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The No-Name God

A Bible Study by Fred Kenison

 

3  Leviticus


Sacrifices and offerings

 

 

Min-khaw offering

Kor-bawn offering

Zeh-bakh offering

Aw-saw offering

Burnt offering

Whole burnt offering

Sin offering

Peace offering

Wave offering

Heave offering

Passover offering

Drink offering

Thank offering

Free offering

Freewill offering

Willing offering

Voluntary offering

Moses ordains Aaron

Warnings from Jehovah

 

Summary Highlights of Chapter 3

Attributes of Jehovah revealed in Chapter 3

 

 

Jehovah initiated the rituals described in Leviticus so the people could approach him without fear. These sacrifices and offerings were not for the benefit of Jehovah, but for the good of the people.

 

Jehovah did not prescribe the sacrifices, offerings, and feast days because he thought the people had been infected with the same virus of sin as Adam, their natural father. These sacrifices had been given so the people would feel safe in approaching Jehovah in spite of their sinful condition.  With the sacrifices, they would not fear being before him because their short-comings had been transferred to the sacrifices they brought.

 

The blood of bulls and goats did not bring complete forgiveness of their sins, but it did have the effect of rolling them forward so the people were not punished for them.

 

We have undertaken this abbreviated overview of the sacrifices and offerings because it will be relevant to later parts of this study. These sacrifices and offerings also illustrated another attribute of Jehovah: namely, that Jehovah wanted his people to be able to appear before him without fear of being judged for their sin. He wanted them to have peace of mind and a joyful life, knowing that he loved them and provided for all their needs.

 

We have examined a sufficient number of scriptures to establish that Jehovah was the elohim, god, of Israel. As we stated earlier, elohim, god, is not capitalized because to do so would be to personalize the word and make it a name, which it is not. It is a generic term, and designates only a class to which one belongs. Saying someone is a god is equal to saying that someone is a human, at least in a grammatical sense.

 

Jehovah, in contrast to the word elohim, is a proper name.  Jehovah, although a spiritual being, had at times manifested himself in the form of a man. He had also revealed himself as a personality by his activities, and by a variety of labels describing his attributes.

 

Now, as the study proceeds into Leviticus, we will find that Jehovah described the different sacrifices and offerings which he wanted people to observe in order to better know his grace and his judgment. These sacrifices and offerings will be examined because the book of Leviticus was written as an instruction manual for conducting them in the manner prescribed by Jehovah.

 

There are four main Hebrew words translated as sacrifice. The first is min-khaw, which means a tribute, or a gift, usually referring to those sacrifices which were bloodless, such as grain.

 

The second word is kor-bawn, which means something or someone brought near to another, symbolizing an approach to Jehovah.

 

The third word is zeh-bakh, derived from the meaning to slay, usually referring to the animals and birds which were slain.

 

The fourth word is aw-saw, which is translated only once as sacrifice, but translated often as offering.

 

Before commenting further on these four words, we should note that there were many different kinds of offerings. The four words translated as sacrifice are also often translated as offering, and we will try to identify those which overlap.

 

The following is a list of the most prominent kinds of offerings noted in the bible.

l.   burnt offerings

2.  drink offerings

3.   free offerings

4.   freewill offerings

5.   heave offerings

6.   meat offerings

7.   passover offerings

8.   peace offerings

9.   sin offerings

10. thank offerings

11. trespass offerings

12. voluntary offerings

13. wave offerings

14. whole offerings

15. first-fruits offerings

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Min-khaw offering

 

The word min-khaw first appears in Genesis 4:3-5:

"(And it was) in the course of time that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to Yahweh, and Abel (also he) brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And Yahweh had regard for Abel and his offering."

 

It is quite clear here that the min-khaw may be translated as either sacrifice, or offering. In this verse, both a grain offering and a flesh offering, which required the sacrifice of an animal, were used. Cain offered the grain, and Abel offered the flesh. Both were offered as a min-khaw, or meat offering. This is rather confusing to an English speaking person since meat usually means flesh and does not include grain.

 

A meat offering was also a burnt offering, given as a gift, or tribute, to Jehovah. The one who brought this offering did so as an act of gratitude or praise to Jehovah. The presence of Jehovah was indicated by the shekinah cloud abiding in the holy of holies inside the tabernacle. The offerings were made "before Jehovah" since only the high priest could enter the holy of holies, and even then Jehovah’s presence remained hidden in the shekinah cloud.

 

Exodus 29:41 says that both flesh and grain offerings were to be burned on the altar.

"And the other lamb you shall offer in the evening, and shall offer its libation with it as an offering in the morning, an offering by fire for a pleasing odor to Yahweh (yehovah:H3068)."

 

Because these different offerings were burned on the altar, they were all called a "burnt offering."

 

Moses was instructed to put the altar of burnt offering by the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. Thus there are two altars, one for the burnt (meal) offerings, and the other for incense.

 

Another distinction was made concerning the altar of incense. Exodus 30:9 says,

"You shall shall offer no unholy incense thereon, nor burnt offering, nor cereal (meat) offering; and you shall not pour out libation thereon."

 

The three offerings are again listed: burnt, meat, and drink.

 

Leviticus 2:1-3 gives instructions about the meat, or meal, offering.

"And when anyone brings a cereal offering to Yahweh, his offering shall be of fine flour. He shall pour oil upon it and put frankincense on it, and bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests. And he shall take (grasp) from it a handful of fine flour and oil with all of its frankincense, and the priest shall burn it as its memorial portion upon the altar, an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to Yahweh."

 

Verse 2:4 tells how a bread offering was to be made, and it parallels the instructions for unbaked meat or grain offering. The priest offered a small portion to be burned, and the remainder was kept as food for the priests. This was Jehovah’s chosen manner of providing food for Aaron and his sons.

 

The reason that almost all offerings were put on the altar of burnt offerings is that the smoke and smell ascending to Jehovah symbolized the prayers of the person going to Jehovah.

 

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Kor-bawn offering

 

The kor-bawn sacrifice was the offering of presence, or coming into fellowship with another. This ability to come together was recognized as a covenant between Jehovah and his people. This sense of presence meant only that people might come before Jehovah, as only the high priest could approach his real presence in the holy of holies.

 

Kor-bawn is most often translated as offering, and seldom as sacrifice. It is used principally in the books of Leviticus and Numbers. The kor-bawn offering could be either that of an animal or a meal offering.

 

Jehovah called Moses to the tabernacle and spoke to him from the sanctuary about all the sacrifices and offerings. The first instruction concerned the kor-bawn.

"Speak to the people of Israel, and say to them, when any man of you an offering to Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) of cattle from the herd or from the flock, you shall bring your offering. If a burnt offering, from the herd, a male. He shall offer (it) at the door of the tent of meeting. He shall offer it that he may be accepted before Yahweh (yehovah:H3068). He shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt offering and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. Then he shall kill the bull before Yahweh (yehovah:H3068), and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall present the blood and throw the blood against the altar that is at the door of the tent of meeting. And he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces, and the sons of Aaron, the priest, shall put fire on the altar, and lay in order wood upon the fire." (Leviticus 1:2-7).

 

Note carefully that the person who brought the animal for a sacrifice was also the one who killed it. Perhaps this will help explain who killed Jesus, the lamb of the god: it was everyone!

 

This kor-bawn offering may also be for a sin offering. Leviticus 4:27-35 says that when a person becomes aware of a sin of ignorance, he must bring a female kid of the goats, and slay it, and offer it as a burnt offering for a sweet savor to Jehovah. If his sin is forgiven, it will also be an atonement for him. This allowed him to have a clean slate with Jehovah.

 

Requiring that the person kill his own sacrifice helped him identify himself with the animal that he slew, and reminded him of his own escape from death caused by sin.

 

Leviticus 2:14 also says that a kor-bawn may be a meat offering of unleavened cakes of fine flour, mingled with oil, and then fried. All these sacrifices refer to the desire of continuing to have no sin for Jehovah to judge. As we have seen, a kor-bawn was a sacrifice which emphasized a continuing fellowship before Jehovah, and escaping the punishment due for sin.

 

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Zeh-bakh offering

 

The third word translated as sacrifice, zeh-bakh, meaning to slay, is associated with those offerings which demand the shedding of blood. Above, we said that kor-bawn could be either with animals, fowl, or a meat, i.e., meal offering, depending on the purpose.

 

This offering, zeh-bakh, is completely opposed to the first sacrifice, or offering, we considered, the min-khaw. This offering, or sacrifice, includes any of the offerings which require the killing of something, and the shedding of its blood. It is translated as sacrifice, and not as offering.

 

Zeh-bakh was first used in Genesis 31:54 where Jacob "offered sacrifice," or killed beasts. It was also used in Exodus 3:18 when Moses asked Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to go three days journey into the wilderness that they "may sacrifice."  Any offering which required the shedding of blood could be included under zeh-bakh.

 

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Aw-saw offering

 

Min-khaw, kor-bawn, and zeh-bakh are the three words mainly used as sacrifice. The fourth word, aw-saw, relates only to the preparation of the offerings to Jehovah.

 

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Burnt offering

 

The term "burnt offering" covers nearly all animal and meal offerings.  Burnt offering was one of the terms commonly used to refer to most of the daily offerings, as well as those offerings at the festivals. They were put upon the altar and burned "for a sweet savor unto Jehovah."

 

They were offered to Jehovah, but they were also only offered before Jehovah, as no one but the high priest could actually enter the holy of holies. And, even when the high priest did enter the holy of holies, the cloud of presence separated the high priest from the actual sight of Jehovah.

 

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Whole burnt offering

 

Another offering that should be considered along with the burnt offering is the "whole burnt offering." The usual word for burnt offering is ola (‘olah:H5930). But, when referring to a whole burnt offering, ola is joined with kalil, or whole.

 

Leviticus 6:23 says that the whole burnt offering may be a meat offering or meal already baked, but it was to be wholly consumed by the fire. None was to be left for the priests to eat as was usual with the burnt offerings.

"So Samuel took one lamb of milk, and offered it as a whole burnt offering to Yahweh (yehovah:H3068). And Samuel cried out to Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) for Israel, and Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) answered him." (I Samuel 7:9).

 

This scripture shows that not only baked cakes, or meat offerings, but also animals could be offered as a whole burnt offering to Jehovah.

 

It should be emphasized that all of the mandated offerings were to be offered to Jehovah. This raises the question as to whom it was that profited from these offerings?

 

The offerings were given as something to be observed for the benefit of the people, so they might have the liberty to approach before Jehovah without fear. When Jehovah saw the people observing these offerings and sacrifices, he smelled a "sweet savor," meaning that Jehovah was pleased with their obedience.  It also meant that the people were leaving from before his presence in a blessed condition.

 

Realize, too, that by this time, Jehovah had almost completely withdrawn himself into the heavens, but continued to demonstrate his watch-care over Israel by the shekinah glory cloud over the mercy seat in the holy of holies.

 

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Sin offering

 

Leviticus 4, 5, and 6 are very instructive about the sin offering. Leviticus 4 relates how the sin offering was to be for "sins of ignorance," and also for the priest that may sin. Whoever was guilty of such a sin was to bring a bullock, lay his hand upon its head, and then kill it himself. The priest took the blood of the bullock before the veil of the sanctuary, dipped his finger in the blood, and sprinkled the blood seven times before Jehovah. Then the priest took all the fat off the innards, or kidneys, and the caul above the kidneys, and burnt it upon the altar of burnt offerings. The rest of the bullock was taken outside the camp and burned. This same procedure was also followed if the whole congregation sinned.

 

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Peace offering

 

In addition, this same procedure was used for the peace offering, insofar as the sacrificial ceremony was concerned, except that the priests and the worshiper could eat the rest of the offering instead of burning it outside the camp. Leviticus 7:28-34 describes what portion was to be given to the priests and what portion was to be given to the one who brought the peace offering.

 

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Wave offering, heave offering

 

These verses also refer to the "wave offering" and the "heave offering," both of which were included in the peace offering. These two offerings refer to the manner in which portions of the peace offering were to be offered before Jehovah. The wave offering and the heave offering are more a part of the ritual rather than being specific offerings themselves.

 

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Passover offering

 

Exodus 12 describes the institution of the Passover and the sacrifice and offering associated with it. If the Israelites killed a lamb and put its blood on the door posts and lintels of their homes, then the death angel would pass over them and not kill the first-born as he would do to the Egyptians. The Passover enabled Israel to escape the punishment Jehovah brought upon Egypt.

 

Each family was to kill a lamb, but an interesting concept of this lamb to be killed was that all the lambs killed were called "it," singular. Exodus 12:5-6 says,

"Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male, a year old. You shall take your lamb from the sheep or from the goats. And you keep it until the fourteenth day of this month when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs (it) in the evening."

 

The word translated "lambs" is actually singular in the Hebrew, which is why the word "it" is in parenthesis. What this signifies for us will be answered when our study reaches the New Testament.

 

Leviticus 23:4-14 contains the procedures for Passover. These instructions were given to Israel after they had reached the promised land, and after their crops were gathered. The offering of the first-fruits and the Passover sacrifice were to be combined in the week of the Passover.

 

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Drink offering

 

The drink offering, normally consisting of wine, was usually combined with many other offerings. It accompanied the morning and evening burnt sacrifices and was poured out upon the altar along with the other offerings. It seemed to symbolize that people were pouring out their lives, or a nation was pouring itself out, as a sacrifice to Jehovah.

 

Many of the sacrifices, or offerings, bring to mind that Jehovah expected that the people making the offerings would know that their offerings symbolized the offering of their very selves to Jehovah.

 

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Thank offering

 

The thank offering was given as an offering of thanksgiving to Jehovah. The Hebrew cognate form is toda, derived from yada. This offering was to be given to Jehovah every morning and every evening along with the other offerings. Its purpose was not only to convey thanks, but also confession, a confession of the goodness, along with other qualities, of a caring Jehovah. This was a time of praise, often done by singing. Some of the Psalms were used for this purpose. Jehovah apparently enjoyed it when people praised him with song, and confessed his other attributes, such as his greatness, majesty, and power.

 

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Free offering

Freewill offering

Willing offering

Voluntary offering

 

This brings the study to the last four offerings, the ones which should never be neglected: the free offering, the freewill offering, the willing offering, and the voluntary offering. These four will all be considered together as they are all different translations of the same Hebrew word n’daba.

 

These offerings could be burnt offerings, as were many of the others, but they could also be offerings of money or other objects to help furnish the tabernacle, or later the temple. These sacrifices were all supposed to celebrate the state of blessedness that derives from living under the guidance and providence of Jehovah.

 

These four offerings might be characterized as somewhat similar to the peace offerings, which followed after these sacrifices, and which also symbolized a right relationship with Jehovah.

 

Jehovah intended that the people who observed these sacrifices and offerings would do so with grateful hearts, full of peace and joy, and a sense of praise and thanksgiving for all the benefits Jehovah had given to them. Jehovah initiated these rituals so the people could approach him without fear.

 

David realized that the sacrifices were for the benefit of the people, not for Jehovah, and he said so in Psalms 51:15-17:

"O lord (‘adonay:H136), open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of god (‘elohiym:H430) are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O god (‘elohiym:H430), thou wilt not despise."

 

These were the sacrifices which Jehovah would not despise, or count of little worth. I Samuel 15:22 says,

"Has Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068)? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to hearken than the fat of rams."

 

In Psalms 51:19, David said that the offerings and sacrifices would be pleasing to Jehovah only when the people offered them in righteousness; otherwise, they were not acceptable.

 

Clearly, it is better to obey than to sacrifice. When holiness of conduct and spirit did not accompany their sacrifices and offerings, Jehovah was always displeased with both the people and their sacrifices.

 

Like so many religious organizations today, the Israelites became blasé about things. They still brought their offerings and sacrifices, offering them by rote in empty rituals, without any heartfelt rejoicing, or praise, for what Jehovah constantly did for them. Jehovah’s goodness was now taken for granted and there was no thanksgiving rising from the hearts of the people or the priests. Sacrifices and offerings had become common, and they were done perfunctorily, resulting in no spiritual blessing.

 

This condition was confirmed in Isaiah 1:10-14:

"Hear the word of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068), rulers of Sodom; give ear to the teaching of our god (‘elohiym:H430), people of Gomorrah. What to me the multitude of your sacrifices, says Yahweh (yehovah:H3068). I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts and the blood of bulls or lambs or he-goats. I do not delight in it. When you come to appear before me, who requires this of your hand, trampling of my courts? Bring no more offerings (of) vain incense; it is an abomination to me, new moons and sabbath and the calling of assemblies. I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. My soul hates your new moons and your appointed feasts. They have become a burden to me. I am weary of bearing them."

 

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Moses ordains Aaron

 

Leviticus 8 tells how Jehovah instructed Moses to ordain Aaron and his sons into the priesthood. Through the ordinances of this ritual, the congregation assembled to watch would know that the priesthood was definitely a calling from Jehovah. No one would be allowed to choose this position for themselves. Those who are to serve in a special relationship to Jehovah must be called to that position by him; otherwise, they are interlopers and subject to his harsh judgment.

 

Jehovah also revealed that he chooses those whom he wants to serve him in certain positions. This is shown by Leviticus 10:1-7.

"Now the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, took each his censer and put in it fire, and laid on it incense, and offered unholy fire before Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) such as he had not commanded them. And fire came forth from the presence of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) and devoured them, and they died before Yahweh (yehovah:H3068). Then Moses said to Aaron, This is what Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) has said (saying), I will show myself holy, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel, the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, Draw near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. So they drew near and carried them in their coats out of the camp as Moses had said. And Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his sons, The hair of your heads do not let hang loose, and your clothes do not rend lest you die, and lest your wrath come upon all the congregation. But your brethren, the whole house of Israel, may bewail the burning which Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) has kindled. And do not go out from the door of the tent of meeting lest you die, for the oil of the anointing of Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) (is) upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses."

 

We must also note that Jehovah does not take lightly those who serve him in a careless manner. In the Old Testament, his judgment was swift and sure. Jehovah insisted that he be respected, especially by those in the high office of priest.

 

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Warnings from Jehovah

 

Leviticus 11:44 repeats a common theme, something which Jehovah evidently wanted the people to remember:

"For I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) your god (‘elohiym:H430). Consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls upon the earth." Then, Jehovah gave the congregation of Israel his statutes and ordinances which they were to obey. In the midst of these, he again repeated (Leviticus 18:4) that, "I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068), your god (‘elohiym:H430)."

 

This chapter also relates Jehovah’s warning against incest and other adulteries, (Leviticus 18:5-23). Leviticus 18:30 says,

"So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs which were practiced before you, and never to defile yourselves by them. I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) your god (‘elohiym:H430)."

 

The phrase, "I am Jehovah, your god," is repeated again in Leviticus 19:2, 3, 4, 10, 25, 31, 34, and 36. In 19:32, there is a variation of these words:

"And you shall fear your god (‘elohiym:H430). I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068).

 

This clarifies the point that when the word "god" was used it was usually referring to Jehovah, although on a few occasions it referred to some heathen god.

 

Leviticus 22:9 lists another attribute of Jehovah.

"They shall therefore keep my charge, lest they bear sin for it, and die thereby when they profane it. I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) who sanctify them."

 

It is Jehovah who sanctifies, or sets someone apart, to himself. The people called have nothing whatsoever to do with this process. If, in the case cited here, an Israelite lived, then he had been sanctified, or set apart, by Jehovah to himself.

 

Leviticus 22:32-33 says,

"And you shall not profane my holy name. But I will be hallowed among the people of Israel. I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) who sanctify you, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be for you god (‘elohiym:H430). I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068)."

 

Leviticus 25:38 provides an interesting variation upon the purpose of Jehovah.

"I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) your god (‘elohiym:H430), which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, to be your god (‘elohiym:H430)."

 

Leviticus 25:55 is a reaffirmation of the previous scripture:

"For to me the people of Israel are servants. They are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) your god (‘elohiym:H430)."

 

As servants, they were told,

"You shall not make for yourselves idols, and you shall not erect for yourselves a graven image or pillar. And you shall not set up in your land a figured stone, to bow down to them, for I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) your god (‘elohiym:H430)." (Leviticus 26:1).

 

Jehovah further acknowledges the fact that he has adopted Israel, but with certain conditions. Leviticus 26:12-16 says,

"And I will walk among you, and will be your god (‘elohiym:H430), and you shall be my people. I am Yahweh (yehovah:H3068) your god (‘elohiym:H430), who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves, and I have broken the bars of your yoke, and I made you walk erect. But if you will not hearken to me, and will not do all these commandments; and if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my ordinances so that you will not do all my commandments, but (you) break my covenant; yea, I will do this to you: and I will appoint over you sudden terror, consumption, and fever that waste the eyes and cause life to pine away. And you shall sow your seed in vain and your enemies shall eat it."

 

Are these punishments from Jehovah, or are they simply the results of the people sinning? The scriptures often speak as though Jehovah does all these evil things to the people, but one could conclude that these evil things are simply a result of sin, not necessarily a direct judgment from Jehovah. And, this is the reason that the people should live according to the precepts of their god, Jehovah.

 

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Summary Highlights of Chapter 3

 

# Jehovah did not prescribe the sacrifices, offerings, and feast days

     because he thought the people had been infected with the same virus of

     sin as Adam, their natural father. These sacrifices had been given so the

     people would feel safe in approaching Jehovah in spite of their sinful

     condition.  With the sacrifices, they would not fear being before him

     because their short-comings had been transferred to the sacrifices they

     brought.

 

#  Jehovah described the different sacrifices and offerings which he

     wanted people to observe in order to better know his grace and his

     judgment.

 

# A meat offering was also a burnt offering, given as a gift, or tribute, to

     Jehovah. The one who brought this offering did so as an act of

     gratitude or praise to Jehovah.

 

# The presence of Jehovah was indicated by the shekinah cloud abiding in

     the holy of holies inside the tabernacle. The offerings were made

     "before Jehovah" as only the high priest could enter the holy of holies,

     and even then Jehovah’s presence remained hidden in the shekinah

     cloud.

 

# Because these different offerings were burned on the altar, they were all

     called a "burnt offering."  Thus there are two altars, one for the burnt

     (meal) offerings, and the other for incense.

 

# The reason that almost all offerings were put on the altar of burnt

     offerings is that the smoke and smell ascending to Jehovah symbolized

     the prayers of the person going to Jehovah.

 

# Note carefully that the person who brought the animal for a sacrifice

     was also the one who killed it. Perhaps this will help explain who killed

     Jesus, the lamb of the god: it was everyone!

 

# A kor-bawn was a sacrifice which emphasized a continuing fellowship

     before Jehovah, and escaping the punishment due for sin.

 

# Burnt offering was one of the terms commonly used to refer to most of

     the daily offerings, as well as those offerings at the festivals. They were

     put upon the altar and burned "for a sweet savor unto Jehovah."

 

# The offerings were given as something to be observed for the benefit of

     the people, so they might have the liberty to approach before Jehovah

     without fear. When Jehovah saw the people observing these offerings

     and sacrifices, he smelled a "sweet savor," meaning that Jehovah was

     pleased with their obedience.  It also meant that the people were

     leaving from before his presence in a blessed condition.

 

# Realize, too, that by this time, Jehovah had almost completely

     withdrawn himself into the heavens, but continued to demonstrate his

     watch-care over Israel by the shekinah glory cloud over the mercy seat

     in the holy of holies.

 

# Each family was to kill a lamb, but an interesting concept of this lamb

     to be killed was that all the lambs killed were called "it," singular.

 

# Many of the sacrifices, or offerings, bring to mind that Jehovah

     expected that the people making the offerings would know that their

     offerings symbolized the offering of their very selves to Jehovah.

 

# These sacrifices were all supposed to celebrate the state of blessedness

     that derives from living under the guidance and providence of Jehovah.

 

# Jehovah intended that the people who observed these sacrifices and

     offerings would do so with grateful hearts, full of peace and joy, and a

     sense of praise and thanksgiving for all the benefits Jehovah had given

     to them. Jehovah initiated these rituals so the people could approach

     him without fear.

 

# In Psalms 51:19, David said that the offerings and sacrifices would be

     pleasing to Jehovah only when the people offered them in

     righteousness; otherwise, they were not acceptable.  Clearly, it is better

     to obey than to sacrifice. When holiness of conduct and spirit did not

     accompany their sacrifices and offerings, Jehovah was always

     displeased with both the people and their sacrifices.

 

# Like so many religious organizations today, the Israelites became blasé

     about things. They still brought their offerings and sacrifices, offering

     them by rote in empty rituals, without any heartfelt rejoicing, or praise,

     for what Jehovah constantly did for them. Jehovah’s goodness was now

     taken for granted and there was no thanksgiving rising from the hearts

     of the people or the priests. Sacrifices and offerings had become

     common, and they were done perfunctorily, resulting in no spiritual

     blessing.

 

# Through the ordinances of this ritual, the congregation assembled to

     watch would know that the priesthood was definitely a calling from

     Jehovah. No one would be allowed to choose this position for

     themselves. Those who are to serve in a special relationship to Jehovah

     must be called to that position by him; otherwise, they are interlopers

     and subject to his harsh judgment.

# Jehovah chose those whom he wanted to serve him in certain

     positions.  Those who are to serve in a special relationship to Jehovah

     must be called to that position by him; otherwise, they are interlopers

     and subject to his harsh judgment. 

# We must also note that Jehovah does not take lightly those who serve

     him in a careless manner. Jehovah insisted that he be respected,

     especially by those in the high office of priest.

 

 

 

 

# It is Jehovah who sanctifies, or sets someone apart, to himself. The

     people called have nothing whatsoever to do with this process.

 

# Jehovah further acknowledges the fact that he has adopted Israel, but

     with certain conditions.

 

# The scriptures often speak as though Jehovah does all these evil things

     to the people, but one could conclude that these evil things are simply a

     result of sin, not necessarily a direct judgment from Jehovah. And, this

     is the reason that the people should live according to the precepts of

     their god, Jehovah.

 

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Attributes of Jehovah revealed in Chapter 3

 

# Jehovah, although a spiritual being, has at times manifested himself in

     the form of a man.

 

 

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October 2009

 

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