We know studying the korbanot in Leviticus can be tedious at times, but they are very important to understand and that is why we want to review some things before we move on. This is only a basic study but it can be full of meaning for you. We want to encourage you to stick with it and take the korbanot to another level. Remember, these are from the Lord and the intricacies of the offerings were learned by the time a person was about 13 years old in Mishkan and Temple times. Paul used the term “rightly dividing the word of truth” in 2 Tim 2.15 when discussing how we should interpret the Scriptures, and this term is taken from the Temple and related to the korbanot procedures we are discussing. We can see where the worshiper had to “rightly divide” what offering he was going to give, what animal to bring, what bread offering to bring, where it was to be taken, how it was divided up after the animal was slaughtered, where to put the bloodaand what bread offering is given. The priest had to know exactly what to do along with the worshiper. So, with that said, let’s move on.
In contrast to the animal offerings, bird offerings are slaughtered by a procedure called “Melikah” in which the priest punctures the back of the bird’s neck with his thumbnail and cuts through to the front. In another departure, the blood is not caught in a vessel but it is applied to the altar from the the body of the bird. The following will highlight the differences between the bird chatat (sin) and the bird olah (burnt).
In the Korban Chatat (sin offering) of a bird, the bird is slain on the floor of the azarah (courtyard) near the southwest corner of the altar. The windpipe or esophagus is cut. The blood is applied on the lower part of the southwest corner of the altar. It is applied by sprinkling and draining. The meat is eaten by the kohanim (priests) in the courtyard during the day and one night.
The Korban Olah (Burnt offering) of a bird is slain on top of the altar at the southeast or southwest corner of the altar. Both the windpipe and the esophagus is cut. The blood is applied on the upper wall of the altar and it is drained. The meat is burned on the altar and is not eaten. The chatat and olah of the bird is kodshai kodeshim (most holy and can only be eaten in the azarah).
As we have mentioned before, the Scriptures give thirteen types of Mincha (bread) offerings. The Mincha Solet is wheat, fine flour, mixed with oil and a kometz (a three-fingered scoop) is taken to the altar and burned and the remainder will go to the kohanim. The Mincah Machavat is wheat, mixed with oil and fried on a griddle. The kometz is taken to the altar and burned and the remainder is given to the kohanim. The Mincha Marcheshet is wheat, mixed with oil and fried in a pan. The kometz goes to the altar and the remainder is given to the kohanim.
The Mincha Challah (Challot is plural) is wheat, mixed with oil and baked in an oven. The kometz goes up to the altar and the remainder to the kohanim. The Mincha Rekikim is wheat, baked in an oven with oil smeared on it, baked in wafers. The kometz goes to the altar and the remainder goes to the kohanim. The Mincha Choteh is brought by a person who has done certain sins and cannot afford an animal or a bird korban. It consists of wheat, and no oil or levonah is added. There is a kometz taken to the altar and the remainder is eaten by the kohanim.
The Mincha Chavitin of the High Priest is wheat, mixed with oil and scalded in hot water, baked and fries. It is burned entirely on the altar, half in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. The Mincha Chinnuch (Consecration of a Kohen) is wheat, mixed with oil, scalded in hot water, baked and fried. It is burned on the altar. The Mincha Sotah (jealousy) mincha is barley, and is made with raw flour. The kometz goes to the altar and the remainder to the kohen. The Mincha Omer is barley, mixed with oil, with the kometz to the altar and the remainder to the kohanim. The Mincha Nesachim is wheat, mixed with oil and burned on the altar. The Mincha Chatat is wheat, no oil and no levonah (frankincense), raw flour with the kometz taken to the altar and the remainder to the kohanim.
The following are non-altar baked offerings. The Lechem ha Pannim (showbread) is unleavened and specially shaped. There will be twelve loaves with two spoonfuls of levonah and eaten by the kohanim after they are taken off the table and replaced by newer loaves on the Sabbath. The Sh’tai Ha Lechem are the two loaves on Shavuot, they are leavened and specially shaped. They are offered with two lambs on Shavuot and eaten by the kohanim. The Todah Mincha are ten leavened loaves, ten challah loaves, ten rekikim and unleavened loaves and ten scalded loaves. They are associated with a todah (thanks) offering and one of each kind is given to the kohanim and the rest is eaten by the owner and guests. The mincha that goes with the Nazir’s ram are ten unleavened challah loaves and ten unleavened rekikim loaves. Two breads (one of each kind) is given to the kohanim and the rest is eaten by the Nazir and guests.
As you can see, the Mincha offerings come in many forms. However, they share certain things and features. All consisted primarily of flour, all have at least a part offered on the altar, and some are burned in their entirety. Of those not entirely burned, the part removed from the mincha and burned is known as the kometz; the remainder of the mincha is eaten by the kohanim. Most have added to them a measure of levonah (frankincense) which is also burned on the altar Some mincha offerings are fried or baked before being offered; the resulting loaves are them crumbled and the kometz is taken from the pieces. A mincha may be a communal or personal offering, voluntary or obligatory.
Another thing they have in common as they are part of what is seen as a covenantal meal with the Lord. That is why meat, bread and wine were used. We have covered this aspect of the korbanot previously so we won’t dwell on this too much, but the korbanot had two functions. There was the expiatory aspect and the covenantal meal aspect. The worshiper was “breaking bread with God” and so there was the imagery of a feast being communicated in the Temple in a continual rededication of the covenantal bond initiated at Sinai. This is what is called a “Lord’s Supper.”
As we have discussed before, the Temple was a very, very busy place. Sin had to be dealt with and the rededication of the covenant. The worshiper committed themselves completely to the Lord. The worshiper had to follow the “tavnit” or the blueprint set forth as the Lord gave it. At the time, the Mishkan was the holiest place on earth. The kedusha that was on Mount Sinai was transferred to the Mishkan. It is there that that these korbanot were to be brought until the Temple was built..
We are both physical and spiritual. During our lives, each pull us in its direction. Who we are is determined by our decisions of which one we will follow. We have thoughts, words and deeds. In a korban (offering), the hands are placed on the head, the seat of the intellect. Then sin is confessed, corresponding to speech and words. Then the different parts are burned on the altar. The internal organs in Hebrew are used to illustrate the sites of thought and desire (kidney, liver, brain, etc). The legs speak of our walk and actions. The fat of the animal speaks of lust, folly and that which weighs us down. The worshiper must realize that it should be him on that altar. The korban must feel different than just the ordinary slaughtering of an animal for food or clothing. The worshiper must feel “teshuvah.”
In the Mishkan and in the “Shekinah” (presence) of Yehovah, the worshiper is surrounded by kedusha, which is the focus of the Book of Leviticus. They hear the music being played and sung by the Levites. He smells the bakeries and they can hear the animals. They can see and smell the smoke and all the sights and sounds of people praying. The worshiper should resolve in himself that the direction of his life should be upward. Like the pieces of the animal that has ascended to the altar, the worshiper must elevate themselves to a higher level. When they ate part of the animal, they ingest the ideas associated with that offering and make it a part of themselves.
If you have ever walked away from a near death experience, like an auto accident, and you looked back and saw your car totaled, you would get a feeling of how precious life is. No toy or gift is worth that feeling. When a real, living animal is looking at you one minute and the next minute it dies right in front of you, you feel it. You get a real sense of the value of life. Have you ever eaten a chicken or a steak? Have you ever worn real fur or leather shoes? Have you ever had a leather purse or coat? If these physical benefits are enough of a constructive purpose or benefit for a person to justify the use of that animal, how much more is the use of the animal in korban for the spiritual benefit of the worshiper as commanded by Yehovah in these chapters in Leviticus?
Lev 11.1-47 tells us about the dietary laws and what animals and creatures may or may not be eaten; defilement through contact with the unclean creatures that would make one incapable of taking part in Sanctuary worship or of touching consecrated food. In the book, “Hertz Pentateuch and Haftorahs” on p. 459 it says, It is to noted that most of the laws of purity and impurity apply only in reference to the Sanctuary and the holy objects connected with it. They did not apply in ordinary life, or to persons who did not intend to enter the Sanctuary.” The food laws teach us about things to come (Col 2.16-17) and we know that the Tirah is a book about boundaries and declarations even when it comes to food.
v 1…Then the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them,
v 2…Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth (to be a people with a kedusha; the clean animals will be a picture of those in the Kingdom of God, and the unclean creatures will be a picture of the Kingdom of Satan/False Messiah).
v 3…Whatever divides a hoof (a type of walking in the Torah) and is wholly cloven-footed and chews the cud (has a true testimony of faith; truthful) among the animals, that you may eat.
v 4…Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud or among those who divide the hoof (Lev 11 will not directly address whether eating unclean creatures is a sin, it simply tells us what creatures are clean and unclean, permitting or forbidding us from eating them): the camel, for though it chews the cud (seems to have a true understanding or testimony), it does not divide the hoof (does not walk in the Torah-1 John 2.3-4), it is unclean to you (Hebrew “tamai” meaning “out of place”).
v 5…Likewise the rock badger, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you (out of place);
v 6…the rabbit also (an animal that is a symbol of sexual promiscuity even today), for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you (not be eaten);
v 7…and the pig, for though it divides the hoof (seems to walk in the Torah), thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud (it does not have a true understanding of the word or testimony), it is unclean to you.
v 8…You shall not eat their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean (out of place) to you (to walk in kedusha/holiness).
v 9…These you may eat, whatever is in the water: all that have fins (alluding to direction) and scales (alludes to the armor of God-Eph 6), those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat.
v 10…But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that do not have fins (no true direction in God’s ways) and scales (not protected by the armor of God) among the all the teeming life in the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable (Hebrew “sheketz” meaning causing disgust) things to you;
v 11…and they shall be abhorrent to you; you may not eat of their flesh and their carcasses you shall detest (be disgusting).
v 12…Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you (like Peter in Acts 10.14).
v 13…These (will be a picture of the KIngdom of Satan/False Messiah/demonic; the enemies of Israel-Ezek 34.25; Isa 65.3-4, 66.17; Jer 50.39, 52.37), moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard,
v 14…and the kite and the falcon in its kind (of the same ilk);
v 15…every raven in its kind;
v 16…and the ostrich and the owl and the sea gull and the hawk in its kind;
v 17…and the little owl and the cormorant (“the hurler” who dives from a great height to catch fish in the water) and the great owl
v 18…and the white owl (swan) and the pelican and the carrion vulture,
v 19…and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat (hears but can’t see).
v 20…All the winged insects that walk on all fours (an idiom for quadrupeds) are detestable to you.
v 21…Yet these you may eat among the winged insects which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs (bending hind legs higher than the others) with which to jump on the earth.
v 22…These of them you may eat: the locust in its , and the devastating locust in its kinds, and the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds (none of the four kinds of locust are known today, so to avoid error, none are eaten).
v 23…BUt all other winged insects which are four-footed are detestable to you.
v 24…By these, moreover, you will be made unclean (ritually): whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean (Out of place ritually) until evening (incapable of taking part in Temple worship or touching things with a kedusha, so the rest of the chapter discusses the transmission by contamination as a practical matter);
v 25…and whoever picks up any of their carcasses (and carrying it from one place to another) shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.
v 26…Concerning all the animals which divide the hoof but do not make a split hoof or which do not chew cud, they are unclean to you; whoever touches them becomes unclean.
v 27…Also, whatever walks on its paws (not divided into two parts, but into man y like fingers on a hand, like the cat, dog, wolf, bear, foxes, etc) are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening;
v 28…and the one who picks up their carcasses (to move them, etc) shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening; they are unclean to you.
v 29…Now these are to you the unclean among the swarming things which swarm on the earth: the mole and the mouse and the great lizard in its kinds,
v 30…and the gecko and the crocodile, and the lizard and the sand reptile, and the chameleon.
v 31…THese are to you the unclean among the swarming things; whoever touches them when they are dead becomes unclean until evening.
v 32…Also anything on which one of them may fall when they are dead becomes unclean, including any wooden article, or clothing, or a skin, or a sack-any article of which use is made- it shall be put in water and be unclean until evening, then it becomes clean (these creatures have close contact with filth and when dead have parasites).
v 33…As for any earthenware vessel (pottery) into which one of them may fall; whatever is in it becomes unclean and you shall break the vessel.
v 34…Any of the food which may be eaten, on which water comes, shall become unclean; and any liquid which may be drunk in every vessel shall become unclean (these things allude to the fact that sin defiles everything it touches).
v 35…Everything, moreover, on which part of their carcasses may fall becomes unclean; an oven or a stove shall be smashed (broken down); they are unclean and shall continue as unclean to you (unfit for use).
v 36…Only a spring or a cistern collecting water shall be clean (no defiling effect), though the one who touches their carcass shall be unclean (if it falls in the water).
v 37…And if a part of their carcass falls in any seed for sowing which is to be sown, it is clean (it does not contract impurity because of the various changes it would go through before it became fit for food).
v 38…Though if water is put on the seed, and a part of the carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.
v 39…Also if one of the animals dies (of itself) which you have for food (on the cclean list), the one who touches its carcass becomes unclean until evening (a clean animal dying of itself would ruin the type of Messiah who did not or could not die of natural causes and be our sacrifice; if these were given for hygienic reasons, how could a person be decontaminated simply by the setting of the sun; Deut 14.21 says you can give it to an alien or a stranger because they were not going to go to the Mishkan or Temple).
v 40…He too, who eats some of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening; and the one who picks up its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.
v 41…Now every swarming thing that swarms on the earth is detestable, and not to be eaten.
v 42…Whatever crawls on its belly (Hebrew “gahon” and in Hebrew the third letter “vav” is written large because it is the middle letter of the five books of Torah) and walks on all fours (snake-like creatures), whatever has many feet (like spiders caterpillars), is respect to very swarming thing that swarms on the earth, you shall not eat them, for they are detestable.
v 43…Do not render yourselves detestable (shaketz-one becomes this way by eating them) through any of the swarming things that swarm; and you shall not yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean.
v 44…For I am the Lord (Yehovah) your God. Consecrate yourselves (set yourself aside with a kedusha)therefore, and be holy (with a kedusha with limitations and restrictions for the service of God); for I am holy (have a kedusha). And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth.
v 45…For I am the Lord (Yehovah), whom brought you up from the land of Egypt (they owed their freedom to Yehovah so he has the authority to tell what they can or cannot eat, touch, etc), to be your God (power); thus you shall be holy for I am holy (believers belong to God and are made in his image so they are partakers of his nature and power).
v 46…This is the law (torah) regarding the animal, bird, and every living thing that moves in the waters and everything that swarms on the earth;
v 47…to make a distinction between the unclean (tamai/out of place) and the clean (tahor/in place), and between the edible creature and creature which is not to be eaten.”