Leviticus 10: The Death of Nadab and Abihu

1 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.

-This is one of the “controversial” passages in the Old Testament that many try to use to show that the God of the Old Testament is cruel and vindictive. On the surface, it certainly does appear so. All these sons appear to be doing is sacrificing to God (a good thing that few do in an attempt to please Him) and they are killed for it because they did not do it perfectly. An honest mistake, right? This could have even been done the same day immediately after they saw the Lord appear as fire and it was a heat of the moment sort of thing. We do not know the specific setup, only what they generally did which was not follow procedure correctly. For the punishment, rather than focus on what these men did or did not do right and what the price of punishment should be, focus on God. As I’ve discussed and concluded the last chapter with, every single facet of these rituals tells us who God is and is representative of Him. For anything to be done incorrectly, it would give us a false idea of who God is. It would be distorting who is God and what is God. On top of that, these men made a vow to follow God. I also talked about how “cut off” from Israel does not mean cut off forever, but that there is atonement. So shouldn’t there be atonement for this as well? Why instant death? We need to understand that misrepresenting God is like dividing by zero, it does not compute, it cannot compute. For God not to take action would mean essentially that we can claim 2+2=5. The problem is 2+2=4, it does not equal 5. For God not to kill them would mean God was saying that He is not who He is and not about justice. This would be like those who believe in universalism and all are forgiven regardless of what they believe and no one goes to hell. If we are forgiven from nothing then there is no justice or order. There must be a payment for sin which is why we have Jesus and there must also be free will which is why many will not be saved despite Jesus dying so all can be saved. All CAN be, but not all will. Everything that comes from God must be perfectly consistent and logical rather than disorganized and chaotic. For God to forgive these men and allow this unauthorized fire out of compassion for an “honest mistake” would be chaotic and inconsistent. If the story of the bible was all the same up to this point and we read here that Aaron’s sons offered unauthorized fire and God gave them a stern warning or a small punishment would completely contradict the entire bible and who it claims God to be. We must remember too that we are nothing before God, we all deserve instant death, and it is only by God’s grace and love that we continue to breath another breath.

4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come near; carry your brothers away from the front of the sanctuary and out of the camp.” 5 So they came near and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said. 6 And Moses said to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar his sons, “Do not let the hair of your heads hang loose, and do not tear your clothes, lest you die, and wrath come upon all the congregation; but let your brothers, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning that the Lord has kindled. 7 And do not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting, lest you die, for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you.” And they did according to the word of Moses.

-Moses is telling them not to mourn and have sorrow because that would be communicating a feeling of injustice and desire for revenge. Not a good idea! That and the fact that they are consecrated before God and covered in anointing oil mean that they belong to Him and would also misrepresent Him should they do what their emotions are telling them to do, to mourn and be angry over what happened.

8 And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, 9 “Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. 10 You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.”

-Interesting to note that since alcohol is not called unclean anywhere in the law then therefore God distinguishes between Holy and common by classifying wine as “common”. It is not unclean or evil but at the same time, is something that is not Holy. This statement suggests that the proper view of alcohol is that it is not bad in any way but you are not at your best when you consume it.

12 Moses spoke to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his surviving sons: “Take the grain offering that is left of the Lord’s food offerings, and eat it unleavened beside the altar, for it is most holy. 13 You shall eat it in a holy place, because it is your due and your sons’ due, from the Lord’s food offerings, for so I am commanded. 14 But the breast that is waved and the thigh that is contributed you shall eat in a clean place, you and your sons and your daughters with you, for they are given as your due and your sons’ due from the sacrifices of the peace offerings of the people of Israel. 15 The thigh that is contributed and the breast that is waved they shall bring with the food offerings of the fat pieces to wave for a wave offering before the Lord, and it shall be yours and your sons’ with you as a due forever, as the Lord has commanded.”

-Despite what has happened, Aaron has his other sons continue the ritual properly.

16 Now Moses diligently inquired about the goat of the sin offering, and behold, it was burned up! And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the surviving sons of Aaron, saying, 17 “Why have you not eaten the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary, since it is a thing most holy and has been given to you that you may bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord? 18 Behold, its blood was not brought into the inner part of the sanctuary. You certainly ought to have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded.” 19 And Aaron said to Moses, “Behold, today they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, and yet such things as these have happened to me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, would the Lord have approved?” 20 And when Moses heard that, he approved.

-What Aaron is saying here is that while the priests have the right and are expected to eat of the sin offering, Aaron is choosing not to because of what has happened. He feels like it is undeserved and better to give it all to the Lord because of the sin of his sons. Moses was worried that Aaron would suffer the same fate as two of his sons because everything was not proceeding perfectly with the ritual but after Aaron explained his logic, Moses accepted his choice. Aaron was not killed because God was not being misrepresented here. Nothing was being added to or taking the place part of the ritual but rather, Aaron is given a portion as a gift from God and Aaron is simply choosing what he would like to do with his portion. Aaron chose to return it back to God. This would be as if God blessed you by having a business that you run perform very successfully but rather than spending the money on yourself which you certainly are entitled to and there isn’t anything wrong with that, you choose to spend the extra profit by donating to a church or helping a cause. It’s totally your choice what you would like to do with God’s blessing. We can even deny it if we wish just like it is our choice what we would like to do in our lives. As Christians, we dedicate our lives to God and God shows us the best path towards the goal of being more like Christ. However, at any point, and we often do, we can reject it and veer away from the path He would have us walk until we decide that we were wrong and return back.

Leviticus 9: The Lord Accepts Aaron’s Offering

1 On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, 2 and he said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. 3 And say to the people of Israel, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both a year old without blemish, for a burnt offering, 4 and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with oil, for today the Lord will appear to you.’” 5 And they brought what Moses commanded in front of the tent of meeting, and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. 6 And Moses said, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.” 7 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and for the people, and bring the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord has commanded.”

-So the priests needed a burnt + sin offering at the conclusion of being consecrated and the people needed a sin + burnt + peace + grain offering. The sin offering was for Aaron himself and the burnt offering was done on behalf of the people. The priests have been consecrated before God but the people now must tie themselves to the priests. Each side has a burnt offering which again means “dedication” and each side must cover their sins in a sin offering. Now the people must submit a peace offering to make a “treaty” or deal with the priests and the grain offering is used to celebrate this process and the Lord’s coming appearance.

8 So Aaron drew near to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. 9 And the sons of Aaron presented the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar. 10 But the fat and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord commanded Moses. 11 The flesh and the skin he burned up with fire outside the camp. 12 Then he killed the burnt offering, and Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. 13 And they handed the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head, and he burned them on the altar. 14 And he washed the entrails and the legs and burned them with the burnt offering on the altar. 15 Then he presented the people’s offering and took the goat of the sin offering that was for the people and killed it and offered it as a sin offering, like the first one. 16 And he presented the burnt offering and offered it according to the rule. 17 And he presented the grain offering, took a handful of it, and burned it on the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning. 18 Then he killed the ox and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings for the people. And Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. 19 But the fat pieces of the ox and of the ram, the fat tail and that which covers the entrails and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver—20 they put the fat pieces on the breasts, and he burned the fat pieces on the altar, 21 but the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved for a wave offering before the Lord, as Moses commanded.

-We see here that Aaron too can follow directions and we see the process carried out that God had given Moses and the Israelites.

22 Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. 23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

-This is why everything had to be done perfectly or else, the Lord could not appear in the form of fire as God the Father does. If He had appeared and a single tiny detail had not been performed, it would not be perfect and would misrepresent who the Lord is. Since every step was taken exactly correct, as we read in these verses and can prove, the Lord was able to appear. This doesn’t mean that if we perform some kind of magic ritual or incantation we can make God or some spirit appear but rather it is the other way around. God has told the Israelites what to do so that He can appear to them. God is the one who set the terms for this ritual and there is a reason for every single tiny step and the order of every single action and item used.

Leviticus 8: Consecration of Aaron and His Sons

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments and the anointing oil and the bull of the sin offering and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread. 3 And assemble all the congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting.” 4 And Moses did as the Lord commanded him, and the congregation was assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 5 And Moses said to the congregation, “This is the thing that the Lord has commanded to be done.” 6 And Moses brought Aaron and his sons and washed them with water. 7 And he put the coat on him and tied the sash around his waist and clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him and tied the skillfully woven band of the ephod around him, binding it to him with the band. 8 And he placed the breastpiece on him, and in the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim. 9 And he set the turban on his head, and on the turban, in front, he set the golden plate, the holy crown, as the Lord commanded Moses.

– Now that all the instructions have been given, Moses is now leading the people in putting it into practice. Moses is carrying out the instructions given in the opening of Exodus 29 for consecrating a priest. He needs a bull, two rams, unleavened bread, cakes, and wafers smeared with oil along with fine flour. This is a combination of the sin offering with the bull, a peace offering with a ram and the unleavened bread, cakes, wafers, and fine flour since there is also a vow in this peace offering, and a burnt offering using the other ram. So what is being said by these offerings is that the sin must be forgiven (sin offering), a priest needs to dedicate himself (burnt offering) and a deal is being made with a vow (peace offering). The trespass offering is not needed because it is used for unintentional sin and to right wrongs and the grain offering is not use since this is a gift and celebration.

10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. 11 And he sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its utensils and the basin and its stand, to consecrate them. 12 And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him. 13 And Moses brought Aaron’s sons and clothed them with coats and tied sashes around their waists and bound caps on them, as the Lord commanded Moses. 14 Then he brought the bull of the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull of the sin offering. 15 And he killed it, and Moses took the blood, and with his finger put it on the horns of the altar around it and purified the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it to make atonement for it. 16 And he took all the fat that was on the entrails and the long lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and Moses burned them on the altar. 17 But the bull and its skin and its flesh and its dung he burned up with fire outside the camp, as the Lord commanded Moses. 18 Then he presented the ram of the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 19 And he killed it, and Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar. 20 He cut the ram into pieces, and Moses burned the head and the pieces and the fat. 21 He washed the entrails and the legs with water, and Moses burned the whole ram on the altar. It was a burnt offering with a pleasing aroma, a food offering for the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.

-All the steps are listed to show that Moses carried everything out faithfully and it helps to see the process again so it can be understood.

22 Then he presented the other ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 23 And he killed it, and Moses took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 24 Then he presented Aaron’s sons, and Moses put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. And Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar. 25 Then he took the fat and the fat tail and all the fat that was on the entrails and the long lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat and the right thigh, 26 and out of the basket of unleavened bread that was before the Lord he took one unleavened loaf and one loaf of bread with oil and one wafer and placed them on the pieces of fat and on the right thigh. 27 And he put all these in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons and waved them as a wave offering before the Lord. 28 Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar with the burnt offering. This was an ordination offering with a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord. 29 And Moses took the breast and waved it for a wave offering before the Lord. It was Moses’ portion of the ram of ordination, as the Lord commanded Moses.

-There are only the five types of offerings but there are subsets of each offering. This “ordination” offering is a subset of a peace offering and has only a little bit of variation. But the intention is the same since for there to be “peace” a covenant, deal, or vow must be made. Think “peace treaty”. This is why a peace offering is used as the basis for this special ordination offering taking place.

30 Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and of the blood that was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aaron and his garments, and also on his sons and his sons’ garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him. 31 And Moses said to Aaron and his sons, “Boil the flesh at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and there eat it and the bread that is in the basket of ordination offerings, as I commanded, saying, ‘Aaron and his sons shall eat it.’ 32 And what remains of the flesh and the bread you shall burn up with fire. 33 And you shall not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for it will take seven days to ordain you. 34 As has been done today, the Lord has commanded to be done to make atonement for you. 35 At the entrance of the tent of meeting you shall remain day and night for seven days, performing what the Lord has charged, so that you do not die, for so I have been commanded.” 36 And Aaron and his sons did all the things that the Lord commanded by Moses.

-seven, the number of completion, the Lord’s number. It doesn’t literally take seven days to ordain a person as if God has to get to work and complete a project by a deadline, it can be instantaneous. But with everything having meaning, God requires seven days to prove that it is from Him.

Leviticus 7: The Priests and the Offerings

1 “This is the law of the guilt offering. It is most holy. 2 In the place where they kill the burnt offering they shall kill the guilt offering, and its blood shall be thrown against the sides of the altar. 3 And all its fat shall be offered, the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails, 4 the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. 5 The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering to the Lord; it is a guilt offering. 6 Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place. It is most holy. 7 The guilt offering is just like the sin offering; there is one law for them. The priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. 8 And the priest who offers any man’s burnt offering shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering that he has offered. 9 And every grain offering baked in the oven and all that is prepared on a pan or a griddle shall belong to the priest who offers it. 10 And every grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall be shared equally among all the sons of Aaron.

-We are told in the verse that “It is most holy”. Even declaring that the priests may eat of the offering and what parts are holy. Every single aspect of the law is holy and perfect because it represents a perfect God. Priests can only eat the skin from a burnt offering because all of it is consumed on the altar. When someone rededicates themselves, they are essentially shedding their old skin. But they aren’t giving of their whole selves in this particular instance which is why the meat cannot be eaten. Last chapter in Leviticus 6:15-16, the priests are told they shall take a handful to burn on the altar and consume the rest.

11 “And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that one may offer to the Lord. 12 If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of fine flour well mixed with oil. 13 With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving he shall bring his offering with loaves of leavened bread. 14 And from it he shall offer one loaf from each offering, as a gift to the Lord. It shall belong to the priest who throws the blood of the peace offerings. 15 And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning.

-Remember that the peace offering is a voluntary offering and is consumed by the person offering it. This was the ONLY time a law-abiding Israelite ate meat, as part of a peace offering which meant they also had to supply the unleavened and leavened loves as well as wafers and fine flour with oil if they intended to eat meat. The spilling of blood, even though an animal, is done at great cost and only as a way of making peace and acknowledging God. Everything that God does is good and consistently logical and anything that does not make sense or appear logical to us is due to a lack of understanding or information on our part. I cannot help but wonder if this can be used to point towards the justification of killing if the costs our weighed and the intention is for peace. For example, killing as self-defense or to bring an end to aggression or war. In all these rituals that appear random procedural red-tape and unfair for God to require of His people, He is communicating to all of us reading today as well as the Israelites of the time who He is and what good is. This ritual may be suggesting, among many other things, this absolutely good rule about when killing is necessary towards another human being.

16 But if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow offering or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what remains of it shall be eaten. 17 But what remains of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned up with fire. 18 If any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering is eaten on the third day, he who offers it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be credited to him. It is tainted, and he who eats of it shall bear his iniquity.

-So a peace offering, as in making peace with the Lord, is consumed that day and none of it is left for the next day. But here, a vow or just simply a freewill gift can be eaten the next but not the third day. Why the third day? One suggestion I had read from Matthew Henry’s Commentary seems to suggest that the peace offering is like coming to Christ which is done immediately. It can be said that there are two chances to believe in Christ: before His return and before one’s death, and after the rapture before the seven years tribulation ends. If you “miss the boat”, you still have another chance and there will be two witnesses prophesying to ensure you are able to hear the message and make a decision. It could also point to Christ rising on the third day that death will not contain longer than two days.

19 “Flesh that touches any unclean thing shall not be eaten. It shall be burned up with fire. All who are clean may eat flesh, 20 but the person who eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of the Lord’s peace offerings while an uncleanness is on him, that person shall be cut off from his people. 21 And if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether human uncleanness or an unclean beast or any unclean detestable creature, and then eats some flesh from the sacrifice of the Lord’s peace offerings, that person shall be cut off from his people.”

-When it is written “that person shall be cut off from his people” does not mean that this person is immediately exiled from Israel forever but rather what it says, that the person is unclean now and therefore different. But not different in terms of being “holy” but rather the opposite. When you are unclean you are of the world just as while we are in sin, we are not representing God as His ambassadors or image. In that moment, we are unclean and cut off although not forever. A person can become clean again through following the right procedure just as we can repent and come to God. We never lose our salvation once we have it no more than a person is no longer an Israelite by blood if he is “cut off from his people”. Even as gentiles, once we are adopted into God’s family, we are apart of the family and loved no matter what happens afterwards.

22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, You shall eat no fat, of ox or sheep or goat. 24 The fat of an animal that dies of itself and the fat of one that is torn by beasts may be put to any other use, but on no account shall you eat it. 25 For every person who eats of the fat of an animal of which a food offering may be made to the Lord shall be cut off from his people. 26 Moreover, you shall eat no blood whatever, whether of fowl or of animal, in any of your dwelling places. 27 Whoever eats any blood, that person shall be cut off from his people.”

-Again it says “cut off from his people”. So if you have a tiny little bit of fat, perhaps by accident, you are banned from Israel forever? There is no confusion with the translation of what these words mean. The words in Hebrew are “Karath” which means “to cut or destroy” and “am” which means “people or tribe or unit”. So the Hebrew is saying you are “destroyed from your people”. But there is no word saying forever. The reason I can be so sure that this does not mean banishment is for one, there is no punishment listed after the statement where there are some punishments listed for certain things. Secondly, we know that there is only one unforgivable sin which Jesus spoke of which is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This sin is knowing of God yet intentionally choosing to call the things of God evil. Since God is the same before and after Christ and nothing has changed in terms of what is right and good, then how is it an Israelite can violate a part of the law and then be unable to be saved from here on out? Once any sin is committed then that person is banned from heaven so this is actually true, but we are given a means of salvation. An Israelite has a way out. The wording of this is so strong and implies the punishment with it although not stated because it is that strong and serious. Every sin and misrepresentation of God is evil and is deserving of a punishment of instant death. But to assume this is supposed to mean a person is instantly banned from Israel the moment they do something wrong then that would ban all Israelites out of Israel very quickly. I’ve spoken of layers of meaning and in regards to the fat, this has one layer to it that it certainly is a lot healthier not to eat the fat even though it is usually the tastiest part.

28 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 29 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to the Lord shall bring his offering to the Lord from the sacrifice of his peace offerings. 30 His own hands shall bring the Lord’s food offerings. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be waved as a wave offering before the Lord. 31 The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast shall be for Aaron and his sons. 32 And the right thigh you shall give to the priest as a contribution from the sacrifice of your peace offerings. 33 Whoever among the sons of Aaron offers the blood of the peace offerings and the fat shall have the right thigh for a portion. 34 For the breast that is waved and the thigh that is contributed I have taken from the people of Israel, out of the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons, as a perpetual due from the people of Israel.

-We have read multiple times throughout the biblical accounts so far that rather than a handshake as in American culture, a deal is struck by placing the hand under someone’s thigh. There is some debate as to exactly what is happening but we are told a hand is placed under the thigh. This could signify a deal because of the deal God has with Israel and the priests. The priests are gifted this portion by God. Recall too that Jacob had a limp the rest of his days once he wrestled with God and became Israel. The “man” touched his hip socket. Perhaps among the layers of meaning in this event is that the hip socket separates the hip from the thigh. We are not told which hip socket was touched but I’m willing to bet it was the right side because Moses is being told about the right thigh being significant in these verses.

35 This is the portion of Aaron and of his sons from the Lord’s food offerings, from the day they were presented to serve as priests of the Lord. 36 The Lord commanded this to be given them by the people of Israel, from the day that he anointed them. It is a perpetual due throughout their generations.

-Perpetual means “never-ending” or “everlasting”. Everything God says is never-ending and everlasting. EVERYTHING! The right thigh and the breast that is waved is always the portion do to the priests therefore, though this is literal as well, the symbolic significance of this suggests and absolute truth of God and His relationship with man. God has a covenant with Israel forever and will always uphold His end of a covenant, always!

37 This is the law of the burnt offering, of the grain offering, of the sin offering, of the guilt offering, of the ordination offering, and of the peace offering, 38 which the Lord commanded Moses on Mount Sinai, on the day that he commanded the people of Israel to bring their offerings to the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai.

-Leviticus 1-7 are about the 5 types offerings. So now as we move forward into Leviticus, the subject will now be changing.

Sources):

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7439-heave-offering

https://bible.org/seriespage/4-fellowship-offering-leviticus-31-17-711-34-195-8-2229-30

http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=3&c=7

Leviticus 6: Laws for Guilt Offerings

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “If anyone sins and commits a breach of faith against the Lord by deceiving his neighbor in a matter of deposit or security, or through robbery, or if he has oppressed his neighbor 3 or has found something lost and lied about it, swearing falsely—in any of all the things that people do and sin thereby—4 if he has sinned and has realized his guilt and will restore what he took by robbery or what he got by oppression or the deposit that was committed to him or the lost thing that he found 5 or anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full and shall add a fifth to it, and give it to him to whom it belongs on the day he realizes his guilt. 6 And he shall bring to the priest as his compensation to the Lord a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent for a guilt offering. 7 And the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things that one may do and thereby become guilty.”

-This section is still talking about guilt offerings from the last chapter. We previously saw in Exodus 22:7-9 that restitution is considered double. However, realizing guilt and wanting to right a wrong only requires an extra fifth in restitution. This is teaching the people through the law itself that it is better to repent then to hold fast to a sin because if you don’t, it will cost you double. Of course, if we don’t repent in our lives, it costs us eternal damnation. Repentance in this life leads to eternal life with only a possiblity of some additional suffering temporarily in this life depending on the path. Some might not suffer at all. The flip side of this is that if you are the victim, you are actually getting one fifth extra from what was taken from you. This is often true of life as well, the more we give the more we recieve. Although the next life is what really matters, the Lord sends us blessings in this life as “engagement gifts” because He loves us and never wishes to see us suffer. Not always, but often times when we are wronged, we receive more later than what we had before. If there was no repentance, we would have received double for what we gave up. Remember that all these physical laws for the nation of Israel are representative of who God is and how He works and in turn, how life itself works.

The Priests and the Offerings

8 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 9 “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering. The burnt offering shall be on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it. 10 And the priest shall put on his linen garment and put his linen undergarment on his body, and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire has reduced the burnt offering on the altar and put them beside the altar. 11 Then he shall take off his garments and put on other garments and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. 12 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not go out. The priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and he shall arrange the burnt offering on it and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. 13 Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out.

-There is always a fire burning on the altar for burnt offerings. Remember that burnt offerings are a rededication to commitment to God and what is right. The fire always burns because the offer is always open as long as you draw breath. There are never too many chances or too few opportunities to repent and come to God.

14 “And this is the law of the grain offering. The sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord in front of the altar. 15 And one shall take from it a handful of the fine flour of the grain offering and its oil and all the frankincense that is on the grain offering and burn this as its memorial portion on the altar, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 16 And the rest of it Aaron and his sons shall eat. It shall be eaten unleavened in a holy place. In the court of the tent of meeting they shall eat it. 17 It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it as their portion of my food offerings. It is a thing most holy, like the sin offering and the guilt offering. 18 Every male among the children of Aaron may eat of it, as decreed forever throughout your generations, from the Lord’s food offerings. Whatever touches them shall become holy.”

-This not only has a spiritual significance but a physical one as well. This is where the priests get their carbohydrates. The priests are completely dedicated to their role as priests to the point that they do not do anything else to earn income or come up with food. They can eat grain from the grain offering and they can eat meat from other offerings except for the burnt offering which must be wholly consumed on the altar. Levites were often invited to homes as guests to receive meals as well. It was up to the other tribes to take care of their Levite brothers and sisters because they had no land or other occupation. They are not too disimilar to pastors or missionaries. We all require the donations and support of others to be able to do our work. Sometimes pastors do have a regular job or missionaries have some work to earn some extra income, but they cannot fully support everything they do on that income.

19 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 20 “This is the offering that Aaron and his sons shall offer to the Lord on the day when he is anointed: a tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half in the evening. 21 It shall be made with oil on a griddle. You shall bring it well mixed, in baked pieces like a grain offering, and offer it for a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 22 The priest from among Aaron’s sons, who is anointed to succeed him, shall offer it to the Lord as decreed forever. The whole of it shall be burned. 23 Every grain offering of a priest shall be wholly burned. It shall not be eaten.”

-Normal grain offerings are consumed but this is a special one done “when he is annointed”. This is the priests themselves giving the grain offering, rather than an individual. They are giving an offering to God to annoint a new priest so this is like a burnt offering in that a dedication is being made. But since Levites don’t own animals to sacrifice, they offer up grain that is part of what they themselves live on.

24 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 25 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering. In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the Lord; it is most holy. 26 The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. In a holy place it shall be eaten, in the court of the tent of meeting. 27 Whatever touches its flesh shall be holy, and when any of its blood is splashed on a garment, you shall wash that on which it was splashed in a holy place. 28 And the earthenware vessel in which it is boiled shall be broken. But if it is boiled in a bronze vessel, that shall be scoured and rinsed in water. 29 Every male among the priests may eat of it; it is most holy. 30 But no sin offering shall be eaten from which any blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place; it shall be burned up with fire.

-Burnt offerings and sin offerings are both brought into the tent of meeting, hands are laid on, and they are killed. Although a burnt offering appears more significant from the instructions, it is actually equally so. One must dedicated themselves to the Lord and repent for sins at the same time. It’s not enough just to repent for sins. We are asked to believe in God and that involved more than just believing He exists. It also involves believing that He can and wants to forgive our sins but also we must seek after Him. If there is repentance but no dedication whatsover, it is like what James wrote about in James 2:17, “..faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”. Works cannot save but if you do not have works or some kind of effort moving forward, then you are not saved! It’s immensly important we all understand this!

Sources):

http://library.kiwix.org/wikipedia_en_all/A/html/A/n/c/i/Ancient_Israelite_cuisine.html

http://www.learnthebible.org/sermon-outlines/the-five-major-offerings.html

Leviticus 5: Laws for Sin Offerings (cont)

1 “If anyone sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify, and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity; 2 or if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean wild animal or a carcass of unclean livestock or a carcass of unclean swarming things, and it is hidden from him and he has become unclean, and he realizes his guilt; 3 or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort the uncleanness may be with which one becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and realizes his guilt; 4 or if anyone utters with his lips a rash oath to do evil or to do good, any sort of rash oath that people swear, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and he realizes his guilt in any of these; 5 when he realizes his guilt in any of these and confesses the sin he has committed, 6 he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation for the sin that he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat, for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.

-A female of the flock is selected with the same requirement as for a common person because the issue is that we disobeyed God. We did not fulfill our feminine side of the relationship by being obedient because we knew what to do but chose against it. A lamb is chosen at least as the first choice because sheep represent humility.

7 “But if he cannot afford a lamb, then he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation for the sin that he has committed two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 8 He shall bring them to the priest, who shall offer first the one for the sin offering. He shall wring its head from its neck but shall not sever it completely, 9 and he shall sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, while the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar; it is a sin offering. 10 Then he shall offer the second for a burnt offering according to the rule. And the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven.

-Instead of only a sin offering, a person can do a smaller sin offering to cover the sin and a smaller burnt offering for re-dedication. Doing both these offerings still serves the purpose and make up for the fact that a full lamb is not being sacrificed. Even in this, God is being fair to the poor.

11 “But if he cannot afford two turtledoves or two pigeons, then he shall bring as his offering for the sin that he has committed a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it and shall put no frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. 12 And he shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take a handful of it as its memorial portion and burn this on the altar, on the Lord’s food offerings; it is a sin offering. 13 Thus the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one of these things, and he shall be forgiven. And the remainder shall be for the priest, as in the grain offering.”

-God even allows a grain offering in place of a sin offering if a person cannot afford anything else. The difference as it explains is no oil or frankincense is put on it because it is not a “good work” offering from surplus but a payment for sin. This is proof that no sins are actually being covered through the death of these animals but it is all symbolic to what takes place spiritually. No blood is shed from a grain offering, how is this poor person’s sin covered? It is covered like everyone else’s is, through faith in God. They did not know anything about Jesus or a savior, but if they had faith that God loves them and takes away their sin then their sins would be covered and they would be saved just like you and I who put our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
Laws for Guilt Offerings
14 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 15 “If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the Lord, he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. 16 He shall also make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing and shall add a fifth to it and give it to the priest. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and he shall be forgiven.

-by the wording “holy things of the Lord” this seems to be a specific sin offering relating to profaning something Holy. One example of this is in 1 Samuel 6 when the Philistines realize they need to bring back the Ark of the Covenant because the Israel God is cursing them and they are told to bring it back with a guilt offering. The reason being removing the Ark of the Covenant from Israel profane something Holy, it wasn’t just a sin. So if someone profanes something Holy, he must follow the instructions for a guilt offering because they are guilty before God.

17 “If anyone sins, doing any of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, though he did not know it, then realizes his guilt, he shall bear his iniquity. 18 He shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent for a guilt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for him for the mistake that he made unintentionally, and he shall be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering; he has indeed incurred guilt before the Lord.”

-This appears to be the same thing as last chapter about “unintentional sins” but there is a difference. An unintentional sin would be if you were walking along and found money on the road and decide to keep it. Minutes later someone comes by looking for the money they dropped and can’t find it. This is an unintentional sin because you simply picked up money you found in public although since it did not belong to you, you stole it from the person who dropped it. You did not intend to rob from someone, you just assumed you found free money. But you understand the concept of theft. This guilt offering is for an “unknown sin”. If you grew up with saying “G dang it” or shouting “Jesus Christ” on a regular basis and had no idea it was disrespectful, that would be an example of an unknown sin. Anyone who has literally never heard the gospel and had no idea they were a sinner would have been committing unknown sins. Someone who is a Christian who never knew it was bad to gossip might one day learn this and realize they were sinning unknowingly. This is when this offering comes into play.

Leviticus 4: Laws for Sin Offerings

1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If anyone sins unintentionally in any of the Lord’s commandments about things not to be done, and does any one of them, 3 if it is the anointed priest who sins, thus bringing guilt on the people, then he shall offer for the sin that he has committed a bull from the herd without blemish to the Lord for a sin offering. 4 He shall bring the bull to the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord and lay his hand on the head of the bull and kill the bull before the Lord. 5 And the anointed priest shall take some of the blood of the bull and bring it into the tent of meeting, 6 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle part of the blood seven times before the Lord in front of the veil of the sanctuary. 7 And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense before the Lord that is in the tent of meeting, and all the rest of the blood of the bull he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 8 And all the fat of the bull of the sin offering he shall remove from it, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails 9 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys 10 (just as these are taken from the ox of the sacrifice of the peace offerings); and the priest shall burn them on the altar of burnt offering. 11 But the skin of the bull and all its flesh, with its head, its legs, its entrails, and its dung—12 all the rest of the bull—he shall carry outside the camp to a clean place, to the ash heap, and shall burn it up on a fire of wood. On the ash heap it shall be burned up.

-Rather than as a re-dedication as with the burnt offering, this time the blood is sprinkled in front of the veil. This offering is to cover an unintentional sin rather than a dedication as with the burnt offering. The burnt offering is like coming to God for the first time or rededicating one’s life after a pattern of sin or a time of disobedience. This is to cover a direct sin that was committed by accident or ignorance. In each case when an animal is killed, it is covering a sin. But in the three we have talked about so far, a burnt offering is to cover a sin pattern, peace offering is to “make peace” with God and seek His protection, and the sin offering is to cover a specific accidental sin. The head and skin are sent outside the camp and burned separately because the sin has been covered and is no longer counted against the offender. This particular set of instructions is if a priest sins though it is almost the same regardless of the offender.  Notice to that there is no frankencense, this is not a sweet-smelling sacrifice pleasing to God but something that is necessary.

13 “If the whole congregation of Israel sins unintentionally and the thing is hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they do any one of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, and they realize their guilt, 14 when the sin which they have committed becomes known, the assembly shall offer a bull from the herd for a sin offering and bring it in front of the tent of meeting. 15 And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before the Lord, and the bull shall be killed before the Lord. 16 Then the anointed priest shall bring some of the blood of the bull into the tent of meeting, 17 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord in front of the veil. 18 And he shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is in the tent of meeting before the Lord, and the rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 19 And all its fat he shall take from it and burn on the altar. 20 Thus shall he do with the bull. As he did with the bull of the sin offering, so shall he do with this. And the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven. 21 And he shall carry the bull outside the camp and burn it up as he burned the first bull; it is the sin offering for the assembly.

-This is the same only the elders of Israel represent the people and all put their hands on the bull to transfer sin onto the animal.

22 “When a leader sins, doing unintentionally any one of all the things that by the commandments of the Lord his God ought not to be done, and realizes his guilt, 23 or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a goat, a male without blemish, 24 and shall lay his hand on the head of the goat and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the Lord; it is a sin offering. 25 Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of its blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering. 26 And all its fat he shall burn on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings. So the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin, and he shall be forgiven.

-This is similar except this time it is a male goat and not a bull and there is no mention of removing the husk to be burnt outside the camp.

27 “If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally in doing any one of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, and realizes his guilt, 28 or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. 29 And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and kill the sin offering in the place of burnt offering. 30 And the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out all the rest of its blood at the base of the altar. 31 And all its fat he shall remove, as the fat is removed from the peace offerings, and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a pleasing aroma to the Lord. And the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven.

-Same as for a leader except this time a female goat. The obvious question is why does a leader sacrifice a male goat and a common person a female goat? The answer has to do with the role a leader has compared to a common citizen. A leader has the masculine role in a relationship to the people’s feminine role in a relationship. We see this relationship clearly in God’s relationship to Jesus. God is the masculine and issues the commands while Jesus is the feminine and submits perfectly. Jesus is the head of the church and sacrifices Himself for it, the masculine, whereas the church must submit to His authority, the feminine. In a marriage, the husband loves his wife by sacrificing for her while the wife loves her husband through obedience and respect. So in the case of the leader-citizen relationship, the leader is the masculine authority who issues the commands and sacrifices for his people and the people must obey and submit to his authority, the feminine. Quite remarkable just in the selection of the gender of animal how much is crammed into the symbolism. It makes one wonder just how deep and true the symbolism goes that even biblical experts and theologians are not yet aware of. We just know that if God initiated it and commanded it, it is perfect and He does nothing “just because”.

32 “If he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring a female without blemish 33 and lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and kill it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering. 34 Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out all the rest of its blood at the base of the altar. 35 And all its fat he shall remove as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of peace offerings, and the priest shall burn it on the altar, on top of the Lord’s food offerings. And the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed, and he shall be forgiven.

-a common person has the option of a goat or lamb but it still must be female. A lamb represents innocence and so it is very fitting for an offering intended for unintentional sin.