Old Testament Offerings in Worship

The Levitical Sacrificial System

Overview of the Laws of Sacrifice for Worshippers

i.-vi.7. Laws for the burnt offering of the herd, of the flock, and of fowls (i.). Laws for the different kinds of cereal offerings — the use of salt compulsory, honey and leaven prohibited (ii.). Laws for the peace-offering — the offerer kills it, the priest sprinkles the blood on the sides of the altar and burns the fat (iii.) For an unconscious transgression of the law, the high priest shall offer a bullock, the community shall offer the same, a ruler shall offer a he-goat, one of the common people shall offer a female animal (iv.). A female animal shall be offered for certain legal and ceremonial transgressions; the poor may offer two turtle doves, or pigeons, or even flour, v.1-13. Sacred dues unintentionally withheld or the property of another man dishonestly retained must be restored together with twenty per cent. extra, v.14-vi.7.

Leviticus: Introduction to the Old Testament by John Edgar McFadyen

Below you will find the explanation for the five major offerings listed:

qorban: offering brought near the altar #7133

  1. The Burnt Offering Leviticus 1
  2. The Meat Offering Leviticus 2
  3. The Peace Offering Leviticus 3
  4. The Sin Offering Leviticus 4
  5. The Trespass Offering Leviticus 5

Other Offerings: a vow (votive) offering, thanksgiving offering, and the drink offering. The waving and heaving of offerings belonged to the priests alone.

Related Article: Praise & Worship: Daily Sacrifice is Required of Thee

The Burnt Offering

Read: Leviticus 1:1-17

“And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:”

Ezra 6:9 KJV

In the Strong’s Hebrew:

alah or alath — a burnt offering #5928

olah: whole burnt offering #5930a

The word is applied to the offering which was wholly consumed by fire on the altar, and the whole of which, except the refuse ashes “ascended” in the smoke to God. The meaning of the whole burnt offering was that which is the original idea of all sacrifice, the offering by the sacrificer of himself, soul and body, to God–the submission of his will to the will of the Lord. The ceremonies of the burnt offering are given in detail in the book of Leviticus Chapter One.

Smith’s Bible Dictionary

The Meat Offering

Read: Leviticus 2:1-16

“And when any will offer a meat offering unto the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon:”

Leviticus 2:1 KJV

In the Strong’s Hebrew:

minchah: a gift, tribute, offering #4503

The law or ceremonial of the meat offering is described in (Leviticus 2:1) … and Levi 6:14-23 It was to be composed of fine flour, seasoned with salt and mixed with oil and frankincense, but without leaven; and it was generally accompanied by a drink offering of wine. A portion of it, including all the frankincense, was to be burnt on the altar as “a memorial;” the rest belonged to the priest; but the meat offerings offered by the priests themselves were to be wholly burnt. Its meaning appears to be exactly expressed in the words of David. (1 Chronicles 29:10-14) It will be seen that this meaning involves neither of the main ideas of sacrifices –the atonement for sin and self-dedication to God. It takes them for granted, and is based on them. Rather it expresses gratitude and love to God as the giver of all. Accordingly the meat offering, properly so called, seems always to have been a subsidiary offering, needing to be introduced by the sin offering which represented the one idea, and to have formed an appendage to the burnt offering, which represented the other. The unbloody offerings offered alone did not properly belong to the regular meat offerings; they were usually substitutes for other offerings. Comp. (Leviticus 5:11; Numbers 5:15)

Smith’s Bible Dictionary

Peace Offerings

Read: Leviticus 3:1-17

“And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the Lord.”

Leviticus 3:1 KJV

The offerer of the peace offering kills the animal, and the priest sprinkles the blood on the altar’s sides and burns the fat. The peace offerings were offered by way of supplication. If a man were in pursuit of any mercy, he would add a peace offering to his prayer for it. Rendering to God the tribute of praise and thanksgiving which was His due) was in all its different subdivisions — thank-offering, votive offering, free-will offering (Lev.7:11-16) — a eucharistic offering.

In the Strong’s Hebrew

shelem: a sacrifice for alliance or friendship, peace offering #8002

The “sprinkling of the blood,” was the making use of the death, by putting it upon certain persons or things, so that these persons or things were counted to be dead, and, therefore, to have paid the law’s penalty. So long as they had not paid that penalty, they were counted unclean and unfit for God to look upon; but as soon as they had paid it, they were counted clean and fit for the service of God. Usually when we read of cleansing, we think merely of our common process of removing stains by water and soap. But this is not the figure meant in the application of the sacrifice. The blood cleanses, not like the prophet’s “nitre and much soap,” but by making us partakers of the death of the Substitute. For what is it that makes us filthy before God? It is our guilt, our breach of law, and our being under sentence of death in consequence of our disobedience. We have not only done what God dislikes, but what his righteous law declares to be worthy of death. It is this sentence of death that separates us so completely from God, making it wrong for him to bless us, and perilous for us to go to him.

God’s Way of Peace by Horatius Bangs, D.D.

Sin Offerings

Read: Leviticus 4:1-16

“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:”

Leviticus 4:2

Common daily infirmities by the one who sins through an unintentional act and presumptuous (Psalm 19:12-13 and Hebrews 10:26-27), and regulated according to the ability of the offerer, especially for the lighter forms of sin (Leviticus 5:1-13). This person doesn’t keep the law

In Strong’s Hebrew:

chata: to miss, go wrong, sin #2398

The sin offering among the Jews was the sacrifice in which the ideas of propitiation and of atonement for sin were most distinctly marked. The ceremonial of the sin offering is described in Levi 4 and 6. The trespass offering is closely connected with the sin offering in Leviticus, but at the same time clearly distinguished from it, being in some cases offered with it as a distinct part of the same sacrifice; as, for example, in the cleansing of the leper. Levi 14. The distinction of ceremonial clearly indicates a difference in the idea of the two sacrifices. The nature of that difference is still a subject of great controversy. We find that the sin offerings were —

Regular . (a) For the whole people, at the New Moon, Passover, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets and Feast of Tabernacles, (Numbers 28:15-29; 38:1) … besides the solemn offering of the two goats on the Great Day of Atonement. Levi 16 (B) For the priests and Levites at their consecration, (Exodus 29:10-14,36) besides the yearly sin offering (a, bullock) for the high priest on the Great Day of Atonement. (Leviticus 16:2) Special . For any sin of “ignorance” and the like recorded in Levi 4 and 5. It is seen that in the law most of the sins which are not purely ceremonial are called sins of “ignorance,” see (Hebrews 9:7) and in Numb 15:30 It is expressly said that while such sins call be atoned for by offerings, “the soul that doeth aught presumptuously ” (Heb. with a high hand) “shall be cut off from among his people.” “His iniquity shall he upon him.” Comp. (Hebrews 10:20) But here are sufficient indications that the sins here called “of ignorance” are more strictly those of “negligence” or “frailty” repented of by the unpunished offender, as opposed to those of deliberate and unrepentant sin. It is clear that two classes of sacrifices, although distinct, touch closely upon each other. It is also evident that the sin offering was the only regular and general recognition of sin in the abstract and accordingly was for more solemn and symbolical in it’s ceremonial; the trespass offering was confined to special cases, most of which related to the doing of some material damage, either to the holy things or to man. Josephus declares that the sin offering is presented by those “who fall into sin in ignorance.” and the trespass offering by “one who has sinned and is conscious of his sin. But has no one to convict him thereof.” Without attempting to decide so difficult and so controverted a question, we may draw the following conclusions. First, that the sin offering was for the more solemn and comprehensive of the two sacrifices. Secondly, that the sin offering looked more to the guilt of the sin done, irrespective of its consequences, while the trespass offering looked to the evil consequences of sin, either against the service of God or against man, and to the duty of atonement, as far as atonement was possible. Thirdly, that in the sin offering especially we find symbolized the acknowledgment of sinfulness as inherent in man, and of the need of expiation by sacrifice to renew the broken covenant between man and God. In considering this subject, it must he remembered that the sacrifices of the law had a temporal as well as a spiritual significance and effect. They restored sin offender to his place in the commonwealth of Israel; they were therefore an atonement to the King of Israel for the infringement of his low.

Smith’s Bible Dictionary

The Trespass Offering

Read: Leviticus 5:1-17; 7:1-7; 14:12-18

“And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.

Leviticus 5:1

Making reparation for missing the mark, unrighteous deeds, serious violations against God or other people. The offerer has to may an atoning sacrifice to God for transgression of sin committed, and restitution for the debt owned.

In the Strong’s Hebrew:

asham — offense, guilt #817

ashmah — wrongdoing, guiltiness #819

The word is a subdivisions of the same class of sin offerings including restitution could be made for the offerer.

Free Praise & Worship Bible Study Course at SensibleWORSHIP.oRG



Type a Praise to the Lord or Comment about Article

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.