SPECIAL TOPIC: Burnt Offerings, Leviticus 1

  1. Altar
    1. the brazen altar, also called altar of burnt offering, altar by door of Tabernacle, or altar of shittim wood, covered with bronze (cf. Exodus 27)
    2. this distinguished it from the incense altar (golden altar) in the Holy Place (cf. Exodus 30)
    3. coals from brazen altar were taken to incense altar
    4. brazen altar was right in the middle of the entrance of the Tabernacle
    5. altar had horns which were its most sacred part; the blood was applied to the horns (cf. Exod. 30:10)
    6. The horns were possibly for:
      1. symbol of hands to hold up the offering
      2. symbol of strength or prevailing power (Deut. 33:17; 2 Sam. 22:3.)
      3. later, anyone who grabbed the horns of the altar was safe until his case was decided by the court (1 Kgs. 1:50-51; 2:28)

  2. The Offering
    1. bullock without blemish which was mentioned first because of its importance and cost, Lev. 1:3
    2. male goat or sheep, Lev. 1:10
    3. turtle doves or young pigeons, Lev. 1:14 (provision for the poor)

  3. Place of Burnt Offering was at the door of the Tent of Meeting

  4. Laying on of the Hands ‒ this was only for the bulls, not for goats, sheep or birds, Lev. 1:4
    1. the offerer did this himself (not the priest)
    2. many feel it was a symbolic action of the transferring of guilt
    3. some believe it meant that
      1. this animal comes from this particular individual
      2. the sacrifice was to be presented in the offerer's name
      3. the fruit of this sacrifice belongs to the one who placed his hands on the animal

  5. Slaughtering
    1. bull ‒ "before the Lord" by the man making the sacrifice. The offerer had to kill, skin, and cut up the animal. The priest's role (except in case of public sacrifices) began when the man brought the animal to the altar.
    2. sheep or goat, Lev. 1:11 ‒ "on north side of altar before the Lord." This designated a specific place for these lesser animals.
    3. bird ‒ The priest killed and offered this sacrifice. The offerer had to remove the bird's crop.

  6. Handling of the Blood
    1. animals
      1. The priest threw blood against the altar, and sprinkled it round about the altar.
      2. The life of the animal was in the blood (cf. Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:11). Life already belonged to God, therefore, the blood represented no part of the gift of the man.
      3. The bird's blood was drained on the side of the altar and not consumed in fire.
    2. See above "Offering, B." and "Slaughtering, E."

  7. Handling of the Flesh
    1. bull, Lev. 1:6
      1. The offerer skinned the offering; the priest could keep the skin (cf. Lev. 7:8)
      2. the offerer cut it into pieces
      3. The priest placed the offering on the altar in an arrangement as it was when alive
      4. The legs and entrails were washed with water from the laver
      5. The priest burned the whole animal on altar
    2. See above, "B., Offering" and "E., Slaughtering."

  8. Occasion of Burnt Offerings
    1. Feast of Tabernacles, Booths
    2. Day of Atonement
    3. Feast of Weeks, First Fruits, or Pentecost
    4. Feast of Trumpets
    5. Wave Sheaf (Leviticus 23)
    6. Feast of Unleavened Bread, Passover
    7. Beginning of months, New Moon
    8. Sabbath

  9. Significance of Burnt Offering
    1. A gift to God
    2. Seen as the most valuable kind of sacrifice
    3. It seems to deal with the concept of sin in general or thanksgiving
    4. Most perfect representation of sacrificial idea
    5. Symbolic offering of one's life
    6. Represents complete consecration of the life of an individual to the service of God
    7. Graded value of offering
      1. bull
      2. sheep ‒ goat
      3. birds
    8. This shows that anyone conscious of spiritual need could approach God. God made provision for all men.

  10. Special Instructions for Priest, Lev. 6:8-12
    1. Burnt offering remained all night on hearth of the altar
    2. Fire was to be kept burning continually under a burnt offering
    3. Instructions involving the Priest's dress
    4. Instructions involving the removal of the ashes

Copyright © 2017 Bible Lessons International