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April 29th, 2016

Types of Sacrifices in Leviticus 1-7

Sometimes when I'm researching a topic, I write reference posts to keep track of things. This is one of those posts :)

These are the words used for the different types of sacrifices offered in the Tabernacle/Temple from about 1500 BC - 100 AD. From what I was reading about Yom Kippur, it sounds like there were 2 chatat (a bull and a goat) and one (or two?) olah (ram) offered as part of the day. Another goat was also used, but sent into the wilderness and not killed.

עֹלָה
(olah) "ascending offering" - the word refers to rising or the fact that the offering is burned whole; the word is first used of Noah's offering after the Flood from which "the LORD smelled a soothing aroma" (Genesis 8) - Leviticus 1, 6:8-13

מִנְחָה
(minchah) "grain/meal offering" - the offering is food made of flour, oil, and frankincense; a gift to God that could be prepared in various ways; the word is first used of Abel and Cain's offerings (Genesis 4) - Leviticus 2, 6:14-23

שְׁלָמִים
(shelamim) "peace offering" - the offering was voluntarily given to thank God; some of it was offered to God on the altar, some was received by the giver, and some was received by the priest to eat - Leviticus 3, 7:11-21

חָטָא
(chatat) "sin offering" - offered to atone for "transgressions committed erroneously" (chabad.org); the Hebrew word means to miss or go the wrong way; first used in Genesis 20:6 when God warned Abimelech before he sinned without knowing; the word appears often and twice in Psalm 51:4, 7 - Leviticus 4, 6:24-30

אָשָׁם
(asham) "guilt offering" - this offering was required in three specific situations, including the case where you're not sure whether you've sinned or not; first used in Genesis 26:10 when Abimelech confronted Isaac about the situation that nearly led to guilt; also used in Isaiah 53:10 - Leviticus 5, 7:1-10

Reference: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/qorbanot.htm
Also: http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/371860/jewish/Vayikra-Roundup.htm

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