The Five Offerings
By NeorahYah Yisra'el
The sacrifices and offerings of the Old Testament were a means of grace, through which the relationship of Yah and mankind could be restored. It was an act of love, compassion, and mercy by Yah, towards His created; and stood in effect until the coming of His Maschiach, Yahoshua, who became the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all.
A large number of events in the Old Testament revolved around a system of sacrificial offerings and rituals, carried out by the priests of Yisra'el to atone for the sins of the nation, and these offerings occur throughout the body of the book. The very first recorded sacrifice occurs in Genesis 3:21;
'And Yah, Elohiym, made coats of skins for the man and his wife, and dressed them.'
In spite of Adam and Eves' disobedience, this act expressed compassion and commitment by Yah, to the first priest to serve in the newly created heaven and earth; and there is apocryphal evidence that Adam later went on to offer the first sacrifice.
In the First Book Of Adam and Eve, after Yah assured Adam he would one day return to the Garden (of Eden), Adam strengthened himself and made a sacrifice to Yah.
'Then Adam and Eve took stones and placed them in the shape of an altar; and they took leaves from the trees outside the garden, with which
they wiped from the face of the rock, the blood they had spilled. But that which had dropped on the sand they took together with the dust with
which it was mixed, and offered it on the altar as an offering to Yah.' ~Chapter XXIII, 1-5; First Book of Adam and Eve~
The five main offerings are worth knowing because they give a better understanding of the feast days, and offers a perfect analogy of Yahoshua, HaMaschiach as the perfect, unblemished sacrificial lamb.
The Burnt Offering
Of the five main offerings upon the altar, the burnt offering was the only offering that was entirely consumed by fire. No part of it was ever eaten by the priests or any of the people. This sacrifice was for Yah alone, and burned continually on the altar as a perpetual sweet savor before Yah. No part of the burnt offering was ever eaten by man. The burnt offering is likely the oldest documented atonement sacrifice in the old testament, and is the first offering to be mentioned by name in the bible:
'And Noach built an altar unto Yahuah; and took of every clean beast,
and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.'
~Genesis 8:20, Cepher~
The requirement for the burnt offering was two unblemished male lambs in the first year, offered continually on the altar before Yah; one lamb
in the morning, one lamb in the evening. ~Leviticus 6:13, and Numbers 28:3-4~
Instructions for the types of animals, and the sacrificial protocols used by the priests are detailed in ~Leviticus 2:1-16~
The Grain Offering
The second offering mentioned in the Bible is the Grain Offering. It is the only offering made without the shedding of blood through animal sacrifice, and was a free-will, or voluntary expression of devotion to Yah in recognition of His goodness and providence.
There are four types of grain offering:
1. Dough baked in an oven (Leviticus 2:4)
2. Dough cooked on a griddle (Leviticus 2:5)
3. Dough fried in a pan (Leviticus 2:7)
4. Dough roasted in a fire, or made into cereal (Leviticus2:14)
All grain offerings were accompanied with Frankincense, and were brought before Yah seasoned with salt and olive oil. Leaven and honey were never to be used; the rationale being that salt and olive oil preserved and seasoned; while leaven corrupted. Bread made with honey was brought for fruit offerings. Such as might have occurred during the Feast of Cukkot. A memorial portion of the grain was burnt on the altar before Yah; and the remainder was given to the priests, the sons of Levi, to be eaten.
The Grain Offering was always taken from the best of the worshipper's harvest, the first-fruit of the harvest, and offered up to Yah as an
act of thanksgiving for sins forgiven.
Four thousand years later, Yahoshua, HaMaschiach, fulfilled the grain offering for us.
'And as they were eating, Yahoshua took bread, having blessed, broke it, gave it to them and said,
"Take, eat, this is My body." ~Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22~
'And taking bread, giving thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is
given for you, do this in remembrance of Me." ~Luke 22:19~
Unblemished, and without leaven, Yahoshua offered his body, a free-will Grain Offering as redemption
for our transgressions.
The Peace Offering
The Peace Offering was another free-will offering performed for a number of reasons, some of which were
as an act of thanksgiving, or in praise of Yah, or when vowing your life to Yah.
"Offer to Yah a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And pay your vows to Yah, El Elyon."
"When a man offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yah to fulfill a special vow or a free-will offering,
of the herd or of the flock, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it."
Another reason to give a peace offering was to seal a treaty between two parties, and to consecrate the following meal before Yah. Such a thing was done between Ya'aqov and his father-in-law, Laban, and is described in Genesis 31:43-55, specifically verses 53-55.
The two agreed that being relatives, there should be no animosity between them; and they set up markers for boundaries, that both parties vowed not to venture beyond. Ya'aqov offered a sacrifice upon the mountain Galed, and called his brethren to eat bread, and spent the night on the mountain.
The sacrificial requirement for the peace offering was very specific: A male or female oxen, a sheep, or a goat.
After the slaughter, the blood of the animal was poured around the edges of the altar. The fat and the entrails were burned, and the rest of the animal was given to the priests for performing the sacrifice, and shared with the worshipper and his family. The meal could only be eaten over a period of two days.
"And if the slaughtering he brings is a vow or a free-will offering, it is eaten the same day that he brings
his slaughtering, and what is left of it is eaten the next day, but whatever is left of the flesh of the
slaughtering on the third day is burned with fire. However, if any of the flesh of the slaughtering of his
peace offerings is eaten at all on the third day, it is not accepted. It is not reckoned to him who brings,
it is unclean to him, and the being who eats of it bears his crookedness."
In addition to the above criteria, there were certain other offerings that fell under the umbrella of the
The Wave Offering
The Wave Offering was a free-will offering specifically for Yah. It was a 'portion' of the sacrifice
presented to Yah, who then 'released' the portion back, to be eaten by the priests performing the sacrifice.
The 'wave' referred to the side-to-side motion the priest made as he lifted the offering over the altar. As a part of the Peace Offering, there was an allowance for the priest, and worshipper to eat a portion of the sacrifice. However it was often given alongside the Burnt/Ascending Offering which was never eaten, but burned in its entirety.
An accounting of the wave offering was first recorded in Exodus 29:19-28. It describes the ordination of Aharon and his sons, as priests of Yah, El Elyon.
Exodus 29:26 is the only instance where a portion of the wave offering was consumed by fire as an ascending offering. However, the breast of of the ram, was given to Mosheh, who functioned as priest, and the breast and the thigh was given to Aharon and his sons, as a contribution/tithe.
Yah is speaking to Mosheh in the following:
"And you shall take the breast of the ram of Aharon's consecration and wave it - a wave offering before Yah,
and it shall be your portion. "And from the ram of consecration you shall set apart the breast of the
wave offering which is waved, of that which is for Aharon and that which is for his sons.
And it shall be from the children of Yisra'el for Aharon and his sons by a law forever, for it is a
contribution. And it is a contribution from the children of Yisra'el from the slaughters of their peace offerings - their contribution to Yah.
'And the right shoulder shall you give unto the priest for a heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace
offerings. He among the sons of Aharon, that offers the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat
shall have the right shoulder for his part.'
Other biblical events involving the Wave Offering include:
1. A lamb for the cleansing sacrifice of a healed leper ~Leviticus 14:12~
2. Yah chose the sons of Levi for service in His temple, in place of a firstborn male of every
Yisraelite family. ~Numbers 3:12~
3. Two loaves of bread, a drink offering, along with a male lamb of one year, for the sacrifice (burnt)
associated with the Feast of Weeks, or Shavu'ot. This was the Wave Sheaf Offering.
4. The largest wave offering involved the entire tribe of Levi for their faithfulness to Yah
after the incident in the desert with the golden calf. ~Exodus 32:29~
The Wave Offering was a part of the Peace Offering, and always included a burnt offering. Nothing but the best of the harvest, the best of the herd,
the best of the flocks; the first-fruits of all was ever 'waved' before Yah.
The Heave Offering
The Heave Offering was just like the Wave Offering. It was a part of a Peace Offering, so it occurred
along with the Burnt Offering. The only difference was in the movement of the priest's hands as he heaved the offering over the altar. In this case it was an up-and-down motion, as if one is heaving a presentation before Yah.
The thanksgiving Offering was a free-will offering given as an act of gratitude to Yah; or when Yah
blessed someone without their having petitioned it.
This is the Torah:
'And this is the Torah of the sacrifice of Peace Offerings, which he shall offer unto Yahuah.
If he offer it as a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, unleavened cakes mixed
with oil, and unleavened thin cakes anointed with oil, or cakes of finely blended flour mixed with oil.
Besides the cakes, he brings as his offering leavened bread together with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of
his peace offerings.
'And from it he shall bring one cake from each offering as a contribution to Yahuah: to the priest
who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings, it is his.'
The Votive Offering
The Votive Offering was a free-will offering in acknowledgement of a vow taken, or relating to a favor requested, or simply as a voluntary act of
love and worship for Yah.
'Your vows are binding upon me Oh Yah; I will render thank offerings to You.' ~Psalms 56:12~
'There you shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings
of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and
your flocks.' ~Deuteronomy 12:6~
'When you vow a vow unto Yah, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools:
pay that which you have vowed. better it is that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.'
The above three offerings are collectively known as the 'sweet-savor' offerings, because they were a pleasant savor in the nostrils of Yah. They were offered for Yah's acceptance, never because the worshipper had sinned. Yah accepted the offering/worshipper because of the faith, love, and devotion represented in the offering. The fruit of the Peace Offerings are gratitude, fellowship, and peace.
The Sin Offering
The main purpose of the sin, or Purification Offering was to cleanse the tabernacle from human defilement, making possible the continuing fellowship and presence of Yah among the people. The sin offering expiated, or paid in full, the penitent's unintentional weaknesses and failures; and dealt with two issues: the necessity of forgiveness from unintentional sins, and cleansing from ceremonial uncleanness.
And Yahuah spoke unto Mosheh saying, Speak unto Aharon and to his sons, saying 'This is the Torah of the sin offering: In the place where
the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before Yahuah: it is most set-apart. The priest that offers it for sin shall eat it:
in the set-apart place it shall be eaten, in the courtyard of the Tabernacle of the Assembly. Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall
And when its blood is sprinkled on any garment, you was that on which it was sprinkled, in a set-apart place. But the earthen vessel in which
it is cooked is to be broken. And if it is cooked in a bronze pot, then it is scoured and rinsed in water. All the males among the priests shall eat
thereof: it is most set-apart. And no sin offering from which any of the blood is brought into the Tabernacle of the Assembly, to make atonement in the
set-apart place, is eaten, it is burned with fire.' ~Leviticus 6:24-30~
The law allowed for those who sinned in ignorance, and desired to atone for their sins. There were different sacrificial requirements depending on the class of the person bringing the offering. For example:
1. Sins of the High Priest
The High Priest brought a bullock.
'If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people...' ~Leviticus 4:3~
2. Sins of the Leaders
A King or Ruler brought a kid of the goats, a male without blemish.
'If a ruler has sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the
commandments of Yahuah...' ~Leviticus 4:22-26~
3. Sins of the Nation
The assembly, which is the nation of Yisra'el, shall offer a young bullock.
'If the whole assembly of Yisra'el sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from
the eyes of the assembly...' ~Leviticus 4:13-21~
4. Sins of the Common People
The average person brought a kid of the goats, a female without blemish.
'And if any of the common people sin through ignorance, while he does somewhat against any
of the commandments of Yahuah...' ~Leviticus 27:1-35~
5. Leviticus, Chapters 5 and 6 discusses sins of daily living, which might be common to any individual.
Yahoshua, HaMaschiach, of Nazareth is our High Priest, who shed His blood, so that our sins might be forgiven. He is our unblemished sacrificial lamb.
The Trespass Offering
The Trespass Offering was similar to the Sin Offering in that both offerings were killed 'in the place where the burnt offering is killed', i.e.,
brought unto the door of the Tabernacle of the assembly, and killed there before Yahuah.
The two offerings differed in that, in addition to the requirement of sacrifice, the Trespass Offering also included a monetary compensation to a victim for an offense, and a significant markup to be paid to the priest for slaughtering the offering. Furthermore, the payment had to be in the monetary unit of a sheqel.
'If a soul sin, and commit a transgression against Yahuah, and lie unto his neighbor in that which
was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or has deceived his neighbor;
Or have found that which was lost, and lies concerning it, and swears falsely; in any of all these that a man does
sinning therein: then it shall be, because he has sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took
violently away, or the thing which he has deceitfully gotten, or the lost thing which he found,
Or all that about which he has sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth
part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertains, in the day of his trespass offering.
And he shall bring his trespass offering unto Yahuah, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with your
estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: And the priest shall make an atonement for him
before Yahuah: and it shall be forgiven him for anything of all that he has done in trespassing therein.'
Unlike the english definition of the word <guilt> : a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong; guilt in the Mosaic Law referred to something one owes on account of sin; and the purpose was to make reparations for that sin.
In summary, the Offerings written of in the Old Testament were a means by which the forgiveness of sins could be established, and the gift of grace in which the relationship between Yah and Yisra'el could be restored.