In our study of Leviticus, we will look at God's call for His people to be holy. As we shall see, these words were given to Moshe during the year that Israel spent at Mt. Sinai. The Hebrew title is "Vayikra" which means "And he called" and God had called them out of Egypt but, as we shall see, He also called them to a life of living as God's people.
Now, if God speaks to you in this study, you can save your own personal notes on this page. Then, every time that you look at this study, your notes will automatically be added to the page. To add a note or to display your previous notes, click on the YOUR NOTES button.
ADONAI called to Moshe and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said,
It is often said that the Jewish leaders built up a system of religious laws and that is true but, as we see here, these laws were given to Moshe by God.
"Speak to the people of Isra'el; say to them, 'When any of you brings an offering to ADONAI, you may bring your animal offering either from the herd or from the flock.
The Hebrew word for offering is qorban and it is anything that is brought to God. In this case, God gives specific instructions for what to bring for what became known as the Burnt Offering. The people were to bring a clean tame animal which would have been dear to the owner. So, what do these Old Testament offerings have to do with us as followers of Yeshua Messiah? This is the first of five offerings described here and all of the offerings speak of the person and work of Yeshua. These dear animals were a picture of Yeshua (the dear Son of God) who would be presented on our behalf.
If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he must offer a male without defect. He is to bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, so that it can be accepted by ADONAI.
We see that the animal from the herd was to be a healthy bull (male cow). The fact that it was a male speaks of strength while the "without defect" part is a picture of the perfection of Yeshua. It was a voluntary offering that was to be presented at the door of the tabernacle by a man desiring access to God. This is a reminder to us that Yeshua is the only way that we have access to the holiness of God.
He is to lay his hand upon the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.
The one that was bringing the offering was required to place their hand on its head which was an act of confession and designation. This was a public display that a transfer was taking place. The animal was being presented to take the place of the man presenting it and its purpose was for the atonement (covering) of sin. For us, this is a reminder that our faith in Yeshua is a personal faith. Just as the man had to put his hand on the animal, we each must personally grab onto Yeshua.
He is to slaughter the young bull before ADONAI ; and the sons of Aharon, the cohanim, are to present the blood. They are to splash the blood against all sides of the altar, which is by the entrance to the tent of meeting.
The animal had to die in a specific manner and its blood was put on the altar by the priests. This is a reminder that the payment for sin was death as blood represented life. The sacrifice reminds us that it is only through the death of Yeshua that we have access to the holiness of God.
He is to skin the burnt offering and cut it in pieces. The descendants of Aharon the cohen are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. The sons of Aharon, the cohanim, are to arrange the pieces, the head and the fat on the wood which is on the fire on the altar. He is to wash the entrails and lower parts of the legs with water, and the cohen is to cause all of it to go up in smoke on the altar as a burnt offering; it is an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for ADONAI.
The animal had to be skinned and cut up to ensure that it could all be burned up on the altar. Fire is a picture of absolute consecration and all of the animal had to be set aside (consecrated to God). This is a picture of the beating that Yeshua endured with the cutting of His flesh. The aroma pleasing to the Lord speaks to the fact that the smell of the roasting flesh would blot out the stench of sin which is so detestable to God.
"'If his offering is from the flock, whether from the sheep or from the goats, for a burnt offering, he must offer a male without defect. He is to slaughter it on the north side of the altar before ADONAI; and the sons of Aharon, the cohanim, are to splash its blood against all sides of the altar. He is to cut it into pieces, and the cohen is to arrange them with the head and fat on the wood which is on the fire on the altar. He is to wash the entrails and lower parts of the legs with water; and the cohen is to offer it all and make it go up in smoke on the altar as a burnt offering; it is an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for ADONAI.
A sheep or goat would have been the offering of the middle class. We see that God did not hold one offering in higher regard than the other. That reminds us that it is not what we bring to God that matters; it is that we come to God with the right heart. Once again, we see that the offering covered over the stench of our sin.
"'If his offering to ADONAI is a burnt offering of birds, he must offer a dove or a young pigeon.
A bird would have been the offering of the poor and we see that poverty was not an excuse for not coming to the Lord.
The cohen is to bring it to the altar, snap off its head and make it go up in smoke on the altar; its blood is to be drained out on the side of the altar. He is to remove the food pouch and its feathers from its neck and discard it on the pile of ashes just east of the altar. He is to pull it open with a wing on each side, but without tearing it in half. The cohen is to make it go up in smoke on the altar, on the wood which is on the fire, as a burnt offering; it is an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for ADONAI.
The main difference between the offerings was that the priests were to slaughter the birds instead of the person that brought them. This was necessary due to the fact that there was much less blood and it had to be drained onto the altar. Also, birds eat many different things and they store them in what is called a crop or "food pouch" as it is translated here. Because of this storage of undigested food and the fact that the bird may have eaten unclean things, this pouch was removed and cast to the side of the altar where it would be burned. The offering of the bird is a reminder to us that, even when it seems like we do not have the strength to come to Him, He has made a way through Yeshua Messiah.