Notes: For the first time in Israel’s history, a well-defined set of sacrifices was given to them, although people had offered sacrifices since the time of Abel and Cain. These were completely voluntary and freewill offerings with no specific number or frequency given. This offering signified voluntary and complete dedication and consecration to the Lord. It was an offering of repentance for sins committed, with the desire to be purged from the guilt of sinful acts. Designed to demonstrate the sinner’s penitence and obedience, it indicated his self-dedication to the worship of God. The most costly animal was mentioned first; the least costly last.
Leviticus 1:1-2 The Lord instructs Moses to tell the children of Israel that an offering must come from their herds or flocks.
Notes: lay his hand on the head. This symbolic gesture pictured the transfer of the sacrificer’s sin to the sacrificial animal and was likely done with a prayer of repentance and request for forgiveness. Theologically, the “atonement” of the OT covered sin only temporarily, but it did not eliminate sin or later judgment. The one-time sacrifice of Jesus Christ fully atoned for sin, thus satisfying God’s wrath forever and insuring eternal salvation.
Leviticus 3:1-9 A male bull without defects will be accepted from the herds. The person offering the sacrifice will lay his hand on the head of the bull which will then be accepted by the Lord for the person’s atonement. He shall kill the bull and Aaron’s sons shall throw the blood against the sides of the altar. Aaron will then cut the bull in pieces. Aaron’s sons shall arrange the bull on the altar (but first they must wash the entrails and legs) and burn all of it with wood on the altar as a Burnt/Food offering to the Lord.
Notes: wash. This allowed the one sacrificing to cleanse the animal of excrement and thus make it clean.
Notes: pleasing aroma The word “pleasing” implies the Lord’s favorable acceptance.
Leviticus 3:10-13 A male sheep or goat without defects will be accepted from the flocks. The person offering the sacrifice shall kill the sheep or goat on the north side of the altar and Aaron’s sons shall throw the blood against the sides of the altar. He will then cut the bull in pieces. Aaron shall arrange the sheep or goat on the altar (but first Aaron must wash the entrails and legs) and burn all of it with wood on the altar as a Burnt/Food offering to the Lord.
Leviticus 3:14-17 A turtledove or pigeon will be accepted from the flocks. Aaron shall wring the bird’s head off. The blood of the bird is to be drained out on the side of the altar and he shall cast the crop with its contents to the east side of the altar in the ashes. Aaron must tear the bird open by its wings, but not sever it completely in half. The bird will then be burned with wood on the altar as a Burnt/Food offering to the Lord.
Notes: the priest . . . wring off. Unlike the livestock being killed by the one offering the sacrifice, the bird was killed by the priest.
Notes: crop . . . contents. This refers to the neck or gullet of a bird, where food was stored.