1. Title. Leviticus received its name from the fact that it deals chiefly with the priesthood, which was of the tribe of Levi. Ancient Hebrew scholars called it WayiqraХ, from the first word of the book, and modern Jews have retained the name. The Talmud called it “The Law of the Priests,” or “The Law of Sacrifice.” Its subtitle, “The Third Book of Moses,” was not a part of the original Hebrew text, but was added centuries later.

2. Authorship. There can be no doubt that Moses, the author of Genesis, is also the author of Leviticus (see the Introduction to Genesis). The theories that discount Moses as the author of the books that bear his name are too conflicting to warrant a discussion here. From the earliest times both Jews and Christians have believed Leviticus to be the work of Moses, and it is only in modern times that doubt has been raised as to its authorship.

Leviticus is an integral part of what Jesus called “the law of Moses” (Luke 24:44). In the story of the healing of the leper He distinctly associates it with the great lawgiver (see Matt. 8:4; Luke 5:14; Lev. 14:3, 4, 10). Significant are His words to the unbelieving Jews: “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46, 47). Here we are informed that Moses “wrote,” and what he wrote is called “his writings.” The plural, “writings,” implies that he wrote more than one book. If the books commonly called the books of Moses are not here meant, we know not where to find them.

3. Historical setting. Leviticus covers a period of but 30 days. The Exodus story ends with the account of the erection of the tabernacle, and preparation for its dedication. It was completed “in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month” (Ex. 40:17). Inasmuch as the book that follows Leviticus, the book of Numbers, begins with the first day of the second month in the second year (Num. 1:1), the intervening time is exactly one month. In this month the instruction contained in Leviticus was communicated to Moses, and in that same month the events recorded in the book took place.

The building of the tabernacle in the wilderness followed closely the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai. Israel had there heard the voice of God speaking from the dark clouds crowning the summit of the mountain, and had been sore afraid. “So terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake” (Heb. 12:21). In Leviticus, Israel was to hear God speak again, not from the mount but from the sanctuary, where were enshrined the law and the mercy seat. It was from between the cherubim, the place of atonement, that God would make Himself known. The sanctuary stood for mercy as well as law. In the most holy apartment law and mercy met, and there atonement became possible. It is from this place that God speaks in Leviticus.

4. Theme. Leviticus deals chiefly with the priesthood and the sanctuary services. It does not contain all the instruction God had for Israel on these subjects, for much important matter is reserved for the book of Numbers. However, most of the fundamental principles of worship are outlined in Leviticus. This makes the book of importance and worthy of special study.

Sacrifices had been known since the time of the fall in Eden; but in the Levitical ordinances a clearer revelation was made respecting the Saviour to whom all sacrifices looked forward. The continual and symbolic use of the blood put on the horns of the altar, or sprinkled before the veil, or ministered in the second apartment of the sanctuary before the ark brought home to the people the close relation between sin and sacrifice. The principles of the transfer of sin, of mediation, reconciliation, and atonement were distinctly conveyed by the everyday ceremony in which the offerer laid his hand upon he head of the victim as he confessed his sin; by the institution of a regular priesthood to minister between God and man; by the evening and morning sacrifice; by the individual burnt and sin offerings; and by the high priest’s entrance once a year into the presence of God in the most holy place. In all of these regulations and precepts men saw the reconciliatory work of Him who took our sins upon Himself, who died for us, and by whose stripes we are healed. Leviticus is a pre-gospel, and should find a large place in the study of all who wish to follow the Lamb all the way.

The sanctuary service was clearly symbolical and hence temporary, for there is no necessary relation between the blood of bulls and goats and the forgiveness of sin. The sacrifices were all typical and had little virtue in themselves. But they did foreshadow good things to come, and thus served a vital purpose. Rightly understood, they led men to God. They conveyed lessons of the seriousness of sin, of the need of confession, of the majesty of law, of the holiness of God, of His great love for fallen man, and of the preparation necessary to stand in His presence.

Perhaps the greatest lesson of all was that of holiness. This, indeed, is the great theme with which every chapter in the book is concerned. The priests must be holy; their lives must be above reproach; their food must be clean; even their garments must be symbolic of holiness. The sacrifices offered must be perfect and without blemish; the sanctuary itself was holy; the utensils were holy; the portion of offerings which fell to the priests was holy; even the sanctuary grounds were sacred and no defilement must come to them. Everything and everyone about the tabernacle must be scrupulously clean, physically, symbolic of the spiritual cleanliness that God required. God’s repeated command was, “Ye shall be holy; for I am holy” (chs. 11:44, 45; 19:2; 20:7, 26). Symbolic of this holiness was “the plate of the holy crown of pure gold” which the Lord commanded Moses to make and which was fastened to the miter which the high priest wore, and upon which was “a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, Holiness to the Lord” (Ex. 39:30).

Leviticus is central in the five books of Moses, being flanked on the one side by Genesis and Exodus and on the other by Numbers and Deuteronomy. As the sanctuary was central in the worship of Israel, so Leviticus contains the core of the instruction given in regard to that worship. It is the gospel in embryo. With it, the New Testament can be better understood; without it, some parts of the Gospels and the Epistles are shrouded in obscurity and darkness. Christ as priest and high priest; as the Lamb of God; as our sin offering; as the sacrifice slain, its blood sprinkled round about upon the altar; as the bread which came down from heaven; as the light of the world; as the fragrant incense—these and many other allusions would be but dimly understood without the light Leviticus throws upon them. Paul drew heavily on this book when he wrote Hebrews and discussed the doctrines of the Christian faith. It goes without saying that Israel today can ill afford to neglect this book. If the true doctrine of atonement, of the Day of Atonement, of the cleansing of the sanctuary, of Christ as our high priest and advocate ministering in the sanctuary above, of the judgment and Christ’s soon return, of the law and the Sabbath in their true setting—if all these doctrines are definite contributions to religion and life and messages which must be given to the world, then Leviticus must be given its rightful place in the framework of truths to be preached. “The gospel is given in precept in Leviticus” (6T 392).

The question is sometimes raised as to why God instituted the system of sacrifices and required the shedding of blood. God hates sin, knowing its results; and one of the chief purposes of sacrifices was to cause Israel likewise to hate it. He could simply have counseled His people not to sin, as sin was evil and should be shunned. But would not a stronger and more lasting impression be made upon them by a visual demonstration of the result of sin, so that ever in their minds sin and death would appear as cause and effect? This is what He did in the Garden of Eden, when consequent to Adam’s sin a lamb was killed. And would not this effect be greatly heightened by having the sinner himself carry out the death sentence? God might then ask, What more could be done that I have not done to teach man the seriousness of sin? “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” (Isa. 5:4).

But Israel greatly perverted God’s plan. Instead of seeing in the death of the sacrificial animals an evidence of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and of the need of their shunning sin, they began to consider sacrifices a kind of payment for the privilege of sinning. That is why God sent word by His prophets that He wanted no more of their sacrifices: “I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats” (Isa. 1:11). Through Amos He said, “Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts” (Amos 5:22). And Micah asks, “Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” And then he answers his own questions, “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:6–8).

This is good Old Testament doctrine, and it is good New Testament doctrine. Nevertheless, many precious lessons may be learned from the ritual as it was originally commanded. A study of Leviticus will amply repay the time spent with it.

5. Outline.

I. Laws Concerning Sacrifices and Public Worship, 1:1 to 10:20.

A. The principal sacrifices, 1:1 to 7:38.

1. Burnt offerings, 1:1–17.

2. Meat offerings, 2:1–16.

3. Peace offerings, 3:1–17.

4. Sin offerings, 4:1–35.

5. Trespass offerings, 5:1 to 6:7.

6. Law of burnt offerings, 6:8–13.

7. Law of meat offerings, 6:14–18.

8. High priest’s meat offering, 6:19–23.

9. Law of sin offerings, 6:24–30.

10. Law of trespass offerings, 7:1–7.

11. Priest’s portion of burnt and meat offerings, 7:8–10.

12. Law of peace offerings, 7:11–21.

13. Prohibition against eating blood and fat, 7:22–27.

14. Priest’s portion of peace offering, 7:28–34.

15. Conclusion to this section, 7:35–38.

B. Consecration of the tabernacle and of Aaron and his sons, and their first offerings, 8:1 to 9:24.

1. Consecration of Aaron and his sons, 8:1–9.

2. Anointing the tabernacle, 8:10, 11.

3. Sin offering for Aaron and his sons, 8:12–17.

4. Burnt offerings for Aaron and his sons, 8:18–21.

5. The ram of consecration, 8:22–30.

6. Aaron and his sons to remain seven days within the sanctuary grounds, 8:31–36.

7. Aaron and his sons bring their first offerings for themselves, 9:1–14.

8. The offering for the people, 9:15–23.

9. God approves by sending fire, 9:24.

C. The transgression of Aaron’s two sons; instruction in regard to eating and drinking, 10:1–20.

1. Aaron’s sons transgress and are slain, 10:1–7.

2. Prohibition against wine, strong drink, things unclean, 10:8–11.

3. Law of eating holy things, 10:12–15.

4. Moses rebukes Aaron for not having eaten the sin offering, 10:16–20.

II. The Law of Holiness, 11:1 to 15:33.

A. Distinction between clean and unclean animals, 11:1–47.

B. Law of purity of persons, garments, houses, 12:1 to 15:33.

1. Impurity occasioned by childbirth, 12:1–8.

2. Impurity occasioned by leprosy, 13:1 to 14:57.

a. Leprosy of persons, 13:1–46.

b. Leprosy of garments, 13:47–59.

c. Purification of a leprous person, 14:1–32.

d. Leprosy of houses, 14:33–53.

3. Personal uncleanness, 15:1–33.

a. Uncleanness of men, 15:1–18.

b. Uncleanness of women, 15:18–33.

III. Cleansing of the Sanctuary and Supplementary Laws, 16:1 to 17:16.

A. Day of Atonement, 16:1–34.

1. Aaron’s entrance into the sanctuary, 16:1–4.

2. Aaron offers sin and burnt offerings for the people and casts lots upon the two goats, 16:5–10.

3. Offers sin offering for himself and house and brings the blood and incense into the most holy place, 16:11–14.

4. Kills the Lord’s goat and makes atonement for the holy and the most holy place, 16:15–17.

5. Makes atonement for the altar of burnt offering with the mixed blood of the bullock and goat, 16:18, 19.

6. Lays both hands on scapegoat, transfers to him all the transgressions of Israel, and sends him away into the wilderness, 16:20–22.

7. Changes garments, washes, and offers sacrifice for himself and the people, and burns bullock without the camp, 16:23–28.

8. The observance of the tenth day of the seventh month a statute forever, a day to make atonement, 16:29–31.

9. This day a sabbath of sabbaths, when atonement shall be made for the sanctuary, the altar, the priests, and the people, 16:32–34.

B. Regulations concerning the place of sacrifice, 17:1–9.

C. Eating of blood forbidden, 17:10–14.

D. Additional rules concerning purity, 17:15, 16.

IV. Moral and Civil Laws, 18:1 to 20:27.

A. Transgressions in moral matters, 18:1–30.

1. Israel not to follow the Canaanites but to keep God’s statutes, 18:1–5.

2. Unlawful marriages, 18:6–18.

3. Unlawful lusts, 18:19–30.

B. Various moral precepts, interspersed with ceremonial and sacrificial ordinances, 19:1 to 20:27.

V. Supplementary Precepts in Regard to Priests, Their Qualifications, Rights, and Duties, 21:1 to 22:33.

VI. Sabbaths and Festivals: Passover, Pentecost, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, 23:1–44.

VII. Additional Laws on the Service of the Sanctuary, 24:1–9.

VIII. The Sin of Blasphemy, 24:10-16, 23.

IX. Laws Concerning Violence Against Persons and Property, 24:17–22.

X. The Year of Jubilee, 25:1–55.

XI. Blessing for Keeping the Sabbath and God’s Other Commandments, Curse for the Disobedient, 26:1–46.

XII. Supplementary Laws, 27:1–34.

A. The making of vows, 27:1–25.

1. On persons hallowed by a vow, 27:1–8.

2. Gift not to be altered, adding one fifth, 27:9–13.

3. Sanctifying a house or a field, 27:14–25.

B. Devoted things, 27:26–34.

1. The firstlings of beasts and devoted things, 27:26–29.

2. The tithe, holy unto the Lord, 27:30–34.

outline of sanctuary service

The following summary of Levitical sacrifices and ceremonies, though not a part of the outline of the book of Leviticus, is given here to assist in the study of the book.

burnt offerings

Nature: Voluntary, so far as the individual was concerned, but specified on certain occasions for the whole congregation, and in certain instances for individuals. Lev. 1:3.

Purpose: To make atonement—it was “accepted for him.” Lev. 1:4.

When Offered

Animals Prescribed

1. At will—usually (Lev. 1:3)

1. Any clean male animalordinarily used for sacrifice (Lev. 1).

2. Daily (Ex. 29:38-42; Num. 28:3-8).

2. 2 male yearling lambs.

3. At consecrations (Ex. 29:15-18 Lev. 8:18-21; Num. 7, 8).

3. Bullocks, rams, lambs.

4. On special days and feasts.

4. On special days and feasts.

a. Sabbath (Num. 28:9, 10).

a. 2 additional lambs.

b. New moons (Num. 28:11-14).

b. 12 bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs.

c. Feast of Unleavened Bread (Num. 28:17-25).

c. Daily—2 bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs.

d. Day of Wave Sheaf (Lev. 23:10-14).

d. 1 male yearling lamb.

e. Day of Pentecost (Lev. 23:17-21; Num. 28:26-31).

e. For the day—2 bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs. For the bread—1 bullock, 2 rams, 7 lambs.

f. 1st day of 7th month (Num. 29:1-6).

f. 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs, besides the monthly offering.

g. Day of Atonement (Lev. 16; Num. 29:7-11).

g. For the priest—1 ram (Lev. 16:3).

For the people—1 ram (Lev. 16:5).

For the day—1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs Num. 29:7-11

h. Feast of Tabernacles (Num. 29:12-34).

h. 13 bullocks, 2 rams, 14 lambs on 1st day, decreasing bullocks daily by 1 to 7 bullocks, 2 rams, 14 lambs on the 7th day.

i. Octave of Feast of Tabernacles (Num. 29:35-38).

i. 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs.

5. For purification.

5. For purification.

a. Childbirth (Lev. 12).

a. Lamb or pigeon or turtledove.

b. Leprosy (Lev. 14).

b. Lamb or pigeon or turtledove.

c. Bloody issue (Lev. 15:13-15, 25-30),

c. Pigeon or turtledove.

6. Nazirite vow (Num. 6).

6. Nazirite vow.

a. Accidental violation—pigeon or turtledove.

b. Fulfillment—lamb.

7. With sin offering of poor (Lev. 5:7-10).

7. Pigeon or turtledove.

8. With sin offering when congregation sins through ignorance (Num. 15

Accessory Offerings


Salt (Lev. 2:13).

Meal offerings (Num. 15:2–12):

For a lamb or kid: 1/10 deal of flour, 1/4 hin of oil, 1/4 hin of wine.

For a ram: 2/10 deal of flour, 1/3 hin of oil, 1/3 hin of wine.

For a bullock: 3/10 deal of flour, 1/2 hin of oil, 1/2 hin of wine.

Incense (Lev. 2:1, 2).


For each lamb: 2/10 deal of flour, with appropriate oil and drink offering (double the usual amount for each lamb).

Day of Wave Sheaf

For the lamb: 2/10 deal of flour (double), oil (probably in proportion), 1/4 hin of wine (regular) (Lev. 23:13).

Purification for Childbirth

Not specified.

Purification of Cleansed Leper

3/10 deal of flour with oil, or 1/10 deal of flour with oil.

Purification of Bloody Issue



Bullock, Sheep, or Goat (Lev. 1:3–13).

1. Offerer places hand on head of victim, and slays it.

2. Priest sprinkles blood upon the altar.

3. Offerer skins and cuts up animal, washing legs and entrails in water.

4. Priest places fire, arranges wood, and places pieces of animal in order on the fire.

5. Sacrifice is completely consumed on the altar.

Turtledove or Pigeon (Lev. 1:14–17).

1. Priest wrings off head, and burns it on the altar.

2. Squeezes out blood against the side of the altar.

3. Cuts out crop and removes feathers.

4. Cuts bird open, but not apart.

5. Offering is completely consumed on the altar.



Sprinkled on the altar round about (Lev. 1:5, 11, 15).

Fat, etc.

Not separated (Lev. 1:8, 12).

Wave Offering


Whole Carcass

Burned on the altar (Lev. 1:9, 13, 17).


Given to priest (Lev. 7:8).

Crop and Feathers

Thrown on ash heap (Lev. 1:16).

peace offerings

Nature: Ordinarily voluntary. Included vows, thank offerings, and freewill offerings (Lev. 19:5; 7:15, 16). Communal feast in which the Lord, the priest, and the people shared (Lev. 3:11; 7:14, 31–33; 7:15–18; 19:5–8; Deut. 27:7; 12:17, 18).

When Offered

Animals Prescribed

1. At will, or in fulfillment of a vow (Lev. 19:5; 7:16).

1. Any clean animal ordinarily used for sacrifice, male or female (Lev. 3).

2. At consecrations (Ex. 29:19-28; Lev. 8:22; Num. 7).

2. Ram (Lev. 8:22), bullock and ram (Lev. 9:4), oxen, rams, he–goats, lambs (Num. 7).

3. At Pentecost, with the bread (Lev. 23:17-20).

3. 2 lambs (Lev. 23:20).

4. At fulfillment of Nazirite vow (Num. 6:14, 17, 18).

4. Ram (Num. 6:14).

Rule: Ordinarily a sacrifice must be perfect to be accepted, but a freewill offering could have superfluous parts, or parts lacking (Lev. 22:21-24

Accessory Offerings

Offering of Thanksgiving (Lev. 7:12–14)

Unleavened cakes mingled with oil.

Unleavened wafers anointed with oil.

Fried cakes.

Leavened bread, part of which is waved, and given to the officiating priest.

Vow and Voluntary Offering (Num. 15:3–12)

For a lamb: 1/10 deal of flour, 1/4 hin of oil, 1/4 hin of wine.

For a ram: 2/10 deal of flour, 1/3 hin of oil, 1/3 hin of wine.

For a bullock: 3/10 deal of flour, 1/2 hin of oil, 1/2 hin of wine.

For All Offerings

Salt (Lev. 2:13).


(See Lev. 3)

1. Offerer lays hand on head of victim.

Offerer slays animal.

3. Priest sprinkles blood on the altar round about.

4. Offerer waves breast, right shoulder, fat, etc., before the Lord (Lev. 7:29–32).

5. Priest burns fat, etc., on the altar.

6. Remainder is eaten (see Disposition).



Sprinkled on the altar round about (Lev. 3:2; etc.).

Fat, etc.

Burned on the altar (Lev. 3:3–5; 7:31).

Wave Offering

Breast and right shoulder go to the priest (Lev. 7:29–36).

Rest of Carcass

Eaten by offerer (Deut. 27:7; 12:17, 18).

Rule: Thanksgiving offering must be eaten the same day. Voluntary and vow offerings may be eaten on the second day also, but no later (Lev. 7:16–18).

sin offerings

Nature: Required when any sinned through ignorance, and on special occasions to cover such sins for the whole congregation (Lev. 4:2; Num. 15:22–29).

Purpose: To make atonement for sin (Lev. 4:35; Num. 15:24).

When Offered

Animals Prescribed

1. General—If a man “sin through ignorance” (Lev. 4:2; Num. 15:27, 28).

a. Priest (Lev. 4:3-12).

a. Bullock (Lev. 4:3-12).

b. Congregation (Lev. 4:13-21).

b. Bullock (Lev. 4:13-21).

Kid (Num. 15:24).

c. Ruler (Lev. 4:22-26).

c. Kid of the goats, male (Lev. 4:22-26).

d. Common people (Lev. 4:27-35).

d. Kid or lamb, female (Lev. 4:27-35); or if he is too poor, 2 turtledoves or pigeons (Lev. 5:7), 1 for a sin offering, 1 for a burnt offering. If he is yet poorer, 1/10 ephah of fine flour, as a sin offering, not a meal offering (Lev. 5:11, 12).

Specific borderline cases in which sin offering was used.

a. Perjury under oath (Lev. 5:1).

b. Uncleanness from dead body (Lev. 5:2).

c. Uncleanness of man (Lev. 5:3).

d. Rash oath (Lev. 5:4).

2. Consecrations.

2. Consecrations.

a. Aaron and his sons (Ex. 29:10-14, 36, 37; Lev. 8:2, 3; etc.).

a. Bullock.

b. Princes (Num. 7).

b. Kid.

c. Levites (Num. 8).

c. Bullock.

3. Special days.

3. Special days.

a. New moons (Num. 28:15).

a. Kid (Num. 28:15).

b. Feast of Unleavened Bread (Num. 28:17-24).

b. Kid, daily (Num. 28:22-24).

c. Pentecost (Lev. 23:19; Num. 28:30).

c. For the day—kid (Num. 28:30)

For the bread—kid (Lev. 23:18, 19).

d. 1st day of 7th month (Num. 29:5).

d. Kid (Num. 29:5).

e. Day of Atonement (Lev. 16; Num. 29:11).

e. 1 kid besides the sacrifice of the atonement (Num. 29:11).

f. Feast of Tabernacles (Num. 29:11)

f. Kid, daily (Num. 29:16-34).

g. Octave of Feast of Tabernacles (Num. 29:38).

g. Goat (Num. 29:38).

4. Purification

4. Purification

a. Childbirth (Lev. 12:6, 8).

a. Pigeon (Lev. 12:6, 8).

b. Leprosy (Lev. 14:10, 19, 22).

b. Ewe lamb or pigeon (Lev. 14:10, 19, 22).

c. Issue of blood (Lev. 15:14, 15, 29, 30).

c. Pigeon (Lev. 15:14, 15, 29, 30).

5. Nazirite vow.

5. Nazirite vow.

a. Accidental violation (Num. 6:10, 11).

a. Pigeon (Num. 6:10, 11).

b. Fulfillment (Num. 6:14-16).

Accessory Offering

Salt (Lev. 2:13).


Priest and Congregation (Lev. 4)

1. Hand on head of victim.

2. Animal slain.

3. Blood sprinkled before veil in holy place, and placed on horns of the golden altar.

4. Remainder of blood poured out at foot of the altar of burnt offering.

5. Fat, kidneys, etc., burned on the altar.

6. Whole animal—with skin, entrails, dung, etc.—burned without the camp.

Ruler and Common People (Lev. 4)

1. Hand on head of victim.

2. Animal slain.

3. Blood placed on horns of the altar of burnt offering.

4. Remainder of blood poured out at foot of the altar.

5. Fat, etc., burned on the altar.

6. Priest eats flesh of animal (Lev. 6:25–29; 10:16–20).

Occasional offerings apparently follow general rule.

(For Day of Atonement sin offerings, see under Special Ceremonies.)



1. Priest and congregation—sprinkled before the veil, and put on horns of the golden altar. Remainder poured out (Lev. 4:6, 7, 16–18).

2. Ruler and people—placed on horns of the altar of burnt offering. Remainder poured out (Lev. 4:25, 30, 34).

Fat, etc.

Burned on the altar (Lev. 4:8-10, 19, 26, 35).

Wave offering



1. For priest and congregation—burned without the camp (Lev. 4:12, 21).

2. For ruler and people—eaten by the priest (Lev. 6:25–29).


1. For priest and congregation—burned with whole animal (Lev. 4:12, 21).

2. For ruler and people—not specified, but may assume it went to the priest.

Rule: “No sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burned in the fire” (Lev. 6:30).

trespass offerings

Nature: Prescribed in cases of known sin.

Purpose: To make atonement (Lev. 5:16; 6:7).

When Offered

Animals Prescribed

1. In case of known sin (Lev. 6:2, 3).

1. Ram (Lev. 6:6).

2. Ignorant sacrilege (Lev. 5:15).

2. Ram (Lev. 5:15).

(Borderline case in which trespass offering is used

3. Violation of betrothed slave (Lev. 19:20-22).

3. Ram (Lev. 19:20-22).

4. Purification for leprosy (Lev. 14:12-18).

4. Lamb (Lev. 14:10, 13; etc.).

5. Accidental violation of Nazirite vow (Num. 6:12)

5. Lamb (Num. 6:1

Accessory Offering

Salt (Lev. 2:13).


Same as sin offering, except blood (Lev. 7:1–7).


Same as sin offering (Lev. 7:1–7), except blood. It was sprinkled upon the altar round about, instead of being put upon the horns of the altar (Lev. 7:2).

meal offerings

Nature: Nonbloody. Accessory to bloody offerings (Num. 15:3, 4).

When Offered

1. With all burnt offerings, regular, special, and personal (Num. 15:2-12, 28, 29).

2. With all peace offerings (Num. 15:3; Lev. 7:11–14).

3. Special cases

a. High priest’s meal offering (Lev. 6:20–23).

b. The shewbread (Lev. 24:5–9).

c. The wave sheaf (Lev. 23:10–14).

d. First-fruits loaves (Lev. 23:16, 17).

e. Trial of jealousy (Num. 5:15).

f. Nazirite (Num. 6:15).

Material Prescribed

Fine flour (Lev. 2:1, 2).

Unleavened bread or cakes (Lev. 2:4).

Unleavened wafers (Lev. 2:4).

Fried cakes (Lev. 2:7).

Beaten grain (Lev. 2:14–16).

Barley meal (Num. 5:15).

Rule: No meal offering shall be made with leaven, for leaven and honey never come to the altar (Lev. 2:11).

Exception: The loaf of the first fruits at Pentecost and the loaf with the thank offering shall be made with leaven, but they shall not be burned on the altar (Lev. 2:12; 7:12, 13; 23:17–20).

Accessory Offerings

Salt (Lev. 2:13).

Oil (Lev. 2:2–7; Num. 15:4–11)

Wine (Num. 15:4–11).

Frankincense (Lev. 2:2; 24:7).


General (Lev. 2)

1. Bring offering to priest.

2. Priest burns handful of flour with oil, and all frankincense; or portion of prepared bread with oil.

3. Remainder goes to priest.

High Priest’s Meal Offering

All burned (Lev. 6:23).


Placed on table in holy place for one week, with incense beside it (Lev. 24:5–8).

Wave Sheaf and First-Fruits Loaves

Waved before the Lord (Lev. 23:11).



Handful on the altar (Lev. 2:2). Remainder for the priesthood in general (Lev. 7:10).

Prepared Bread

Portion on the altar (Lev. 2:9). Remainder to the officiating priest (Lev. 7:9).


To priesthood (Lev. 24:5–9).

Waved Part of Leavened Bread

In thank offering to officiating priest; remainder to offerer (Lev. 7:13, 14; Deut. 27:7).

First-Fruits Loaves

To priest (Lev. 23:20).


Nature: Prescribed. Sign and memorial (Ex. 13:9, 10).

Purpose: To memorialize deliverance from Egypt (Ex. 12:12, 13).

When Offered

14th of Abib, 1st month (Ex. 12:2, 6).

Animal Prescribed

Lamb or kid (Ex. 12:5).


Bitter herbs (Ex. 12:8).

Unleavened bread (Ex. 12:8).

Wine (Jewish tradition) (DA 653).


1. Select animal on 10th of Abib.

2. Kill on 14th at even.

3. Sprinkle blood on doorposts and lintel.

4. Roast animal entire.

5. Eat with bitter herbs.

6. Burn what remains.



Sprinkled on doorpost and lintel.


Eaten by offerer and friends.




Nature: Prescribed.

Purpose: To accompany prayers before God (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 8:3).

When Offered

1. Morning and evening (Ex. 30:7, 8).

2. Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:12, 13).

3. Special occasions (Num. 16:46, 47).

Material Prescribed

Combination of sweet spices (Ex. 30:34–38).




Burned before the Lord.

special ceremonies

Day of Atonement

Texts: Lev. 16; 23:27–32; Num. 29:7–11; Ex. 30:10.

Offerings: Daily burnt offering; bullock for a sin offering and ram for a burnt offering for the priest; 2 goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering for the people; and for the day, 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs, for a burnt offering, and 1 kid for a sin offering.


1. High priest bathes and changes to white garments, after officiating at the regular morning service in his pontifical robes.

2. Presents bullock before the Lord; lays his hands on its head.

3. Presents goats; casts lots to determine which shall be for Jehovah and which for Azazel.

4. Kills bullock and preserves its blood.

5. Takes censer and incense into most holy place and arranges incense on coals.

6. Returns to court for blood of bullock, which he takes into most holy place and sprinkles it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat 7 times.

7. Returns to court, kills Lord’s goat, and enters most holy place with the blood, sprinkling it as he did the bullock’s blood.

8. Returns to holy place, and makes atonement for the holy things.

9. Returns to court, and makes atonement for the altar, sprinkling it with the blood of both bullock and goat 7 times, placing the blood on the horns of the altar.

10. Confesses sins of Israel over head of live goat, and sends it into wilderness by a fit man.

11. Resumes pontifical robes, and offers fat of sin offerings, the burnt offerings for himself and the people, the burnt offerings for the day, and kid of the sin offering for the day.

The Nazirite Vow

Text: Num. 6:1–21.

Accidental Violation

Offerings: 2 pigeons—1 for a burnt offering and 1 for a sin offering—and a lamb for a trespass offering.


1. Shave head on 1st and 7th days of the cleansing.

2. On 8th day bring 2 pigeons to the priest, 1 for a sin offering and 1 for a burnt offering.

3. Bring a lamb for a trespass offering.

4. Forfeit the days prior to defilement.


Offerings: Male lamb for a burnt offering, ewe lamb for a sin offering, 1 ram for a peace offering, basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour, and the meal and drink offerings of the appropriate animals.


1. Offer sin offering.

2. Offer burnt offering.

3. Offer peace offering with accessories.

4. Shaves his head and burns the hair.

5. Wave heave offering.

Cleansing of the Leper

Text: Lev. 14:1–32.

Preliminary Ceremony

Offerings: 2 sparrows, cedarwood, scarlet, hyssop, and running water.


1. Kill 1 bird over earthen vessel filled with running water.

2. Dip living bird, cedarwood, scarlet, and hyssop into water and blood, and sprinkle leper 7 times.

3. Let living bird go free.

4. Leper shaves and bathes on 7th day.

5. Leper returns on 8th day for concluding ceremonies and offerings.

(This same ceremony is used to cleanse a house infested with plague. Lev. 14:48–53.)

Main Ceremony

Offerings: 1 male lamb for a trespass offering; 1 male lamb for a burnt offering; 1 ewe lamb for a sin offering; 3/10 deal of flour mingled with oil for meal offering; and 1 log of oil.


1. Slay trespass offering; wave it and the log of oil before the Lord.

2. Put some of the blood on the right ear, right thumb, and right great toe of the offerer.

3. Sprinkle oil 7 times before the Lord.

4. Put oil on ear, thumb, and toe where blood was put.

5. Pour oil over head of offerer.

6. Offer sin offering.

7. Offer burnt offering and meal offering.

(In case of poverty, it would suffice to have 1 lamb for a trespass offering, and 2 pigeons—1 for a sin offering and 1 for a burnt offering).

Water of Separation

(Ceremony of the Red Heifer)

Text: Num. 19.

Purpose: To purify from defilement received from dead body, bone, grave, etc.


(Any clean person may perform, but priest shall oversee.)

1. Take red heifer without the camp.

2. Slay animal.

3. Priest sprinkles blood toward the sanctuary 7 times.

4. Whole animal is burned.

5. Priest casts cedarwood, scarlet, and hyssop into the fire.

6. Clean man gathers ashes, and stores them in a clean place without the camp.


(Any clean person may officiate.)

1. Mix ashes and running water.

2. Sprinkle place of death first, if house or tent is involved.

3. Sprinkle unclean person.

4. Sprinkle unclean person on 3d and 7th day.

5. Unclean person shall bathe himself on 7th day, and shall be clean at even.

Purification for Childbirth

Text: Lev. 12.

Separation: For a son, 7 days plus 33 days. For a daughter, 14 days plus 66 days.

Offerings: Lamb for a burnt offering and pigeon for a sin offering. In case of poverty, 2 young pigeons will suffice—1 for a burnt offering, and 1 for a sin offering.

Purification From Uncleanness of Issue

Text: Lev. 15.

Offerings: 2 pigeons, 1 for a burnt offering and 1 for a sin offering.


1. Number 7 days from time issue stops.

2. Bathe on 7th day.

3. Bring 2 pigeons to priest on 8th day.

4. Offer 1 for sin offering and 1 for burnt offering.

Trial of Jealousy

Text: Num. 5:11–31.

Offering: 1/10 ephah of barley flour.

Occasion: When a man doubts his wife’s loyalty.


1. Come before the priest with offering.

2. Priest shall prepare bitter water by mixing dust of the sanctuary floor with holy water in an earthen vessel.

3. Priest pronounces curses for infidelity, writes them in a book, and blots them with the bitter water.

4. Priest waves meal offering before the Lord, and burns a handful on the altar.

5. The woman drinks the water.

6. If she is innocent, nothing happens; if she is guilty, the curses take effect.

Expiation of Uncertain Murder

Text: Deut. 21:1–9.

Offering: Heifer not wrought with, and not yoked.


1. Measure from dead man to nearest city.

2. Elders of that city bring heifer to rough valley, unsown.

3. Strike off the heifer’s neck.

4. Priests come near.

5. Elders wash hands over the heifer.

6. Elders proclaim their innocence.

Feast and Holy Convocations


Texts: Ex. 20:8–11; Num. 28:9, 10.

Time: Every 7th day is holy.

Offerings: 2 lambs for a burnt offering, besides the continual burnt offering.

New Moons

Text: Num. 28:11–15.

Time: 1st day of every month.

Offerings: 2 bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs, for a burnt offering, with appropriate meal and drink offerings; and 1 kid for a sin offering.


Text: Ex. 12; Lev. 23:5; Num. 9:1–14; 28:16; Deut. 16:1–7.

Time: 14th of Abib, the 1st month.

Offering: Paschal lamb.

Feast of Unleavened Bread

Texts: Ex. 12:15–20; 13:5–9; Lev. 23:6–8; Num. 28:17–25; Deut. 16:8.

Time: 15th to 21st of Abib.

Offerings: For burnt offering, daily, 2 bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs, with appropriate meal offerings; and 1 kid for a sin offering.

Ceremonial Sabbath: On the 1st day and the 7th day shall be holy convocations.

No servile work may be done.

Ceremony of the Wave Sheaf

Text: Lev. 23:10–14.

Time: 16th of Abib, the 2d day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Offerings: Wave sheaf or omer of barley, waved before the Lord; yearling lamb and its appropriate meal offering.

“Ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God” (Lev. 23:14).


Texts: Lev. 23:15–21; Num. 28:26–31; Deut. 16:9–11.

Time: 50 days from the wave sheaf.

Offerings: 2 loaves to be waved; and—

1. For the day, 2 bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs, for a burnt offering, with appropriate meal offering; 1 kid for a sin offering (Num. 28:26–30).

2. For the bread, 1 bullock, 2 rams, 7 lambs, for a burnt offering, with appropriate meal offering; 1 kid for a sin offering; 2 lambs for a peace offering (Lev. 23:15).

Ceremonial Sabbath: A holy convocation. No servile work may be done.

Blowing of Trumpets

Text: Lev. 23:24, 25; Num. 29:1-6.

Time: 1st day of 7th month.

Offerings: 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs, for a burnt offering, with appropriate meal offering; 1 kid for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering and the new moon offering.

Ceremonial Sabbath: On this day shall be a holy convocation. No servile work may be done.

Day of Atonement

Texts: Lev. 16; Lev. 23:27–32; Num. 29:7–11.

Time: 10th day of 7th month.

Offerings: (See under Special Ceremonies, Day of Atonement.)

Ceremonial Sabbath: On this day shall be a holy convocation. “Ye shall afflict your souls.” No manner of work may be done.

Feast of Tabernacles

Texts: Lev. 23:34–43; Num. 29:12–34; Deut. 16:13–15.

Time: 15th to 21st of 7th month.

Offerings: 1st day, 13 bullocks, 2 rams, 14 lambs, for a burnt offering, and 1 kid for a sin offering. Each day thereafter, the number of bullocks is reduced by 1, until on the last day the offering is 7 bullocks, 2 rams, 14 lambs for a burnt offering, and 1 kid for a sin offering.

Ceremonial Sabbath: On this day shall be a holy convocation. No servile work may be done.

Octave of Feast of Tabernacles

Texts: Lev. 23:36, 39; Num. 29:35–38.

Time: 22d day of 7th month.

Offerings: 1 bullock, 1 ram, 7 lambs, for a burnt offering; 1 kid for a sin offering.

Ceremonial Sabbath: On this day shall be a solemn assembly. No servile work may be done.

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