(Chapters 1 - 9)|
God's instructions for animal sacrifices
God gives detailed instructions for
performing ritualistic animal sacrifices. Such bloody rituals must
be important to God, judging from the number of times that he repeats their instructions.
Indeed the entire first nine chapters of Leviticus can be summarized as follows:
Get an animal, kill it, sprinkle the blood around, cut the dead animal into
pieces, and burn it for a "sweet savor unto the Lord."
Does God desire animal sacrifices?
(1:3, 10) "Offer a male without blemish."
Only unblemished males are to be
killed and offered to God. Females don't even make good burnt offerings.
(1:5) "Kill the bullock before the LORD ... bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar."
(1:6) "Flay the burnt offering; cut it into pieces."
(1:8-9) "Lay ... the head, and the fat ... on the fire which is upon the altar:
But his inwards and his legs ... burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice ... a sweet savour unto the LORD."
And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle
of the congregation, saying,
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you
bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle,
even of the herd, and of the flock.
If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without
blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of
the congregation before the LORD.
And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it
shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.
And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the
blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the
door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.
And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay
the wood in order upon the fire:
And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood
that is on the fire which is upon the altar:
But his inwards and his
legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to
be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto
And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the
goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without
And he shall kill
it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests,
Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar.||
(1:11) "Kill ... before the Lord and ... sprinkle blood round about."
And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay
them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:||
(1:12-13) "Cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat ... and burn it ... for a sweet savour unto the Lord."
But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn
it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of
a sweet savour unto the LORD.
And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of fowls, then
he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons.||
And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the
altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the
(1:14-15) "If the burnt sacrifice ... to the Lord be of fowls ... wring off his head, and burn it ... and the blood thereof shall be wrung out."
And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers, and cast it beside the
altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes:
And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it
asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is
upon the fire: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a
sweet savour unto the LORD.||
(1:17) "For a sweet savour unto the Lord."