This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Levitical Offerings Described

In the Levitical ritual there are various offerings prescribed, each expressed by its appropriate term. In addition there are general terms including all offerings. Of the latter are the קָרְבָּ֖ן, korban, from a verb signifying to approach. As no inferior could approach a superior to ask a favour or to do obeisance without a gift in his hand, this gift of access was called korban. It includes all offerings, bloody and bloodless; all altar and non-altar oblations. For the abuse of this term by an ungrateful son, shirking the support of his parents, see note on Matthew 15:5.

Another term, general in its primary use but specific afterwards, is the  מִנְחָה , mincha, from an old verb signifying to give. Originally it was used to express any gift, from man to man (Genesis 32:13) or man to God. Its specific meaning, especially when joined with korban, is meat offering, or food offering; in the Mosaic law, always bloodless.

The  זֶבַח , zebach, from the verb to slaughter animals, especially in sacrifice, always signifies a bleeding victim; the blood being the central and essential idea. By prefixing a letter to the same word the term altar was made, signifying, primarily, “killing place.” It is natural to connect the notion of expiation with this offering.

The term אִשֶּׁה , ishsheh, is also generic, including all fire-made offerings, and once the show bread, (fire baked.) Leviticus 24:7. It is used also to signify every kind of sacrifice and offering.

The special terms for sacrifices are the following: —

The  עֹלָה , olah, the whole burnt offering, in Greek generally ὁλοκαύτωμα, holocaust, derives its name from going up, first upon the altar, and then to heaven in the smoke. It was always bloody, the entire animal, except the sprinkled blood, being consumed by the fire.

The  שֶׁלֶם , shelem, is the peace offering, or thank offering. It is frequently joined with zebach, and then literally signifies a victim of requitals, or a slain offering of peace. It was always bloody.

The חַטָּאת , chattath, is the sin offering. It is a law-created and bloody sacrifice to relieve the conscience from a sense of guilt. Its primary meaning is sin, ἁμαρτία. Its secondary signification is sin offering. 2 Corinthians 5:21. In the prophets it is used to signify punishment.

The אָשָׁם , asham, is the trespass offering, law-created for particular faults or sins enumerated in the law. Gesenius says that the precise point of difference between the last two has hitherto been sought in vain. The Septuagint translates it by πλημμελεια, a false note in music, faultiness. Like the sin offering, it required the slaughter of a victim.

The נֶסֶךְ , nesek, is the drink offering, always connected with the meat offering or the peace offering, and with the confirmation of covenants.

No comments:

Post a Comment