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Leviticus 1 – 6:7
The Burnt Offering
This offering can be a young male calf, male sheep, male goat, a dove, or a young pigeon. All of these must be presented without blemish. They are to be sacrificed on the person’s behalf for atonement. These sacrifices are brought before the priests, killed violently, arranged on the altar, washed, and finally burned. “It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.” 1:9,13,17
The Grain Offering
This offering can be of fine flour mixed with oil and incense, baked fine flour cakes without yeast and mixed with oil, or wafers made without yeast and spread with oil. It can be uncooked, baked, made on a griddle, or cooked in a pan. There is never to be any yeast or honey in these offerings (those are a part of a different sacrifice). You are to add salt to all these offerings and are commanded not to leave that part out. It is the salt of the covenant 2:13. What is interesting about this offering is that a handful is taken out by the priests to be burned on the altar but, the rest is given to the priests as their portion. 2:3,10
The Fellowship Offering
This sacrifice can be a male or female animal without blemish. All of its fat parts including the kidneys and the liver covering are to be burned as a sacrifice on the altar. The animal’s blood is sprinkled on all sides of the altar. “All the fat is the LORD’s. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.” 3:15b-16
The Sin Offering
This offering depends on who you are:
A priest is to bring a young bull.
The community is to bring a young bull.
A leader is to bring a female goat without blemish.
A member of the community is to bring a female goat or lamb without blemish
This sacrifice includes the most steps and is the most public offering so far. It is for the sins that the people commit unknowingly but, will still be found guilty for. It even includes some negotiation room on what to bring if you’re very poor. If you cannot bring a female goat or lamb then you must bring two doves or two young pigeons. If you cannot bring the doves or pigeons you’re to bring an ephah of flour (about 2 quarts). If you bring the flour you must not put oil or incense in it unlike the grain offering, but the priests will still take their portion.
The sins this refers to are
- If anyone sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible (5:1)
- …if a person touches anything ceremonially unclean-whether the carcasses of unclean wild animals or of unclean livestock or of unclean creatures that move along the ground–even though he is unaware of it, when he learns of it he will be guilty (5:2)
- …if he touches human uncleanness–anything that would make him unclean–even though he is unaware of it, when he learns of it he will be guilty (5:3)
- …if a person thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil–in any matter one might carelessly swear about–even though he is unaware of it, in any case when he learns of it he will be guilty (5:4)
The Guilt Offering
This final type of offering builds off of the sin offering. Except it refers to when someone commits a sin against any one of God’s holy things instead of against His commandments as with the sin offering. For this offering, you are to bring an animal of the proper value for your sin, an animal without defect. Then the person is to add a fifth to that value and give it to the priest for restitution so that they can be forgiven. The person must also make right with whoever they have wronged that very same day by paying back in full and/or returning in full and adding a fifth to that value as well.
The sins this offering deals with are: (6:1-3)
- If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving his neighbor about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen
- …if he cheats him
- …if he finds lost property and lies about it
- …if he swears falsely
- …if he commits any such sin that people may do
There two things I find interesting about this last offering.
- A sin against another is a sin God takes personally
- God knows that our sin affects others and commands we make things right with interest