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Article 0135 - Old Testament Sacrifices


Old Testament Sacrifices

Jon Gary Williams

Within the law of Moses there were four different blood sacrifices: 1) Burnt Offering, 2) Sin Offering, 3) Trespass Offering, 4) Peace Offering. Following is a breakdown of these sacrifices, categorized by: Purpose, Victim, God's Portion, Priest's Portion, and Offerer's Portion.

Burnt Offering

(Lev. 1; 6:8-13; 8:18-21; 16:24)

- Purpose: to propitiate for sin in general, a means of approach by unholy people to a holy God
- Victim: male, unblemished: ox, sheep, goat or dove (according to wealth)
- God's portion: entire animal (hence called kalil, whole burnt offering)

- Priest's portion: nothing
- Offerer's portion: nothing

Sin Offering

(Lev. 4:1-5, 6:24-30; 8:14-17; 16:3-22)

- Purpose: to atone for specific transgressions where no restitution was possible
- Victim: priest or congregation: bullock; ruler: he-goat; commoner: she-goat
- God's portion: fatty portions (fat covering inwards; kidneys, liver, caul)
- Priest's portion: all remaining (to be eaten within court of tabernacle)
- Offerer's portion: nothing

Trespass Offering
(also called Guilt Offering)
(Lev. 5:14-6; 7:1-6)

- Purpose: to atone for specific transgressions where restitution was possible, damages computed at six-fifths, payable in advance - legal satisfaction.
- Victim: ram only
- God's portion: fatty portions (fat covering inwards; kidneys, liver, caul)

- Priest's portion: all remaining (to be eaten within the court of the tabernacle)
- Offerer's portion: nothing

Peace Offerings
(Leviticus 3)

These offerings represented fellowship with God and with other believers. Peace Offerings were the only offering which the worshiper ate. In fact, they were a communion meal. In a symbolic sense everyone ate together (God, priest, worshiper, and others in the faith community). There were three types of peace offerings.

1. Thank Offering (Lev. 7:12-15)
- Purpose: For an unexpected blessing or deliverance already granted by God

- Victim: Unblemished male or female ox/sheep/goat

- God's portion: fatty portions

- Priest's portion:
a. Wave offering: breast, to the high priest
b. Heave offering: right foreleg, to the officiating priest (to be eaten in any clean place)

- Offerer's portion: remainder, eaten in court on the first or second day (this was a community meal eaten with others)

2. Votive Offering (Lev. 7:16)
- Purpose: for blessing or deliverance already granted, when a vow had been made in support of the petition
- Victim: unblemished male or female ox/sheep/goat

- God's portion: fatty portions

- Priest's portion:
a. Wave offering: breast, to the high priest
b. Heave offering: right foreleg, to the officiating priest (to be eaten in any clean place)

- Offerer's portion: remainder, eaten in court on the first or second day (this was a community meal eaten with others)

3. Freewill Offering (Lev. 7:16)
- Purpose: to express general thankfulness and love toward God, without regard to specific blessings
- Victim: male or female ox/sheep/goat (minor imperfections permitted)
- God's portion: fatty portions

- Priest's portion:
a. Wave offering: breast, to the high priest
b. Heave offering: right foreleg, to the officiating priest (to be eaten in any clean place)
Offerer's portion: remainder, eaten in court on the first or second day (this was a community meal eaten with others)

There were also grain and drink offerings (Leviticus 2; 6:14-23). These offerings usually accompanied the burnt offerings and peace offerings.

  


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