We continue on with explanations of sacrifices. In particular it shines a little light what on earth an “offering of well-being” (or a “rapprochement offering,” to use the NCT translation) might be. It gives three occasions where one might offer this sacrifice. The first is an act of thanksgiving. Something good happens to you, you give this offering to God in thanks. The others are what the NRSV calls a “votive offering or a free-will offering.” Votive can mean several things, so I was rather glad that the NCT used a somewhat obscure Japanese word, mankan, which means “a fulfillment of a vow.” I know there are a number of ways of making vows and oaths that come up in the Bible, including the most famous, the Nazirite vow. A “free-will” offering is…well, I guess any time you just feel like making an offering, hoping to get closer to God, this is what you do.
I think that’s why the Japanese uses the term wakai. The character in this word mean “peace” and “understanding.” All of these sacrifices are things you do as part of a good relationship with God. They have a positive feeling in contrast to those of the sin-sacrifices. What’s more, while it’s a little unclear, I think the person who made the offering gets to eat part of it rather than just the priest. It’s like having a meal with God.
As a result, it’s pretty adamant that you have to be in a “clean” state when doing it. in fact, it states that if you’re not, you’re cut of from the tribe. Of course, thus far there’s been no definition of what’s clean or unclean. That waits until chapters 11-15.
Other offenses that can see you ostracized are eating fat and blood. The former leads to pretty healthy diet, I suppose. Personally I’ve never had much desire to consume blood, though I know my late grandfather was a big fan of blood sausage. And of course Jehovah’s Witnesses take this passage to mean you can’t get blood transfusions – apparently forgetting that, in both Judaism and Christianity, saving a life trumps most of these laws.
The Japanese: shikkkou suru “to execute, to perform” (v 7), kouhei ni “fairly, equally” (v 10), mankan “fulfillment of a vow,” zuii “optional, voluntary” (v 16), fujou “unclean” (v 18), shoujita “originated” (v 21), youto ni tsukaeru “can be utilized” (v 24), reimotsu “gift” (v 32).