We are in the midst of studying the three purposes of the ZEVAH SHELAMIM (“ZEVAH” for short) or the Peace Offering.
The three purposes of the ZEVAH were to offer it up as a “Confession Offering”, a “Vow Offering”, or a “Free-will Offering”.
Let’s take a quick look at how the ZEVAH was used as a “Free-will Offering”.
The “Free-will Offering” was actually quite different from the “vow and confession” types of Peace Offerings.
With the “vow and confession” types of Peace Offerings, the worshipper was seeking something from the Lord.
This was not so with the “Free-will Offering”.
Rather the “Free-will Offering” was a spontaneous expression of gratitude and appreciation to all that the Lord had done in your life.
This kind of ZEVAH was presented out of the benevolence or religious impulse of the heart of the giver, and NOT in fulfillment of any obligation, promise, or vow.
We’re talking about a happy, fun-filled occasion.
Free-will offerings were made especially on great feast-days such as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of Tabernacles.
“Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the Lord, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate.”-Ezekiel 46:12
The “Free-will offering” was also used as a term for the contributions of Israel to the construction and furnishings of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and then later for the materials presented for the building of the First Temple.
Understand that all three types (confession, vow, and free-will) of Peace Offerings (ZEVAH) were concluded by a sacred meal that usually involved BOTH the worshipper and the priests.
In general, all three types of Peace Offerings were of a joyous nature, but the Free-will Offering was considered the most joyous.