Leviticus Chapter 1

Written by Moses, Leviticus gives sets of instructions to the Israelites and the priests for living and making sacrifices. These instructions were intended to draw them to a deeper understanding of God’s infinite holiness and how to act towards Him accordingly.

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Rules for Offerings and Sacrifices

Leviticus Chapter 1 deals with the specifics of making offerings and sacrifices before God. More specifically, it deals with the “burnt offerings.” The laws of Leviticus governed the regulations for worship at the Tabernacle. Many from the tribe of Levi assisted the priests, and all needed to be made aware of the glory of the Lord, and His holiness.

Any offering brought to the Lord had to be one of a man’s own sheep, cattle, or goats from his own herd. He was supposed to offer it voluntarily before the congregation in the Tabernacle and before the Lord. Motives for sacrifice were to be pure and not motivated by self-righteousness.

Physical Perfection Equals Holiness

God wanted perfect animals without spots or blemishes offered to Him as sacrifices. Animals such as sheep and cattle must be males that were not sick, diseased, or crippled. Birds must also be unblemished.

Leviticus Chapter 1 said that these sacrifices had to be made willingly from a person’s desire to love and worship the Lord. The burnt sacrifices were symbolic of a person’s love and faith toward God.

The unblemished male of a herd was to be brought to the door of the Tabernacle. The one who brought the offering was to put their hand on the head of it and kill it. The priests would then sprinkle the blood around the altar and flay the burnt offering, cutting it into pieces. God offered even more specific instructions for the fire and laying of the wood as well as what to do with the head and the fat from the animal once it wassacrificed to the Lord.

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Leviticus 1 (King James Version)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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