Leviticus Chapter One
The major portion of this book deals with the priestly duties as Moses specified at the instructions of God. By strict adherence to these laws and rules we will see the Levites honored, and we will see the specific duties assigned to each family within the Levites as pertaining to the worship of God. The specifics of the priestly duties as associated with the High Priest is also to be covered in this book.
1. And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, 2. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. 3. If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord.
Burnt Offerings were to be freewill and from one's own possessions. Stealing one from your neighbor was not the intention. Specifically, it had to be a sacrifice of great value to the person offering it.
4. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.
The laying on of by hands will be a symbolic gesture that will carry on through the ages. It is a symbolic sign of approval. In the New Testament, we will see that the gifts are received by the laying on of hands. Other places we see that a hand laid upon another gave them authority or blessing or a commission to a task.
5. And he shall kill the bullock before the Lord: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 6. And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces. 7. And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: 8. And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 9. But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
Notice, the specific instructions as to the location where the slaying is to take place. At the door of the tabernacle. Specifically, NOT inside the tabernacle nor could it be done elsewhere and then brought to the priest for offering. There had to be a hands on by the priest to validate the offering before God.
Notice, the offering is to be cut up precisely and laid down in a particular order. The wood also has an order of how it is to be built and placed upon the altar. Even the instructions are that the priest do the offering. Apparently, the one bringing the sacrifice ceased any participation when he delivered the sacrifice. There is nothing to indicate whether anyone was allowed to watch the ceremony or not (especially of those not of the house of Levi).
The end result of following the instructions of the Lord, is that the Lord will accept it as a pleaseant or sweet savory aroma before Him. As we consider a meal placed before us when we are hungry, and we smell the aroma, we are grateful and we soon hope to enjoy our food. So God appreciates and is grateful of the action that comes up before Him. The sacrific has effected a cleansing effect upon the one giving the sacrifice, as well as a cleansing effect upon the priest that performs the action. The priest are consecrated to service, and doing God's will in God's way is pleasing to Him.
10. And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish. 11. And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the Lord: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar. 12. And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 13. But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
Notice here some differences. The language indicates that the person who brings the sacrifice is the one to slay it and cut it up and then the priest lays the meat upon the alter. The location also has some significance, because it is to be done on the northside of the altar. This offering has the same savory effects upon the Lord as the burnt offering of the bull or calf.
14. And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the Lord be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons. 15. And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar: 16. And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes: 17. And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
We return to the pattern of the offering being given to the priest and then they take over and maintain control over the sacrifice until it is consumed on the altar. Some location is also specific here in that the feathers and other parts shall be discarded to the east by the place of the ashes. After so many burnt offerings, it would be logical that new wood be placed upon the altar. Thus they would need to place the ashes off to the side. Another group or family had the responsibility of removing the ashes from the tabernacle.
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