The Fire Sacrifices and Offerings of Israel – The Sin Offering

The Old Covenant Book of Leviticus outlines five special Levitical fire offerings and sacrifices. The Burnt Offering is for sanctifying the whole man in self-surrender to the Lord, even unto death. The Meal Offering is the fruit of that sanctification. The Peace Offering is the blossoming of the possession and enjoyment of saving grace. The Sin Offering is for making amends for sin. The Trespass Offering was for the restoration of rights that had been violated.

The New Testament views all the old covenant sacrifices as types of the death of Christ. The five sacrifices bring out different aspects and significance of His one sacrificial death on the cross. Lambs sacrificed every morning and evening were the most typical victims, so Jesus is called ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Indeed, he died at the time of the evening sacrifice. (3)

The Sin Offering (Leviticus 4:1-5:13)

The fourth Levitical offering is the Sin or Purification Offering. The basic purpose of the Sin Offering was to deal with the issue of mandatory offerings for unintentional sins. In Leviticus 4:1, we have God’s second utterance. The first three offerings (i.e., Burnt, Meal, Peace), which were based upon God’s first utterance (Leviticus 1:1 thru 3:17), were largely voluntary, but the last two offerings (i.e., Sin and Trespass) are based upon the second utterance and concern mandatory sacrifices. These last two, then, are mandatory and atoning. While the first three offerings were already known from previous revelations, these last two are totally new and revealed for the first time in the Mosaic Law. Realize the knowledge of sin did not come until the Law was given, and with that knowledge, the Sin Offering and the Trespass Offering (1) were instituted.

For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20 NET)
for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law. (Romans 5:13 NET)
Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; (1 Corinthians 15:56 NET)

Then, is the law sin?

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead. And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good. (Romans 7:7–12 NET)

The Law is perfect!

The law of the Lord is perfect and preserves one’s life. The rules set down by the Lord are reliable and impart wisdom to the inexperienced. (Psalm 19:7 NET)(cf. Psalms 93:5)

However, it never made anything perfect.

On the one hand a former command is set aside because it is weak and useless, for the law made nothing perfect. On the other hand a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:18–19 NET)

Then, why the Law?

Why the Law then? It was added because of trespasses, having been ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. Now a mediator is not for one person only, whereas God is one. Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed be by law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were held in custody under the Law, being shut up for the coming faith to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor unto Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:19–24 NET)

The Law reveals our need for a savior and identifies that the Savior is the only one who would fulfill the law and offer the truth of salvation (1) through faith and grace: Jesus the Messiah!

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. (Matthew 5:17–18 NET)
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17 NET)
Then Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” (Acts 19:4 NET)
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” (Acts 2:38–39 NET)

Stating the nature of the sin, God says in Leviticus 4:2:

Then the Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites, ‘When a person sins by straying unintentionally from any of the Lord’s commandments which must not be violated, and violates any one of them— (Leviticus 4:1,2 NET)

That is the issue – unintentional sin. It is a sin that was committed through ignorance, error, or oversight. The Hebrew word has “to wander,” “to go wrong,” “to make a mistake,” and “to commit error” for its root meaning. It is a sin that arises from human infirmity or from the weakness of the flesh; it is a sin of weakness of flesh and blood; it is a sin of waywardness. This is unintentional sin, the sin of ignorance, or inadvertent sin, such as the sin of manslaughter (Numbers 35:9-23).

Then the Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan River into the land of Canaan, you must then designate some towns as towns of refuge for you, to which a person who has killed someone unintentionally may flee. And they must stand as your towns of refuge from the avenger in order that the killer may not die until he has stood trial before the community. These towns that you must give shall be your six towns for refuge. (Numbers 35:9–13 NET)

In other words, it is not a sin done in a spirit of rebellion nor a sin of presumption (i.e., audacious or arrogant behavior to which one does not have a right. (17))

For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and presumption is like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (1 Samuel 15:23 NET)
Also keep back Your slave from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Yahweh, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:13–14 LSB)

It is a sin committed without premeditation.

“ ‘If any person sins unintentionally, then he must bring a yearling female goat for a purification offering. And the priest must make atonement for the person who sins unintentionally—when he sins unintentionally before the LORD—to make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven. You must have one law for the person who sins unintentionally, both for the native-born among the Israelites and for the resident foreigner who lives among them. (Numbers 15:27–29 NET)

The Hebrew word for sin here is chata, meaning “to miss the mark.” When you miss the mark, you also hit the wrong mark. Thus, this passage deals with sins that were not premeditated but sins done out of ignorance, sins that a person just happened to fall into.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites, ‘When a person sins by straying unintentionally from any of the Lord’s commandments which must not be violated, and violates any one of them— (Leviticus 4:1–2 NET)

The expression here in Leviticus 4:2 combines “by straying” with the preposition “from,” which fits naturally with “straying” (i.e., “straying from” the Lord’s commandments). For sins committed “by straying” from the commandments (Leviticus 4:3-35) or other types of transgressions (Leviticus 5:1–6), there was indeed forgiveness available through the sin offering. (15)

This contrasts with a sin committed with a high hand, a calculated sin of defiance against God, for which there is no sacrifice. The penalty for those sins was to be cut off or executed. Again, we know from Numbers 15:27–31 that committing a sin “by straying” is the opposite of committing a sin “defiantly” (i.e., בְּיַד רָמָה [béyad ramah] “with a raised hand,” (Numbers 15:30)). (15)

 “ ‘But the person who acts defiantly, whether native-born or a resident foreigner, insults the LORD. That person must be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken his commandment, that person must be completely cut off. His iniquity will be on him.’ ” (Numbers 15:30–31 NET)

The person raises his fist in presumptuous defiance against the Lord. Thus, he “blasphemes” the Lord and has “despised” his word, for which he should be “cut off from among his people.”

One could not bring an offering for such a sin nor get near the Tabernacle to offer an offering, even if one existed since they had been “cut off.”

Again, those who committed such sins were cut off from the congregation as no provision was made in the Levitical constitution to forgive such sins (Numbers 15:30,31). But these were sins growing out of the weakness of the flesh, out of an imperfect insight into God’s law, out of heedlessness and lack of due circumspection (Leviticus 4:13; Leviticus 5:15–19; Numbers 15:22–29) and afterward looked back on with shame and regret. Realize there is always an element of ignorance in every human transgression, which constitutes it human and not devilish. While this does not take away sinfulness, it mitigates the sin to render its forgiveness possible under the Old Covenant.

Compare the words of the Lord,

But Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Then they threw dice to divide his clothes. (Luke 23:34 NET) (cf. Luke 6:27-36; Acts 7:60)

with those of St. Paul.

I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He regarded me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:12–14 NET)

The Hebrew word for Sin Offering is chataat. Literally, a Sin Offering is a purification offering. It is not the only one to deal with sin, as the fifth offering will also deal with sins, but the emphasis of the Sin Offering is on the purification from sin. It emphasizes the principle of sin and atonement for the guilt of sin. Again, the Sin Offering focuses on the sin itself; however, the Trespass Offering (1) focuses on the practice of sin (i.e., sins), emphasizing the harmful effects of sin. In addition, the Sin Offering emphasizes the harm done by transgressing the Law of Moses, which brought the Curses of the Law on the transgressor (Deuteronomy 28:15-58).

Intentional Sin Forgiveness through Confession

Sins committed unintentionally by “straying” from the commandments (Leviticus 4:3-35) or other types of transgressions (Leviticus 5:1–6), there was forgiveness available through the Sin Offering (1).

This contrasts with a sin of rebellion or presumption, a calculated sin of defiance against God, for which there is no sacrifice. The penalty for those sins was to be cut off or executed.

“ ‘But the person who acts defiantly, whether native-born or a resident foreigner, insults the Lord. That person must be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person must be completely cut off. His iniquity will be on him.’ ” (Numbers 15:30–31 NET)

One could not bring an offering for such a sin nor get near the Tabernacle to offer an offering, even if one existed since they had been “cut off” and thus barred from the Sanctuary.

However, three “intentional sins” cases can be converted to “unintentional sins” by adding public confession to the sinner’s remorse, thus qualifying them for sacrificial removal. Recall that “straying sins” did not require public confession, only remorse on the sinner’s part. (16)

1) Intentionally failing to testify when a witness

‘When a person sins in that he hears a public curse against one who fails to testify and he is a witness (he either saw or knew what had happened) and he does not make it known, then he will bear his punishment for iniquity... when an individual becomes guilty with regard to one of these things he must confess how he has sinned, and he must bring his penalty for guilt to the LORD for his sin that he has committed, a female from the flock, whether a female sheep or a female goat, for a sin offering. So the priest will make atonement on his behalf for his sin. (Leviticus 5:1,5 NET)

2) The nation of Israel’s “intentional sins” and “straying sins” on the Day of Atonements

Aaron is to lay his two hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities of the Israelites and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins, and thus he is to put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man standing ready. The goat is to bear on itself all their iniquities into an inaccessible land, so he is to send the goat away in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:21–22 NET)

3) Restoration of the nation of Israel after sin that resulted in their exile

However, when they confess their iniquity and their ancestors’ iniquity which they committed by trespassing against me, by which they also walked in hostility against me (and I myself will walk in hostility against them and bring them into the land of their enemies), and then their uncircumcised hearts become humbled and they make up for their iniquity, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and also my covenant with Isaac and also my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. (Leviticus 26:40–42 NET)

This foreshadows forgiveness of all sin, including straying and intentional, in the New Covenant.

But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NET)

There are four unique features of the Sin Offering:

  • the scriptural discussion on the Sin Offering is twice as long as on all previous offerings,
  • the first time that the Sin Offering is mentioned is in this passage,
  • the Sin Offering then becomes the most important of the five offerings. (It was not mentioned or practiced before, but with this commandment of Moses, it becomes the most important sacrifice, needing to be offered up even during the festivals),
  • no frankincense is allowed with a sin offering (Leviticus 5:11) and
  • the sacrifice was killed, and the fat and kidneys offered in the same place as the Burnt Offering. However, the body of the bullock was burned outside the camp at the fatty ashes pile. (9) This was a ceremonially clean place that was located in the Kidron Valley once the temple was built in Jerusalem. (Leviticus 4:12) (13).

Required Sacrifices

A male or female animal without blemish according to the social status of the petitioner: (4) (Leviticus 4:3 – 5:13)

  • Bull for the high priest (religious ruler),
  • Bull for the congregation,
  • Male goat for a civil leader or ruler, including the king,
  • Female goat for the common person, or
  • Female lamb for the common person,
  • Two Doves for the poor, or
  • Two Pigeons for the poor,
  • A tenth of an ephah of flour (1) for the very poor. (i.e., a Meal Offering of fine wheat flour without olive oil or frankincense, which is the only occasion that a grain offering does not have frankincense) (5)
Sacrifices and Offerings of the Old Covenant

In addition, the animal to be sacrificed had to meet the following three criteria:

  • Condition – perfect without spot, blemish, disease, or deformity (cf. Malachi 1:8), 
  • Gender – Male or Female (4), and
  • Age – generally, the animal had to be one year old [e.g., a lamb at the peak of life and health]. Sometimes it could be as young as eight days old (Leviticus 22:27) or as old as three years (Genesis 15:9). (2)

There were eight sequential steps of the Sin Offering ritual:

  1. The presentation of the sacrifice at the door of the Tabernacle by the Altar (Leviticus 4:4, 15, 23, 28) (refer back to Required Sacrifices above for details)
  2. An identification of the sinner with the offering. (This was when the sinner laid his hands upon the head of the offering, indicating the imputing of the sin of the worshipper to the sacrificial animal, the imputing of the righteousness of the sacrificial animal to the worshipper, and represented that the worshipper understood he deserved the death that the animal was soon to suffer in his place). (Leviticus 4:4, 15, 24, 29),
  3. The killing of the sacrifice, which was done by the petitioner himself (Leviticus 4:4, 15, 24, 29),
  4. The sprinkling of the blood. (see Blood Manipulations immediately below for details),
  5. The remainder of the blood was poured out at the base of the Altar of Sacrifice (Leviticus 4:7, 18, 25, 30),
  6. The fat and the kidneys were burned on the Altar (Leviticus 4:8-10, 19, 26) (i.e., the fatty tail, the fat covering the entrails, the two kidneys, and the fat on their sinews, and the protruding lobe on the liver were burned to ashes. However, the smoke was NOT considered to produce a soothing aroma to God (i.e., our sins smell awful to God!) with one exception, the female goat offered for a common person. (Leviticus 4:31)
  7. The body of the bullock was burned outside the camp at the fatty ashes pile (Leviticus 4:11, 12, 21) outside the camp, a ceremonially clean place. This was located in the Kidron Valley once the temple was built in Jerusalem. (Leviticus 4:12) (13) However, the goat or lambs were not burned outside the camp but rather eaten by the priests under strict guidance (Leviticus 6:24-30). The priest would then keep the animal skin or hide (except in the case of a Sin Offering (1) for the sin of a High Priest where it was burned at the fatty ashes pile outside the camp (Leviticus 4:3-12)) (2) This was a ceremonially clean place that was located in the Kidron Valley once the temple was built in Jerusalem. (Leviticus 4:12) (13).

Blood Manipulations

This procedure differed according to the social status of the petitioner.

  • If it were a poor man’s offering, the blood was sprinkled around the Altar.
  • If the offering were that of a tribal ruler or a common person, the blood was applied upon the horns of the Altar of Sacrifice (Leviticus 4:25, 30).
  • If the offering was for the high priest and the congregation of Israel, the priest took the blood into the Holy Place and sprinkled the blood seven times toward the veil, then applied the blood on the horns of the Altar of Incense, and poured out the remaining blood at the base of the Bronze Altar (Leviticus 4:6,7;4:17,18).
  • If on the Day of Atonement, the blood was sprinkled upon the Mercy Seat on this one and only occasion. (This sprinkling of the blood upon the Mercy Seat would provide the blood for the very poor, who, when they offered a Sin Offering, were allowed to bring a bloodless offering. Nevertheless, the poor man’s sins were covered by blood because his Meal Offering was used as a Sin Offering placed upon the twice-daily Burnt Offering, thereby coming in contact with blood. Furthermore, on the Day of Atonement, one goat was offered up for the whole nation, with the animal’s blood sprinkled upon the Mercy Seat; on that occasion, the sins of the very, very poor were also covered).

In summary, the distinctive purpose of the Sin Offering: to atone for sin and provide forgiveness for specific unintentional or non-defiant sins, where no restitution was required. God accepted the animal’s blood as a ransom payment for the particular sin that occasioned it and, by so doing, diverted His wrath from the sinner and, ultimately, to the Messiah on the cross. Many of the Feasts of Israel require a sin offering, as indicated in the table above.

Typological Meaning of the Sin Offering

The key typological meaning is the death of the Messiah as a satisfactory, substitutionary sacrifice to provide forgiveness of sins. The basic typological meaning is the Messiah as our sin-bearer. It typifies redemption for the sinner, the Messiah as our atonement, and forgiveness of sin through His blood.

But the hide of the bull, all its flesh along with its head and its legs, its entrails, and its dung—all the rest of the bull—he must bring outside the camp to a ceremonially clean place, to the fatty ash pile, and he must burn it on a wood fire; it must be burned on the fatty ash pile. (Leviticus 4:11–12 NET)

This is where the sin offering differs from the Burnt offering. In the case of the Burnt Offering where the entrails, head, and legs were washed, there is no mention of “offal,” which is the animal’s dung. Dung represents our sins.  In the sin offering for the congregation, the hide, legs, entrails, and offal are taken outside the camp and burned, releasing an unpleasing odor, until it became ashes. Anything that has been reduced to ashes can never be burned again. This means the judgment has already gone through it with no judgment remaining. Thus signifying that Jesus “wholly consumed” all the just judgments of God’s wrath in His own body and blood (1), paying in full the sin-debt we incurred.  Consequently, our sins are “wholly consumed” when we get saved. All sins past, present, and future. Hallelujah!

We have an altar that those who serve in the tabernacle have no right to eat from. For the bodies of those animals whose blood the high priest brings into the sanctuary as an offering for sin are burned outside the camp. Therefore, to sanctify the people by his own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the camp. (Hebrews 13:10–12 NET)

Jesus died outside of the walls of Jerusalem.  He carried our sins which were completely burned up until they were all gone in the fires of God’s judgment!  That is why Paul could state with absolute certainty that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!”

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4 NET)
Ascending Offering
“ ‘If an ordinary individual sins by straying unintentionally when he violates one of the Lord’s commandments which must not be violated, and he pleads guilty or his sin that he committed is made known to him, he must bring a flawless female goat as his offering for the sin that he committed. He must lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter the sin offering in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered. Then the priest must take some of its blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and he must pour out all the rest of its blood at the base of the altar. Then he must remove all of its fat (just as fat was removed from the peace offering sacrifice) and the priest must offer it up in smoke on the altar for a soothing aroma to the Lord. So the priest will make atonement on his behalf and he will be forgiven. “ ‘But if he brings a sheep as his offering, for a sin offering, he must bring a flawless female. He must lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it for a sin offering in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered. Then the priest must 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 he must pour out all the rest of its blood at the base of the altar. Then the one who brought the offering must remove all its fat (just as the fat of the sheep is removed from the peace offering sacrifice) and the priest must offer them up in smoke on the altar on top of the other gifts of the Lord. So the priest will make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed and he will be forgiven. (Leviticus 4:27–35 NET)

Only the Sin Offering of a “female” goat for the common person provided a soothing aroma to God as it ascended. When female animals are the prescribed sacrifices, it is for mankind’s benefit. (4) “Common person” meaning for the benefit of everyone and not just the elite. “Goat” means lost humanity, as Jesus Christ revealed that on the day of judgment, God will separate believers, whom He identifies as sheep, from nonbelievers, whom He identifies as goats (Matthew 25:31-46). Standing behind this statement is a shepherding practice common to the ancient world (Ezekiel 34:17). (10 ) From God’s perspective, He was sensing in that smell the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus followed by His ASCENSION to Heaven! Including the joy brought in the presence of God’s angels (i.e., the joy brought to God our Father in whose presence the angels live) by the salvation of lost sinners! (Luke 15:10) This is the only sin offering with this typology and hence the only one that brought a soothing aroma to God as it ascended.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2 NET)
In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10 (NET)
I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent. (Luke 15:7 NET)
Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. (Ephesians 5:1,2 NET)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.” After he had said this, while they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud hid him from their sight. (Acts 1:8,9 NET)

An interesting story from the Old Covenant connecting burnt offerings with the ascension.

The Lord’s messenger said to Manoah, “If I stay, I will not eat your food. But if you want to make a burnt sacrifice to the Lord, you should offer it.” (He said this because Manoah did not know that he was the Lord’s messenger.) Manoah said to the Lord’s messenger, “Tell us your name, so we can honor you when your announcement comes true.”The Lord’s messenger said to him, “You should not ask me my name, because you cannot comprehend it.”Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered them on a rock to the Lord. The Lord’s messenger did an amazing thing as Manoah and his wife watched. As the flame went up from the altar toward the sky, the Lord’s messenger went up in it while Manoah and his wife watched. They fell facedown to the ground. The Lord’s messenger did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. After all this happened Manoah realized that the visitor had been the Lord’s messenger. (Judges 13:16–21 NET)
Animal Skin or Hide

The animal hides were saved and given to the priest (2). These hides point back to the Garden of Eden when the Lord God made garments of animal skin to clothe them. This event was the first indication that a blood sacrifice is necessary to pay the price for Adam’s transgression (1). The skins provide testimony to the sacrifice’s efficacy and the High Priest (pre-incarnate Jesus in this case) conducting the sacrificial ritual to “cover” sins by the death of animals. Ultimately, abolish sin through the death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! (1)

The Lord God made garments from skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21 NET)

However, when the High Priest sinned and the requisite sin offering (1) was given, the skins are not saved but instead burned. Burned indicating the High Priest had failed to be the proper coverage for the nation of Israel and could not cover himself but rather must depend on God to restore the covering through the burnt offering (Leviticus 4:3-12). Note when Jesus offered Himself upon the cross as our sacrifice that, His body, including His flesh or hide, was not allowed to see decay (i.e., destroyed). This signified that both the sacrifice (Jesus) and the High Priest (Jesus) (1) were effective in removing our sin and all our sins and giving us God’s righteousness! Hallelujah!

God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NET)
Sacrifices and Offerings of the Old Covenant Series:
Biblical Typologies, Metaphors, & Similes Series:

(Security, Wholeness, Success)

Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. 
(3 John 1:2 NET)

(1) Select the link to open another article in a new tab with additional information.

(2) This article has been primarily adapted from: Fruchtenbaum, A. G. (1983). The Messianic Bible Study Collection (Vol. 180, p. 16). Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries.

(3) Wenham, G. J. (1981). Numbers: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 4, p. 220). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

(4) The male animal represents this sacrifice is for God’s benefit. Recall, Adam, a male, was made for God’s benefit.

“It follows that I show for what purpose God made man himself. As He contrived the world for the sake of man, so He formed man himself on His own account, as it were a priest of a divine temple, a spectator of His works and of heavenly objects. For he is the only being who, since he is intelligent and capable of reason, is able to understand God, to admire His works, and perceive His energy and power; for on this account he is furnished with judgment, intelligence, and prudence. On this account he alone, beyond the other living creatures, has been made with an upright body and attitude, so that he seems to have been raised up for the contemplation of his Parent. On this account he alone has received language, and a tongue the interpreter of his thought, that he may be able to declare the majesty of his Lord. Lastly, for this cause all things were placed under his control, that he himself might be under the control of God, their Maker and Creator. If God, therefore, designed man to be a worshipper of Himself, and on this account gave him so much honour, that he might rule over all things; it is plainly most just that he should worship Him who bestowed upon him such great gifts, and love man, who is united with us in the participation of the divine justice.”

Lactantius. (1886). A Treatise on the Anger of God. In A. Roberts, J. Donaldson, & A. C. Coxe (Eds.), W. Fletcher (Trans.), Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Homily, and Liturgies (Vol. 7, p. 271). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.

Eve, a female, was made for the man Adam’s benefit and hence when female animals are prescribed in sacrifices then it is for mankind’s benefit.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him.” (Genesis 2:18 NET) 

(5) Merrill, E. H. (1998). The Pentateuch. In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), Holman concise Bible commentary (p. 41). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

(6) Sprinkle, J. M. (2003). Red Heifer. In T. D. Alexander & D. W. Baker (Eds.), Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (p. 669). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

(7) Brand, C., Draper, C., England, A., Bond, S., Clendenen, E. R., & Butler, T. C. (Eds.). (2003). Cedar. In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 274). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

(8) Masterman, E. W. G. (1915). Hyssop. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 1445). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.

(9) Moody, D. L. (1875). Life Words from Gospel Addresses of D. L. Moody. (G. F. G. Royle, Ed.) (p. 6). London: John Snow & Co.

(10) Rathel, D. M. (2016). Goat. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

(11) Kaiser, W. C., Jr. (1990). Exodus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 376). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

(12) Balfour, J. H. (1885). The Plants of the Bible (pp. 45–46). London; Edinburgh; New York: T. Nelson and Sons.

(13) Péter-Contesse, R., & Ellington, J. (1992). A handbook on Leviticus (p. 23). New York: United Bible Societies.

(14) Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 21, p. 99). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

(15) Translaters Note (tn) # 2,  Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Lev 4:2). Biblical Studies Press.

(16) Milgrom, J. (2008). Leviticus 1–16: a new translation with introduction and commentary (Vol. 3, p. 301). Yale University Press.

(17) (2017). In The Lexham Analytical Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible. Lexham Press.

(I)  Neusner, J. (1988). The Mishnah : A new translation (p. 742). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

(II) Malda, B. D. (Ed.). (2015). Come and Worship: Ways to Worship from the Hebrew Scriptures (p. 62). Clarksville, MD: Lederer Books: a division of Messianic Jewish Publishers.

(III) Sklar, J. (2013). Leviticus: An Introduction and Commentary. (D. G. Firth, Ed.) (Vol. 3, p. 101). Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

(IV) Masterman, E. W. G. (1915). Barley. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 405). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.

(V) Balfour, J. H. (1885). The Plants of the Bible (p. 212). London; Edinburgh; New York: T. Nelson and Sons.

(VI) Eisenberg, R. L. (2004). The JPS guide to Jewish traditions (1st ed., p. 670). Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society.

(VII) Hannah, J. D. (1985). Exodus. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 153). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

(VIII) Easton, M. G. (1893). In Easton’s Bible dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.

 (IX) Singer, I. (Ed.). (1901–1906). In The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 12 Volumes (Vol. 9, p. 568). New York; London: Funk & Wagnalls.

(X) Hamilton, M. W. (2000). Elevation Offering. In D. N. Freedman, A. C. Myers, & A. B. Beck (Eds.), Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible (p. 392). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.

(XI)  (2016). The Lexham Figurative Language of the New Testament Dataset. In J. R. Westbury, J. Thompson, K. A. Lyle, & J. Parks (Eds.), Lexham Figurative Language of the Bible Glossary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

(XII) Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 331). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

(XIII) Lindsey, F. D. (1985). Leviticus. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 177). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

(XIV) Neusner, J. (2011). The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary (Vol. 19, p. 617). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

(XV) Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (p. 143). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

(XVI) Wuest, K. S. (1961). The New Testament: an expanded translation (1 Co 5:6–8). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

(XVII) Thompson, J. A. (1974). Deuteronomy: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 5, p. 147). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

(XVIII) Keach, B. (1858). An Exposition of the Parables and Express Similitudes of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ(pp. 239–240). London: Aylott and Co.

(XIX) Beis Hamikdash Topics – Tour of the Temple: Class 10, The Altar

(XX) C. S. Lewis, Miracles (New York: HarperCollins, 1974), pp. 236–37. 

(XXI) Hall, K. D. (2000). Libation. In D. N. Freedman, A. C. Myers, & A. B. Beck (Eds.), Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible (p. 807). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans. 

(XXII)  Rogers, A. (2017). Back to Bethel. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Ge 35). Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust.

(XXIII) Ryrie, C. C. (1999). Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth (p. 341). Moody Press.

Propitiation, as we have seen, means the placating or satisfying of the personal wrath of God. Expiation is the removal of impersonal wrath, sin, or guilt. Expiation has to do with reparation for a wrong; propitiation carries the added idea of appeasing an offended person and thus brings into the picture the question of why the offended person was offended. In other words, propitiation brings the wrath of God into the picture, while expiation can leave it out.

Hal has taught the Bible for over three decades. Through an interdenominational ministry dedicated to helping the local church build men for Jesus, Hal trained men, the leaders of men’s ministries, and provided pulpit supply. Before that, he was a Men’s Ministry Leader and an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher of a seventy-five-member class at a denominational megachurch. Presently, Hal desires to honor Jesus Christ through this Internet teaching ministry, thereby glorifying the Heavenly Father in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

He believes, second to cultivating his relationship with God that raising his family unto the Lord is the most significant task for him while on Earth. Furthermore, Hal believes that being a successful leader in the church or workplace is no substitute for failing to be a successful leader at home. 


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