sacrifice

sacrifice

An act of worship in which some object of value to the worshiper is given up as a gift to God. Sacrifice is the most prominent aspect of Israelite worship as depicted in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Cattle, sheep, goats, doves, and pigeons were the only kinds of animals that could be offered, and vegetable offerings used wheat, barley, olive oil, wine, and frankincense. Animal sacrifice involved the disposal of blood at the altar and the burning of certain vital parts of the animal. A “peace offering” (Lev 3), which might serve a variety of purposes, allowed the worshiper to retain much of the meat of the animal (Lev 7:15; Lev 7:31-34; Lev 19:6-8); Lev 17 requires all animals eligible as offerings to be sacrificed, rather than simply slaughtered. The “burnt offering” (Lev 1) was the commonest and most general sacrifice, appropriate for atonement or thanksgiving. The “cereal offering” (Lev 2) was a vegetable counterpart to the burnt offerings. Sacrifices might be offered for a great many reasons and for various ends. For example, a “sin offering” did not atone for sin (as its name might imply), but was used as a rite of cleansing, e.g., for failure to cleanse oneself from impurity (Lev 5:2-3) or fulfill a vow (Lev 5:4); it also served to cleanse the sanctuary of impurity in preparation for a festival. A “guilt offering” (Lev 5:14-6:7) was brought when one had desecrated some holy thing (Lev 5:14) or perjured oneself (Lev 6:2-5).

Lev 3

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Lev 7:15

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Lev 7:31-34

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Lev 19:6-8

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Lev 17

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Lev 1

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Lev 2

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Lev 5:2-3

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Lev 5:4

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Lev 5:14-6:7

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Lev 5:14

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Lev 6:2-5

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