If anyone should ask why they should honor and respect the sacrifices of God it is answered in the last three verses of the chapter. (1) These are God’s commandments and they must be obeyed (v. 31). (2) This is the way that God is glorified. (v. 32). (3) It was God who brought everyone out of Egypt (v.33).


Jesus was the sacrifice. I need to obey Him, glorify Him and give Him the credit for everything in my life.

Leviticus 22:17-33 (English Standard Version)

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