Bible study 91 – Leviticus 1

The English name of Leviticus comes from the fact that the priest Aaron and his sons are Levites (descendants of Levi from Genesis). It consists almost solely of detailed (and at times somewhat disturbing) priestly rules. The entire narrative takes place at (probably the foot of) mount Sinai.

God summons Moses to the tabernacle tent, and begins to explain how the priests are to perform sacrifices at the tabernacle. There are many types of sacrifices for different occasions, and the explanations in the text are scattered among many different chapters. I will try to reconstruct the system as best I can.

First, the burnt offering, which entails burning an animal carcass. The only accepted animals are bulls, male goats, male sheep, turtledoves and pigeons. God explains how to slaughter the animal, how to cut it up, how to burn it, and where to splash the animal’s blood.

Leviticus 1:11
It shall be slaughtered on the north side of the altar before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall dash its blood against all sides of the altar.

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