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 The Burnt Offering

Leviticus 2 The Grain 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 (2)

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

Leviticus 7:1-10 Blood on the Altar

Leviticus 7:11-38 The Wave: The Fellowship 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; Article on Typology
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 6:1-35 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 (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 4:7 Devotional
Leviticus 6:13 Devotional

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


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)

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 adds

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)

Then the LORD: This time phrase 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.


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 this background...

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.


1) Sweet aroma
2) Voluntary
Heb = Olah

1) Sweet aroma
2) Voluntary
Heb = Minhah

1) Sweet aroma
2) Voluntary
Heb = Selamim

1) Non-sweet aroma
2) Compulsory
Heb = Hattah

1) Non-sweet aroma
2) Compulsory
Heb = Asham

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




1) To propitiate for sin in general -Lv 1:4
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 Num. 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); 3 Turtledoves or young pigeons-Lv 1:14–17

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

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, in a pan Lv 2:5 or in a covered pan Lv 2:7

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

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

3) From the goats-Lv 3:12–17

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-Lv4:3–12

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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)

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

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, 20, 21

Fat burned on altar of burnt offering-Lev 7:3-5
Skin only-Lv 7:8 Remainder eaten in court of tabernacle-Lv 2:3, 10, 6:16-18, 7:14-15 Breast (wave offering) & right thigh (heave offering)-Lv 7:30-34   Remainder eaten in holy place-Lv 7:6-7
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

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

Signifies perfect humanity of Christ:

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

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

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

NB: Only offering in which offerer shared

Prefigures fact that Christ's death...

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

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

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

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

Cp Lv 5:15, 22:14-16

Cp Lv 6:2-5, 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)

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).

Offering (07133) (qorban/korban from qarab - being or coming near, and sometimes implies into intimate proximity) means that which is brought near (the altar). Offering, oblation.

Qorban - 78x in OT - Lev 1:2f, 10, 14; 2:1, 4f, 7, 12f; 3:1f, 6, 7, 8, 12, 14; 4:23, 28, 32; 5:11; 6:20; 7:13, 14, 15, 29, 38; 9:7, 15; 17:4; 22:18, 27; 23:14; 27:9, 11; Num 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

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.")

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).

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)

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.

'Olah - 262x in OT - Gen 8:20; 22:2f, 6ff, 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 1:3f, 6, 9f, 13f, 17; 3:5; 4:7, 10, 18, 24f, 29f, 33f; 5:7, 10; 6:9f, 12, 25; 7:2, 8, 37; 8:18, 21, 28; 9:2f, 7, 12ff, 16f, 22, 24; 10:19; 12:6, 8; 14:13, 19f, 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, 10f, 13ff, 19, 23f, 27, 31; 29:2, 6, 8, 11, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 36, 38f; Deut 12:6, 11, 13f, 27; 27:6; Josh 8:31; 22:23, 26ff; Jdg 6:26; 11:31; 13:16, 23; 20:26; 21:4; 1 Sam 6:14f; 7:9f; 10:8; 13:9f, 12; 15:22; 2 Sam 6:17f; 24:22, 24f; 1Kgs 3:4, 15; 8:64; 9:25; 10:5; 18:33, 38; 2Kgs 3:27; 5:17; 10:24f; 16:13, 15; 1Chr 6:49; 16:1f, 40; 21:23f, 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, 27f, 31f, 34f; 30:15; 31:2f; 35:12, 14, 16; Ezra 3:2ff; 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; 7:21f; 14:12; 17:26; 19:5; 33:18; Ezek 40:26, 38f, 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

Lxx = holokautoma (from holokautóo = 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 (Gives us our word "holocaust" which Webster says is from Greek holokauston, from neuter of holokaustos burnt whole, from hol- = whole + kaustos = burnt). It is a whole burnt offering for the whole victim was burned. Holokautoma is used 175x in the Lxx, the first use being Ex 10:25.

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)

Without defect (08549) (tamim) means blameless, complete, whole, perfect. Speaks of integrity.

Tamim - 85x in the OT - Gen 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; 1 Sam 14:41; 2 Sam 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

Interesting that the first OT use of tamim describes a man, Noah...

Gen 6:9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

Peter makes the NT application to Jesus the Lamb of God

1 Peter 1:19 (note) but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished (amomos) and spotless (aspilos), the blood of Christ.

The writer of Hebrews says...

Hebrews 9:14 (note) 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?

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) 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

Mears sums this offering up...

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)

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)

Lay (05564) (camak) conveys the idea of to lean upon (and thus to press one's hand upon the head). Other ideas - lie hard, rest self. 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).

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)

Accepted (07521)(ratsah) means to be pleased with. To satisfy a debt. To be acceptable. To accomplish. Be favorable to.

Ratsah - 55x in OT - Gen 33:10; Lev 1:4; 7:18; 19:7; 22:23, 25, 27; 26:34, 41, 43; Deut 33:11, 24; 1 Sam 29:4; 2 Sam 24:23; 1 Chr 28:4; 29:3, 17; 2 Chr 10:7; 36:21; Esth 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; 147:10f; 149:4; Prov 3:12; 16:7; 23:26; Eccl 9:7; Isa 40:2; 42:1; Jer 14:10, 12; Ezek 20:40f; 43:27; Hos 8:13; Amos 5:22; Mic 6:7; Hag 1:8; Mal 1:8, 10, 13

Lxx of ratsah = dektos (from dechomai = to receive in the sense of to welcome ~ "put out the welcome mat.") is an adjective which refers to being met with approval in another's (in this case God's) company. Pleasing. Acceptable. See use in Acts 10:35.

Atonement (03722)(kaphar) means to cover, to purge, to make atonement, to make reconciliation. It is translated "forgive" (or some variation) 10x in the NASB.

Kaphar - 94x in the OT - Gen 6:14; 32:20; Ex 29:33, 36f; 30:10, 15f; 32:30; Lev 1:4; 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:6, 10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7, 30; 7:7; 8:15, 34; 9:7; 10:17; 12:7f; 14:18ff, 29, 31, 53; 15:15, 30; 16:6, 10f, 16ff, 20, 24, 27, 30, 32ff; 17:11; 19:22; 23:28; Num 5:8; 6:11; 8:12, 19, 21; 15:25, 28; 16:46f; 25:13; 28:22, 30; 29:5; 31:50; 35:33; Deut 21:8; 32:43; 1 Sam 3:14; 2 Sam 21:3; 1 Chr 6:49; 2 Chr 29:24; 30:18; Neh 10:33; Ps 65:3; 78:38; 79:9; Pr 16:6, 14; Isa 6:7; 22:14; 27:9; 28:18; 47:11; Jer 18:23; Ezek 16:63; 43:20, 26; 45:15, 17, 20; Dan 9:24

First use of Kaphar describes the pitch or tar that covered the planks of Noah's Ark. Here the word is used in its literal sense (contrast the metaphorical meaning "to make atonement") and means to smear or to caulk.

Gen 6:14 “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch.

In Lxx kaphar = exilaskomai = propitiate (Ge 32:21), make atonement (Ex 30:15).


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 O.T. 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.)

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.

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!).


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)

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)

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. 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 - It is interesting to notice here, that Outram, Witsius, and others seem to have proved that, in Patriarchal ages, every man might offer his own sacrifice. Heads of families, and heads of a tribe or nation, often acted for those under them; but the idea that the first-born were the only priests is without foundation. The Patriarchal age was taught that every man must take Christ for himself personally. In the Mosaic economy, however, this is altered. There is another truth to be shown forth. Any one (2 Chron. 30:17,) might kill the animal—any common Levite, or even the offerer himself—for there may be many executioners of God’s wrath. Earth and hell were used in executing the Father’s purpose toward the Prince of Life. But there is only one appointed way for dispensing mercy; and therefore only priests must engage in the act that signified the bestowal of pardon.

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 - very possibly a picture of the importance of blood [which speaks of life] 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.

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

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)

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

HCSB Note - Washing the internal organs and shanks (lower back legs) removed filth, making the sacrifice ritually fit for God. A fire offering is the traditional translation, but it may be generally "a food offering." Pleasing aroma is a frequent expression meaning the Lord accepted the gift (Lev 1:13,17; Gen 8:21; Ex 29:18); fragrant incense (Ex 30:7; Lev 4:7; 16:12) explains the agreeable smell that masked the odor of the burning corpse. The Greek translation of the OT (osme euodias) also describes the sacrifice of Christ (Eph 5:2-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)

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)

He shall wash - The offerer.

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)

He - The offerer.

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: Lev 1:5 Ex 40:22 Eze 8:5) (northward: Lev 6:25 7:2) (the priests: Lev 1:7-9 9:12-14)

He shall slay - The offerer.

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.

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.

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 Lu 2:24 2Co 8:12 Heb 7:26)

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)


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)

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Last Updated July, 2013