08
Feb
11

The Meat Offering

The first five chapters of Leviticus detail a number of offerings that could be made by the Israelite people – for forgiveness, atonement, etc.  In general there are five major offerings – the Burnt Offering (Leviticus 1), The Meat Offering (Leviticus 2), the Peace Offering (Leviticus 3), the Sin Offering (Leviticus 4, and the Trespass Offering (Leviticus 5).  There are also various offerings which ar e subsets of these – like the wave offering, heave offering and thank offering.  I thought it would be good to cover these at a high level.

The Meat Offering (Leviticus 2) – To the people of the Mosaic times, “meat” was considered to be a meal.  Strangely, the meat offering is the only one that involves no blood…or meat  The King James version refers to this offering as the meat offering, while the New International calles it the grain offering. It consists of fine flour and oil, or heads of grain and oil.  Like the burnt offering, this offering is completely voluntary – it is not a required response to sin or transgression, as are some offerings.

The meat offering could be considered somewhat of a “step down” from the burnt offering.  In contrast to the the burnt offering, the meat offering doesn’t involve bloodshed, it doesn’t start with a living animal, and the priests are allowed to hold back a portion and eat it.  It does however approximate a living sacrifice and is used for atonement.  This offering can be likened to Christ’s words:

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”John 4:34

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