We are going to take a look at various korbanot (“korban” means “to draw near” to God and the root is “karav” which is used for intercourse between a husband and his wife-Isa 8.3. It means “here now” or “near” in Joel 1.15 and Matt 3.2) and how they were performed, and then putting these ceremonies together. For example, in Num 6.13-15 we have the ceremony of the Nazarite. You would have several korbanot in this ceremony, not just one. In Acts 21.15-26 Paul paid for his korbanot and the korbanot for four other messianic believers coming out of a Nazarite vow. He came to Jerusalem to do this (Acts 24.17). The inevitability of the Temple ceremonies was real for anyone, including believers in Yeshua. They were not “done away with” as many believe. Today, Temple ceremonies are being planned as we speak because there have been plans for a Passover sacrifice as far back as 2007. So, a study like this is relevant and on the cutting edge of Bible prophecy. They are even drawing up plans for a parking garage for the next Temple!
When bringing a korban, you must designate who it is from verbally. If someone named John was bringing a shelem (peace offering), he would come to the kohen in the Azarah and say “John, a korban shelem.” If the person was not present, his agent would say “John, a korban shelem.” You would state who it is for. The semicha (laying on of hands) is also done and it is one of the 11 steps in bringing a korban. Now the laying on of hands does not mean what many think it does in Christianity and other religions. It is not a “point of contact” or some magical gesture establishing contact between man and God. It does not symbolically imply that the korban is a substitute for the person. Instead, it is a solemn attestation that korban has come from that particular person who is performing the semicha on the korban.
The 11 steps of a korban ceremony are:
1) Ha’va’ah= bringing the korban.
2) Semicha= laying on of both hands, if an animal, on the head.
3) Vidui= confession, especially with a guilt offering.
4) Shechita= the slaughtering, the head is placed in the ring and you must have a sharp knife. Any movement of pain by the animal invalidates it.
5) Kabbalah= receiving the blood into a Mizrach by the kohen, the person deals with the animal
6) Halachah= walking the blood to the Altar by the priest.
7) Zerika= sprinkling the blood on designated area’s. Without the blood there is no Avodah (service). The word means to “jerk or throw.”
8) Shefichat Sherayim= the poring out of the leftover blood in two drain holes at the southwestern base of the Altar. The blood goes down a channel called the Amah to the Kidron Valley and eventually a place called Akeldama, south of the city where the Hinnom, Tyropean and Kidron valleys meet, also called Tophet.
9) Hafshata Venituach= the skinning and the severing of the korban, done on one of the eight tables in the slaughtering are, called the “house of life.” The korban is put on a hook on a pillar and skinned and the organs are separated according to what kind of korban it was, and the blood drained.
10) Hadacha= the rinsing which is done in the northeastern chamber of the Azarah.
11) Melacha Vehaktara= this is the salting and the burning which removes the blood because blood was not to be eaten. There were two tables next to the Altar on the western side, one silver and one marble where this was done. Lev 2.13 refers to the “salt covenant.” Salt alludes to the concepts of preservation, eternity, friendship and it makes clean (Ezek 16.4). In the Middle East, if someone ate with you were under their protection. Lot ate with the angels and tried to protect them.
The korbanot started in Gan Eden after Adam and Chava sinned. The korbanot were rehearsals filled with instruction on how to understand the Messiah when he came. There are four levels to the korbanot:
1) bulls (the highest level and it penetrates deep into the Kodesh ha Kodeshim-Hos 14.2).
2) sheep and goats
4) various agricultural items
There are five different kinds of korbanot:
1) The Olah= “burnt offering”
2) The Mincha= “bread offering”
3) The Shelem= “peace offering”
4) The Chata’at= “sin offering”
5) The Asham= “guilt offering”
With each korban, we will start off with a brief description and then get into more detail. So, in Part 2 we will begin with the Olah and see what it was. It is the first “korban” in the Scriptures and it is offered when a positive commandment (“You shall do…”) is neglected. It is also related to when a negative command (“You shall not do…”) is transgressed, specifically when one that can be rectified by a positive commandment (for instance, if one steals but can make restitution). It is offered by one who entertained sinful thoughts and it is also a voluntary act of worship and devotion to God. This offering is totally consumed and burned, given by free will with joy. You can derive no benefit from it, nothing comes back to you.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the first century believers in Yeshua did these offerings. They were never done away with. The only reason they are not performed today is that there is no standing, functioning Temple or no functioning priesthood or holy vessels. However, the Scriptures are clear that that there will be a Temple during the Birth-pains and after Yeshua returns. Ezekiel Chapters 40 through 48 describes the worship of the Messianic Kingdom and all of this is returning. Also keep in mind, this is the highest form of worship given by God. So, the teaching that the Temple and its ceremonies were done away with when Yeshua died is a false doctrine that should be rejected. If that were true, why did the believers, including Paul, offer the korbanot in the Temple after his resurrection. If that were true, why is the Temple and the korbanot being reinstated by Yeshua after he returns at the end of the Birth-pains. Ezekiel’s Temple has never been built yet, and it does not have some allegorical meaning only, as some say. It will be a functioning Temple with korbanot and a functioning priesthood.
So, in Part 2 of the Temple and the Ceremonies, we will begin to discuss the various korbanot and see how it relates to the Messiah and the redemption. In future teachings, we will talk about the ceremonies at Shavuot, Rosh ha Shannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. We will also talk about the korbanot and how it relates to the believer. We will also briefly discuss Solomon’s and Ezekiel’s Temple.