Offerings (Leviticus begins)

Leviticus 1-7 and Psalm 20

Several offerings are defined in the beginning of Leviticus. The following synopses are from the NIV Study Bible, p.164:

  1. The Burnt Offerings:
    1. Voluntary act of worship
    2. Atonement for unintentional sin in general
    3. Expression of devotion
    4. Commitment and complete surrender to God
  2. The Grain Offering
    1. Voluntary act of worship
    2. Recognition of God’s goodness and provisions
    3. Devotion to God
  3. The Fellowship Offering
    1. Voluntary act of worship
    2. Thanksgiving and fellowship (it included a communal meal)
  4. The Sin Offering
    1. Mandatory atonement for specific unintentional sing
    2. Confession of sin
    3. Forgiveness of sin
    4. Cleansing from defilement
  5. The Guilt Offering
    1. Mandatory atonement for unintentional sing requiring restitution
    2. Cleansing from defilement
    3. Make restitution
    4. Pay 20% fine

Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God’s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings. Leviticus 2:13

The note in the grain offering to add salt is interesting, though I’m not sure I appreciate the significance.

If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible. Leviticus 5:1

What a concept! This is a great lesson for all to hear, something that I hope I can learn from.

The priests have lots of responsibilities to carry out in implementing all of these offerings. They (and their family) are able to eat a portion of the sacrificed items and receive some of the income in the way of fines, but it seems it is enough to keep them going. No one is getting rich by being a priest!

These ceremonies were taken quite seriously, especially when considering mixing the clean and the unclean (that which is defined in great detail). Failing to follow these rules would result in excommunication: “must be cut off from their people.”



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