Aharon’s sons will make it go up in smoke on the altar on top of the burnt offering which is on the wood on the fire; it is an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai.”-Leviticus 3:5
We are currently studying the third Levitical sacrifice known as the ZEVAH SHELAMIM or “Peace Offering”.
In terms of status, the ZEVAH actually represents a lower class of offering than the OLAH (burnt offering) or the MINCHAH (grain offering).
One way we know this is because with the OLAH and MINCHAH sacrifices, ONLY the priests were allowed to use or benefit from some part of the sacrificial offering.
The priests were permitted to keep the animal skin of the OLAH and were allowed eat a larger portion of the MINCHAH for their own personal meals.
While the ZEVAH was also considered a sacred meal, it could also be shared with BOTH the worshipper and the non-priest.
The point is since your common Israelite could also partake of the ZEVAH, it was judged to be of lower status than the OLAH and the MINCHAH.
SOME MORE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ZEVAH AND OLAH ARE AS FOLLOWS:
-Only certain PARTS of the animal are to be burned up in the Peace Offering.
-The types of animals that may be sacrificed for a ZEVAH cannot include birds that were allowed for the OLAH.
-The highest level of perfection of the sacrificial animal is not as strict in some types of the ZEVAH (however, it cannot be a poor or sickly specimen either).
-FEMALE animals may also be used for the Peace Offering.
ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE WERE SOME SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE ZEVAH AND OLAH AS FOLLOWS:
The practice of laying hands on the sacrificial animal is called for in both the ZEVAH and OLAH.
Recall that the Hebrew word for laying on of hands is “SEMIKHAH” and represented a symbolic transference of guilt from the worshipper to the animal. It was also an acknowledgement that the ownership of the animal had been transferred from the worshipper to the Lord.
Both the ZEVAH and the OLAH involve ONLY animals (no plant life allowed) that are to be burned up on the Brazen Altar.
Finally, notice verse 5 where it says that the ZEVAH (Peace Offering) is to be turned it into smoke so that it may produce a pleasing odor to the Lord.
I don’t mean to keep beating a dead horse, but notice that the clearly stated purpose of burning up the meat is to produce smoke that will result in an odor that will put a smile of the Lord’s face.