Leviticus 1

The Burnt Offering

1:1 The LORD [God Himself instructed Moses regarding sacrifices] called to Moses and spoke to him [God spoke to Moses and through Moses to all Israel] from the Tent of Meeting [a temporary tent of worship; cf. Ex. 33:7-10 and 38:8]. He said,

1:2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any of you brings [voluntarily] an offering to the LORD, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd [cattle] or the flock [sheep and goats].

1:3 “‘If the offering [provision was made for the financial ability of a worshiper (cf. 1:2-3,10,14)] is a burnt offering [totally consumed on the altar (as opposed to fellowship offerings which were partly eaten); cf. 2 Sam. 24:24] from the herd [the rich would offer a young bull], he is to offer a male without defect [a clean animal]. He must present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD.

1:4 He [the worshiper] is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering [thus symbolically transferring the offerer’s sins to the animal], and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement [purpose of the burnt offering; Heb. “kipper” (to make atonement) used almost 50 times in Leviticus] for him.

1:5 He is to slaughter the young bull [the hide was given to the priest as per Lev. 7:8] before the LORD, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood [cf. Lev. 17:14] and sprinkle it against the altar [roaring fire on altar gave off much heat, this “sprinkle” from a distance] on all sides at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

1:6 He is to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces.

1:7 The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire.

1:8 Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the burning wood that is on the altar.

1:9 He is to wash the inner parts and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing [from Heb. word meaning “rest”; “…gives an aroma of tranquility by bringing peace between God and the worshiper” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 2, p. 539); cf. Eph. 5:2] to the LORD.

1:10 “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the flock [the person of average means would offer a sheep or goat], from either the sheep or the goats, he is to offer a male without defect.

1:11 He is to slaughter it at the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle its blood against the altar on all sides.

1:12 He is to cut it into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, including the head and the fat, on the burning wood that is on the altar.

1:13 He is to wash the inner parts and the legs with water, and the priest is to bring all of it and burn it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

1:14 “‘If the offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds [the poor would offer a bird], he is to offer a dove or a young pigeon.

1:15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off the head and burn it on the altar; its blood [obviously very little blood, but still effective] shall be drained out on the side of the altar.

1:16 He is to remove the crop [NIV notes that the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; perhaps a reference to internal organs] with its contents [meaning is uncertain] and throw it to the east side of the altar, where the ashes are.

1:17 He shall tear it open by the wings, not severing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is on the fire on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

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