Chapter 1- Instructions for burnt offerings.
If the animal you bring for an offering is to be a cow, sheep or goat, it must be a male without blemish. Even female animals are inferior to males, it would seem. If you want to sacrifice a bird, it has to be a turtledove or young pigeon. No gender is specified, but that’s probably just because birds can be hard to sex.
For whatever reason, the entrails and legs of an animal have to be washed before they are burnt. Wonder what that’s all about. Maybe God doesn’t like the smell of burnt poop.
Also, I’m glad glad glad I’m not a priest in this tabernacle. All that animal slaughtering would make me vomit copiously. (Sidenote- how did they possibly keep their outfits clean? Did bleach exist back then?)
So, it specifies that frankincense should be put onto grain offerings, but also that only part of the grain offering will be burned, and the rest will be for the priests (I assume for food). There is no distinction made here about not perfuming the part meant to be eaten, but I hope they figured that out.
Verse 11, “No grain offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the Lord made by fire.” Why? That’s one of the things that drives me bonkers about the Bible: so many commands, but hardly any reasons. My compulsive need to know the “why” about things is probably why I enjoy physics far more than I enjoy the Bible.
Chapter 3- Instructions for peace offerings.
What is a peace offering? How is it different from a burnt offering? I guess the burnt offerings are to atone for sins you’ve committed, but then what is a peace offering for? Just a little extra to keep God happy?
A peace offering can be a male or female animal. It gets slaughtered, but then only the fatty entrails, kidneys and liver gets burnt for God. A commandment is given here that the people never eat fat nor blood, because those things belong to God. I wonder what happens to the rest of the animal sacrificed for peace? Are they allowed to eat that part?
Chapter 4- Instructions on what/how to offer based on who commits a sin.
It’s interesting that this chapter is instructions for when someone sins unintentionally. Wonder what you’re supposed to do if you sin on purpose.
Priests- offer a male bull, burn the fatty bits on the tabernacle altar, take the rest out of town and burn it on another altar.
If “the whole congregation of Israel” commits an unintentional sin (what does that even mean? How does a whole group accidentally do the same sinful thing by accident?) they follow the same rules as the priest.
Rulers- Offer a male kid, only have to burn the fatty bits, no instructions given for the rest.
Commoners- Offer a female kid or lamb, only burn the fatty bits, no instructions given for the rest.
Yeah, female animals are only good enough for the commoners.
I still want to know where in the world they get all these animals! It doesn’t specify how often one is supposed to make these sacrifices. Do we need a 1:1 ratio of sin:animal? Or can one animal death forgive multiple sins? If you have to sacrifice for unintentional sins, you’d probably want to burn a few extra animals just to cover your behind.
And if this is what you do for a sin offering, what’s the point of the offering in chapter 1? Not for peace or for sins…what else is there that we need to sacrifice for? I need a chart! How did people keep this stuff straight before Excel spreadsheets? Gah!