Leviticus 1 Commentary



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Leviticus 1 - Approaching a Holy God
Leviticus - Offerings and Sacrifices ; Priest, Priesthood
Leviticus 1 Commentary

Leviticus 1:1-17 The Law of Burnt Offerings

Leviticus 2:1ff, 6:14-18, 7:9-10, 10:12-13 The Grain Offering

Leviticus 3:1-17, 7:11-34, 19:5-8, 22: 29-30 The Fellowship Offering

Leviticus 4:1-5:13, 6:24-30 The Sin Offering

Leviticus 5:14-6:7, 7:1-The Guilt Offering

Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1  Drawing Near Through Death: The Burnt Offering
Leviticus 3 The Fellowship Offering

Leviticus 4 The Unintentional Sin Offering

Leviticus 5:14-6:7 The Guilt Offering    Dr. Derek Thomas

Leviticus 6:8-13 The Burnt Offering (1)

Leviticus 6:14-18 The Priest's Portion of the Grain Offering

Leviticus 6:19-23 The Grain Offering

Leviticus 6:24-30 Slain Before The Lord: The Sin Offering

Leviticus: Gifts to God
Leviticus 1:1 Introductory - Expositor's Bible Commentary

Leviticus 1:2-4 Sacrifice: The Burnt Offering - Expositor's Bible Commentary
Leviticus 1:5-17; 6:8-13 The Burnt Offering Concluded - Expositor's Bible Commentary
Leviticus 1:14-17 Turtledoves Or Pigeons

Leviticus 1:10-17 The Sacrifices Of The Poor

Leviticus 1:5 He Shall Kill The Bullock

Leviticus 1:5 The Slaying Of The Sacrifice

Leviticus 1:4-5 Laying The Hand Of Faith Upon The Head Of God's Sacrifice

Leviticus 1:4-5 He Shall Put His Hand Upon The Head Of The Burnt Offering

Leviticus 1:1-9 How Can A Sinner Come To God
Leviticus - Handbook of Bible Manners and Customs
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus Videos - enter Scripture, then select Video Player for short practical lecture
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus - Christ in the Book of Leviticus
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus  Introduction

Leviticus 1:1-17:16 Introduction

Leviticus 1:1-3:17.

Leviticus 4:1-5:13

Leviticus 5:14 - 19

Leviticus 6:1-7

Leviticus 6:19-23

Leviticus 6:24-7:21

Leviticus 7:22-27

Leviticus 7:28-36

Leviticus 7:37-38

Typology in Leviticus
Leviticus 1:1-17 The Burnt Offering

Leviticus 2:1-16 The Meal Offering

Leviticus 3:1-17 The Peace Offering

Leviticus 4:1-35 The Sin Offering

Leviticus 5:14 - 6:7 The Trespass Offering

Leviticus 1 Burnt Offering ; Typology in General
Leviticus 2 Meat (Grain) Offering
Leviticus 3, 7:11-21, 29-34 Peace Offering
Leviticus 4, 5:1-3 Sin Offering
Leviticus 5:14-19, 6:1-7 Trespass Offering
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1:1 Introductory - (Warren Wiersbe calls this text a CLASSIC!)

Leviticus 1:2-4 Sacrifice: The Burnt Offering
Leviticus 1:5-17; 6:8-13 The Burnt Offering Concluded

Leviticus 2:1-16; 6:14-23 The Meal-Offering

Leviticus 3:1-17; 6:11-34; 19:5-8; 22:21-25 The Peace Offering

Leviticus 4:1-35 The Sin Offering

Leviticus 4:4-35; 5:1-13; 6:24-30 The Ritual of the Sin Offering

Leviticus 5:14; 6:7; 7:17 The Guilt Offering

Leviticus 6:16-18; 7:6-10, 14, 31-36 The Priests Portions

Leviticus 1-7 Comments
Leviticus 1-7 Offerings and Sacrifices
Leviticus 1; 6:8-13 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Commentary|
Leviticus 1 The Burnt Offering (from "The Gospel in Leviticus")

Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus Summary (33 page summary by chapter)
Leviticus 1:1-9 The Burnt Offering as a Picture and a Prophecy
Leviticus Mp3's from Thru the Bible
Leviticus 1:9 Leviticus 2:1 Leviticus 3:1 Leviticus 4:2 Leviticus 5:5-6 Lev 6:13 Lev 7:19
Leviticus 1 Brief Comments
Leviticus Sermon Illustrations
Leviticus Overview

Leviticus 1 All on the Altar

Leviticus 2 Amber Waves of Grain

Leviticus 3 What a Fellowship! What a Joy Divine!

Leviticus 4 & 5 Repairing Sin's Damage to Your Life

Leviticus - Defender's Study Bible - type "lev 1", etc in "all these words"
Leviticus 1 Brief Comments
Leviticus 1 Burnt Offering
Leviticus 1 Commentary; Continued; Continued; Continued
Leviticus 1 Commentary; Leviticus 1 Commentary; Leviticus 1; Leviticus Table of Contents
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Commentary (Hint: Scroll down page for related Homilies)
Leviticus 1-2 Consecration of Self & Service
Leviticus 3-5 Peace, Sin And Trespass Offerings

Leviticus 6-8 Preparation Before Presentation

Leviticus 1 Notes
Leviticus 1 Lecture - The Burnt Offering
Leviticus 1:3,4 The Burnt Offering

Leviticus 2:1-3 The Meat Offering
Leviticus 2:13 The Meat Offering A Type of Christ
Leviticus 2:14-16 Green Ears of Corn to Be Offered

Leviticus 5:5,6 The Sin and Trespass Offerings Compared
Leviticus 5:17-19 The Trespass Offering A Type of Christ

Leviticus 7:11 The Peace Offering

Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 The Need To Belong

Leviticus 2 The Need To Respond

Leviticus 3 The Need For Peace

Leviticus 4,5 The Need To Confess

Leviticus 5,6 The Need To Restore

Leviticus 1:4-5 Putting the Hand Upon the Head of the Sacrifice
Leviticus 1:5 Slaying the Sacrifice
Leviticus 2:13 Salt for Sacrifice
Leviticus 4:3 The Sin Offering
Leviticus 4:6-7 The Sprinkling of the Blood of the Sacrifice
Leviticus 4:7 Blood Even on the Golden Altar
Leviticus 4:27-31 The Sin Offering For the Common People
Leviticus 4:29 Laying the Hand on the Sacrifice
Leviticus 4:29 Laying the Hand on the Sacrifice - Sermon Notes
Leviticus 5:17, 18 Sins of Ignorance

Leviticus 1:4 Devotional - Morning and Evening
Leviticus 1:4 Devotional - What Sanctifies Our Offerings?
Leviticus 1 Devotionals
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Commentary
Leviticus 1 Christ the Holocaust
Leviticus 2 Sacrifice of Self and Substance

Leviticus 3 Celebrating God's Peace
Leviticus 4 Christ the Sin Offering
Leviticus 5:14-6:7 God's Grace to Thieves

Leviticus 1 Commentary

Commentary Updated February 7, 2015

Lev 1:1 Then the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, (called: Ex 19:3 24:1,2,12 29:42 Jn 1:17) (from: Ex 25:22 33:7 39:32 40:34,35)

Leviticus Resources (Commentaries, Sermons, etc) compiled

Leviticus Overview of Offerings - J Paton

Daring to Delight in Leviticus - Interesting Question/Answer Introduction

Leviticus Overview "Down A Mine Shaft" - Robert Morgan

Table comparing Exodus and Leviticus

Introduction to Leviticus - John MacArthur

Analysis of Leviticus - James Van Dine

Introduction to Leviticus - J Vernon McGee

Introduction to Leviticus - Myer Pearlman

Living Messages in Leviticus - G Campbell Morgan

Reading and Hearing Leviticus - Why it is not preached - Arie Leder, D A Vroege

Leviticus 11:44

Irving Jensen explains the name of this book - It was the custom of the Jews to call each book of their Scriptures by its first word in the Hebrew text. For Leviticus this was wayyiqra, meaning “and he called.” Obviously this title does not indicate what Leviticus is about. The Greek Septuagint (Lxx) version, which was the first translation of the Old Testament, assigned the title Leuitikon, meaning “that which pertains to the Levites.” The reason for such a title is that much of the book concerns the ministry of the priests, who were an important segment of the tribe of Levi (cf. Heb 7:11). The Greek title was carried over into the Latin Vulgate as Leviticus, which was then adopted by the English Bible. (Jensen's survey of the Old Testament)

Andrew Bonar - THE cloud (see Shekinah glory cloud) that guided Israel had descended on the tabernacle; and while this pillar stood over it, the glory of the Lord filled the Holy of Holies within. (Exod. 40:34.) Rays of this glory were streaming out all around, perhaps like the light that shone from Christ’s form “on the holy Mount,” through his raiment, till the whole hill shone. Out of the midst of this “excellent glory” (2Pet. 1:17) came the voice of the Lord. He called on Moses as at the bush; and having fixed the undivided attention of Moses on him that spake, Jehovah utters his mind. What love is here! The heart of our God, in the midst of all his own joy, yearning to pour itself out to man! The date of these laws is probably a few days after the tabernacle had been set up. They are given not from Sinai, though at its foot (see Lev 27:34); but from over the mercy-seat, from between the cherubim, where the glory had so lately found a resting-place. Perhaps this intimated that all these institutions about to be given bear on the same great subject, viz., Atonement and its effects. Sinai and its law, a few weeks before, with the dark apostasy in the matter of the golden calf, had lately taught them the necessity of reconciliation, and made their conscience thirst for that living water. And it is given here. The first clause of this Book declares a reconciled God:—“The Lord called to Moses,” as a man to his friend. (Leviticus 1 The Burnt Offering )

Then the LORD: This time phrase (see value of assessing expressions of time) continues from the book of Exodus, which concluded with the completion of the Tabernacle. Leviticus in essence explains how Israel was to use the Tabernacle to approach a Holy God. Leviticus is God’s guidebook for His newly redeemed people, showing them how to worship, serve, and obey a holy God. Fellowship with God through sacrifice and obedience show the awesome holiness of the God of Israel.

Cambridge Bible -  The tabernacle had been reared up, and the cloud had covered it (Exodus 40:17-34); Moses, who was not able to enter into the tent of meeting (Exodus 40:35), remains without, and receives the first ordinances issued from within the tent. The verse connects these ordinances about sacrifice (chs. 1–7) with Exodus 40:35, and the erection of the tabernacle. (Leviticus 1 Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges)

The LORD - Jehovah

Called to Moses (3x) - Ex 10:24; 24:16; Lev 1:1

Tent of meeting - "There are two “Tents of Meeting”: the one that stood outside the camp (see, e.g., Ex 33:7) and the one that stood in the midst of the camp (Ex 40:2; Nu 2:2ff) and served as the LORD’s residence until the construction of the temple in the days of Solomon (Ex 27:21; 29:4; 1Kgs 8:4; 2Chr 5:5, etc.; cf. 2Sa 7:6). Ex 40:35 uses both “tabernacle” and “tent of meeting” to refer to the same tent: “Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” It is clear that “tent of meeting” in Lev 1:1 refers to the “tabernacle.” The latter term refers to the tent as a “residence,” while the former refers to it as a divinely appointed place of “meeting” between God and man. This corresponds to the change in terms in Ex 40:35, where “tent of meeting” is used when referring to Moses’ inability to enter the tent, but “tabernacle” when referring to the LORD taking up residence there in the form of the glory cloud. The quotation introduced here extends from Lev 1:2 through Lev 3:17, and encompasses the burnt, grain, and peace offering regulations." (Leviticus 1 - NET Bible Notes)

Click notes on Lev 3:2 for more discussion of the Tent of Meeting

Meeting (04150) (moed from the verb ya'ad meaning to appoint or fix) can refer to either a time or place of meeting. Moed often designates a determined time or place without any regard for the purpose. Since the Jewish festivals occurred at regular intervals, this word becomes closely identified with them. Thus moed is a common term for the worshiping assembly of God's people.  A specific appointed time, usually for a sacred feast or festival (Hos. 9:5; 12:9).

The Lxx translates meeting with the noun marturion (see verb form martureo) which refers to an objective act, circumstance, or statement that serves as a means of proof = evidence, testimony, witness.

Testimony (English) - A solemn declaration or affirmation made for the purpose of establishing or proving some fact. Such affirmation in judicial proceedings, may be verbal or written, but must be under oath. Testimony differs from evidence; testimony is the declaration of a witness, and evidence is the effect of that declaration on the mind, or the degree of light which it affords. (Webster - 1828)

Tent of Meeting - This phrase occurs 146x in 140v in NAS - Exod 27:21; 28:43; 29:4, 10f, 30, 32, 42, 44; 30:16, 18, 20, 26, 36; 31:7; 33:7; 35:21; 38:8, 30; 39:32, 40; 40:2, 6f, 12, 22, 24, 26, 29f, 32, 34f; Lev 1:1, 3, 5; 3:2, 8, 13; 4:4f, 7, 14, 16, 18; 6:16, 26, 30; 8:3f, 31, 33, 35; 9:5, 23; 10:7, 9; 12:6; 14:11, 23; 15:14, 29; 16:7, 16f, 20, 23, 33; 17:4ff, 9; 19:21; 24:3; Num 1:1; 2:2, 17; 3:7f, 25, 38; 4:3f, 15, 23, 25, 28, 30f, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 47; 6:10, 13, 18; 7:5, 89; 8:9, 15, 19, 22, 24, 26; 10:3; 11:16; 12:4; 14:10; 16:18f, 42f, 50; 17:4; 18:4, 6, 21ff, 31; 19:4; 20:6; 25:6; 27:2; 31:54; Deut 31:14; Josh 18:1; 19:51; 1 Sam 2:22; 1 Kgs 8:4; 1 Chr 6:32; 9:21; 23:32; 2 Chr 1:3, 6, 13; 5:5

Rob Morgan quips that

in Nashville, the highways all seem to be under construction at once. Briley Parkway, the major artery leading to our church, is under construction. They’re building an eight-lane highway right to our church, and it will be wonderful when it is finished. But for right now, you can be cruising down the highway at a good rate of speed, and suddenly you have to put on your brakes and the next thing you know, you’re crawling along at ten miles an hour. The book of Leviticus is sort of like a construction zone. When we start down the Route 66 of Scripture, we cruise along at a pleasant clip through Genesis and Exodus, but the pavement breaks up, as it were, in Leviticus, and we slow down to a crawl. But in preparing this series of messages from Leviticus, I’ve had two presuppositions.

First, Leviticus isn’t meant to be read, but studied. We don’t get a lot out of this book if all we do is read through it. Oh, here and there we find a good verse, and it is still a worthwhile project; but Leviticus yields its best secrets to those who study it.

Second, when we do study Leviticus, we find it full of information about Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah. I’ve realized that Leviticus is one of the most Christ-centered and Messianic books of the Old Testament. It is packed with pictures and prophecies about the Lord Jesus Christ. We primarily see this in three ways: First, the sacrifices on the Tabernacle altars speak of Christ. Second, the office and duties of the priests speaks of Christ. And third, the feasts and festivals of ancient Israel teach us various aspects of our Lord’s person and work. (The Divine Dermatologist)

The following chart (adapted from Irving Jensen) shows that Leviticus is the middle book of the  Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) and summarizes the significance of each of these books in the history of the nation of Israel.

of Israel
of Israel
of Israel
of Israel
to Israel
Ex 19:5-6
Lev 18:5

Leviticus is not the book in which most of do our morning devotionals! And yet Paul makes it clear that it is profitable and will equip us for the work of God writing that...

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2Ti 3:16-17)

A corollary conclusion is that failure to grasp God's truth in Leviticus will at least potentially leave some deficiency in the godly man or woman's adequacy for God's good works. Therefore it follows that students should study it, teachers should teach it and pastors should preach it.

Samuel Balentine is surely correct when he says that Leviticus "is perhaps the most neglected of the neglected biblical books.”

W. Graham Scroggie said

Exodus begins with sinners, but Leviticus begins with saints, that is, as to their standing.

Deffinbaugh writes that ...

Leviticus used to be the first book that Jewish children studied in the synagogue. In the modern Church it tends to be the last part of the Bible anyone looks at seriously. … In practice then, though not in theory, Leviticus is treated as though it does not really belong to the canon of Scripture. (J. Sidlow Baxter) (Learning to Love Leviticus - excellent introduction)

Sidlow Baxter

A certain lady, on being asked if she had ever read the Bible right through, replied: "I have never read it right through, though I have read much of it consecutively. Three time I have started to read it through, but each time I have broken down in Leviticus. I have enjoyed Genesis and Exodus, but Leviticus has seemed such dull reading that I have become discouraged and have given up.: Which did that friend the more deserve - sympathy or rebuke? To speak of Leviticus as "dull reading" misses the point of the book completely. How could we expect a book like Leviticus, which is occupied throughout with regulations, to provide exciting reading? Obviously, it is not meant just to be read, but to be studied. It yields little of its treasure to a mere reading; but a reasonable concentration transforms it into one of the most intriguing articles in the Scriptures.

At the outset, let us clear away certain discouraging misunderstandings about the book. There appear to be four such. First, there are those who think it impossible for them so to master all the ritual and symbol in Leviticus as to get much spiritual profit. Second, there are those who suppose that since the Levitical prescriptions have now long passed away, with the Mosaic dispensation, they cannot sustain any living relation to the present day. Third, there are others who profess difficulty inasmuch as certain of the Levitical commands, in their severity or seeming triviality, seem at variance with what else we know of God. Fourth, still others are discouraged because, whereas in Genesis and Exodus the main outline is easily found, there seems no such clear outline here, in this third book of Scripture.

Now, any fair study of Leviticus will quickly dispel these misgivings; for, as we shall see, it simply abounds in spiritual values; it has a living voice to our own day; its revelation of the Divine character is unique; and it is built together according to a clear plan. Its Mosaic authorship and Divine inspiration are attested by the Lord Jesus. It is referred to over forty times in the New Testament. All that follows it in the Scriptures is colored by it; and, therefore, a clear knowledge of it contributes greatly towards comprehending the message of the Bible as a whole. (Explore the Book)

Collin Hansen writes

I'm going to take a chance and suggest that delight is not the first word that comes to mind. Perhaps drudgery would be more accurate. How many well-intentioned Bible reading plans have crashed and burned in this book filled with detailed descriptions of how Israelites could worship and what they could eat and wear? Yet as Christians we understand that Leviticus is God's word for our good. Indeed, we believe that Leviticus—like the rest of the Old Testament—helps us understand the work of Christ.  (Daring to Delight in Leviticus)

OT scholar Dr William Barrick rightly asks

Why would we want to study a book that dedicates seven chapters to the sacrificial system of ancient Israel and five chapters to details concerning indelicate matters like the emission of a variety of bodily fluids?

Dr Barrick goes on to propose several reasons we might want to consider studying, teaching and preaching the Book of Leviticus...

  Jewish children once commenced their biblical studies with the Book of Leviticus. Ñ Bernard J. Bamberger, Leviticus, The Torah: A Modern Commentary, 5 vols. (New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1979), 3:xix.

  “Genesis is the book of beginnings, Exodus the book of redemption, and Leviticus the book of atonement and a holy walk. In Genesis we see man ruined; in Exodus, man redeemed; in Leviticus, man cleansed, worshiping and serving.” Ñ Merrill F. Unger, The New Unger’s Bible Handbook (Chicago: Moody, 1984), 85.

  “Leviticus is thus a work of towering spirituality, which through the various sacrificial rituals points the reader unerringly to the atoning death of Jesus, our great High Priest. An eminent nineteenth-century writer once described Leviticus quite correctly as the seed-bed of New Testament theology, for in this book is to be found the basis of Christian faith and doctrine. The Epistle to the Hebrews expounds Leviticus in this connection, and therefore merits careful study in its own right, since in the view of the present writer it is preeminent as a commentary on Leviticus.” Ñ R. K. Harrison, Leviticus: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1980), 9.

  See the New Testament use of Leviticus 18:5 in Luke 10:28; Romans 10:5; and, Galatians 3:12.

✓ See the New Testament use of Leviticus 19:18 in Matthew 19:19; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; and, James 2:8.

Here is Dr Barrick's outline on Leviticus...

I.     Sacrificial System (Leviticus 17)
II.    Ministry of the Priesthood (Leviticus 8Ð10)
III.   Laws of Purification (Leviticus 11-15)
IV.  Day of Atonement (Leviticus16)
V.  Covenant Ordinances (Leviticus 17-24)
VI.  Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25)
VII. Covenant Blessings and Curses (Leviticus 26)
VIII. Appendix: Vows and Promises (Leviticus 27)

W A Criswell writes that...

Leviticus is one of the most important books of the Old Testament. Without an understanding of the principles of atonement and holiness found in Leviticus, much of the New Testament has no foundation on which to rest. To say that Leviticus is one of the "most New Testament" books of the Old Testament would hardly be an exaggeration, for it foreshadows the Person and work of Christ in a most remarkable and elucidating manner.

Henrietta Mears writes...

The book of Leviticus is God's picture book for the children of Israel to help them in their religious training. Every picture pointed forward to the work of Jesus Christ. The title of Leviticus suggests the subject matter of the book—the Levites and the priests and their service in the Tabernacle. It is also called the Book of Laws.

We remember in the book of Exodus how God gave Moses the exact instructions about how to build the Tabernacle and about the institution of the priesthood to carry on the service in this holy place. Like Exodus, Leviticus begins with the Hebrew word we ("and"). As this book opens, the children of Israel are still at Mount Sinai. God is continuing to give His instructions for orderly worship in the Tabernacle.

In Genesis, we see humanity ruined.
In Exodus, humanity redeemed.
In Leviticus, humanity worshiping.

Leviticus is a timely book for it insists on keeping the body holy as well as the soul. It teaches that the redeemed ones must be holy because their Redeemer is holy. It gives us not only the key for our spiritual life and its holy walk, but it also surprises us with real lessons in hygiene and sanitation for the care of the body. The Jewish people are wonderful evidence of the result of this latter in their long and vigorous lives.

It is a divine book. The opening verse affords us the clue to the whole, "The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting." Leviticus is God speaking to us through the Tabernacle and its meaning.

It is a personal book. The second verse intimates this, "When any of you brings an offering to the Lord." Notice, He expects each person to bring his or her own gift. The way is often as important as the gift. Have you an offering for the Lord? Then this book will appeal to you. (What the Bible is All About)

NT passages quoted from Leviticus (several resources list up to 40 references)

Lev 2:16 > Mk 9:49
Lev 5:11 > Lk 2:24
Lev 11:44 > 1Pe 1:16
Lev 12:8 > Lk 2:24
Lev 18:5 > Ro 10:5; Gal. 3:12
Lev 19:2 > 1Pe 1:16
Lev 19:12 > Mt 5:33
Lev 19:18 > Mt 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mk 12:31, 33; Lk 10:27; Ro 12:19; 13:9; Gal 5:14; Jas 2:8
Lev 20:7 > 1Pe 1:16
Lev 20:9 > Mt 15:4; Mk 7:10
Lev 23:29 > Acts 3:23
Lev 24:20 > Mt 5:38
Lev 26:12 > 2Co 6:16

Who wrote Leviticus? Direct statements in Leviticus support authorship by Moses: Lev 1:1; 4:1; 5:14; 6:1, 8, 19, 24; Lev 7:22, 28, 38, Lev 8:1,  Lev 11:1; 12:1; Lev 13:1; Lev 14:1, 33; Lev 15:1, Lev 16:1, 2, Lev 17:1; Lev 18:1; 19:1; 20:1; 21:1, 16; 22:1, 17,26 Lev 23:1,9,23,26,33; Lev 24:1,13, Lev 25:1, Lev 26:46, Lev 27:1, 34.

A C Gaebelein - When our Lord Jesus Christ, the infallible Son of God, was on earth, the book of Leviticus, as well as the entire Pentateuch, was known and believed to be the Word of God, and written by Moses. Our Lord set His seal to this, and repeatedly bore witness to the Mosaic authorship and inspiration of the Pentateuch, called “the Law of Moses.” How He confirms the book of Leviticus may be seen by turning to the following passages: Matthew 8:4 and Leviticus 14:3-10; Matthew 12:4 and Leviticus 24:9; Matthew 15:3-6 and Leviticus 20:9; John 7:22 and Leviticus 12:3. Without giving other New Testament references we briefly mention the Epistle to the Hebrews, which contains so many allusions to the levitical institutions, the priesthood and sacrifices, their typical meaning and realization in the person and work of Christ. This remarkable Epistle alone, in its God-breathed unfoldings, bears an incontrovertible testimony to the divine, as well as Mosaic, origin of Leviticus. And to this must be added another fact. The closer study of this book will disclose the fact that the different rites and divinely appointed institutions are indeed the “shadow of good things to come.” The gospel of the grace of God is inseparably connected with the entire book of Leviticus. Nowhere else do we find the redemption-work of Christ so fully and so blessedly told out as in this book. The beauty and wisdom of all is from above.Leviticus, then, is by its own testimony the Word of God. The Son of God and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament confirm this testimony. The work of Christ and the gospel are foreshadowed in it and closely linked with the levitical institutions. In view of these great facts, believed and cherished by the people of God, including the most scholarly and devout, how astonishing is the assertion now so generally made by the boasting rationalistic school of higher criticism, that Leviticus is “a priestly forgery of the days after Ezra”! One is loath to refer again to this most dangerous infidelity which has become so widespread throughout all Christendom.

James Van Dine - Moses’ writing activity is referred to both within and outside the Torah. He was to record certain events (Ex 17:14; Nu 33:2) and laws (Ex 24:4; 34:27); he wrote a song (Deut 31:22). Since Moses received God’s revelation of the Law and it found its way onto a scroll, it stands to reason that he was responsible for it. Joshua associates the Book of the Law with that which was commanded by Moses (Josh 1:7–8). Later on the Israelites referred to the “Book of Moses” with reference to certain regulations and procedures ( 2Chr 25:4; Ezra 6:18; Neh 13:1). In addition, Jesus and the early church attributed the Law to Moses (Mt 19:7; 22:24; Mk 7:10; 12:26; Jn 1:17; 5:45; 7:23)

Rob Morgan - I remember one year, my dad announced we were going to Big Bend National Park in Texas. I said, “What’s there?” He said, “Absolutely nothing. That’s what’s so special about it. It’s just desolate and barren. It’s the least visited of all the National Parks. We’ll not have to worry much about crowds of people.” Well, I wasn’t too excited about that. I wanted to go back to the beach. But Big Bend it was, so it packed our bags and drove and drove and drove. Finally we entered Big Bend National Park, and my dad was exactly right. It was desolate and barren, but it was breathtaking in its desolation. It must be one of the most beautiful places on earth in its own way. The rugged terrain, the towering mountains, the massive canyons, the twisting Rio Grande River—it was a phenomenal trip. And it taught me a lesson. Sometimes things are not as boring as they seem to be, after you get into them. Let me repeat that: Sometimes things are not as boring as they seem to be, after you get into them. Case in point: Leviticus. (All on the Altar)


Deliverance of a nation Life of a nation
Pardon Purity
Salvation Sanctification
A great act A long process
God's approach to man Man's approach to God
Christ is Redeemer Christ is Sanctifier
Man's guilt prominent Man's defilement prominent
God speaks from Mount God speaks from Tabernacle
Man made nigh to God Man kept nigh to God

Henry Morris -

Leviticus is the central book of the Pentateuch and like the others was written by Moses. It continues the narrative of the book of Exodus, where the glory of God is upon the tabernacle at the end of Exodus. Leviticus begins as God is speaking to Moses out of the tabernacle (Exodus 40:38; Leviticus 1:1).... A remarkable phenomenon in Leviticus is the large percentage of the book that consists of verbatim quotations from God Himself. All the Bible is divinely inspired, but the particular method of inspiration varied widely from book to book. In this particular case, these portions of the book have actually been divinely dictated.

Major emphases in Leviticus include the various types of offerings ordained by God along with repeated affirmations of the holiness of God. The consecration and duties of the priests are described, as well as various ritual laws. The dietary laws for God's covenant people are found in the eleventh chapter, the provision for the great day of atonement in the sixteenth. The feasts of the LORD are described in chapter 23. There is a remarkable prophetic sequence in the 26th chapter. The book closes with the following summary: "These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai" (Leviticus 27:34).

MacArthur:  The Exodus occurred in 1445 B.C. and the tabernacle was finished one year later (Ex. 40:17). Leviticus picks up the record at that point, probably revealed in the first month (Abib/Nisan) of the second year after the Exodus. The book of Numbers begins after that in the second month (Ziv; cf. Num. 1:1)....

It follows that the events of Leviticus cover only one month and take place at Mount Sinai.

Jay Sklar author of a forthcoming Tyndale commentary on Leviticus, has a helpful explanation about the place of Leviticus as the storyline of Scripture unfolds:

[I]t is vital to remember that Leviticus is part of a much larger story, especially the one told in Exodus. You could tell that story like this:

In Exodus the Lord delivers his people from slavery with mighty signs and wonders (Ex 1-15) and brings them to Sinai (Ex 16-19), telling them there that they are to be his “kingdom of priests and holy nation.”

He confirms their kingdom status by entering into a covenant with them as their king and giving them kingdom laws to follow (Ex 20-24).

But that is not all! He is going to be a king who is near to them, dwelling in their very midst, and this is why he proceeds to give them directions for his tabernacle, his earthly palace (Ex 25-31, 35-40).

And all of this leads to a very burning question if you’re an Israelite:

How in the world can the holy and pure King of the universe dwell among His sinful and impure people? How can He live here—in our very midst—without His holiness melting us in our sin and impurity?!

Answer: Leviticus, which begins by explaining the sacrifices that address sin and enable them to worship this king rightly (Leviticus 1-7).

Answer: Leviticus, which provides them with priests to intercede on their behalf and lead them in worship before the king (Leviticus 8-10).

Answer: Leviticus, which gives them laws to teach them how to deal properly with impurity (Leviticus 11-15).

Answer: Leviticus, which provides a yearly ceremony to remove every last ounce of sin and impurity from the kingdom (Leviticus 16).

Answer, Leviticus, which provides a whole series of laws in other areas to direct them in living like a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Leviticus 17-27).

Called...spoke: the use of two similar terms suggests the solemn nature and importance of what Jehovah speaks to Moses in this section.

Spoke to him (Moses): The phrase "spoke to Moses" is repeated 28x often at the beginning of chapter division - Lev 4:1; 5:14; 6:1, 8, 19, 24; 7:22, 28; 8:1; 12:1; 13:1; 14:1; 16:1; 17:1; 18:1; 19:1; 20:1; 21:16; 22:1, 17, 26; 23:9, 23, 26, 33; 24:1, 13; 27:1 

Henry Morris - All Scripture is verbally inspired, but there were various methods by which this was accomplished. The result, rather than the method, is the key issue. God "in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets" (Hebrews 1:1). The idea of direct divine dictation is often ridiculed or denied with embarrassment, but the fact is that this method was actually claimed by the human writers in many cases. The book of Leviticus is a prime example, with Moses asserting that over 90% of its verses were dictated by God. Similar claims were made by many of the prophets. "Is anything too hard for the LORD?" (Genesis 18:14). (Defender's Study Bible)

A C Gaebelein observes that...

The opening verses of Leviticus solemnly declare that the words contained in this book are the very words of Jehovah. “And the Lord called unto Moses and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel,” etc.

In no other book of the Bible is such stress laid upon the fact that Jehovah speaks, and nowhere do we find so many repetitions of this fact. Twenty-four times we find the divine command, “speak unto the children of Israel”--”speak unto Aaron.” Thirty-six times occurs the phrase “the Lord spake.” Twenty-one times the speaking One says, “I am the LORD (Jehovah),” and as often, “I am the Lord your God.” No other proof is needed that the Lord is speaking on every page of this book. Moses received the very Word of God. He wrote the words as he had received them from the Lord. Any other belief is untenable.

Ex 4:14-16 teaches that Aaron was actually the spokesman for Moses (cp Ex 4:27-31; 7:1-2). And so Moses transmitted God's Word through Aaron to the people. Moses however is considered the mediator between God and the people.

John MacArthur gives us the background to help set the context for this too often neglected book...

Before the year that Israel camped at Mt. Sinai: 1) the presence of God’s glory had never formally resided among the Israelites; 2) a central place of worship, like the tabernacle, had never existed; 3) a structured and regulated set of sacrifices and feasts had not been given; and 4) a High-Priest, a formal priesthood, and a cadre of tabernacle workers had not been appointed. As Exodus concluded, features one and two had been accomplished, thereby requiring that elements three and four be inaugurated, which is where Leviticus fits in. Exodus 19:6 called Israel to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Leviticus in turn is God’s instruction for His newly redeemed people, teaching them how to worship and obey Him.

Israel had, up to that point, only the historical records of the patriarchs from which to gain their knowledge of how to worship and live before their God. Having been slaves for centuries in Egypt, the land of a seemingly infinite number of gods, their concept of worship and the godly life was severely distorted. Their tendency to hold on to polytheism and pagan ritual is witnessed in the wilderness wanderings, e.g., when they worshiped the golden calf (cf. Ex. 32). God would not permit them to worship in the ways of their Egyptian neighbors, nor would He tolerate Egyptian ideas about morality and sin. With the instructions in Leviticus, the priests could lead Israel in worship appropriate to the Lord.

Even though the book contains a great deal of law, it is presented in a historical format. Immediately after Moses supervised the construction of the tabernacle, God came in glory to dwell there; this marked the close of the book of Exodus (Ex 40:34–38). Leviticus begins with God calling Moses from the tabernacle and ends with God’s commands to Moses in the form of binding legislation. Israel’s King had occupied His palace (the tabernacle), instituted His law, and declared Himself a covenant partner with His subjects.

No geographical movement occurs in this book. The people of Israel stay at the foot of Sinai, the mountain where God came down to give His law (Lev 25:1; 26:46; 27:34). They were still there one month later when the record of Numbers began (cf. Num. 1:1). (
An Introduction to Leviticus - recommended read)

James Van Dine writes that...

It is one thing to take a homeless waif off of the streets, put a roof over his head, set him at a table from which to eat, and give him a bed to sleep in, and quite another thing to see that he behaves in respect to his benefactor as a son who is like his father in character, word, and deed. Israel had been rescued in the Exodus and constituted as God’s special son-nation at Sinai. Yet for such a magnificent display of grace they were prone to act as though they still lived in Egypt.

Leviticus fills in the broad outline of covenant nationhood laid down in the Book of Exodus with the details of how a sinful people could live in fellowship with a Holy God and thereby give evidence of His person and purposes to the rest of the world.

Though enigmatic to modern man, when Israel’s rules, regulations, and procedures of holiness are set against the background of ancient Near Eastern vassal treaties the interpreter is better able to appreciate their contribution to the two main thrusts of the book, fellowship and testimony.

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(Chart by R K Campbell)


1) Sweet aroma
2) Voluntary
Heb =

1) Sweet aroma
2) Voluntary
Heb =

1) Sweet aroma
2) Voluntary
Heb =

1) Non-sweet aroma
Heb = chattath
Aka-Purification Offering

Atoning sacrifice of animals with no physical defects. The required offering varied with the situation and station of the person receiving its benefits

1) Non-sweet aroma
Heb =
Aka - Reparation or Guilt Offering

Atoning sacrifice of a ram or lamb with no physical defects

Scripture Lv 1:3-17-note
Lv 6:8-13
Cp Nu 15:1-16
Lv 2:1-16-note
Lv 6:14-18-
Lv 7:12-13-
Cp Nu 15:17-21
Lv 3:1-17-note
Lv 7:11-21-
note, Lv 7:28-34-note
Cp Deut 12:20-28
Lv 4:1-5:13-note
Lv 6:24-30-
Cp Nu 15:22-31
Lv 5:14-6:7-note
Lv 7:1-7-




1) To propitiate for sin in general -Lv 1:4-note
2) To signify complete dedication & consecration to God hence called the whole burnt offering.

Acceptance before God for worship & service

Maintenance of fellowship with God

Recognition of the sovereignty of God


This offering accompanied all burnt offerings.

Signified homage & thanksgiving to God.

Recognition of God's bountiful provision

Expression of dedication, praise & thanksgiving to God

Acknowledging God as the source of provision and prosperity.

Celebration of peace & of God's covenant faithfulness...

Generally expressed peace & fellowship between the offerer & God & thus culminated in a community meal.

1) Thank offering: express thanks for unexpected blessing or deliverance

 2) Votive Offering: to express gratitude for a blessing or deliverance granted when a vow had accompanied the petition.

3) Freewill Offering: to express gratitude to God without regard to any specific blessing or deliverance.

To atone for sins committed unknowingly, especially where no restitution was possible. Note Nu 15:30, 31: The sin offering was of no avail in cases of defiant rebellion against God.

Confession to God for impurities and offenses

Recognition of the effects of one's sins on others in the covenant community

Restoration of fellowship with God

To atone for sins committed in ignorance, esp where restitution was possible

Confession to men for impurities and deceptions

Willingness of the repentant believer to make proper restitution

Consists of According to wealth:
1) Bull without blemish-Lv 1:3–9-

2) Male sheep or goat without blemish-Lv 1:10–13-note); 3 Turtledoves or young pigeons-Lv 1:14–17-note

3) Turtledoves or young pigeons-Lv 1:14–17-note

Three Types:
1) Fine flour mixed with oil and frankincense-Lv 2:1–3-

2) Cakes made of fine flour mixed with oil and and baked an oven Lv 2:4-note, in a pan Lv 2:5-note or in a covered pan Lv 2:7-note

3) Green heads of roasted grain mixed with oil and frankincense-Lv 2:14, 15-note

According to wealth:
1) From the herd, a male or female without blemish-Lv 3:1–5-

2) From the flock, a male or female without blemish-Lv 3:6–11-note

3) From the goats-Lv 3:12–17-note

Note: Minor imperfections were permitted when the peace offering was a freewill offering of a bull or a lamb-Lv 22:23

 1) For the high priest, a bull without blemish-Lv 4:3–12-note

2) For the congregation, a bull without blemish-Lv 4:13–21-note

3) For a ruler, a male goat without blemish-Lv 4:22–26-note

4) For a commoner, a female goat or lamb without blemish-Lv 4:27–35-note

5) In cases of poverty, two turtledoves or two young pigeons (one for a sin offering, the other for a burnt offering) could be substituted-Lv 5:7–10-note

6) In cases of extreme poverty, fine flour could be substituted-Lv 5:11–13-note; cp Heb. 9:22-note

1) If the offense was against the Lord (tithes, offerings, etc), a ram w/o blemish was offered; restitution was reckoned according to the priest's estimate of the value of the trespass + 20% (Lv 5:15-16-note)

2) If the offense were against man, a ram w/o blemish was offered, restitution reckoned according to the priest's estimate + 20% (Lv 6:4-6-note)

Entirety burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 1:9-note except the skin-Lv 7:8-note Memorial portion burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 2:2, 9, 16-note Fatty portions burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 3:3–5-note 1) Fatty
portions to be burned on the altar of burnt offering Lv 4:8–10-
note, Lv 4:19. 26-note, Lev 4:31, 35-note

2) When the sin offering was for the high priest or congregation, the remainder of the bull was to be burned outside the camp-Lv 4:11, 12-note, Lev 4:20, 21-note

Fat burned on altar of burnt offering-Lev 7:3-5-note
Skin only-Lv 7:8-note Remainder eaten in court of tabernacle-Lv 2:3, 10-note, Lev 6:16-18-note, Lv 7:14-15-note Breast (wave offering) & right thigh (heave offering)-Lv 7:30-34-note   Remainder eaten in holy place-Lv 7:6-7-note
None None Remainder to be eaten in the court by the offerer & family
1) Thank offering = eaten same day-Lv 7:15-
None None
Consecration Service Fellowship Redemption for the sinner that he is Redemption for the sinner he commits
Christ He presented Himself to the Father to do His will He served His Father and men as Son of Man He is the common bond of fellowship between God & man He atoned for the guilt of sin He atoned for the damage of sin.
Signifies complete dedication of life to God

1) On part of Christ-Mt 26:39-44, Mk 14:36, Lk 22:42, Php 2:5-11-note

2) On part of believer-Ro 12:1-2-note, Heb 13:15-note

Signifies perfect humanity of Christ:

1) Absence of leaven ~ sinlessness of Christ-He 4:15-note, 1Jn 3:5

2) The presence of oil is emblematic of the Holy Spirit-Lk 4:18; 1Jn 2:20-note, 1Jn 2:27-note

Shadow of the peace believer has through Christ-Ro 5:1-2-note, 1Cor 10:16-18, 11:17-34, Col 1:20-note

NB: Only offering in which offerer shared

Thank Offering:
1Th 5:18-
Heb 13:15-

Prefigures fact that Christ's death...

1) Was made sin for us - 2Cor 5:20-21-note

2) He suffered outside the gate - Heb 13:11-13-note

Cp Lv 4:3-note, 1Ti 5:20
Cp Lv 4:27-
note, 1Cor 8:9-13
Cp Lv 5:5-
note, 1Jn 1:9-note
See Heb 9:22-

Shadow of Christ as our Trespass offering - Col 2:13-note

Cp Lv 5:15-note, Lv 22:14-16

Cp Lv 6:2-5-note, Eph 4:25-32, Jas 5:16

See Isa 53:10

Adapted from Believer's Bible Commentary & Irving Jensen

Lev 1:2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When any man of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock. (Lev 22:18,19 Ge 4:3-5 1Ch 16:29 Ro 12:1,6 Eph 5:2)

Moses describes the first offering -

"So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering (minchah) to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering (minchah); but for Cain and for his offering (minchah) He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell." (Ge 4:3-5)

Comment: Hebrews 11:4-note helps us understand clearly why the Abel's offering was accepted by God and Cain's was rejected. It was not so much "what" they brought, but "how" they brought it, for Abel brought it in faith, whereas Cain did not bring it in faith and his subsequent reaction (anger) was consistent with his lack of faith.

NET Note on his countenance fell says that the literal Hebrew "is And his face fell. The idiom means that the inner anger is reflected in Cain's facial expression. The fallen or downcast face expresses anger, dejection, or depression."

KJV adds "he shall offer it of his own voluntary will." (his own:  Lev 7:16 22:19,21 Ex 35:5,21,29 36:3 Ps 40:8 110:3 2Co 8:12 9:7)  This phrase is not in the NAS or ESV nor in the Septuagint. However in Lev 22:18-20 the burnt offering is described as a votive or freewill offering.

1Chr 16:29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him; Worship the LORD in holy array (In all His Holy Splendor).

Andrew Bonar - “When the Lord said, “Speak to the children of Israel,” instead of himself addressing them, it taught the people their need of a Mediator. It was as if he had said, These things are addressed to sinners who cannot see my face or hear my voice, except through a daysman (An umpire or arbiter; a mediator). The offerings first spoken of are those that are to be wholly consumed,—types of complete exhaustion of wrath. In these cases, everything about the animal was consumed, sinews, horns, bones, hoof, the wool on the sheep’s head, and the hair on the goat’s board. (Willet.) Hence they were called Whole burnt-offerings, “holokautomata” God prescribes the symbols of atonement, even as he fixes on the ransom itself. It is a sovereign God that sinners are dealing with; and in so doing, he fixed on the herd and the flock, as the only class of cattle (בְּהַמָה), or four-footed beasts, that he would accept. If we are to inquire into a reason for this beyond his mere sovereignty, there are two that readily present themselves as every way probable. First, oxen, sheep, and goats (the herd and flock), are easily got by men, being at their hand. He did not wish to make them go in pursuit of beasts for offering, for salvation is brought to our hand by our God. Second, the characteristics of these animals fit them to be convenient types of various truths relating to sacrifice. The ox taken from feeding by the river-side, or the sheep from its quiet pastures,—perhaps from among the lilies of Sharon,—was an emblem of the Redeemer leaving the joy and blessedness of his Father’s presence, where he had been ever “by the streams that make glad the city of God.” Another reason has been assigned,* viz., all these were horned animals. Whether in the East such were reckoned more valuable than other animals we cannot say. It is, at least, worthy of notice, that the horn, which is the symbol of power and honor, is found in them all. (Leviticus 1 The Burnt Offering )

Offering (used twice - "offering to the LORD" "offering of animals") (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another [in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah!] - Does this root verb not help us discern the picture of "offering?") is a masculine noun which means that which is brought near (the altar), thus referring to an offering. Thus qorban/korban was a general term used for all Israelite sacrifices, offerings, or oblations. It is used in a variety of offerings in Leviticus.

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban twice in this passage with the noun doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Rooker - qorbān, from the root קָרֵב, qārēb, “to bring near,” indicated either the offering brought near or the means whereby one may live in nearness to God. The noun that is a general term for offerings is used to refer to offering of objects such as silver (Nu 7:13) and gold (Nu 31:50), but the term is most frequently used to refer to sacrificial offerings as here (Lev 1:2) and often in Leviticus. Indeed, all but two of the seventy-nine occurrences of the word are in Leviticus and Numbers. The word has been discovered inscribed on sacred objects around Jerusalem and is transliterated (Korban, Corban in NIV) in Mark 7:11.(New American Commentary)

Leonard Coppes has an excellent discussion of the major elements of qorban - (1) What is done by the offerer. His choice must reflect his self-sacrifice and consist of that which comes from his life’s sustenance and products (Vos BT, p. 175). (2) It must be without blemish because the best belongs to God. The offerer’s love and consecration should naturally lead him to present the best (Ge 4:4), and only this could reflect the moral purity of the necessary and perfect sacrifice (1Pet 1:19). (3) The gift being divinely specified (Lev 1–7) was brought to a divinely appointed place. (4) Acceptable worship depends on meeting God’s standards. Hands were laid on the living sacrifice setting it apart for the task, transferring to it not only the intentions but the guilt of the offerer. The self-confessed penalty of death was then vicariously inflicted upon the beast. Thus, the blood was procured as a covering (Heb 13:15), the flesh as fire food and a human life was symbolically devoted to God. The priest received the blood and flesh (or “meal”) presenting it according to the specifications of the intended rite. The whole was consummated by a divine indication of acceptance. One should be careful to note that unlike pagan concepts of sacrifice, the biblical teaching indicates that there was no transference of value to God. The central significance of Israel’s cult was spiritual (Ex 19:4–8; Jer 7:21ff.; Hos 14:3). (TWOT)

NT Use of Korban - This Hebrew word qorban/korban is transliterated into the Greek korban (Mk 7:11, Mt 27:6) meaning gift, "something dedicated or devoted to God" by an inviolable vow. Ryrie explains that "If a son declared that the amount needed to support his parents was Corban, the scribes said that he was exempt from his duty to care for his parents as prescribed in the law. Evidently, too, he was not really obliged to devote that sum to the Temple." In Mark 7:11 (Context - Mk 7:9-13), korban is used to excuse a person from doing his filial duty toward his parents. The rabbis actually allowed the mere saying of this word by an unfaithful son to prevent the use of needed money for the support of father or mother! Amazing! They must not have read nor understood the many uses of korban in Leviticus! The Rabbis not only justified such a son's trickery in Mk 7:11, but held that he was prohibited from using it (the gift) for father or mother, but he might use it for himself! Talk about conniving! This evil practice permitted a son to be released from any obligation to care for his parents, thus breaking the fifth commandment. He would claim his possessions belonged to God and were therefore unavailable for other purposes. We don't do anything like that do we beloved? Just asking!

Oblation is used some 40x in the KJV (English - from "ob" = toward, in front of + latus = carried, borne) - Any thing offered or presented in worship or sacred service; an offering; a sacrifice.

Qorban in the NAS -  offering(76), offering*(1), offerings(2), sacrifice(1).

Qorban - 78x in OT - Note that this is clearly a key word in Leviticus. - Lev 1:2-3, Lev 1:10, 14; Lev 2:1-note, Lev 2:4-5, 7, 12-13; Lev 3:1-2-note, Lev 3:6, 7, 8, 12, 14; Lev 4:23, 28, 32-note; Lev 5:11-note; Lev 6:20-note; Lev 7:13-15-note, Lev 7:29, 38; Lev 9:7, 15; 17:4; 22:18, 27; 23:14; 27:9, 11; Nu 5:15; 6:14, 21; 7:3, 10, 11, 12, 17, 19, 23, 25, 29, 31, 35, 37, 41, 43, 47, 49, 53, 55, 59, 61, 65, 67, 71, 73, 77, 79, 83; 9:7, 13; 15:4, 25; 18:9; 28:2; 31:50; Neh 10:34; 13:31; Ezek 20:28; 40:43

Life Application Note - Was there any difference between a sacrifice and an offering? In Leviticus the words are interchanged. Usually a specific sacrifice is called an offering (burnt offering, grain offering, peace offering). Offerings in general are called sacrifices. The point is that each person offered a gift to God by sacrificing it on the altar. In the Old Testament, the sacrifice was the only way to approach God and restore a relationship with Him. There was more than one kind of offering or sacrifice. The variety of sacrifices made them more meaningful because each one related to a specific life situation. Sacrifices were given in praise, worship, and thanksgiving, as well as for forgiveness and fellowship. The first seven chapters of Leviticus describe the variety of offerings and how they were to be used.

Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge - {Korban,} from {karav} to approach, an introductory offering, or offering of access, in allusion to the present which is always required in the East, on being introduced to a superior.

Ryrie: An offering is that by which a man draws near to God (the root means "draw near"). Five offerings are mentioned in Leviticus 1-7 (not counting the contribution offering in Lev 7:32 and the drink offering, "libation," in Lev 23:13).

As you read the details of the offering you might consider making a list  of the details of the various parts - "The Offering," "The Offerer's Role," "The Priest's Role," and "The Purpose of the Offering." It will also be helpful to use the schematic of the Tabernacle (see below) to trace the participants steps. As you prayerfully perform this exercise, it will allow the Spirit to "cement" these truths into you mind and heart. Remember that details are there for a reason (even if we do not fully grasp their significance now), for Paul (speaking primarily of the OT, including Leviticus) reminded Timothy that

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2Ti 3:16, 17)

Comment: From Paul's teaching, it is clear that if we avoid reading and meditating on Leviticus, we will miss some aspect of truth which God the Spirit desires to use to make us "adequate, equipped for every good work!"


Note that the Tabernacle doorway (and later the Temple in Jerusalem - 2Chr 5:11-12 - compare the prophesies of Messiah's Second Coming from the East - Ezek 47:1-7) actually faced East (not west as suggested below) toward the rising of the sun (Nu 3:38) (makes me think of the "Son's rising.")

Rob Morgan - The first seven chapters of Leviticus are devoted to describing the sacrifices and offerings of the ancient Israelites. These were the sacrifices to be offered on the altar just inside the gateway of the Tabernacle. If you remember from our series of studies last year on the Tabernacle, that altar just inside the gate of the Tabernacle represented the cross of Christ. Every day, opportunity was given for the Israelites to come and, with the assistance of the priests, to offering sacrifices and burnt offerings on that altar near the entrance of the Tabernacle, and those sacrifices all represented the One who would later die on the cross. There were five basic kinds of sacrifices, and they are described for us here in Leviticus 1-5. You have:
· The Burnt Offering in Leviticus 1
· The Grain Offering in Leviticus 2
· The Peace Offering in Leviticus 3
· The Sin Offering in Leviticus 4
· The Trespass Offering in Leviticus 5
In Leviticus 6-7, these five offerings are reviewed with some additional instructions given. That is the content of Leviticus 1-7. Do you see how important this is? Do you see how significant these offerings are? They were designed by God to teach us five different truths about the great coming One who would offer Himself on the cross for our sins. They are prophetic in nature. They are Messianic. They teach us about the sacrifice our Savior made for you and me. Who would not want to study these offerings and thus learn of Christ? (All on the Altar)

Wenham - Using a little imagination every reader of the OT soon realizes that these ancient sacrifices were very moving occasions. They make modern church services seem tame and dull by comparison. The ancient worshipper did not just listen to the minister and sing a few hymns. He was actively involved in the worship. He had to choose an unblemished animal from his own flock, bring it to the sanctuary, kill it and dismember it with his own hands, then watch it go up in smoke before his very eyes. He was convinced that something very significant was achieved through these acts and knew that his relationship with God was profoundly affected by this sacrifice. Yet because they understood the purpose of the burnt offering so well, the men of ancient Israel have left this most common OT sacrifice largely without explanation. This chapter of Leviticus is like an extract from a prayer book from which the prayers have been omitted, leaving just the rubrics, i.e., the instructions for the conduct of the service. It is in the prayers that the purpose of a ritual becomes clear; by themselves rubrics tend to be ambiguous. There are a few cryptic hints in this chapter about the purpose of the sacrifice, but in themselves they are insufficient to answer our questions. After considering the evidence of this chapter, we shall therefore turn to other passages in an attempt to elucidate the function of the burnt offering. (NICOT)

Gene Brooks Sermon Points:
1. For us, Christ offered Himself (Lev 1:2-3).
2. For us, every sin was laid on Him (Lev 1:4).
3. For us, He was slaughtered (Lev 1:5-6).
4. For us, He was wholly consumed (Lev 1:7-9).
Lev 1:1-9 -- The Burnt Offering)

To the LORD (101x in 92v) - Lev 1:2, 9, 13f, 17; 2:1ff, 8ff, 14, 16; 3:3, 5f, 9, 11, 14; 4:3, 31, 35; 5:6f, 15; 6:6, 15, 18, 20ff; 7:5, 11, 14, 20f, 25, 29f, 35, 38; 8:21, 28; 17:4ff, 9; 19:5, 21, 24; 21:6; 22:3, 15, 18, 21f, 24, 27, 29; 23:3, 6, 8, 12f, 16ff, 20, 25, 27, 34, 36ff, 41; 24:7; 25:2, 4; 27:2, 9, 11, 14, 16, 21ff, 26, 28, 30, 32;

Lev 1:3 'If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer it, a male without defect; he shall offer it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD. (burnt: Lev 6:9-13 8:18,21 Ge 8:20 22:2,8,13 Ex 24:5 29:18,42 32:6 38:1 Nu 23:3,10,11,19,23,24,27,30 29:8-11,13 Isa 1:11 Heb 10:8-10) (male: Lev 3:1 4:23 22:19-24 Ex 12:5 Dt 15:21 Zec 13:7 Mal 1:14 Lk 1:35 John 1:36 Eph 5:27 Heb 7:26 9:14 1Pe 1:18,19) (at the doorway: Lev 16:7 17:4 Ex 29:4 Dt 12:5,6,13,14,27 Eze 20:40 John 10:7,9 Eph 2:18)

Henrietta Mears has this simple outline...

Leviticus 1—Burnt Offering: "Surrender" of Christ for the world

Leviticus 2—Grain Offering: "Service" of Christ in life

Leviticus 3—Fellowship Offering: "Serenity" of Christ in life

Leviticus 4-5:13—Sin Offering: "Substitute" of Christ for sin

Leviticus 5:14-6:7—Guilt Offering: "Satisfaction" by Christ for demands of God


Offering (07133) (qorban/korban from qarab - being or coming near, and sometimes implies into intimate proximity) means that which is brought near (the altar). The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban in this passage with the noun doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

See also notes on Lev 6:9-13 - "This is the law for the burnt offering..."

Burnt offering (05930)('olah from 'alah = to ascend and thus the picture of going up in smoke) refers to a whole burnt offering (one which goes up in smoke), which was voluntary, was understood as a sacrificial gift to God, resulting in a pleasing aroma acceptable to Jehovah (Lev 1:9). The presenter laid hands on the sacrifice which many feel signifies they saw the animal sacrifice as their substitute. The blood was sprinkled on the altar (Lev 1:6) When this offering was properly carried out (including a right heart attitude not just a "going through the motions," [which was not pleasing to God - Jer 6:20, Jer 7:21, 23, 24, see David - Ps 51:16-17-note] not just an external "work," but an internal submission and obedience to Jehovah), they made atonement and were acceptable before Jehovah. The total burning indicated (or should have indicated) total consecration of the presenter's heart and soul and life to Jehovah.

As noted a key feature of 'olah appears to be that among the Israelite sacrifices only 'olah is wholly burned, rather than partially burned and eaten by the worshipers and/or the priest. Thus, the whole animal is brought up to the altar and the whole is offered as a gift (minha) in homage to Yahweh. Whole offering would be a better rendering in English to convey the theology. It is indeed burned, but the burning is essentially secondary to the giving of the whole creature to Yahweh.

Burnt Offering - 'olah , "what ascends" in smoke to God, being wholly consumed to ashes. Part of every offering was burnt in the sacred fire, the symbol of God's presence; but this was wholly burnt, as a "whole burnt offering." (Fausset's Bible Dictionary)

Easton on Burnt Offering - It was the most frequent form of sacrifice, and apparently the only one mentioned in the book of Genesis. Such were the sacrifices offered by Abel (Ge 4:3,4 , here called Minhah; I.e., "a gift"), Noah (Ge 8:20), Abraham (Ge 22:2,7,8,13 ), and by the Hebrews in Egypt (Ex 10:25). The law of Moses afterwards prescribed the occasions and the manner in which burnt sacrifices were to be offered. There were "the continual burnt offering" (Ex 29:38-42; Lev 6:9-13), "the burnt offering of every sabbath," which was double the daily one (Nu 28:9,10), "the burnt offering of every month" (Nu 28:11-15), the offerings at the Passover (Nu 19-23), at Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16), the feast of Trumpets (Nu 23:23-25), and on the day of Atonement (Lev 16:1-34). (Easton's Bible Dictionary)

'Olah - 262x in OT and is always translated burnt offering (207) and burnt offerings (80). - Ge 8:20; 22:2-3, 6-8, 13; Ex 10:25; 18:12; 20:24; 24:5; 29:18, 25, 42; 30:9, 28; 31:9; 32:6; 35:16; 38:1; 40:6, 10, 29; Lev 1:3-4, 6, 9-10, 13-14, 17; 3:5; 4:7, 10, 18, 24-25, 29-30, 33-34; 5:7, 10; 6:9-10, 12, 25; 7:2, 8, 37; 8:18, 21, 28; 9:2-3, 7, 12-14, 16-17, 22, 24; 10:19; 12:6, 8; 14:13, 19-20, 22, 31; 15:15, 30; 16:3, 5, 24; 17:8; 22:18; 23:12, 18, 37; Num 6:11, 14, 16; 7:15, 21, 27, 33, 39, 45, 51, 57, 63, 69, 75, 81, 87; 8:12; 10:10; 15:3, 5, 8, 24; 23:3, 6, 15, 17; 28:3, 6, 10-11, 13-15, 19, 23-24, 27, 31; 29:2, 6, 8, 11, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 36, 38-39; Dt 12:6, 11, 13-14, 27; 27:6; Josh 8:31; 22:23, 26-28; Jdg 6:26; 11:31; 13:16, 23; 20:26; 21:4; 1Sa 6:14-15; 7:9-10; 10:8; 13:9-10, 12; 15:22; 2Sa 6:17-18; 24:22, 24-25; 1Kgs 3:4, 15; 8:64; 9:25; 10:5; 18:33, 38; 2Kgs 3:27; 5:17; 10:24-25; 16:13, 15; 1Chr 6:49; 16:1-2, 40; 21:23-24, 26, 29; 22:1; 23:31; 29:21; 2Chr 1:6; 2:4; 4:6; 7:1, 7; 8:12; 13:11; 23:18; 24:14; 29:7, 18, 24, 27-28, 31-32, 34-35; 30:15; 31:2-3; 35:12, 14, 16; Ezra 3:2-4; 8:35; Neh 10:33; Job 1:5; 42:8; Ps 20:3; 40:6; 50:8; 51:16, 19; 66:13, 15; Isa 1:11; 40:16; 43:23; 56:7; 61:8; Jer 6:20; 7:21-22; 14:12; 17:26; 19:5; 33:18; Ezek 40:26, 38-39, 42; 43:18, 24, 27; 44:11; 45:15, 17, 23, 25; 46:2, 4, 12-, 15; Hos 6:6; Amos 5:22; Mic 6:6

'Olah is translated in the Septuagint (Lxx) with the Greek noun holokautoma (see below).

Burnt Offering (Word Study on the Greek Word) (3646)(holokautoma from the verb holokautóo = to burn whole). This word is used only 3x in the NT (Mk 12:33, Heb 10:6-note, Heb 10:8-note) Holokautoma refers to a wholly-consumed sacrifice, whole burnt offering, whole victim burned. Holokautoma gives us our English word "holocaust" (Webster says holocaust is derived from Gk holokauston, from neuter of holokaustos = burnt whole, from hol- = whole + kaustos = burnt). It is a whole burnt offering for the whole victim was burned. BDAG summary of holokautoma = (1) a cultic sacrifice in which the animal was entirely consumed by fire - whole burnt offering, literally holocaust (See Jewish Holocaust) (2)  a person punished with death by fire because of personal conviction, whole burnt offering, holocaust figurative extension of (1) - used of Polycarp (who was martyred by burning at the stake)  Holokautoma is used 175x in the Septuagint (Lxx) -  Ex 10:25; 18:12; 20:24; 24:5; 29:18; 30:20, 28; 32:6; Lev 1:3, 6, 10; 3:2, 5; 4:7, 24f, 29f, 33, 35; 5:7, 10, 12; 6:25; 7:2, 8, 37; 8:18, 21, 28; 9:2, 7, 12ff, 16f, 22, 24; 10:19; 12:6, 8; 14:13, 19f, 22, 31; 15:15, 30; 16:3, 5; 17:4, 8; 22:18; 23:8, 12, 18, 25, 27, 36f; Num 6:11, 16; 7:15, 21, 27, 33, 39, 45, 51, 57, 63, 69, 75, 81; 8:12; 10:10; 15:3, 6, 8, 24; 23:6; 28:6, 10f, 14, 19, 23f, 27, 31; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36, 39; Deut 12:6, 11, 13f, 27; 27:6; Josh 8:30; 22:23; Jdg 6:26; 11:31; 13:16, 23; 1Sa 15:22; 2Sa 6:17; 24:22, 24; 1Kgs 18:29, 33f, 38; 2Kgs 3:27; 5:17; 10:24; 1Chr 6:49; 16:1f, 40; 21:26, 29; 23:31; 29:21; 2Chr 2:4; 4:6; 7:1, 7; 8:12; 9:4; 13:11; 23:18; 24:14; 29:7; 30:15; 35:14, 16; Ezra 8:35; Neh 10:33; Ps 20:3; 40:6; 50:8; 51:16, 19; 66:13, 15; Isa 1:11; 56:7; Jer 6:20; 7:21f; 14:12; 17:26; Ezek 40:40, 42; 43:18, 24, 27; 44:11; 45:15, 17, 23, 25; 46:2, 4, 12f, 15; Hos 6:6; Amos 5:22; Mic 6:6

Richard Averbeck on the burnt offering  - The burnt offering could be from the cattle (Leviticus 1:3-9), the sheep and goats (Lev 1:10-13), or the birds (Lev 1:14-17 usually limited to the poor, e.g., Leviticus 12:8; 14:22). Amid the diversity of different kinds of animal offerings and the many distinctive ways they were offered to the Lord it appears that there was one constant in the presentation of sacrificial animals: the laying on of the hand (or pl. hands if more than one person was involved). The purpose of this act was to identify the offerer with his or her offering and possibly also to designate or consecrate the offering for the purposes of the offering: "He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him" (Leviticus 1:4). The laying on of the hand did not transfer anything to the offering animal, least of all sin. Only holy things could have contact with the altar. In the scapegoat ritual the high priest was to lay both hands on the animal and confess the sins of the whole congregation in order to expressly transfer the sins to the goat. But in that case the animal was not offered upon the altar but instead sent as far away from the altar as possible (e.g., Leviticus 16:21-22).

The normal form of blood manipulation for the burnt offering was relatively simple: the priest would "splash it around on the altar" (Leviticus 1:5). This was not just a way of disposing of the blood, but a way of offering it on the altar. It corresponded to arranging the pieces of the animal's carcass on the altar (Leviticus 1:8-9).

The offerer normally slaughtered the animal, but the priests placed its various parts on the altar fire (Leviticus 1:7-9a) "to burn all of it on the altar" as a "burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord" (v. 9b). The basic principle behind the burnt offering was that the whole animal was offered on the altar, that is, with the exception of the hide of the larger animals that had been skinned as part of the slaughtering process (Leviticus 1:6; 7:8) and "the crop" of the birds "with its contents" (Leviticus 1:16).

It was the burning of the offering that made it a pleasing aroma to the Lord which, in turn, caused it to arouse a certain kind of response from the Lord. According to Ge 8:20-22 it was the pleasing aroma of the burning meat that led the Lord to promise that he would never again destroy the earth and mankind as he had done in the flood. The burnt offering was a way of calling on the Lord to pay attention to the needs, requests, and entreaties of his worshipers either independently or in association with the peace offering. It was also a means of expressing worshipful responses to the Lord ( Lev 22:18-20) and, along with its accompanying grain offerings, was the staple of the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual festival cycle in the sanctuary (Ex 29:38-45; Numbers 28-29). (Offerings and Sacrifices - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

Henry Morris - Burnt offerings were offered first of all by Abel (Genesis 4:4), as well as by the later patriarchs. It is the first of the five types of offerings mentioned in Leviticus as incorporated into the ceremonial law of Israel. In order to make a true atonement (or “covering”) for sins, the blood of a spotless animal must be shed, thereby anticipating the eventual offering of the sinless blood of the Lamb of God as a once-for-all offering for the sin of the world (John 1:29; 1Peter 1:18-20-note; Hebrews 10:10-note). (Defender's Study Bible)

Zodhiates - The daily services of the temple consisted of burnt offerings wherein male lambs were offered every morning and evening, accompanied by cereal oblations and libations (Ex 29:38ff.; Nu 28:1-8). On holy days it was celebrated on a magnified scale. On the Sabbath two pairs of lambs were offered (Nu 28:9, 10). At the new moon, the Passover, and the Feast of Weeks, it consisted of two bullocks, a ram, and seven male lambs, w a corresponding increase of the concomitant offerings (Nu 1:11ff.). The purpose of the burnt offering may be understood from its use as the constant element in the organized worship of the community. It was not connected with any particular form of transgression but was appropriate as the means of approach to God by the people, collectively or individually, who were sensitive to God’s majesty and holiness and their standing in His sight. The effects are described from three points of view–that it is a “savor” or acceptable to God (Lev 1:9, cp Eph 5:2), that it surrounds the worshiper with a “covering” (Lev 1:4), and that it cleanses from ceremonial impurity (Lev 14:20).

Male without defect - This certainly foreshadows Jesus Christ, the sinless Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (Heb 4:15-note, Jn 1:29).

Wenham - For some kinds of peace offerings slightly blemished animals could be offered, but this was never allowed in the case of a burnt offering (Lev 22:23)....Except for the burnt offering and reparation offerings, animals of either sex could be offered: the limitation to male animals shows the high status of these two sacrifices. (NICOT)

Without defect (08549)(tamim from the verb tamam = to be complete, entire or whole (literal sense in Lev 3:9, Ezek 15:5), refers to a action which is completed) has both physical (without defect) and spiritual (blameless, devout, upright) significance. Tamim has the fundamental idea of completeness or wholeness. Tamim deals primarily with a state of moral or ceremonial purity (e.g., animal sacrifices - 51x tamim refers to unblemished animals - Passover lamb in Ex 12:5 picturing of course Christ sinless perfection - 1Cor 5:7, "knew no sin" = 2Cor 5:21- note). Tamim can mean blameless, complete, whole, full, perfect. Tamim can refer to the "entirety" of a period of time (7 complete  Sabbaths = Lev 23:15; full year = Lev 25:30). Joshua 10:13 records the miracle of the sun standing still for a "whole (tamim) day," allowing Joshua to extract vengeance on the Amorite coalition that had attacked him. Pr 1:12 refers metaphorically to the fate of the innocent being swallowed "whole" by the wicked, even as happens to those who go to the grave.

Stephen Renn - The adjective tamim means either “without blemish” or “blameless,” depending on the context in which it is found. It occurs about ninety times in the Old Testament with an approximately equal emphasis on the ritual and moral spheres. Tamim is used to mean “without blemish” in the pentateuchal legislative sections, and in Ezekiel it refers to animal sacrifices that are flawless. The term is applied to lambs (e.g., Ex 12: 5; Lev 14:10; 23:12; Nu 6:14; 28:9; 29:17-36; Ezek 46: 4); rams (e.g., Ex 29:1; Lev. 5:15; Nu 6:14; Ezek 45:23); bullocks (e.g., Lev. 4:3; Ezek 45:18); goats (e.g., Ezek 45:22; Lev. 4:23, 28); and heifers (e.g., Nu 19:2). Such an emphasis in the legislation of the covenant reinforces the absolute prerequisite of flawless animal specimens for sacrifices. In the realm of moral attributes, tamim frequently refers to people as “blameless.” Alternative, additional translations are “perfect,” “upright.” When tamim is applied to people in this sense, it does not refer to sinless perfection — rather, it signifies that those who are “blameless” are wholeheartedly devoted to God and desire to live in obedient submission to Him. Such an attitude is predicated of Noah (cf. Ge 6: 9) and David (cf. 2Sa 22:24). Abraham is commanded to walk blamelessly before God in Ge 17: 1. Joshua exhorts the Israelite tribes to serve God blamelessly — that is, with a genuine heartfelt sincerity (cf. Jos. 24:14). The psalmist writes that those who live blamelessly before God are favored by Him (Ps 15: 2; 18:32; 37:18; 84:11; 119:1). The writer of Proverbs makes a similar claim (cf. Pr 2:21; 11:5; 28:10, 18). Tamim is also applied to God, and in these contexts it is clear that this description refers to a literal and absolute perfection. The work and actions of God are described in this way (cf. Dt 32: 4; 2Sa 22:31; Ps 18:30), as is His law (cf. Ps 19: 7) and His knowledge (cf. Job 36: 4; 37:16)....Tamim is bound up primarily with the state of moral and ceremonial purity. Hence they may be translated “spotless,” “pure,” “without blemish,” “blameless,” or “undefiled.” (Expository Dictionary of Bible Words- Word Studies for Key English Bible Words Based on the Hebrew and Greek Texts; Coded to the Revised Strong's)

The first OT use of tamim describes Noah "These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless (Lxx =  teleios  = "meeting the highest standard" [BDAG]) in his time; Noah walked with God." (Ge 6:9) In the second use God tells Abraham " “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless." And remember God's commandments always include His enablements!  It is thus fitting that David describes the Law of the LORD" as "perfect" (Lxx = amomos = without defects) (Ps 19:7). In fact, not only is His Word perfect, but His work is perfect (Dt 32:4) and His way is blameless (Ps 18:30) David says that the man who "may abide in" God's tent and "dwell on" His "holy hill" is the man "who walks with integrity (Lxx = amomos = without fault, morally blameless)." (Ps 15:2) Joshua in some of his parting words of wisdom to Israel declared "Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity (Lxx = euthutes = rectitude, honesty, integrity, uprightness) and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD." (Josh 24:14) The psalmist offers a great prayer we would all be wise to echo "May my heart be blameless (Lxx = amomos) in Thy statutes, that (expresses purpose or result of a blameless heart) I may not be ashamed." (Ps 119:80) One of my favorite verses in Psalms uses tamim - "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly (Lxx = akakia = guilelessness, innocence, integrity; "state of not being inclined to that which is base" [BDAG])." (Ps 84:11) The psalmist links tamim with a state of blessedness writing " How blessed are those whose way is blameless (Lxx = amomos), Who walk in the law of the LORD. (Ps 119:1)

Tamim can refer to a "full" year (Lev. 25:30) and a branch when it is "intact" (Ezek 15:5). Elihu was claims to be "perfect in knowledge" (Job 36:4).

In Leviticus tamim speaks of animals that are "without defect" (Lev 1:3, 1:10, 3:1, 6, 4:3, 23, 28, 32, 5:15, 18, etc) and in all of these the Lxx translates tamim with amomos which is fascinating for it is the same adjective used to describe the Lamb of God, Peter writing that we were redeemed "but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished (amomos) and spotless (aspilos), the blood of Christ." (1Pe1:19- note) The writer of Hebrews describes Jesus the same way asking "how much more will the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish (amomos) to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb 9:14-note)

Paul and Jude apply this truth to believers, those who have been covered by the blood of the Lamb...

Ephesians 1:4 (note) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless (amomos) before Him. In love

Colossians 1:22 (note) yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death (Jesus' offering was the culmination of all the OT offerings), in order to (Here is the purpose of Jesus' offering) present (Paristemi means to stand by or near or beside God in this case!) you before Him holy and blameless (amomos) and beyond reproach (anegkletos - not having been called up or arraigned before a judge and thus free of reproach, not accused of having done anything wrong! Wow, talk about the infinite mercy, grace and forgiveness of our loving holy God!) (See similar use of amomos in Eph 5:27 referring to Jesus presenting His Bride "holy and blameless"!)

Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless (
amomos) with great joy

Paul exhorts us to life amomos lives

Php 2:14-15 (note) Do (present imperative - we need supernatural power to accomplish this = daily filled with the Spirit - Eph 5:18-note, walking by the Spirit - Gal 5:16-note) all things (no exceptions - the only way we can do this is by jettisoning self reliance and casting ourselves upon the Spirit in total dependence and submission to Him, Who alone can give us the desire and the power - see immediate context - Php 2:12-note, Php 2:13-note)  without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that (Here is the holy purpose) you will prove yourselves to be blameless (amemptos = faultless) and innocent (akeraios = without admixture of evil), children of God above reproach (amomos) in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world

Vine - Tamim means “complete,” in the sense of the entire or whole thing: “And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the backbone …” (Lev. 3:9). The sun stood still for the “whole” day while Joshua fought the Gibeonites (Josh. 10:13). In Lev. 23:15 God commands that there be seven “complete” sabbaths after the first fruit feast plus fifty days and then that the new grain offering be presented. A house within a walled city must be purchased back within a “full” year if it is to remain the permanent property of the seller (Lev. 25:30).
This word may mean “intact,” or not cut up into pieces (Ezek. 15:5). Tamim may mean incontestable or free from objection. In Dt. 32:4 the word modifies God’s work: “His work is perfect.” The people of God are to avoid the idolatrous practices of the Canaanites. They are to “be perfect with the Lord thy God” (Dt. 18:13). Used in such contexts the word means the one so described externally meets all the requirements of God’s law (cf. Ps. 18:23). This word modifies the victim to be offered to God. It means that the victim has no blemish (Lev. 22:18-21) as “blemish” is defined by God (Lev. 22:19). In several contexts the word has a wider background. When one is described by it, there is nothing in his outward activities or internal disposition that is odious to God (Noah in Ge 6:9). This word describes Noah's entire relationship to God. In Jdg. 9:16, where tamim describes a relationship between men it is clear that more than mere external activity is meant: “Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely [literally, “in a sincere manner”], in that ye have made Abimelech king” This extended connotation of this nuance is also evidenced when one compares Ge. 17:1 with Ro 4 where Paul argues that Abraham fulfilled God’s condition but that he did so only through faith."

Tamim - translated in NASblameless(22), blamelessly(1), complete(1), entire(1), full(1), intact(1), integrity(4), perfect(5), sincerity(1), unblemished(2), uprightly(1), who is perfect(1), whole(2), without blemish(12), without defect(36).

Integrity (English word) (from Latin - integritas - from integer = a whole number as opposed to a fraction . Ponder that thought when it comes to our spiritual heart! Think "singleness of purpose",  cp "this one thing" - Php 3:13-note, undivided heart - see great prayer - Ps 86:11-note) -  1. Wholeness; entireness; unbroken state. The constitution of the U. States guaranties to each state the integrity of its territories. The contracting parties guarantied the integrity of the empire. 2. The entire, unimpaired state of any thing, particularly of the mind; moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty. Integrity comprehends the whole moral character, but has a special reference to uprightness in mutual dealings, transfers of property, and agencies for others. (Webster - 1828)

Integrity - A Few Thoughts
Integrity - Holman Bible Dictionary
Integrity - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Blameless (English) -  Without fault; innocent; guiltless; not meriting censure.

Blameless - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Tamim - 85x in the OT - Ge 6:9; 17:1; Ex 12:5; 29:1; Lev 1:3, 10; 3:1, 6, 9; 4:3, 23, 28, 32; 5:15, 18; 6:6; 9:2f; 14:10; 22:19, 21; 23:12, 15, 18; 25:30; Num 6:14; 19:2; 28:3, 9, 11, 19, 31; 29:2, 8, 13, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 36; Deut 18:13; 32:4; Josh 10:13; 24:14; Jdg 9:16, 19; 1Sam 14:41; 2Sam 22:24, 26, 31, 33; Job 12:4; 36:4; 37:16; Ps 15:2; 18:23, 25, 30, 32; 19:7; 37:18; 84:11; 101:2, 6; 119:1, 80; Pr 1:12; 2:21; 11:5, 20; 28:10, 18; Ezek 15:5; 28:15; 43:22f, 25; 45:18, 23; 46:4, 6, 13; Amos 5:10

Study the uses of tamim in Psalms and Proverbs to understand how important the truths associated with tamim are to the spiritual life of every believer!

Ps 15:2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart.
Ps 18:23 I was also blameless with Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity.
Ps 18:25 With the kind Thou dost show Thyself kind; With the blameless Thou dost show Thyself blameless;
Ps 18:30 As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Ps 18:32 The God who girds me with strength, And makes my way blameless?
Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Ps 37:18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless; And their inheritance will be forever.
Ps 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Ps 101:2 I will give heed to the blameless way. When wilt Thou come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.
Ps 101:6 My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.
Ps 119:1 Aleph. How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD.
Ps 119:80 May my heart be blameless in Thy statutes, That I may not be ashamed.

Prov 1:12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;
Prov 2:21 For the upright will live in the land, And the blameless will remain in it;
Prov 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
Prov 11:20 The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in [their] walk are His delight.
Prov 28:10 He who leads the upright astray in an evil way Will himself fall into his own pit, But the blameless will inherit good.
Prov 28:18 He who walks blamelessly will be delivered, But he who is crooked will fall all at once.

G Campbell Morgan - Without blemish.—Lev. 1.3 - Leviticus was the hand-book of the priests. It contains the laws governing the whole system of worship. In Exodus we have the record of the words God spake to Moses from the Mount. They are the fundamental words of moral order. In Leviticus we have words God spake to Moses from the midst of the Tabernacle. They are the words of His administration of the affairs of His people in holiness and in grace. Throughout, God is seen as the God of all perfection, making it possible for imperfect man to draw nigh to Himself through sacrifice. The sacrifices and offerings were all to be provided by the worshippers, but they were to be the symbols of an Offering and Sacrifice which the worshippers could not provide, but which would be provided by God. Because they were thus to symbolize perfection, they must be, so far as man could make sure of it, perfect in themselves. That is the significance of this phrase "without blemish." Nothing offered to God must be imperfect. The principle abides, even though we are looking back to the one perfect Offering, rather than onward in expectation of its coming. Our only right to offer anything to God, in any form, is created by the one Offering through which we are sanctified. Every offering is a symbol still of the One. Therefore only of the best we have, have we any right to offer to Him. He is worthy to receive the most precious, and we do wrong to the perfection of His Sacrifice when we give to Him in kind, or in effort, that which is second-rate or imperfect. Our best is but poor, but that which we do give, must be our best. (Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)

Mears sums up this offering...

This was an offering of Dedication. Why first? Because sacrifice comes first. No one begins with God until all has been yielded to God. (See Leviticus 1:3.) This was the most common sacrifice in the ancient Temple.

Dedication is our part.
Consecration is God's part.
We dedicate ourselves to God.
He consecrates us—to His service.

Consecrate me now to Thy service Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

We sing, "Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee." (This is a burnt offering.)

James Smith on "The Burnt Offering" - Leviticus 1:1-9.

A STUDY of these offerings cannot but deepen our reverence for the Word of God, and magnify our Lord and Saviour whom they represent. We should never overlook the fact that all the particulars given concerning these five offerings, which reveal so many different aspects of Christ's life and work, were given to Moses by Jehovah Himself, who knew the character of Christ and His sufferings beforehand. This burnt-offering is "an approach offering," indicating the way to God.

I. The Character of the Offering. Much depends upon its character and the manner in which it was offered.

1. IT MUST BE WITHOUT BLEMISH (Lev 1:3). Not only in the sight of man, but in the sight of God. Christ, as God's beloved Lamb, was without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19). One sin in thought or feeling would have made Him a blemished sacrifice.

2. IT MUST BE BROUGHT TO THE DOOR (Lev 1:3). The door of access to God has been blocked by sin. It can only be opened through suffering and sacrifice. Jesus Christ came for this purpose. Now He says, Behold I set before you an open door.

3. IT MUST BE KILLED BEFORE THE LORD (Lev 1:5). A blameless life is not enough to atone for sin and remove the barrier from the door. Christ must die, and He must die before the Lord. His death was Jehovah's doing, and not man's. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him, He hath put Him to grief. Atonement has to do with God.

4. IT MUST BE LAID IN ORDER UPON THE ALTAR (Lev 1:8). Everything here must be in order, as everything is typical of Him who came to do the Father's will. The nailing of Christ, our Sacrifice, upon the Cross may be here in figure.

5. ITS BLOOD MUST BE SPRINKLED (Lev 1:5). The blameless one becomes the lifeless one. The blood, which signifies life, must be applied both to the altar and to the heart. The sprinkled blood saved the first-born in Egypt (Ex 12:1-14). The blood of sprinkling still speaks (Heb. 12:24).

6. ITS INWARDS MUST BE WASHED (Lev 1:9). The inwards may suggest the thoughts and feelings, the intents of the heart, that must be clean before God. All was perfect in the Son of the Highest as our Passover Lamb. He could say, Thy law is within My heart, I delight to do Thy will.

7. IT MUST ALL BE LAID UPON THE ALTAR (Lev 1:9). All was given to God, He offered Himself wholly and acceptable. A sweet savour unto the Lord (Eph. 5:2).

II. Some things about the Offerer. We learn from this that—

1. AN APPROACH-OFFERING WAS NEEDED. Because of sin man has forfeited all right and fitness to approach God. Jesus is the Way.

2. THIS OFFERING WAS TO BE VOLUNTARY (Lev 1:3). Our "own voluntary will" is responsible for our accepting or rejecting God's great offering for our sins. "Ye will not come to Me that ye might have life."

3. THERE MUST BE PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION (Lev 1:4). "He shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering." This is the touch of appropriation, it is the touch of faith, the leaning of a believing heart.

4. THE OFFERER WAS ACCEPTED IN THE OFFERING. "And it shall be accepted for him, to make atonement for him." He hath made us accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6). Glorious Gospel, that by our acceptance of His offering we are made acceptable unto God. Justified freely from all things.

5. THIS PRIVILEGE IS OFFERED TO ALL. "If any man" (Lev 1:2). This is a wide door opened by the infinite mercy of God. Salvation, by the offering of Christ, is brought within the reach of every man who has heard the tidings. He is the propitiation for the whole world. (Handfuls of Purpose) (Alternate Source)


At the doorway - Recall that there is only ONE way into the Tabernacle, a foreshadowing of the truth that in order to be saved one must enter through Jesus "the door" (Jn 10:9-10) for only through Jesus can we find "the  (one) Way" into the presence of the Father (Jn 14:6) Andrew Bonar comments "Come then with the sacrifice to “the door of the tabernacle.” The altar was near the door of the tabernacle; it faced it. It was the first object that met the eye of a worshipper coming in. The priest met him there, and led the offerer with his sacrifice on to the altar. The presenting any sacrifice there was a type of the worshipper’s object being to get admission into the presence of God by entrance at that door. (“Access,” = "for through Him [Jesus] we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father." Eph. 2:18-note, cp Ro 5:1-2-note) Thus the offerer walked silently and with holy awe to the door of the tabernacle, and there met his God." (Ibid)

The way of access to God (The Way of Acceptance)

I. In our approach to God nothing is left to human invention.
1. There are conditions to our acceptable approach.
2. There are minutely revealed conditions for our approach.

II. For our rightful approach to him, God has made full and gracious provision.
1. A place for meeting God.
2. A sacrificial basis of acceptance.
3. A mediatorial ministry.

III. By such arrangements for our acceptable approach, God has laid us under most solemn obligations to seek him.
1. Shall God wait in vain within the Holy Place, and none draw near?
2. Can sinful man despise the sacrifice of Jesus offered for his propitiation?
3. With such a Priest within the Holy Place, have we no mediation to ask, no sins to confess, no offerings to bring? (Answer - Yes of course) (W. H. Jellie.)

Tent of meeting - "There are two “Tents of Meeting”: the one that stood outside the camp (see, e.g., Ex 33:7) and the one that stood in the midst of the camp (Ex 40:2; Nu 2:2ff) and served as the LORD’s residence until the construction of the temple in the days of Solomon (Ex 27:21; 29:4; 1Kgs 8:4; 2Chr 5:5, etc.; cf. 2Sa 7:6). Ex 40:35 uses both “tabernacle” and “tent of meeting” to refer to the same tent: “Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” It is clear that “tent of meeting” in Lev 1:1 refers to the “tabernacle.” The latter term refers to the tent as a “residence,” while the former refers to it as a divinely appointed place of “meeting” between God and man. This corresponds to the change in terms in Ex 40:35, where “tent of meeting” is used when referring to Moses’ inability to enter the tent, but “tabernacle” when referring to the LORD taking up residence there in the form of the glory cloud. The quotation introduced here extends from Lev 1:2 through Lev 3:17, and encompasses the burnt, grain, and peace offering regulations." (Leviticus 1 - NET Bible Notes)

Meeting (04150) (moed from the verb ya'ad meaning to appoint or fix) can refer to either a time or place of meeting. Moed often designates a determined time or place without any regard for the purpose. Since the Jewish festivals occurred at regular intervals, this word becomes closely identified with them. Thus moed is a common term for the worshiping assembly of God's people.  A specific appointed time, usually for a sacred feast or festival (Hos. 9:5; 12:9).

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates meeting with the noun marturion (see verb form martureo) which refers to an objective act, circumstance, or statement that serves as a means of proof = evidence, testimony, witness.

Testimony (English) - A solemn declaration or affirmation made for the purpose of establishing or proving some fact. Such affirmation in judicial proceedings, may be verbal or written, but must be under oath. Testimony differs from evidence; testimony is the declaration of a witness, and evidence is the effect of that declaration on the mind, or the degree of light which it affords. (Webster - 1828)

That - Don't miss this word which here serves as a terms of purpose or result (e.g., so that, in order that, that, as a result) - What is the purpose of the burnt offering? The offerer might be accepted before the LORD. As Wenham says "Peace with God is the goal of sacrifice. Leviticus lays down several rules, the infringement of which will mean that a sacrifice will not be accepted (Lev 7:18; 22:23, 25, 27). The psalmists often pray for God to accept his people, that is, to hear their prayers and bless them (Ps. 40:14; 77:7; 85:1). Conversely one of the most serious threats in the prophetic writings is that God will not accept their sacrifices (Jer. 14:12; Hos. 8:13; Amos 5:22). (NICOT)

Before the LORD (61x in 59v in Leviticus out of 259 total uses in OT) - Lev 1:3, 5, 11; 3:1, 7, 12; 4:4, 6f, 15, 17f, 24; 5:19; 6:7, 14, 25; 7:30; 8:26f, 29; 9:2, 4f, 21, 24; 10:1f, 15, 17, 19; 12:7; 14:11f, 16, 18, 23f, 27, 29, 31; 15:14f, 30; 16:7, 10, 12f, 18, 30; 19:22; 23:11, 20, 28, 40; 24:3f, 6, 8;

All uses of before the LORD in OT and NT - Gen 10:9; 13:10; 18:22; 19:13, 27; 24:52; Ex 6:12, 30; 16:9, 33; 22:11; 23:17; 27:21; 28:12, 29f, 35, 38; 29:11, 23ff, 42; 30:8, 16; 34:23f, 34; 40:23, 25; Lev 1:3, 5, 11; 3:1, 7, 12; 4:4, 6f, 15, 17f, 24; 5:19; 6:7, 14, 25; 7:30; 8:26f, 29; 9:2, 4f, 21, 24; 10:1f, 15, 17, 19; 12:7; 14:11f, 16, 18, 23f, 27, 29, 31; 15:14f, 30; 16:7, 10, 12f, 18, 30; 19:22; 23:11, 20, 28, 40; 24:3f, 6, 8; Num 3:4; 5:16, 18, 25, 30; 6:16, 20; 7:3; 8:10f, 21; 10:9; 14:37; 15:15, 25, 28; 16:16f, 38, 40; 17:7; 18:19; 20:3, 9; 25:4; 26:61; 27:5, 21; 31:50, 54; 32:20ff; Deut 1:45; 4:10; 6:25; 9:18, 25; 10:8; 12:7, 12, 18; 15:20; 16:11, 16; 18:7, 13; 19:17; 24:4, 13; 26:5, 10, 13; 27:7; 29:10; 31:11; Josh 4:13; 6:8, 26; 7:23; 18:6, 8, 10; 19:51; Jdg 11:11; 20:23, 26; 1Sa 1:12, 15, 19, 22; 2:17f, 21; 6:20; 7:6; 10:19, 25; 11:15; 12:3, 7; 15:33; 21:6f; 23:18; 26:19; 2 Sam 3:28; 5:3; 6:5, 14, 16f, 21; 7:18; 21:6, 9; 1Kgs 2:45; 8:59, 62, 64f; 9:25; 19:11; 22:21; 2Kgs 16:14; 19:14f; 22:19; 23:3; 1Chr 11:3; 16:33; 17:16; 22:18; 23:13, 31; 29:22; 2Chr 1:6; 7:4; 14:13; 18:20; 19:10; 20:13, 18; 27:6; 31:20; 33:23; 34:31; Job 1:6; 2:1; Ps 95:6; 96:13; 98:9; 102:1; 109:14f; 114:7; 116:9; Pr 15:11; Isa 37:14; Jer 4:26; 36:7, 9; Ezek 41:22; 43:24; 44:3; 46:3, 9; Dan 9:20; Zeph 1:7; Zech 2:13; 6:5; Mal 3:14; Luke 1:76; 2 Pet 2:11; Rev 11:4

Accepted (07522)(ratson/rason from ratsah - see below) is a masculine noun meaning pleasure, delight, desire, will, favor, acceptance. This term is ascribed both to human agents and to God. Ratson describes a strong desire which implies a choice (Ge 49:6; 2Ch 15:15). Here in Lev 1:3 ratson refers to a state or condition of approval and implies pleasure in the event (Ex 28:38)

Accepted in Webster's 1828 English dictionary - Kindly received; regarded; agreed to; generally approved.

Dektos means acceptable (that which is welcomed) and is used frequently in the Septuagint (Lxx) to describe a variety of offerings as acceptable and meeting with divine approval - see Lev 1:3-4, Lev 19:5; 22:19-21, 29; 23:11. In Pr 11:1 we see that a just weight is God's "delight" (Hebrew - ratson/rason; Lxx - Dektos) and in Pr 14:35 it describes the "king's favor (Hebrew - ratson/rason; Lxx - Dektos)...toward a servant who acts wisely." In Malachi 2:13-note those who offered the sacrifices were not right with the Lord (they were seeking divorces - Mal 2:14-note) which is why He no longer was accepting their offerings with "favor (Hebrew -ratson/rason; Lxx = Dektos)" from their hand. In Jeremiah 6:20 because of their breaking covenant with Jehovah, He says " Your burnt offerings are not acceptable (Hebrew - ratson/rason; Lxx = Dektos), and your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.” In Exodus 28:38 dektos translates rason in the context of the High Priest being acceptable to the LORD, for Moses records "It shall be on Aaron's forehead (Engraved with "Holy to the LORD" - see Ex 28:36-37), and Aaron shall take away the iniquity of the holy things which the sons of Israel consecrate, with regard to all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted (Hebrew - ratson/rason; Lxx = Dektos) before the LORD."

Vine - Ratson represents a concrete reaction of the superior to an inferior. When used of God, ratson may represent that which is shown in His blessings (Dt. 33:16). Thus Isaiah speaks of the day, year, or time of divine “favor”-in other words, the day of the Lord when all the blessings of the covenant shall be heaped upon God’s people (Isa 49:8; 58:5; 61:2). In wisdom literature, this word is used in the sense of “what men can bestow” (Pr. 11:27). In Pr. 14:35, ratson refers to what a king can or will do for someone he likes. This word represents the position one enjoys before a superior who is favorably disposed toward him. This nuance is used only of God and frequently in a cultic context: “ And it [the plate engraved with “holy to the Lord”] shall be always upon his [the high priest’s] forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord” (Ex 28:38). Being “accepted” means that God subjectively feels well disposed toward the petitioner. Ratson also signifies a voluntary or arbitrary decision. Ezra told the people of Israel to do the “will” of God, to repent and observe the law of Moses (Ezra 10:11). This law was dictated by God’s own nature; His nature led Him to be concerned for the physical well-being of His people. Ultimately, His laws were highly personal; they were simply what God wanted His people to be and do. Thus the psalmist confessed his delight in doing God’s “will,” or His law (Ps 40:8). When a man does according to his own “will,” he does “what he desires”: “I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will and became great” (Da 8:4). In Ps. 145:16, the word ratson means “one’s desire” or “what one wants” (cf. Esther 1:8). This emphasis is found in Ge 49:6 (the first occurrence): “And in their self-will they [brought disaster upon themselves].” (Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)

Ratsah is translated in NAS as acceptable(5), acceptance(1), accepted(8), delight(5), desire(2), desired(1), desires(1), earnestly*(1), favor(17), favorable(2), good will(1), please(1), pleased(1), pleases(3), self-will(1), what is acceptable(1), what they pleased(1), will(3).

Ratsah 55v - Ge 49:6; Ex 28:38; Lev 1:3; 19:5; 22:19-21, 29; 23:11; Deut 33:16, 23; 2 Chr 15:15; Ezra 10:11; Neh 9:24, 37; Esther 1:8; 9:5; Ps 5:12; 19:14; 30:5, 7; 40:8; 51:18; 69:13; 89:17; 103:21; 106:4; 145:16, 19; Pr 8:35; 10:32; 11:1, 20, 27; 12:2, 22; 14:9, 35; 15:8; 16:13, 15; 18:22; 19:12; Isa 49:8; 56:7; 58:5; 60:7, 10; 61:2; Jer 6:20; Dan 8:4; 11:3, 16, 36; Mal 2:13

Here are all the uses of ratson/rason in the Psalms...

Ps 5:12-note For it is Thou who dost bless the righteous man, O LORD, Thou dost surround him with favor (Lxx = eudokía = favor) as with a shield.
Ps 19:14
-note Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable (Lxx =
eudokía = favor) in Thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.
Ps 30:5
-note For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy [comes] in the morning.
Ps 30:7
-note O LORD, by Thy favor Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong; Thou didst hide Thy face, I was dismayed.
Ps 40:8
-note I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart.”
Ps 51:18
-note By Thy favor do good to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Ps 69:13
-note But as for me, my prayer is to Thee, O LORD, at an acceptable (Lxx =
eudokía = favor) time; O God, in the greatness of Thy lovingkindness, Answer me with Thy saving truth.
Ps 89:17
-note For Thou art the glory of their strength, And by Thy favor our horn is exalted.
Ps 103:21
-note Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will.
Ps 106:4
-note Remember me, O LORD, in [Thy] favor toward Thy people; Visit me with Thy salvation,
Ps 145:16
-note Thou dost open Thy hand, And dost satisfy the desire of every living thing.
Ps 145:19
-note He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.

Prov 8:35 “For he who finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD.
Prov 10:32 The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked, what is perverted.
Prov 11:1 A False balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.
Prov 11:20 The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in [their] walk are His delight.
Prov 11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, But he who searches after evil, it will come to him.
Prov 12:2 A good man will obtain favor from the LORD, But He will condemn a man who devises evil.
Prov 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight.
Prov 14:9 Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is good will.
Prov 14:35 The king’s favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, But his anger is toward him who acts shamefully.
Prov 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
Prov 16:13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And he who speaks right is loved.
Prov 16:15 In the light of a king’s face is life, And his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain.
Prov 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.
Prov 19:12 The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass.

Lev 7:18-note speaks of not being accepted if one eats the meat of the peace offering on the third day -  ‘So if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings should [ever] be eaten on the third day, he who offers it shall not be accepted, [and] it shall not be reckoned to his [benefit.] It shall be an offensive thing, and the person who eats of it shall bear his [own] iniquity.

Under the New Covenant because of the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God and because by faith we have "laid our hands on His head," Paul writes "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved." (Eph 1:6KJV-note) See related study - ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED

Lev 1:4 'He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf. (Lay: Lev 3:2,8,13 4:4,15,24,29 8:14,22 16:21 Ex 29:10,15,19 Nu 8:12 Isa 53:4-6 2Co 5:20,21) (be accepted: Lev 22:21,27 Isa 56:7 Ro 12:1 Php 4:18) (atonement: Lev 4:20,26,31,35 5:6 6:7 9:7 16:24 Nu 15:25,28 25:13 2Ch 29:23,24 Da 9:24 Ro 3:25 5:11 Heb 10:4 1Jn 2:2)

He - This refers to the offerer who had brought the costly offering (gift) to the priest. And remember that for his offering to be acceptable to a Holy God, it was not to be offered mechanically but in faith, even as exemplified by the first specific offering in the Bible, the offering of Abel!  Abel brought an offering to Yahweh which was accepted by Him, while Cain's offering was not accepted (Ge 4:4-5). Observe carefully the phrase "but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard (Lxx = prosecho)." (Ge 4:5) In other words, Jehovah looked first at the heart of the offerer ("for Cain") and then at his offering ("for his offering")! Clearly Cain did not bring His offering in faith or belief! The letter to the Hebrews amplifies this vitally important point, explaining why God had no regard for Cain (or his offering) (Ge 4:5) writing that

"By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony (this phrase is the single verb martureo which gives us our English word "martyr!" - a perfect description of the first Biblical martyr for the faith!) that he was righteous (Ed: Note that righteousness is effected by believing the Gospel [Ro 1:17-note, cp Jesus' testimony in Mt 23:35], so by implication, the Gospel in some form was somehow known by Cain and Abel in Genesis 4!), God testifying about his gifts (His offering = doron, same Greek noun used Lev 1:3 to translate qorban/korban, Hebrew for "offering"), and through faith (Ed: In case we missed that it was Abel's faith by which his sacrifice was made acceptable!), though he is dead, he still speaks (AMEN!)." (Heb 11:4-note)

So what was "better" about Abel's sacrifice? The key phrase is "by faith," which describes Abel's heart attitude of belief which led to obedience (cp Ps 51:16-17-note; 1Sa 15:22-23)! The writer reiterates this immutable principle again in Hebrews 11:6 writing that "without faith it is impossible to please [Him] (i.e., the sacrifice cannot possibly be a "sweet smelling aroma" to God!), for (term of explanation) he who comes to God MUST BELIEVE that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." (Heb 11:6-note)

Lay his hand on the head - Don't read this too quickly without putting yourself in the place of the offerer who brought this gift, a gift which was precious to him, a gift which may have even been the "family pet!" This would have been a solemn, deeply moving scene!

Do we have the same sense of solemnity of heart and mind and sobriety of spirit when we arise each morning and make a presentation to Yahweh of our very body, presenting ourselves to Him as a whole burnt offering, body, soul and spirit, nothing held back (Ro 12:1-note)? May the Spirit impress on our hearts to pray "Teach me Thy way, O LORD; I will walk in Thy truth; Unite my heart to fear Thy name." (Ps 86:11-note) Then we will be enabled to offer ourselves with a whole heart, holding nothing back, wholly His all during the day! Let it be, Lord! Amen (See Give Me An Undivided Heart)

Lay (05564) (camak) conveys the idea of to lean upon (and thus to press one's hand upon the head). Other ideas inherent in the Hebrew verb camak are to lie hard, to rest self (This latter nuance is especially interesting in view of NT passages like Ro 12:1-note!). In the Levitical instructions regarding offerings, the offerer brought his animal and personally laid his hand upon its head, expressing identification with the offering, surrender of the animal to God and in the case of guilt, symbolized the transfer of personal guilt to the animal (see Lev 16:21).

Andrew Bonar - This action of the offerer gives us a view of faith. The offerer puts his hand on the same head whereon the Lord’s hand was laid (Ed: Speaking of the offering of Christ on the altar of Calvary), and thereby agrees to all that is implied in his choosing that offering. God and the believing soul meet at the same point, and are satisfied by the same display of the Divine attributes.—“He shall put his hand.”* It is yet more forcible in the Hebrew,—“He shall lean his hand” (וְסָמַּךְ), the very word used in Psalm 88:7KJV, “Thy wrath leaneth hard upon me.” We lean our soul on the same person on whom Jehovah leant His wrath. When the worshipper had thus simply left his sins, conveyed by the laying on of his hand upon the sacrifice, he stands aside. This is all his part. The treatment of the victim is the Lord’s part. The happy Israelite who saw this truth might go home, saying, “I have put my hand on its head; it shall be accepted as an atonement.” Faith in the Lord’s testimony was the ground of an Israelite’s peace of conscience, nothing of it rested on his own frame of mind, character, or conduct. (Ibid)

Spurgeon sees this act of the offerer laying his hands on the sacrificial animal as symbolic of confession, acceptance, transference, and identification (see his discussion below).

Lay his hand - This phrase lay hand on head is frequent in Leviticus - Lev 1:4 Lev 3:2 Lev 3:8 Lev 3:13 Lev 4:4 Lev 4:15 Lev 4:24 Lev 4:29 Lev 4:33 Lev 16:21 (Day of atonement) Lev 24:14. Cp Ex 29:10, 15, 19, Nu 8:12  In addition to Spurgeon's note below, see Leviticus 4:29 Commentary for more notes by C H Spurgeon.

John Trapp on lay hands on - As acknowledging his own guilt, and transferring the same upon Christ, resting upon him with full assurance of faith, hand fastening us unto Him.

John Gill - According to the Targum Jonathan, it was his right hand; but it is generally thought by the Jewish writers that both hands were laid on; so Ben Gersom and Aben Ezra, with whom Maimonides agrees, who says, he that lays on hands ought to lay on with all his strength, with both his hands upon the head of the beast, as it is said, "upon the head of the burnt offering": not upon the neck, nor upon the sides; and there should be nothing between his hands and the beast: and as the same writer says, it must be his own hand, and not the hand of his wife, nor the hand of his servant, nor his messenger; and who also observes, that at the same time he made confession over the burnt offering both of his sins committed against affirmative and negative precepts: and indeed by this action he owned that he had sinned, and deserved to die as that creature he brought was about to do, and that he expected pardon of his sin through the death of the great sacrifice that was a type of. Moreover, this action signified the transferring of his sins from himself to this sacrifice, which was to be offered up to make atonement for them; so Gersom observes; see Lev 16:21. This denotes the translation of our sins from us, and the imputation of them to Christ, who was offered up in our place and stead, to make atonement for them, as follows: and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him: that is, the burnt offering should be accepted in his place and stead, and hereby an atonement of his sins should be made for him, typical of that true, real, and full atonement made by the sacrifice of Christ, which this led his faith unto.

Matthew Poole - 1. That he willingly gave it to the Lord. 2. That he did legally unite himself with it, and judged himself worthy of that death which it suffered in his stead; and that he laid his sins upon it in a ceremonial way, and had an eye to him upon whom God would lay the iniquity of us all, Isa 53:6; and that together with it he did freely offer up himself to God.


C H Spurgeon - Putting the hand upon the head of the sacrifice - Two matters were essential in the sacrifices of the ceremonial law; and you have them both in our text: “He shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering,” and “He shall kill the bullock before the Lord.” The appropriation by the offerer and the death of the offering are most fitly joined together, and must neither of them be overlooked. Let us on the present occasion look at THE LEADING ACT OF THE OFFERER: “He shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering.” All that goes before is important, but this is the real sacrificial act so far as the offerer is concerned. Before he reached this point, the person who presented the offering had to make a selection of the animal to be brought before the Lord. It must be of a certain age, and it must be without blemish; and for this latter reason a careful examination had to be made; for the Lord would not accept a sacrifice that was lame, or broken, or bruised, or deficient in any of its parts, or in any way blemished. He required an offering “without spot.” Now I invite all those who seek reconciliation with God to look about them, and consider whether the Lord Jesus Christ be such an atoning sacrifice as they need and as God will accept. After you have well examined His blessed person and His spotless character if you arrive at the conclusion that He is a fit and acceptable sacrifice for you to present before the Lord, then I long that you may take the much more practical step, and accept the Lord Jesus to be your representative, your sin-offering, your burnt-offering, your substitute, and your sacrifice. Happily you have not to find a sacrifice as the Jew had to supply a bullock; God has provided Himself with a perfect sacrifice; that which you have to bring to God, God first brings to you. Happily, there is no need for you to repeat the examination through which the Lord Jesus passed both at the hands of men, and of devils, and of God, when He was tested and tried and examined, and even the prince of this world found nothing of his own in Him. You have to attend to this one thing, namely, the laying of your hands upon the sacrifice provided for you. To the Jew it was a sacrifice to be slain, to you it is a sacrifice already offered; and this you are to accept and recognize as your own. I pray from my inmost soul that you may immediately do that which was meant by laying the hand upon the victim’s head. What did that mean?

I. It meant four things, and the first was CONFESSION.
He that laid his hand upon the head of the offering made confession of sin. Your touch of Jesus must be the touch of one who is consciously guilty. He belongs not to you unless you are a sinner. Confession of gin is no hard duty to some of us, for we can do no other than acknowledge and bemoan our guilt f Here we stand before Thee self-condemned, and with aching hearts we each one cry, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness.” Do any of you refuse to make confession of guilt? Then do not think it hard if, since according to your own proud notions you are not sinners, the Lord should provide for you no Saviour I Should medicine be prepared for those who are not sick? Wherefore should the righteous be invited to partake of pardon? Why should a righteousness be provided for the innocent? Our true place is that of sinners: we plead guilty to the dread indictment of God’s holy law, and therefore we are glad to lay our hand upon the head of the sinner’s Saviour and sacrifice.
In this act there was also a confession of self-impotence. ,Oh, what can we do without Christ? I like what was said by a child in the Sunday School, when the teacher said, “You have been reading that Christ is precious: what does that mean?” The children stayed a little while, till at last one boy replied, “Father said the other day that mother was precious, for ‘ whatever should we do without her? ‘“ This is a capital explanation of the word “precious.” You and I can truly say of the Lord Jesus Christ that He is precious to us, for what should we do, what could we do without Him? Because we are so deeply conscious of our own self-impotence we lean hard upon His all-sufficiency. If you could read the text in the Hebrew you would find it runs thus: “He shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make a cover for him”--to make atonement for him. The word is copher in the Hebrew--a cover. Why, then, do we hide behind the Lord Jesus? Because we feel our need of something to cover us, and to act as an interposition between us and the righteous Judge of all the earth. If the Holy One of Israel shall look upon us as we are He must be displeased; bat when He sees us in Christ Jesus He is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake.
. There was a further confession of the desert of punishment. When a man brought his bullock, or his goat, or his lamb, he put his hand on ii, and as l e knew that the poor creature must die he thus acknowledged that he himself deserved death.

II. Secondly, the laying on of hands meant ACCEPTANCE. The offerer by laying his hand upon the victim’s head signified that he acknowledged the offering to be for himself.
He accepted, first of all, the principle and the plan. Far too many kick against the idea of our being saved by substitution or representation. Why do they rebel against it? Why should I complain of that which is to deliver me from destruction? If the Lord does not object to the way, why should I? God grant that no one may hold out against a method of grace so simple, so sure, so available! But, then, mind.
. After you have accepted the plan and the way, you must not stop there, but you must go on to accept the sacred person whom God provides. It would have been a very foolish thing if the offerer had stood at the altar and said, “Good Lord, I accept the plan of sacrifice; be it burnt-offering or sin-offering, I agree thereto.” He did much more than that; he accepted that very bullock as his offering, and in token thereof placed his hand upon it. I pray you beware of resting satisfied with understanding and approving the plan of salvation. I heard of one who anxiously desired to be the means of the conversion of a young man, and one said to him, “You may go to him, and talk to him, but you will get him no further, for he is exceedingly well acquainted with the plan of salvation.” When the friend began to speak with the young man, he received for an answer, “I am much obliged to you, but I do not know that you can tell me much, for I have long known and admired the plan of salvation by the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ.” Alas! he was resting in the plan, but he bad not believed in the Person. The plan of salvation is most blessed, but it can avail us nothing unless we believe. What is the comfort of a plan of a house if you do not enter the house itself? What is the good of a plan of clothing if you have not a rag to cover you? The offerer laid his hands literally upon the bullock: he found something substantial there, something which he could handle and touch; even so do we lean upon the real and true work of Jesus, the most substantial thing under heaven. We come to the Lord Jesus by faith, and say, “God has provided an atonement here, and I accept it; I believe it to be a fact accomplished on the Cross that sin was put away by Christ, and I rest on Him.” Yes; you must get beyond the acceptance of plans and doctrines to a resting in the Divine person and finished work of the blessed Lord Jesus Christ, and a casting of yourself entirely upon Him.

III. But thirdly, this laying of the hand upon the sacrifice meant not only acceptance, but also TRANSFERENCE.
The offerer had confessed his sin, and had accepted the victim then presented to be his sacrifice, and now he mentally realises that his guilt is by Divine appointment to pass over from himself to the sacrifice. Of course this was only done in type and figure at the door of the Tabernacle; but in our case the Lord Jesus Christ as a matter of literal fact has borne the sin of His people. “The Lord hath made to meet on Him the iniquity of us all.” “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.” “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” But do we by faith pass our sins-from ourselves to Christ? I answer, No: in some senses, no. But by faith he that accepts Christ as his Saviour agrees with what the Lord did ages ago, for we read in the book of Isaiah the prophet, “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
The laying of the hand upon the head of the sacrifice meant a transference of guilt to the victim, and, furthermore, a confidence in the efficacy of the sacrifice there and then presented. The believing Jew said, “This bullock represents to me the sacrifice which God has provided, and I rejoice in it because it is the symbol of a sacrifice which does in very deed take away sin.” There are a great number of people who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ after a fashion, but it is not in deed and in truth, for they do not believe in the actual pardon of their own sin: they hope that it may one day be forgiven, but they have no confidence that the Lord Jesus has already put away their sin by His death. “I am a great sinner,” says one, “therefore I cannot be saved.” Man alive, did Christ die for those who are not sinners? What was the need of a Saviour except for sinners? Has Jesus actually borne sin, or has He not? If He has borne our sin, it is gone; if He has not borne it, our sin will never depart. What does the Scripture say? “He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” If, then, Christ did take the sinner’s sin, it remains not upon the sinner that believeth.

V. Once more, this laying of the hand upon the head of the victim meant IDENTIFICATION. The worshipper who laid his hand on the bullock said, “Be pleased, O great Lord, to identify me with this bullock, and this bullock with me. There has been a transferring of my sin, now I beseech Thee let me be judged as being in the victim, and represented thereby.” Now consider that which happened to the sacrifice. The knife was unsheathed, and the victim was slain. He was not merely bound, bat killed; and the man stood there and said, “That is me; that is the fate which I deserve.” The poor creature struggled, it wallowed in the sand in its dying agonies, and if the worshipper was a right-minded person, and not a mere formalist, he stood with tears in his eyes, and felt in his heart, “That death is mine.” I beseech you when you think of our blessed Lord to identify yourselves with Him. (See Spurgeon's full sermon - Leviticus 1:4-5 Putting the Hand Upon the Head of the Sacrifice) (See also Leviticus 4:29 Commentary for more detailed notes including discussion by C H Spurgeon)


Leviticus 1:4a (Spurgeon's Morning and Evening) - Our Lord's being made "sin for us" is set forth here by the very significant transfer of sin to the bullock, which was made by the elders of the people. The laying of the hand was not a mere touch of contact, for in some other places of Scripture the original word has the meaning of leaning heavily, as in the expression, "thy wrath lieth hard upon me" (Psalm 88:7). Surely this is the very essence and nature of faith, which doth not only bring us into contact with the great Substitute, but teaches us to lean upon him with all the burden of our guilt. Jehovah made to meet upon the head of the Substitute all the offences of his covenant people, but each one of the chosen is brought personally to ratify this solemn covenant act, when by grace he is enabled by faith to lay his hand upon the head of the "Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world." (Jn 1:29) Believer, do you remember that rapturous day when you first realized pardon through Jesus the sin-bearer? Can you not make glad confession, and join with the writer in saying, "My soul recalls her day of deliverance with delight. Laden with guilt and full of fears, I saw my Saviour as my Substitute, and I laid my hand upon him; oh! how timidly at first, but courage grew and confidence was confirmed until I leaned my soul entirely upon him; and now it is my unceasing joy to know that my sins are no longer imputed to me, but laid on him, and like the debts of the wounded traveler, Jesus, like the good Samaritan, has said of all my future sinfulness, 'Set that to my account. '" Blessed discovery! Eternal solace of a grateful heart!

My numerous sins transferr'd to him,
Shall never more be found,
Lost in his blood's atoning stream,
Where every crime is drown'd!


Spurgeon's Faith's Checkbook - A Completed Sacrifice—Leviticus 1:4
IF by that laying on of his hand, the bullock became the offerer’s sacrifice, how much more shall Jesus become ours by the laying on of the hand of faith?

My faith doth lay her hand
On that dear head of Thine,
While like a penitent I stand,
And there confess my sin.

If a bullock could be accepted for him to make atonement for him, how much more shall the Lord Jesus be our full and all-sufficient propitiation? Some quarrel with the great truth of substitution; but as for us, it is our hope, our joy, our boast, our all. Jesus is accepted for us to make atonement for us, and we are “accepted in the Beloved.”

Let the reader take care at once to lay his hand on the Lord’s completed sacrifice, that by accepting it he may obtain the benefit of it. If he has done so once, let him do it again. If he has never done so, let him put out his hand without a moment’s delay. Jesus is yours now if you will have Him. Lean on Him; lean hard on Him; and He is yours beyond all question; you are reconciled to God, your sins are blotted out, and you are the Lord’s.


Burnt offering (05930)(See discussion of 'olah from 'alah = to ascend and thus the picture of going up in smoke) refers to a whole burnt offering (one which goes up in smoke), which was voluntary, was understood as a sacrificial gift to God, resulting in a pleasing aroma acceptable to Jehovah (Lev 1:9).

Henry Morris - This act clearly identified the sacrificial animal with the person offering it. It is described first apparently to stress the dedication of the sinner fully to God in repentance and submission. It was to be completely consumed, none to be eaten by the priest or the sinner, and was to be offered both morning and evening, and to burn continually (Leviticus 6:13)  (Defender's Study Bible Notes)

That - Always be alert to terms of purpose or result (e.g., so that, in order that, that, as a result). Take a moment, pause and prayerfully ponder that the author is saying interrogating the text with questions like "What's the purpose?", "What's the result?", "What has to occur to fulfill the purpose?", etc. You will be pleasantly surprised at how the Spirit your Teacher will illuminate passages in which you take time to read with this "meditative mindset." (Meditate)

Accepted for him - Is this not a clear statement of substitution? "For him" or "in his place" is the idea. In Eph 5:2-note Paul writes that Christ "gave Himself up for (Gk = huper = in behalf of, for the sake of) us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." This passage clearly links the OT shadow with the NT substance of Christ (Col 2:17-note).

And remember that the only reason the sacrifice was acceptable to Jehovah is because it was offered in faith. It was not because the animal blood per se pleased God. God was interested in the worshiper's faith for the writer of Hebrews says "without faith it is impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." (Heb 11:6-note) It was faith that made Abel's sacrifice acceptable for "By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks." (Heb 11:4-note) This truth helps us understand passages like Heb 10:4-7-note which seem to contradict God's OT instructions to offer animal sacrifices. Every OT sacrifice was but a shadow of the substance to come in the God-Man, Christ Jesus (Col 2:17-note).

Accepted (07521)(ratsah/rasah) means to be pleased with. To satisfy a debt. To be acceptable. To accept favorably.  To be favorable to.

Sometimes man is the subject ( Ge 33:10; Dt. 33:24; 1Chr. 29:3; Ps. 50:18; Pr 3:12) and other times the Lord (1Chr. 28:4; Ps. 51:16; 147:10; Mic 6:7; Hag 1:8). Jehovah takes pleasure in, delights in or is pleased with uprightness (1Chr 29:17), reverential fear (Ps 147:11), the Messiah (Isa 42:1) In Leviticus ratsah describes the sacrifices of men as acceptable to God (Lev. 1:4; 7:18; Ps. 119:108; Jer. 14:12; Hos. 8:13; Amos 5:22; Mal. 1:8). Ratsah is used in prayers (Dt 33:11, 24, Ps 40:13, 119:108) and religious greetings (2 Sa 24:23).

One other nuance of ratsah is in the satisfaction of a debt, as in the prophecy that " the land will enjoy its Sabbaths all the days of the desolation (speaking of the 70 year exile of Judah in Babylon)." (Lev 25:34) In another passage we read "I (God) also was acting with hostility against them (Judah), to bring them into the land of their enemies (Babylon)–or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends (ratsah) for their iniquity....For the land (of Israel) shall be abandoned by them, and shall make up for (ratsah) its Sabbaths while it is made desolate without them (70 years). They, meanwhile, shall be making amends (ratsah) for their iniquity, (Why?) because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes." (Lev 26:41, 43) The writer of Chronicles says these punishments in Leviticus happened "to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete." (2Chr 36:21)

Ratsah "appears thirteen times in Ps and six times in Lev in the Niphal stem (Lev 1:4ff.) in the special sense “to be favorably received” as to the ritual cleanliness of offerings. The more normal Qal construction occurs initially in Ge 33:10 to describe Jacob’s wishes toward Esau. Ratsah is frequently used in prayers (Dt 33:11, 24) and religious greetings (2 Sa 24:23). The root frequently describes God’s pleasure with his servants, particularly referred to the Messiah (Isa 42:1)...Ratsah is also used in passages dealing with the favor of men (Mal 1:8) and a father’s son (Pr 3:12). It is used in contexts requiring the favor of a king (1Sa 29:4) or the favor of a people for their king (2Chr 10:7). It is used of the satisfaction of a debt both in the sense of atonement for sin (Mic 6:7) and fulfillment of ritual requirements (2Chr 36:21).(TWOT)

Swanson - 1. (qal) be pleased, delight in, enjoy, favor, i.e., have a feeling or attitude of fondness and finding pleasure in an object, implying it to be delightful and favorable in the opinion of the speaker (1Ch 28:4); (qal pass.) be favored, esteemed (Dt 33:24; Esther 10:3); (piel) (Job 20:10) (hif) enjoy (Lev 26:34b+); (hitp) regain favor (1Sa 29:4); 2. (qal) accept, agree, i.e., receive an object showing compliance to a proposition or agreement, implying relationship between parties (2Sa 24:23); (nif) be accepted (Lev 1:4; 7:18; 19:7; 22:23, 25, 27+),

Ratsah is translated in the Septuagint (Lxx) of this verse with the adjective dektos is a verbal adjective (derived from the verb dechomai = accept with deliberate, favorable and ready reception, ~ "put out the welcome mat.") which means is an adjective which refers to be met with approval in another's (in this case God's) company. It means accepted, acceptable, pleasing, favorable (See Acts 10:35, Phil 4:18), welcomed (Lk 4:24). Vine says dektos "denotes a person or thing who has been regarded favorably (Luke 4:19, 24; Acts 10:35; 2Cor. 6:2)." Dechomai is used to translate ratsah in Lev 7:18, 19:7, 22:23, , 25, 27).

In the first use Jacob addresses his brother Esau saying "I see your face as one sees the face of God, and you have received me favorably (Lxx = eudokeo = to take pleasure in, to be glad in, to be well pleased)." (Ge 33:10). Eudokeo is used to translate ratsah in Lev 26:34, 41.

Ratsah is translated in the NAS as accept(11), accepted(6), approve(1), approved(1), delight(4), delights(2), enjoy(2), enjoyed(1), favor(2), favorable(1), favored(2), favors(1), find pleasure(1), fulfills(1), make(1), make himself acceptable(1), make amends(1), making amends(1), please(1), pleased(6), pleasing(1), receive(1), received me favorably(1), removed(1), restored(1), showed favor(1), take delight(1), take pleasure(1), taken...delight(1), takes pleasure(1), took pleasure(1).

Ratsah - 55x in OT - Ge 33:10; Lev 1:4; 7:18; 19:7; 22:23, 25, 27; 26:34, 41, 43; Deut 33:11, 24; 1Sa 29:4; 2Sa 24:23; 1Chr 28:4; 29:3, 17; 2Chr 10:7; 36:21; Esther 10:3; Job 14:6; 20:10; 33:26; 34:9; Ps 40:13; 44:3; 49:13; 50:18; 51:16; 62:4; 77:7; 85:1; 102:14; 119:108; 147:10-11; 149:4; Pr 3:12; 16:7; 23:26; Eccl 9:7; Isa 40:2; 42:1; Jer 14:10, 12; Ezek 20:40-41; 43:27; Hos 8:13; Amos 5:22; Mic 6:7; Hag 1:8; Mal 1:8, 10, 13.

Below are some uses of ratsah...

Ps 40:13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; Make haste, O LORD, to help me.

Ps 51:16 For Thou dost not delight (chaphets; Lxx = thelo) in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased (ratsah; Lxx = eudokeo) with burnt offering.

Comment: David is not saying that Jehovah did not ask for sacrifices to be made in the OT, but that before giving the sacrifices, the giver is to give his heart, and so David follows by explaining "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise." (Ps 51:17)

Ps 119:108 O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, And teach me Thine ordinances.

Ps 147:10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.

Ps 147:11 The LORD favors (Lxx = eudokeo = to take pleasure in) those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.

Ps 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure (Lxx = eudokeo = to take pleasure) in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.

Pr 3:12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights (Lxx = paradechomai, cp dechomai).

Pr 16:7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Comment: While this is a proverb, which means it is generally true, it cannot necessarily be "claimed" as promise. That said, I have personally experienced this with a man who was "mean" to everyone, but who I began to show kindness (ignoring his cursing and ranting and raving) and he eventually became relatively docile!

Ezekiel 20:40-41 “For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD, “there the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land; there I shall accept them, and there I shall seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things. “As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.

Comment: This is an incredible passage predicting Jehovah's future acceptance of Israel when they repent and receive the atonement provided by the Messiah (Ro 11:26-27). Quite a contrast with the verses below from Jeremiah!

Jer 14:10 Thus says the LORD to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the LORD does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account.”

Jer 14:12 “When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine and pestilence.”

Several passages use ratsah in the context of sacrifices that were offered but not with a sincere, repentant heart and thus they were not pleasing to the Lord (Hos 8:13, Mal 1:13, Ps 51:16, Amos 5:22; Mic 6:7). God always inspects the gift before He accepts the gift!

Over and over in the OT God expresses His displeasure with ritually performed, external acts offered as a pretense for worship...

Isa 1:11 “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams (Lev 8:18-note), And the fat of fed cattle. And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats.

Jeremiah 6:20 - “For what purpose does frankincense (cp Lev 2:1-note) come to Me from Sheba, And the sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.”

1 Samuel 15:22  And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices (cp Lev 3:1-note) As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, [And] to heed than the fat of rams.

Jeremiah 7:21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh. 22“For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’

Hosea 6:6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Micah 6:6-8 With what shall I come to the LORD And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves? 7Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my first-born [for] my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

Zechariah 7:4-7 Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me saying, 5“Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted? 6‘And when you eat and drink, do you not eat for yourselves and do you not drink for yourselves? 7‘Are not [these] the words which the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous with its cities around it, and the Negev and the foothills were inhabited?’”

Amos 5:21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. 22“Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings (cp Lev 2:1--note), I will not accept [them;] And I will not [even] look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. 23“Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. 24“But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. 25“Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel?

To make atonement (03722)(kapar - word study) means to cover, to purge, to make atonement, to make reconciliation. It is translated "forgive" (or some variation) 10 times in the NASB.  The Septuagint (Lxx) translates kapar with the  verb exilaskomai which means to propitiate (To conciliate; to appease one offended and render him favorable) When one endeavors to attain the goodwill of another, the word can be rendered appease. Our sin necessitates "appeasement" of God. Webster's 1828 says to appease is derived from the Latin pax = peace and means to make quiet; to calm; to reduce to a state of peace; to still; to pacify; as, to appease the tumult of the ocean, or of the passions.

There are two main ideas regarding the meaning of kapar - (1) Kapar means to cover over sin (2) A number of resources however favor the idea that kapar means to wipe away. Richards notes that "It is often said that the idea expressed (in kapar) is one found in a possibly related Arabic root that means “to cover or conceal.” Atonement would then denote a covering that conceals a person’s sin and makes it possible for him to approach God. Although this relationship is possible, the language link is not at all certain. What is certain is the role that atonement played in the religion of Israel—a role given to atonement by God to carry a vital message about our faith."


God required a perfect sacrifice (Exodus 12:5)
God required blood for our atonement (Leviticus 17:11)
Jesus paid for all of our sins (Isaiah 53:3–12)
Atonement is good news (Luke 4:18–19)
Jesus willingly died for our sins (John 10:17)
Christ secured salvation through his blood (Acts 20:28)
Jesus provided the atonement for sins (Romans 3:23–25)
Jesus’ death purchased forgiveness (1 Corinthians 7:23)
Jesus died for sins (1 Corinthians 15:3)
Our atonement allows us to know God (Ephesians 2:13)
Jesus’ death rescues us from eternal punishment (Colossians 1:13)
Christ’s death purifies God’s people (Titus 2:14)
Sin requires that a sacrifice be made (Hebrews 9:22)
Jesus’ sacrifice was perfect (1 Peter 1:18–19)
Jesus took our punishment (1 Peter 2:21–24)
We cannot improve Jesus’ sacrifice (1 Peter 3:18)

Andrew Bonar - This action of the offerer gives us a view of faith. The offerer puts his hand on the same head whereon the Lord’s hand was laid, and thereby agrees to all that is implied in his choosing that offering. God and the believing soul meet at the same point, and are satisfied by the same display of the Divine attributes.—“He shall put his hand.”* It is yet more forcible in the Hebrew,—“He shall lean his hand” (וְסָמַּךְ), the very word used in Psalm 88:7, “Thy wrath leaneth hard upon me.” We lean our soul on the same person on whom Jehovah leant his wrath.When the worshipper had thus simply left his sins, conveyed by the laying on of his hand upon the sacrifice, he stands aside. This is all his part. The treatment of the victim is the Lord’s part. The happy Israelite who saw this truth might go home, saying, “I have put my hand on its head; it shall be accepted as an atonement.” Faith in the Lord’s testimony was the ground of an Israelite’s peace of conscience (Ed Note: but see Hebrews 9:8-9, 14, 22) nothing of it rested on his own frame of mind, character, or conduct.

Criswell commenting on Lev 9:14 - The blood of Christ is clearly the price involved in the atonement. The atonement of Christ is one of the themes of the Book of Hebrews and the pivotal doctrine of the entire Bible. The sacrifices of the OT were forerunners of this work of Christ. The incarnation of Jesus was for the purpose of His suffering death in behalf of mankind. Atonement is a multifaceted concept which includes reconciliation -- the restoration of man to fellowship with God (Ro 5:10; 2 Cor. 5:19); propitiation -- the satisfying of the just demands of God's holiness for the punishment of sin (Ro 3:25); and redemption -- the purchasing of the enslaved sinner to make him free (Col. 1:13, 14). The atonement of Christ made it possible for God to justify men and to be just in so doing (Ro 3:26). No passage could be any more lucid than Lev. 17:11, which declares that "the life of the flesh is in the blood." This life poured out in substitutionary sacrifice makes atonement for the soul. Nor is there any other possible approach to God. "Without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Heb 9:22). Christ's death on Golgotha was substitutionary (in our place). It is the act of Christ which makes (alone) possible man's forgiveness in that it satisfies the just and holy wrath of God. (Ed: Christ's blood accomplishes throughout eternity, what the Levitical sacrifices could never accomplish in time.)

TODAY IN THE WORD - In the fifteenth century, the Aztec people practiced human sacrifice on an unprecedented scale. They believed that human sacrifices were necessary to fuel the sun, and that without such sacrifices the forces of darkness would overpower their sun god, Huitzilopochtli. The Aztecs mostly sacrificed prisoners of war, which led to continuous conflicts with neighboring peoples. Thousands of enemy prisoners might be killed in a single day! Outside of God’s truth, the idea of sacrifice inevitably goes terribly wrong. But inside the Mosaic Law, animal sacrifices showed an awareness of sin and a truly repentant heart before the one true God.

Lev 1:5 'He shall slay the young bull before the LORD; and Aaron's sons the priests shall offer up the blood and sprinkle the blood around on the altar that is at the doorway of the tent of meeting. ((Slay: Lev 1:11 3:2,8,13 16:15 2Ch 29:22-24 Mic 6:6) (Priests: Lev 1:11,15 2Ch 35:11 Heb 10:11) (Sprinkle: Lev 1:11 3:2,8,13 Ex 24:6-8 29:16 Nu 18:17 2Ch 35:11 Isa 52:15 Eze 36:25 Heb 12:24 1Pe 1:2)

He - The offerer will slay the animal. In so doing he will (or at least should) be personally and powerfully confronted with the gravity of his sin (Remember the Holy Spirit was active in the OT in His ministry of convicting men of sin even as He is in the NT -  Jn 16:7-11) and the costliness of atoning for that sin.

And so this acts portrays vividly and dramatically the consequences of sin. In each place the laying of hands on the sacrificial victim is mentioned (Lev 1:4-5, 3:2, 3:8, 4:4, 4:15, 4:24), the killing of the sacrifice - by the one who put their hands on the head - is mentioned also. It is awesome to think of a common Israelite - having to cut his own bull at the jugular vein, before the priests at the Tabernacle of Meeting. It would be a solemn testimony to the need for sacrifice, of the need for the life and the blood to atone, surely a shadow of the need of Christ's life and blood for perfect and final "atonement" for sin (cp 1Pe 2:24, 25-note, 1Pe 3:18-note

Criswell comments - The offerer himself was responsible for slaying his own sacrifice (except in the case of fowls, Lev 1:14, 15). The offering of the blood was tangible and visible evidence that the life had been offered up (cp Lev 17:11). It was the blood sprinkled upon the altar that was efficacious, not the blood in the veins of the animal.

Andrew Bonar - The animal is “killed” in the presence of the Lord. And now, what an awfully solemn sight! The priest “brings forward the blood.” As he bears it onward, in one of the bowls of the altar, all gaze upon the warm crimson blood! It is the life! So that when the blood is thus brought forward, the life of the sacrifice is brought before God! It is as if the living soul of the sinner were carried, in its utter helplessness and in all its filthiness, and laid down before the Holy One! (Ibid)

Slay (07819)(shachat) means to slaughter, kill, slay and is used in both ancient and modern Hebrew. Swanson notes that shachat means "to take the life of a creature, implying the object being killed offers little or no resistance as in a battle or contest." Special uses of shachat refer to "beaten gold" in in 1Ki 10:16-17 and 2Chr 9:15-16. 

Hamilton points out that when shachat refers to the killing of human beings, it was in the context of "the cultic, religiously prompted killing or simply plain murder and assassination. In the former category we may place Ge 22:10 (first use in OT), Isa 57:5; Ezek 16:21; (child sacrifice la human sacrifice of Canaanite cults). In the latter category is one hypothetical situation where God himself would be the perpetrator of the deed and his people the victims (Num 14:16). Zedekiah was forced to observe the execution of his own sons on orders of Nebuchadnezzar: 2Ki 25:7; Jer 39:6; 52:10. Identical treatment was meted out to the leaders of Judah: Jer 39:6; 52:10 (cf. too Jer 41:7). Similar massacres happened to the prophets of Baal (1Ki 18:40), royal families (2Ki 10:7, 14), and the Ephraimites who could not say “Shibboleth” (Jdg 12:6). (TWOT)

More often shachat is used in the description of sacrifices prescribed by God, especially in Leviticus. Hamilton adds that "When one comes into the presence of God he never comes empty-handed. “Nothing in my hands I bring” would be a concept alien to the Israelite. The worshiper is to bring an animal, a domestic one and never a wild one (“I will not offer unto the Lord that which costs me nothing”). Depending on the particular situation the individual himself, the high priest, or the Levites, after the worshiper has laid hands on the animal’s head, kills the animal and then sprinkles the blood. The Bible never really spells out how the animal was slaughtered. Rabbinic sources would indicate that the animal was killed in the swiftest and most painless way possible, by cutting horizontally across the throat in an uninterrupted movement." (TWOT)

George Lint - The concept of slaughter, that is, slaying animals, pertains to sacrifices for the purposes of worship (Lev. 1:5, 11), killing animals for food (Isa. 22:13) or killing animals for deception, as Joseph's brother's did when they applied blood from a goat to his special coat to make Jacob believe that Joseph had been killed (Gen. 37:31). The verb also refers to the slaughter of a human victim of sacrifice, as when Abraham reached for his knife "to slay his son" Isaac (22:10) and as the sorcerers in Israel sacrificed children to idols, which brought judgment upon them (Isa. 57:5). Shāchat also means "to kill" persons, as the sons of King Zedekiah were slain by the Babylonians (2 Ki. 25:7; Jer. 39:6). Elijah took the prophets of Baal "to the brook Kishon, and slew them there" (1 Ki. 18:40). The Niphal imperfect means "to be slaughtered" and is used of the ritual sacrifices of the worship of God through the ministry of the Levites (Lev. 6:25) or the killing of flocks and herds in an attempt to feed the tremendous number of Israelites in their wilderness journey to Canaan (Num. 11:22). (The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

Shachat is translated in the Septuagint (Lxx) of Lev 1:5 with the verb sphazo which is the same word John uses four times to describe the glorified Lamb of God in Heaven (Rev 5:6, 9, 12-note Rev 13:8-note), emphasizing that His scars obtained on earth, will endure for eternity in Heaven. Let us never doubt that Jesus Who saved us from the "guttermost" is forever able to save us to the "uttermost." (cp Heb 7:25KJV-note). Sphazo is also the verb used in the Septuagint (Lxx) of Ge 22:10 of Abraham preparing to slay his son Isaac (a clear type of the Father giving His only Son as a sacrifice for sin) and also in the Septuagint (Lxx) of Ex 12:6 to describe the slaying of the Passover lamb which also foreshadows Christ our Passover (1Cor 5:7)! Indeed, the saying is true that the Old is the New concealed. The New is the Old revealed!

Shachat translated in the NAS as  beaten(5), deadly(1), kill(2), killed(1), kills(1), offer(1), slain(5), slaughter(17), slaughtered(28), slaughtering(1), slaughters(2), slay(16), slew(5).

Shachat - 73v - Ge 22:10; 37:31; Ex 12:6, 21; 29:11, 16, 20; 34:25; Lev 1:5, 11; 3:2, 8, 13; 4:4, 15, 24, 29, 33; 6:25; 7:2; 8:15, 19, 23; 9:8, 12, 15, 18; 14:5f, 13, 19, 25, 50f; 16:11, 15; 17:3; 22:28; Num 11:22; 14:16; 19:3; Jdg 12:6; 1Sa 1:25; 14:32, 34; 1Kgs 10:16f; 18:40; 2Kgs 10:7, 14; 25:7; 2Chr 9:15-16; 29:22, 24; 30:15; 35:1, 6, 11; Ezra 6:20; Isa 22:13; 57:5; 66:3; Jer 9:8; 39:6; 41:7; 52:10; Ezek 16:21; 23:39; 40:39, 41f; 44:11

Before the LORD (Jehovah) - This phrase occurs more than 60X in Leviticus - more than any other book in the Bible. What happens in Leviticus happens before the LORD, and every sacrifice that was made was to be made before the LORD. How our own sacrifices to God would change if we did them with the understanding that we do them before the LORD! In Jer 30:21 God asks "who would dare to risk his life to approach Me?" We as believers can continually come before the LORD, because the veil has been rent and the way is open into the Holy of holies (Read Heb 10:19-22-note, Heb 4:14-16-note, Heb 2:18-note - where "come to the aid" mean to come upon hearing their cry for help!).

Click notes on Lev 3:2 for more discussion of the Tent of Meeting


Before (06440) (paniym) literally means face (about 50% of the 2000+ uses are translated "before"). So even in the OT, as they offered the offerings there was a sense in which they were coming face to face with the Holy God -- an awesome truth! I fear I take for granted my privilege of being allowed (through our Great High Priest Christ Jesus - see study of "Through Him", i.e., Jesus) continual Coram Deo (before the face of God).

Lev 3:2 says the animal is to be slain before the door of the tent of meeting and Lev 3:8, 13 say it is to be slain before the tent of meeting (the place where the Shekinah glory of God dwells, in the Holy of holies - Ex 25:8).

Aaron's sons - refers to the immediate descendants of Aaron (not the tribe of Levi in general), i.e., Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar (cf. Ex 28:1). In the beginning, there were 5 priests, including Aaron, who served as the High-Priest.

Sprinkled the blood around on the altar - The blood on all sides of the altar signified that the animal's life belonged to God. (See practical application in notes on Lev 1:17)

Sprinkled (02236)(zaraq - click word study)

Shall offer ("will present" - NLT, "have brought" - YLT) (07126) (qarab/qarav) has the basic meaning of being or coming very near. It speaks of intimate proximity in some contexts, which would seem to be the intent of the OT offerings - a drawing near to God. Qarab/qarav was also (as used euphemistically) to describe sexual relations (Ge 20:4, Dt 22:14, Isa 8:3-note). In other contexts qarab/qarav speaks of spatial proximity (with no sense of intimacy - as in Ge 12:11-first OT use).

HCSB - Qarav, related to qorban (offering, in NT = korban - Mk 7:11), means draw (come, go, be) near (Gen 47:29). People come (forward, closer, here). They get close, step in, advance, approach, or reach. Qarav denotes take place (Isa 5:19), consult (1Sam 14:36), and support (1Ki 2:7). People are about to act (Gen 12:11) and are sexually intimate (Dt 22:14). Intensive verbs mean join (Ezek 37:17) and draw (Hos 7:6). People submit cases (Isa 41:21). Causative verbs signify bring (near, forward), present, offer, or have/let come (near, forward). They imply join or invite (Jer 30:21). Qarov (75x) means near (Num 24:17), close, approaching, soon, brief, almost, or just. It connotes relative or neighbor. Qarev (12x) involves being about to (Dt 20:3), coming (near, closer), approaching, or drawing near. Qerav (9x) is battle (Zech 14:3), war, or warfare. Qirvah is nearness (Isa 58:2) or presence.

The Septuagint (Lxx) often uses prosphero (pros = to, toward + phero = to  bring, to bear) means to bring to a person or place. Used for presenting offerings or sacrifices (Mt 2:11, Acts 7:42, Heb 5:7)

Qarab/qarav - 264 verses in NAS - Note 109 verses are in Leviticus - Gen 12:11; 20:4; 27:41; 37:18; 47:29; Ex 3:5; 12:48; 14:10, 20; 16:9; 22:8; 28:1; 29:3f, 8, 10; 32:19; 36:2; 40:12, 14, 32; Lev 1:2f, 5, 10, 13ff; 2:1, 4, 8, 11ff; 3:1, 3, 6f, 9, 12, 14; 4:3, 14; 5:8; 6:14, 20f; 7:3, 8f, 11ff, 16, 18, 25, 29, 33, 35, 38; 8:6, 13, 18, 22, 24; 9:2, 5, 7ff, 15ff; 10:1, 3ff, 19; 12:7; 14:12; 16:1, 6, 9, 11, 20; 17:4; 18:6, 14, 19; 20:16; 21:6, 8, 17f, 21; 22:3, 18, 20ff, 24f; 23:8, 16, 18, 25, 27, 36f; 27:9, 11; Num 3:4, 6; 5:9, 16, 25; 6:14, 16; 7:2f, 10ff, 18f; 8:9f; 9:6f, 13; 15:4, 7, 9f, 13, 27, 33; 16:5, 9f, 17, 35, 38ff; 18:2ff, 15, 22; 25:6; 26:61; 27:1, 5; 28:2f, 11, 19, 26f; 29:8, 13, 36; 31:48, 50; 36:1; Deut 1:17, 22; 2:19, 37; 4:11; 5:23, 27; 15:9; 20:2f, 10; 22:14; 25:11; 31:14; Josh 3:4; 7:14, 16ff; 8:5, 23; 10:24; 17:4; Jdg 3:17f; 5:25; 19:13; 20:24; 1 Sam 10:20f; 14:36; 17:41, 48; 2 Sam 15:5; 20:16f; 1Kgs 2:1, 7; 20:29; 2Kgs 16:12, 14; 1Chr 16:1; 2Chr 35:12; Ezra 8:35; Esther 5:2; Job 31:37; 33:22; Ps 27:2; 32:9; 65:4; 69:18; 72:10; 91:10; 119:150, 169; Pr 5:8; Eccl 5:1; Isa 5:8, 19; 8:3; 26:17; 34:1; 41:1, 5, 21; 46:13; 48:16; 54:14; 57:3; 65:5; Jer 30:21; Lam 3:57; 4:18; Ezek 9:1; 12:23; 18:6; 22:4; 36:8; 37:7, 17; 42:14; 43:19, 22ff; 44:7, 15f, 27; 46:4; Hos 7:6; Jonah 1:6; Zeph 3:2; Hag 2:14; Mal 1:8; 3:5

Qarab/qarav is translated in the NAS as - accept(1), appear(1), approach(11), approach to offer(1), approached(9), approaches(3), approaching(2), assisted(1), bring(20), bring her near(1), bring him near(2), bring you near(1), bring near(4), brings(1), brought(11), brought his near(1), brought you near(1), brought your near(1), brought...near(1), came(3), came close(1), came forward(1), came near(12), came together(1), came*(1), come(7), come forward(1), come near(25), comes near(1), draw(2), draw near(9), drawn near(1), draws near(1), drew near(6), go near(3), join(2), joined(1), keep(1), made an offering(1), near(9), offer(43), offered(10), offering(2), offers(7), present(40), presented(16), presenting(3), presents(4), presents his shall present(1), soon(1).

Bonar - The animal is “killed” in the presence of the Lord. And now, what an awfully solemn sight! The priest “brings forward the blood.” As he bears it onward, in one of the bowls of the altar, all gaze upon the warm crimson blood! It is the life! So that when the blood is thus brought forward, the life of the sacrifice is brought before God! It is as if the living soul of the sinner were carried, in its utter helplessness and in all its filthiness, and laid down before the Holy One!! The blood was then “sprinkled round about upon the altar.” The life being taken away, the sinner’s naked soul is exhibited! He deserves this stroke of death—death in the Lord’s presence, as a satisfaction to his holiness! As the blood that covered the door on the night of the Passover represented the inmates’ life as already taken, so the blood on the altar and its sides signified that the offerer’s life was forfeited and taken. It was thus that Jesus “poured out his soul unto death” for us. It was, further, “round about,” as well as “upon,” the altar. This held it up on all sides to view; and the voice from the altar now is, “Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth.” (Isa 45:22 = the verse that brought C H Spurgeon into the Kingdom of God! See Spurgeon's Testimony) All within the camp might look and live; for this sacrifice represents Christ’s dying as the only way for any, and the sufficient way for all. The altar mentioned here was the “altar of brass;” not the “golden altar,” which stood in the Holy Place.*

Lev 1:6 'He shall then skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. (Lev 7:8 Ge 3:21 )

He - The offerer again personally interacts with his "sin bearer." While many (? most) of Israel who brought these sacrificial offerings were simply going through the rituals, there was always a remnant of genuine believers who took these offerings to heart, carrying them out not in order to merit God's favor, but because God had bestowed His favor on them in saving them.

The skin - The hide was provided as gift for the priest (See Lev 7:8).

It is interesting that after sin entered the world (Ge 3:1-9, Ro 5:12-note), Adam and Eve sought to cover their new sense of shame (fig leaves Ge 3:7) but God replaced their "works" with His provision of an animal skin (which would have necessitated the shedding of blood - some think this is a picture of the importance of blood [which speaks of life - Lev 17:11] in the OT sacrificial system which was but a shadow of the substance of Christ's blood in the NT - Eph 1:7-note, Heb 9:12-14-note)

Gen 3:21 And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.

Burnt offering (05930)(See discussion of 'olah from 'alah = to ascend and thus the picture of going up in smoke) refers to a whole burnt offering (one which goes up in smoke), which was voluntary, was understood as a sacrificial gift to God, resulting in a pleasing aroma acceptable to Jehovah (Lev 1:9). Lxx = holokautoma - "holocaust" - sacrifice in which animal was entirely consumed by fire (Mk 12:33, Heb 10:6, 8).

Lev 1:7 'The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. (fire: Lev 6:12,13 9:24 10:1 1Ch 21:26 2Ch 7:1 Mal 1:10) (Arrange: Ge 22:9 Ne 13:31)

Bonar - This verse is well illustrated by Heb. 9:14, “Who, through the Eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God.” Christ was prepared, in his human nature, by the Holy Spirit. The Father prepared the fire of wrath, filled the vial with that wrath, and then poured it out. The Holy Spirit, as Heb. 9:14 declares, set all things in order, in Christ’s human nature, ready for the vial being poured out. At the moment, when the fire came down and consumed him, love to God and man was at its highest pitch in his soul—obedience, holy regard for the Divine law, hatred of sin, love to man. (Ibid)

Lev 1:8 'Then Aaron's sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head and the suet over the wood which is on the fire that is on the altar. (Lev 8:18-21 9:13,14 Ex 29:17,18 1Ki 18:23,33)

Then - An expression of time which marks succession of events.

Suet (06309)(peder) refers to The fat of an animal, particularly that about the kidneys (Suet - Wikipedia). Lxx = stear = animal fat (gives us English - stearin = an ester of glycerol and stearic acid)

The altar - As we read the Scriptures that mention the brazen altar, may God's Spirit enable us to always remember that it was a shadow of the substance (Col 2:16-17-note) of the Cross of Christ, the place of death of the perfect Lamb of God (Jn 1:29).

HCSB Note note) and Christian giving (Php 4:18). (Holman Christian Standard Bible Study Bible - enter "Leviticus" in passage queue, click "Study Bible Notes Tool", then click "Read" for all notes on Leviticus)

Why animal sacrifices? - Animal sacrifice accomplished two purposes: (1) The animal symbolically took the sinner's place and paid the penalty for sin, and (2) the animal's death represented one life given so that another life could be saved

Lev 1:9 'Its entrails, however, and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer up in smoke all of it on the altar for a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. (Entrails: Lev 1:13 8:21 9:14 Ps 51:6 Jer 4:14 Mt 23:25-28) (Offer up: Lev 1:13,17 3:11 Ps 66:15 Zec 13:7) (Soothing aroma:  Ge 8:21 Eze 20:28,41 2Co 2:15 Eph 5:2 Php 4:18)

NET Finally, the one presenting the offering must wash its entrails and its legs in water and the priest must offer all of it up in smoke on the altar– it is a burnt offering, a gift of a soothing aroma to the LORD.

He shall wash - The offerer.

All of it - Lev 1:13. Not part of it, but ALL of it.

Rob Morgan (All on the Altar) says "This is the one and only sacrifice that was totally consumed in the flames. Some of the other sacrifices were very much like you and I experience when we cook out. Sometimes we think of these animal sacrifices as repugnant, and there was an element of that. God wanted us to understand that sin is repugnant and unpleasant, and that the cross of Jesus Christ was repugnant and unpleasant. But on the other hand, it wasn’t that much different than throwing some meat on the grill and barbecuing it. With the other sacrifices, there were parts that were eaten and enjoyed by either the priests or the worshippers or both. But in the case of the burnt offering, there was nothing eaten. There was nothing left. Everything was consumed in the flames and in the fire. It was a total sacrifice. That’s the distinction and meaning of the burnt offering. What does it tell us about Christ? He was a male without blemish, without sin, who gave the last full measure of Himself for us. The altar represents the cross, the fire underneath represents the holy judgment of God, and the Lord Jesus was a willing sacrifice who gave His last ounce of strength for you and me. He offered Himself completely. He was totally consumed on Calvary. He is our burnt offering. Where do see this in the New Testament? See Hebrews 10:1-10: Burnt offerings were not really what God desired. The burnt offering described in Leviticus 1 was only pointing toward something else. It was symbolic of something to come. Or rather, of someone to come. In the volume of the book of Leviticus was given us a prophecy through type regarding the coming Messiah. So the theme of Leviticus is that God is holy and those who approach Him must regard Him as holy and those who know Him must share in His holiness. But we can never do that on our own, for we are an unclean people. You and I are filled with uncleanness and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags in His sight. We need an offering and a sacrifice for sin, but it can’t be a partial thing. We need someone who will die in our place, shedding His blood and giving Himself wholly to be consumed for our sins. Jesus said, “I am the burnt offering. I am the sacrifice. A body has been prepared for Me, and I am giving Myself wholly to this task.”....There are two responses we should have to all this. The first is thankful appreciation. How can we express our gratitude to Christ for what He has done for us?

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin,
Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

The second response is one of total consecration. If Jesus makes Himself a burnt offering for me, should I not become a living sacrifice for Him? (Ro 12:1)....When they asked General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, why his ministry had been so successful, he replied, “God has had all there was of me to have.”

Exactly 100 years ago, in 1904, the Bible teacher, F. B. Meyer, was preaching in England, in the lakes’ district at the Keswick Conference. Here is a verbatim part of what he said that evening: “I remember so well when He came to my heart and challenged me as to the keys of the fortress. I had them upon my bunch, and before I gave them to Him I put one small key in my pocket. Have not you done that, and handed to Him the bunch minus that key? He gave it back, and said He could not be King at all if He could not be King of everything. I put my hand in my pocket where I had hidden it, and said, ‘I cannot give it, but You may take it,’ and He took that tiny key. My King! I see Him now as He stood at the foot of the drawbridge of my heart. I see Him radiant as He stood then, for He is here now. He looked at me with those eyes which are as a flame of fire, and said, ‘Are all the keys there?’ I said, ‘All but this, and I cannot give it; but I am willing for Thee to take it’ and He took it at that. Then they were all His.” Have you given Him all the keys to your life and heart and mind? Do you love Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? He is our burnt offering. He sacrificed Himself fully on the altar of the cross, to be consumed by the judicial wrath of God and to make atonement to Him for our sins, that we might be clothed in His holiness and justified to appear before God as His children. Come to Him with thankful appreciation. Come to Him in total consecration.

For we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.

Burnt offering (05930)(See discussion of 'olah from 'alah = to ascend and thus the picture of going up in smoke) refers to a whole burnt offering (one which goes up in smoke), which was voluntary, was understood as a sacrificial gift to God, resulting in a pleasing aroma acceptable to Jehovah.

Offering by fire (0801)(ishsheh from esh = a fire) means an offering made by fire. It refers to any offering or portion of an offering that is wholly or partially consumed by fire -- burnt offering (Lev 1:9, 13); the cereal/grain offering (Lev 2:3); peace offering (Lev 3:3); the guilt offering (Lev 7:5); the consecration offering (Lev 8:28) Clearly this offering stresses the death of the sacrifice. Notice all uses except Josh 13:14 and 1Sa 2:28 are in the Pentateuch. All of these offerings were the Lord’s (Nu 28:2), and the phrase “to the Lord” is explicitly stated most of the time.  The first use is in Ex 29:18 in Yahweh’s instruction to Moses regarding the ordination of priests "And you shall offer up in smoke the whole ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the LORD: it is a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD." The phrase "soothing aroma" is usually associated with the offerings by fire, this phrase signifying that Jehovah had accepted the offerer's offering.

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates the ishsheh with karpoma = burnt offering, literally an offering of fruit (Ex 29:25, 41) and thusia (Lev 1:9,13, 17) meaning that which is sacrificed or offered as a sacrifice, and is the same word used figuratively by Paul to describe the death of Christ as an offering of himself to God (Eph 5:2-note), the life of the believer as an offering to God (Ro 12:1-note) and by the writer of Hebrews "Through Him (Christ our Great High Priest) then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name." (Heb 13:15-note).

Baker adds that ishsheh "describes how the various offerings were presented to the Lord; that is, they were offerings made by means of fire. This practice gave rise to referring to all the offerings the priests presented as fire offerings; hence, some consider this term a general term that applied to all the sacrifices of the Israelites (Dt. 18:1; 1Sa 2:28). The fire was actually not offered. Instead, it was the means by which the various offerings were presented to God. The fire caused the offering to go up in smoke, a fact indicated by the causative form of the Hebrew verb, and that created a pleasant aroma to the Lord. The fire also purified what was offered. In this sense, the offerings could be called fire offerings or offerings made by fire. The Levites were put in charge of all the offerings by fire to the Lord (Josh. 13:14). (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament)

Ishsheh is translated in NAS as fire (5), offering by fire (45), offerings (3), offerings by fire (15).


Ishsheh - 64v - Ex 29:18, 25, 41; 30:20; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2f, 9ff, 16; 3:3, 5, 9, 11, 14, 16; 4:35; 5:12; 6:17f; 7:5, 25, 30, 35; 8:21, 28; 10:12f, 15; 21:6, 21; 22:22, 27; 23:8, 13, 18, 25, 27, 36f; 24:7, 9; Num 15:3, 10, 13f, 25; 18:17; 28:2f, 6, 8, 13, 19, 24; 29:6, 13, 36; Deut 18:1; Josh 13:14; 1 Sam 2:28


This is the first mention of the beautiful phrase soothing aroma in Leviticus. Paul picks up this picture in his letter to the saints at Ephesus (who were predominantly Gentile, but who probably were familiar with pagan rituals that offered up animals as a soothing aroma to their so-called gods. The truth always trumps the lie.)

Eph 5:2-note and walk in love (present imperative - command calling for this to be our lifestyle), just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant (sweet) aroma.

Comment: What is Paul commanding, a natural or a supernatural lifestyle? Clearly the latter. And so this begs the question of how we can possibly obey this command! Of course, God's commandments always include His enablements. His enablement is His Spirit Who alone can give us the "desire" and the "power" for this quality of conduct (See Php 2:13NLT-note; see our part in Php 2:12-note, also only possible as the Spirit enables us)! Agape speaks of a "death to self" type of love if you will, a love that is sacrificial, a love that gives expecting nothing in return. We can only walk this supernatural walk as we are obeying the command to be continually filled with the Spirit of Christ (Eph 5:18-note) and the command to "Walk by the Spirit" (Gal 5:16-note). When we do that, we are empowered by the indwelling Spirit to walk in love like Christ, and like Him (and because of Him) our life gives off a wonderfully fragrant aroma, a soothing aroma, to our Father and to those we encounter (cp 2Cor 2:14-15 where God "manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him [Christ] in every place" and goes on to explain "we are a fragrance of Christ to God (The Father) among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.") That we as fallen sinful men and women can now live in such a way that our life is a soothing aroma to the Father should cause us all to cry out like Paul "Who is adequate for these things?" (2Cor 2:16) Only the Redeemer is adequate but because of His redemption, we are now in Christ, and have the incredible privilege of daily living as "sweet savor" sacrifices to the Living and Holy God. Does this truth not overwhelm us and humble us and motivate us to daily present ourselves to Him as "living and holy sacrifice acceptable (pleasing) to Him?" (Ro 12:1-note; cp Ro 6:12-14-note) O, the breadth and length and height and depth of God's amazing, redeeming, transforming grace! Thank You Jesus. Amen!

Soothing Aroma = Literally this means an "odor of rest" (See discussion of significance of this name) The Septuagint translates soothing with euodia and aroma with osme.

Soothing aroma - This phrase is found 42x in NAS - Gen 8:21; Ex 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12; 3:5, 16; 4:31; 6:15, 21; 8:21, 28; 17:6; 23:13, 18; Num 15:3, 7, 10, 13f, 24; 18:17; 28:2, 6, 8, 13, 24, 27; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36; Ezek 6:13; 16:19; 20:28, 41

In marked contrast God says of evil doers that their "practices are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all day long." (Isa 65:5)

Soothing is the Hebrew word nihoah.

Aroma (07381)(reah - word study from ruach = breath, wind) means scent or odor.

Reah is translated in Lxx with the noun osme which means odor (pleasant - Jn 12:3), fragrance, smell. Friberg notes that osme was also "figuratively; (a) from the Middle Eastern concept that an odor from something is communicating its power sweet smell, fragrance (2Cor 2:14-16) and (b) as a term for acceptable sacrifice aroma, fragrance of Christ Who "gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma (literally "an odor of a sweet smell")." (Eph 5:2-read the notes on this beautiful NT fulfillment of these OT soothing aromas to Yahweh!)

Dr S Lewis Johnson has an interesting comment on the "fragrant aroma" of Christ in Eph 5:2 - Now when he says “to God, for a sweet-smelling savor,” students of the Bible know immediately what Paul is talking about....he’s talking specifically about such places as the burnt offering. Three times in the description of the burnt offering, when the Israelite brought the animal, put his hand on the animal’s head, and the animal was slain, three times in Leviticus 1 (Lev 1:9, 13, 17) it was said, that that sacrifice produced the odor of a sweet smell to the LORD. The interesting thing about that Hebrew expression  is that it really means something like this: an odor of rest to the Lord (Ed: Hebrew word translated sweet is nihoah = restful, quieting, tranquilizing as nihoah is derived from nuach meaning to rest). In other words, it’s an expression that means, essentially, that as God looks at the sacrifice which is offered in payment of a debt owed to Him, He rests! He finds it an "odor of rest." So, instead of executing His judgment against the person who (Ed: in faith, not mechanically, not simply "intellectually") has offended the throne of God, He rests and is satisfied (Ed: propitiated)! The penalty is paid (Ed: Cp Jesus' words "It is finished" = "Paid in Full! - tetelestai in Jn 19:30-note). So that he no longer desires and finds it necessary to execute his judgment. An odor of rest. The Lord Jesus expressed this when he said on the cross, “It is finished!” And the finishing of the offering led the throne of God to smell a sweet savor, an odor of rest. So that God is satisfied by the cross of Christ, and men are saved when they, too, become satisfied with what Christ has done and stop relying on their own good works, or anything else they may be relying upon in order to be saved.

GotQuestions - Question: "Why would the aroma of a sacrifice be important to God?" Answer: On sixteen different occasions in the book of Leviticus, an “aroma” is mentioned as something pleasing to the Lord. Specifically, the aroma of a sacrifice is important to God. The importance of a sacrifice’s aroma is not the smell but what the smell represents—the substitutionary atonement for sin. The very first mention of God smelling the aroma of a burnt offering is found in Genesis 8:21. Noah offered a burnt offering of clean animals and birds after leaving the ark. We are told it was a “pleasing” aroma to God. The idea is that Noah’s sacrifice was a propitiation, or satisfaction, of God’s righteous requirement. God was pleased with the sacrifice and then gave the promise to never again destroy every living creature with a flood. (Read Full Article)

Lev 1:10 'But if his offering is from the flock, of the sheep or of the goats, for a burnt offering, he shall offer it a male without defect. (Flock: Lev 1:2 Ge 4:4 8:20 Isa 53:6,7 John 1:29)  (Male:  Lev 1:3 4:23 22:19 Mal 1:14)

But - always pause to prayerfully ponder (even the most straightforward) terms of contrast.

Offering (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another [in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah!] The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban in this passage with the noun doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Burnt offering (05930)(See discussion of 'olah from 'alah = to ascend and thus the picture of going up in smoke) refers to a whole burnt offering (one which goes up in smoke, to the Lord), which was voluntary, was understood as a sacrificial gift to God, resulting in a pleasing aroma acceptable to Jehovah.

Shall offer ("will present" - NLT, "have brought" - YLT) (07126) (qarab/qarav) has the basic meaning of being or coming very near. It speaks of intimate proximity in some contexts, which would seem to be the intent of the OT offerings - a drawing near to God. Lxx translates qarab/qarav in this verse with the verb prosago which means to bring forward something (or someone) to another, to conduct into the presence of, figuratively used of Christ's reconciling work in bringing people to God, so surely these OT sacrifices are fulfilled in His finished work, "For Christ also died for sins once for all, [the] just for [the] unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit." (1Pe 3:18-note) See the derivative noun prosagoge, a beautiful picture of what Christ does for us.

He - The offerer.

Without defect - Heb = tamim; Lxx = amomos - unblemished, used of the Lamb of God (1Peter 1:19-note)

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: burnt offering was the most important of all the sacrifices; and no part of it was eaten either by the priest or the offerer, but the whole was offered to God. It has been sufficiently shown by learned men, that almost every nation of the earth, in every age, had their burnt offerings, from the persuasion that there was no other way to appease the incensed gods; and they even offered human sacrifices, because they imagined that life was necessary to redeem life, and that the gods would be satisfied with nothing less.

Henry Morris - The offering could be either one of the cattle herd (Leviticus 1:2), or one of the flock (Leviticus 1:10), or a domestic fowl (Leviticus 1:14), depending upon the wealth or poverty of the one making the offering. It could not be an unclean or carnivorous animal, of course, and must be without blemish (Leviticus 1:3,10). (Defender's Study Bible Notes)

Lev 1:11 'He shall slay it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD, and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar. (Shall slay northward: Lev 6:25, 7:2) (the priests: Lev 1:7-9, 9:12-14)

He shall slay (shachat) - The offerer is to carry out the killing, because the wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23-note, Ge 2:17, 3:19) and "the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement." (Lev 17:11-note)

Sprinkled (02236)(zaraq - click word study)

Lev 1:12 'He shall then cut it into its pieces with its head and its suet, and the priest shall arrange them on the wood which is on the fire that is on the altar.

He shall then cut  - The offerer carries this out this function. Try to place yourself for a moment in the place of the sinner who is cutting one of his prized (blemish-free) animals into pieces, and the impact it must have had on his heart and mind and soul. They had to cut, we have to confess (1Jn 1:9). We need to be careful not to take confession for granted, but as we confess, we also recall the bloody sacrificial Lamb that had to be slaughtered in our place, so that our confession might now be fully acceptable to the Father. I fear that I take confession for granted and think too lightly of it and of the great privilege we have under the New Covenant! It is interesting that in 1Jn 1:9, the verb confess is in the present tense, suggesting to me that confession is to be an ongoing (daily, moment by moment if necessary) act of worship. And it is an act of worship!

Lev 1:13 'The entrails, however, and the legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer all of it, and offer it up in smoke on the altar; it is a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD..

He shall wash with water - The offerer.

Burnt offering (05930)(See discussion of 'olah from 'alah = to ascend and thus the picture of going up in smoke) refers to a whole burnt offering (one which goes up in smoke), which was voluntary, was understood as a sacrificial gift to God, resulting in a pleasing aroma acceptable to Jehovah. See more detailed discussion of A Soothing Aroma.

Soothing aroma - Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9; 3:5; 4:31; 6:21; 17:6; 23:18; Nu 15:3, 7, 10, 13-14, 24; 18:17; 28:8, 24, 27; 29:2, 13, 36

Soothing (05207)(nihoah from nuach = to rest) means a quieting, soothing, tranquilizing. In 20 of the 43 uses of nichoach, this noun (usually with the sense of an adjective) is used with the phrase "burnt offering." Almost all uses describe the odor of a sacrifice as pleasing or acceptable to God. Sadly, we see this word used to describe Israel's offering to idols (Ezek 6:13-note, Ezek 15:19, Ezek 20:28), which is in stark contrast with Jehovah's assessment of His rebellious people in Ezek 20:14 where they are described as a soothing aroma! - “As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples (Gentiles) and gather you from the lands where you are scattered (A prophecy that is unfulfilled, but which will be when Messiah returns and all Israel is saved - Ro 11:26-27-note); and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations."

The first use of nihoah describes the sacrifice of Noah - "And the LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done." (Ge 8:21) What a contrast with God's "feelings" in Ge 6:5-7, where He did not "smell" but "saw" the great wickedness of man and instead of not promising a curse, He did "curse" the earth declaring "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land." But in Ge 6:8 "Noah found favor (Lxx - charis = grace) in the eyes of Jehovah." Noah and nihoah may have a common derivative (nuach = rest), the TWOT noting that Noah's name "appears to be more directly related to nuach which....connotes rest and salvation."

Soothing (Webster) - having a sedative effect, bringing peace, composure, quietude, comfort, assuaging, calming, softening.

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates nihoah with the noun euodia = fragrance, sweet odor, aroma, used to describe the sacrifices that were pleasing to God. It is used figuratively in 2Cor 2:15 of those who serve God sacrificially, of a gift given sacrificially (Phil 4:18-note) and of Christ's sacrifice of Himself (Eph 5:2-note)

Nihoah - 43v all translated "soothing" - Gen 8:21; Ex 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12; 3:5, 16; 4:31; 6:15, 21; 8:21, 28; 17:6; 23:13, 18; 26:31; Num 15:3, 7, 10, 13f, 24; 18:17; 28:2, 6, 8, 13, 24, 27; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36; Ezek 6:13; 16:19; 20:28, 41

Lev 1:14 'But if his offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering from the turtledoves or from young pigeons. (birds: Lev 5:7 12:8 Mt 11:29 Lk 2:24 2Co 8:12 Heb 7:26)

Offering (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another [in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah!] The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban in this passage with the noun doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Lev 1:15 'The priest shall bring it to the altar, and wring off its head and offer it up in smoke on the altar; and its blood is to be drained out on the side of the altar. (Wring off its head - Lev 5:8 Ps 22:1,21, 69:1-21 Isa 53:4,5,10 Mt 26:1-27:66 1Jn 2:27)

Lev 1:16 'He shall also take away its crop with its feathers and cast it beside the altar eastward, to the place of the ashes. (feathers: or, the filth thereof, Lk 1:35 1Pe 1:2) (the place: Lev 4:12 6:10,11, 16:27 Heb 13:11-14)

Cast it beside the altar eastward, to the place of the ashes - The writer of Hebrews picks up on this image expounding on our Great High Priest Christ Jesus...

Heb 13:11 (note) For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Hence, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.14 For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

Lev 1:17 'Then he shall tear it by its wings, but shall not sever it. And the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar on the wood which is on the fire; it is a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. (shall not sever: Ge 15:10 Ps 16:10 Mt 27:50 Jn 19:30 Ro 4:25 1Pe 1:19-21, 3:18) (it is: Lev 1:9,10,13 Ge 8:21 Heb 10:6-12 13:15,16)

Burnt offering (05930)(See discussion of 'olah from 'alah = to ascend and thus the picture of going up in smoke) refers to a whole burnt offering (one which goes up in smoke), which was voluntary, was understood as a sacrificial gift to God, resulting in a pleasing aroma acceptable to Jehovah.

Soothing Aroma = The "odor of rest" (See discussion of significance of this name)

Soothing aroma - This phrase is found 42x in NAS - Gen 8:21; Ex 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12; 3:5, 16; 4:31; 6:15, 21; 8:21, 28; 17:6; 23:13, 18; Num 15:3, 7, 10, 13f, 24; 18:17; 28:2, 6, 8, 13, 24, 27; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36; Ezek 6:13; 16:19; 20:28, 41

Soothing (05207)(nihoah from nuach = to rest) means a quieting, soothing, tranquilizing. In 20 of the 43 uses of nichoach, this noun (usually with the sense of an adjective) is used with the phrase "burnt offering." Almost all uses describe the odor of a sacrifice as pleasing or acceptable to God. Sadly, we see this word used to describe Israel's offering to idols (Ezek 6:13-note, Ezek 15:19, Ezek 20:28), which is in stark contrast with Jehovah's assessment of His rebellious people in Ezek 20:14 where they are described as a soothing aroma! - “As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples (Gentiles) and gather you from the lands where you are scattered (A prophecy that is unfulfilled, but which will be when Messiah returns and all Israel is saved - Ro 11:26-27-note); and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations."

Aroma (07381)(reah - word study from ruach = breath, wind) means scent or odor.


Jerry Bridges ties this OT shadow of the Whole Burnt Offering to the presentation of our "whole" body (heart, mind, soul, strength) to God as a "living sacrifice" writes that we should strive to make...

A Daily Commitment to God as a Living Sacrifice - The third essential (For the other "essentials" read this excellent book "Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints") is a daily commitment to God as a living sacrifice. And for that I direct your attention to Romans 12:1 (Note): “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” As we daily reflect on the gospel and what God has done for us in Christ, this should lead us to present ourselves as daily, living sacrifices.

In using the word sacrifice Paul was obviously drawing from the Old Testament sacrificial system. Those sacrifices are set forth for us in the book of Leviticus, and all of them together portrayed the one great sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whether or not Paul had in mind a particular sacrifice, one of them, I think, best helps us understand what Paul is saying when he says to present our bodies as living sacrifices. That is the burnt offering. I think the burnt offering helps us understand what Paul is saying because two things were unique about the burnt offering. First, of all of the animal offerings, the burnt offering was the only one in which the entire animal was consumed upon the altar. With the others, only certain portions were burned on the altar, and the remaining portions were reserved for the priests or even in one case for the offerer and his family. But with the burnt offering the entire animal was consumed upon the altar. And for that reason it was called the whole burnt offering. (Second) it signified not only atonement for sin but also consecration or dedication of the offerer to God. (Third), the priests on duty were to present a burnt offering twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, so that the fire would not go out upon the altar (cf. Lev 6:8–13). In other words, there was always a burnt offering being consumed upon the altar. And so for that reason it has been called a continual burnt offering. So there were two descriptive terms—a whole burnt offering and a continual burnt offering. And I think that you can readily see the application that can be drawn from that.

First of all, the whole burnt offering would signify that we are to consecrate our entire being, not only ourselves but all that we have. Everything about us we are to consecrate, to dedicate to God, to present to him as a sacrifice. Then the word continually (Lev. 6:13; Heb. 10:1) says to us that this must be repeated constantly. Just as we have a tendency to revert to a works-based relationship with God, we have a tendency to want to take back that which we have committed to God. Often in a moment of high spiritual emotion we might sincerely and honestly say, “Lord, I give my whole being, my body, my mind, my service, my money, everything about me, Lord, I consecrate it all to you.” And then we go out and in a few weeks we’re confronted with some issue, and we tend to draw back, and we realize that we’re not as consecrated as we thought we were. Daily renewal of this consecration helps us to keep from doing that. The second word that’s significant in Romans 12:1 is the word present. Paul says to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice.” Some translations use a different word, but whatever word is used, the idea is to give over to or to put at another’s disposal....

Now God has not asked us to loan ourselves temporarily to him. He’s asked us to present ourselves to him as living sacrifices to use as he pleases. The fact is, objectively this has already taken place. The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19–20, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” Paul wants us to affirm in our hearts and in our emotions what is true in reality, but he approaches it by way of an appeal. He does not say, “This is your duty to do.” He does not say, “You’re not your own; you don’t have a choice in the matter.” He says, “I appeal to you . . . by the mercies of God.”

Presenting our bodies as living sacrifices is not something that we check off and say, “Well, I’ve done that; it’s my duty to do.” It should be a spontaneous response to our appropriation of the gospel. We are talking about communion with God. We are talking about being embraced by his love and his mercy and his grace. And we see that in the gospel. The apostle John said that God showed his love to us by sending his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10)—that is, to exhaust the wrath of God that you and I should have experienced. As we daily appropriate the gospel, we bask in his love, and genuinely basking in his love will lead us to present our bodies as living sacrifices. But that has to be renewed daily. We can’t live today on yesterday’s commitment. The outworking of presenting our bodies as living sacrifices will be different for each of us. For some it might mean reducing one’s standard of living in order to be able to give more to God’s kingdom work. For our son, it meant taking a lower-paying job in order to have more time for ministry. For me at this time, it means being willing to continually give myself to the ministry God has given me.

At the time of this writing (2007-2008), it is only a couple of weeks until my seventy-eighth birthday. Over the past dozen years I have flown over a million miles, I have delivered over a thousand messages, I have written several books and a number of articles for Christian magazines. I confess I often get weary of the continuous travel, the frequent writing deadlines, and the pressure of constant message preparations, and I sometimes begin to feel sorry for myself. How do I keep going? How do I keep from feeling sorry for myself? Each day as I appropriate the gospel for myself: I say to God, “I am your servant. Because of your mercy to me and your grace at work in me, I again present my body as a living sacrifice. If this means continual travel and continual time pressure, I accept that from you and thank you for the privilege of being in your ministry.” (Stand- A Call for the Endurance of the Saints- Justin Taylor, John Piper, Jerry Bridges, Randy Alcorn, Helen Roseveare, John MacArthur)

Wenham describes the Christian Significance of the Burnt Offering -  With the death of Christ the only sufficient "burnt offering" was offered once and for all, and therefore the animal sacrifices which foreshadowed Christ's sacrifice were made obsolete. Christians therefore have no need to offer burnt offerings for the atonement of their sins. The shedding of Christ's blood was the payment of the perfect ransom price. He has borne the Father's wrath for us, just as the bulls and lambs in the OT did, so that sinful men can, despite their sin, enjoy the presence of God and have their prayers answered. The laws in Leviticus remind us then of Christ's death and what he has done for us. They also remind us of the serious consequences of sin and its pervasiveness. Sin can only be atoned for by death. The worshipper might well feel very much deprived when he had paid for a choice lamb to be sacrificed. But it reminded him that the animal was a ransom, a substitute payment instead of his own life. "For the wages of sin is death." God in his mercy provided a cheap alternative in OT times—a lamb. In NT times a free pardon is available. "The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ro 6:23).The burnt offering had to be offered daily to atone for sins. The Christian too is aware of the need for daily forgiveness. As the worshipper had to confess his sins and declare his intention to walk in God's ways when he presented his animal, so must the Christian. In the words of 1John 1:7-9, "If we walk in the light … we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.… If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The burnt offering was the first offering of the day in normal worship. This reminds us that forgiveness of sins is the prerequisite of true worship. Only those whose sins are forgiven can enjoy God's fellowship and praise him from their hearts. The pattern of OT sacrifices may thus provide a pattern of truly Christian worship. Worship should begin with confession of sins, a claiming of Christ's forgiveness, and a total rededication to God's service, before going on to praise and petition.

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Last Updated February 21, 2015