International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
hu'-man: As an expression of religious devotion, human sacrifice has been widespread at certain stages of the race's development. The tribes of Western Asia were deeply affected by the practice, probably prior to the settlement of the Hebrews in Palestine, and it continued at least down to the 5th century B.C. At times of great calamity, anxiety and danger, parents sacrificed their children as the greatest and most costly offering which they could make to propitiate the anger of the gods and thus secure their favor and help. There is no intimation in the Bible that enemies or captives were sacrificed; only the offering of children by their parents is mentioned. The belief that this offering possessed supreme value is seen in Micah 6:6, where the sacrifice of the firstborn is the climax of a series of offerings which, in a rising scale of values, are suggested as a means of propitiating the angry Yahweh. A striking example of the rite as actually practiced is seen in 2 Kings 3:27, where Mesha the king of Moab (made famous by the Moabite Stone), under the stress of a terrible siege, offered his eldest son, the heir-apparent to the throne, as a burnt offering upon the wall of Kir-hareseth. As a matter of fact this horrid act seems to have had the effect of driving off the allies.
Human sacrifice was ordinarily resorted to, no doubt, only in times of great distress, but it seems to have been practiced among the old Canaanitish tribes with some frequency (Deuteronomy 12:31). The Israelites are said to have borrowed it from their Canaanite neighbors (2 Kings 16:3 2 Chronicles 28:3), and as a matter of fact human sacrifices were never offered to Yahweh, but only to various gods of the land. The god who was most frequently worshipped in this way was Moloch or Molech, the god of the Ammonites (2 Kings 23:10 Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2), but from Jeremiah we learn that the Phoenician god Baal was, at least in the later period of the history, also associated with Molech in receiving this worship (Jeremiah 19:5; Jeremiah 31:35).
As in the case of the Canaanites, the only specific cases of human sacrifice mentioned among the Israelites are those of the royal princes, sons of Ahaz and Manasseh, the two kings of Judah who were most deeply affected by the surrounding heathen practices and who, at the same time, fell into great national distress (2 Kings 16:3 2 Chronicles 28:3 2 Kings 21:6 2 Chronicles 33:6). But it is clear from many general statements that the custom was widespread among the masses of the people as well. It is forbidden in the Mosaic legislation (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-5 Deuteronomy 18:10); it is said in 2 Kings 17:17 that the sacrifice of sons and daughters was one of the causes of the captivity of the ten tribes. Jeremiah charges the people of the Southern Kingdom with doing the same thing (Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 19:5; Jeremiah 31:35); with these general statements agree Isaiah 57:5 Ezekiel 16:2; 20:31; 23:37; Psalm 106:37 f. A study of these passages makes it certain that in the period immediately before the captivity of Judah, human sacrifice was by no means confined to the royal family, but was rather common among the people. Daughters as well as sons were sacrificed. It is mentioned only once in connection with the Northern Kingdom, and then only in the summary of the causes of their captivity (2 Kings 17:17), but the Southern Kingdom in its later years was evidently deeply affected. There were various places where the bloody rite was celebrated (Jeremiah 19:5), but the special high place, apparently built for the purpose, was in the Valley of Tophet or Hinnom (ge-hinnom, Gehenna) near Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:6). This great high place, built for the special purpose of human sacrifice (Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 32:35), was defiled by the good king Josiah in the hope of eradicating the cruel practice (2 Kings 23:10).
The Biblical writers without exception look upon the practice with horror as the supreme point of national and religious apostasy, and a chief cause of national disaster. They usually term the rite "passing through fire," probably being unwilling to use the sacred term "sacrifice" in reference to such a revolting custom. There is no evidence of a continuance of the practice in captivity nor after the return. It is said, however, that the heathen Sepharvites, settled by the Assyrian kings in the depopulated territory of the Northern Kingdom, "burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim" (2 Kings 17:31). The practice is not heard of again, and probably rapidly died out. The restored Israelites were not affected by it.
Compare SACRIFICE (Old Testament), VI, 10.
William Joseph McGlothlin
SACRIFICE, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
I. TERMS OF SACRIFICE EPITOMIZED
II. ATTITUDE OF JESUS AND NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS TO THE OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM
1. Jesus' Attitude
2. Paul's Attitude
3. Attitude of the Author of Hebrews
III. THE SACRIFICIAL IDEA IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. Teaching of John the Baptist
2. Teaching of Jesus
3. Teaching of Peter
4. Paul's Teaching
5. Teaching of Hebrews
6. Johannine Teaching
IV. RELATION OF CHRIST'S SACRIFICE TO MAN'S SALVATION
1. Redemption or Deliverance from Curse of Sin
3. Remission of Sins
4. The Cancellation of Guilt
5. Justification or Right Standing with God
6. Cleansing or Sanctification
V. HOW CHRIST'S SACRIFICE PROCURES SALVATION
1. Jesus' Teaching
2. Paul's Teaching
3. Teaching of Hebrews
4. Petrine and Johannine Teaching
VI. RATIONALE OF THE EFFICACY OF CHRIST'S SACRIFICE
1. Jesus' Teaching
2. Paul's Teaching
3. The Teaching in Hebrews
VII. THE HUMAN CONDITIONS OF APPLICATION
1. Universal in Objective Potentiality
2. Efficacious When Subjectively Applied
VIII. THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE THE LIFE OF SACRIFICE
1. Consequence of Christ's Sacrifice
2. Christ's Death the Appeal for Christian's Sacrifice
3. Necessary to Fill Out Christ's Sacrifice
4. Content of the Christian's Sacrifice
5. The Supper as a Sacrifice
I. Terms of Sacrifice Epitomized.
The word "offering" (prosphora) describes the death of Christ, once in Paul (Ephesians 5:2); 5 times in Hebrews (Hebrews 10:5, 8, 10, 14, 18). The verb prosphero, "to offer," is also used, 15 times in Hebrews (Hebrews 5:1, 3; Hebrews 8:3, 4; 9:7, 14, 25, 28; 10:1, 8, 11, 12; 11:4). The noun prosphora occurs 15 times in the Septuagint, usually as the translation of minchah, "sacrifice." This noun in the New Testament refers to Old Testament sacrifices in Acts 7:42; Acts 21:26; to the offering of money in Acts 24:17 Romans 15:16. The verb anaphero, also occurs 3 times in Hebrews (7:27; 9:28; 13:15); also in 1 Peter 2:5.
The word "sacrifice" (thusia in the Septuagint translates 8 different Hebrew words for various kinds of sacrifice, occurring about 350 times) refers to Christ's death, once in Paul (Ephesians 5:2) 5 times in Hebrew (5:1; 9:23, 26; 10:12, 26). It refers several times to Old Testament sacrifice and 5 times to Christian living or giving (Philippians 2:17; Philippians 4:18 Hebrews 13:15, 16 1 Peter 2:5). The verb "to sacrifice" (thuo) is used once by Paul to describe Christ's death (1 Corinthians 5:7).
The blood (haima) of Christ is said to secure redemption or salvation, 6 times in Paul (Romans 3:25; Romans 5:9 1 Corinthians 10:16 Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:13 Colossians 1:20); 3 times in Hebrews (9:12, 14; 10:19; compare also 10:29); 2 times in 1 Peter (1:2, 19) and 5 times in the Johannine writings (1 John 1:7; 1 John 5:6, 8 Revelation 1:5). Unmistakably this figure of the blood refers to Christ's sacrificial death. "In any case the phrase (en to autou haimati, `in his blood,' Romans 3:25) carries with it the idea of sacrificial blood-shedding" (Sanday, Commentary on Epistle to Romans, 91).
(lutron, "ransom," the price paid for redeeming, occurring in Septuagint 19 times, meaning the price paid for redeeming the servant (Leviticus 25:51, 52); ransom for first-born (Numbers 3:46); ransom for the life of the owner of the goring ox (Exodus 21:30, etc.)) occurs in the New Testament only twice (Matthew 20:28 Mark 10:45). This word is used by Jesus to signify the culmination of His sacrificial life in His sacrificial death.
(antilutron, "ransom," a word not found in Septuagint, stronger in meaning than the preceding word) occurs only once in the New Testament (1 Timothy 2:6).
(apolutrosis, "redemption," in Exodus 21:8, meaning the ransom paid by a father to redeem his daughter from a cruel master) signifies
(1) deliverance from sin by Christ's death, 5 times in Paul (Romans 3:24 1 Corinthians 1:30 Ephesians 1:7, 14 Colossians 1:14); once in Hebrews (9:15);
(2) general deliverance, twice (Luke 21:28 Hebrews 11:35);
(3) the Christian's final deliverance, physical and spiritual (Romans 8:23 Ephesians 4:30).
The simple word (lutrosis, "redemption," 10 times in Septuagint as the translation of 5 Hebrew words) occurs once for spiritual deliverance (Hebrews 9:12).
(exagorazo, "redeem," only once in Septuagint, Daniel 2:8) in the New Testament means
(1) to deliver from the curse of the law, twice by Paul (Galatians 3:13; Galatians 4:5);
(2) to use time wisely, twice by Paul (Ephesians 5:16 Colossians 4:5).
The simple verb (agorazo, meaning in Leviticus 27:19 to redeem land) occurs twice in Paul (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:23) and means "to redeem" (in a spiritual sense). katallage, "reconciliation," only twice in the Septuagint) means the relation to God into which men are brought by Christ's death, 4 times by Paul (Romans 5:11; Romans 11:15 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19).
(katallassein, "to reconcile," 4 times in Septuagint (3 times in 2 Maccabees)) means to bring men into the state of reconciliation with God, 5 times in Paul (Romans 5:10 twice; 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19, 20).
The words with the propitiatory idea occur as follows: (hilaskomai, "to propitiate," 12 times in the Septuagint, translated "to forgive") occurs twice (Luke 18:13 Hebrews 2:17); (hilasmos, 9 times in Septuagint, Numbers 5:8 Psalm 129 (130):4, etc.; "atonement," "forgiveness") occurs twice in 1 John (2:2; 4:10); (hilasterion, 24 times in the Septuagint, translates "mercy-seat," where God was gracious and spake to man) translates in the New Testament "propitiation" (Romans 3:25), "mercy-seat" (Hebrews 9:5).
Christ is called "the Lamb," amnos, twice by the Baptist (John 1:29, 36); once by Philip applied to Christ from Isaiah 53:7 (Acts 8:32); and once by Peter (1 Peter 1:19); arnion, 28 times in Re (5:6, 8, 12, 13; 6:1, 16; 7:9, 10, 14; 19:7, 9; 21:9, 14, 22, 23, 27; 22:1, 3).
The cross (stauros) is used by Paul 10 times to describe the sacrificial death of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:17, 18 Galatians 5:11; Galatians 6:12, 14 Ephesians 2:16 Philippians 2:8; Philippians 3:18 1 Corinthians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 2:14) and once by the author of Hebrews (12:2). Jesus also 5 times used the figure of the cross to define the life of sacrifice demanded of His disciples and to make His own cross the symbol of sacrifice (Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24 Mark 8:34 Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27, with contexts; compare John 3:14; John 12:32, etc.).
Though it is not our province in this article to discuss the origin and history of sacrifice in the ethnic religions, it must be noted that sacrifice has been a chief element in almost every religion (Jainism and Buddhism being the principal exceptions). The bloody sacrifice, where the idea of propitiation is prominent, is well-nigh universal in the ethnic religions, being found among even the most enlightened peoples like the Greeks and Romans (see article "Expiation and Atonement" in ERE). Whether or not the system of animal sacrifices would have ceased not only in Judaism but also in all the ethnic religions, had not Jesus lived and taught and died, is a question of pure speculation. It must be conceded that the sect of the Jews (Essenes) attaining to the highest ethical standard and living the most unselfish lives of brotherhood and benevolence did not believe in animal sacrifices. But they exerted small influence over the Jewish nation as compared with the Pharisees. It is also to be noted that the prophets Amos, Hosea, Micah and Isaiah exalted the ethical far above the ceremonial; even denounced the sacrifice of animals if not accompanied by personal devotion to righteousness (Amos 5:21 Hosea 6:6 Micah 6:6 Isaiah 1:11). The Stoic and Platonic philosophers also attacked the system of animal sacrifices. But these exceptions only accentuate the historical fact that man's sense of the necessity of sacrifice to Deity is well-nigh universal. Only the sacrifice of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem caused a cessation of the daily, weekly, monthly and annual sacrifices among the Jews, and only the knowledge of Christ's sacrifice of Himself will finally destroy the last vestige of animal sacrifice.
II. Attitude of Jesus and New Testament Writers to the Old Testament Sacrificial System.
1. Jesus' Attitude:
Jesus never attacks the sacrificial system. He even takes for granted that the Jews should offer sacrifices (Matthew 5:24). More than that, He accepted the whole sacrificial system, a part of the Old Testament scheme, as of divine origin, and so He commanded the cleansed leper to offer the sacrifice prescribed in the Mosaic code (Matthew 8:4). There is no record that Jesus Himself ever worshipped by offering the regular sacrifices. But He worshipped in the temple, never attacking the sacrificial system as He did the oral law (Mark 7:6). On the other hand, Jesus undermined the sacrificial system by teaching that the ethical transcends the ceremonial, not only as a general principle, but also in the act of worship (Matthew 5:23, 24). He endorses Hosea's fine ethical epigram, `God will have mercy and not sacrifice' (Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7). He also commends as near the kingdom the scribe who put love to God and man above sacrifice (Mark 12:33). But Jesus teaches not merely the inferiority of sacrifice to the moral law, but also the discontinuance of sacrifice as a system, when He said, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many" (Mark 14:24 Matthew 26:28 Luke 22:20). Not only is the ethical superior to the ceremonial, but His sacrifice of Himself is as superior to the sacrifices of the old system as the new covenant is superior to the old.
2. Paul's Attitude:
Paul's estimate of the Jewish sacrifices is easily seen, although he does not often refer to them. Once only (Acts 21:26) after his conversion does he offer the Jewish sacrifice, and then as a matter of expediency for winning the Judaistic wing of Christianity to his universal gospel of grace. He regarded the sacrifices of the Old Testament as types of the true sacrifice which Christ made (1 Corinthians 5:7).
3. Attitude of the Author of Hebrews:
The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews discusses the Old Testament sacrifices more fully than other New Testament writers. He regards the bloody sacrifices as superior to the unbloody and the yearly sacririce on the Day of Atonement by the high priest as the climax of the Old Testament system. The high priest under the old covenant was the type of Christ under the new. The sacrifices of the old covenant could not take away sin, or produce moral transformation, because of the frailties of men (10:1-11), shown by the necessity of repeating the offerings (5:2), and because God had appointed another high priest, His Son, to supplant those of the old covenant (5:5; 7:1-28). The heart of this author's teaching is that animal sacrifices cannot possibly atone for sin or produce moral transformation, since they are divinely-appointed only as a type or shadow of the one great sacrifice by Christ (8:7; 10:1).
To sum up, the New Testament writers, as well as Jesus, regarded the Old Testament sacrificial system as of divine origin and so obligatory in its day, but imperfect and only a type of Christ's sacrifice, and so to be supplanted by His perfect sacrifice.
III. The Sacrificial Idea in the New Testament.
The one central idea of New Testament writers is that the sacrifice made by Christ on the cross is the final perfect sacrifice for the atonement of sin and the salvation of men, a sacrifice typified in the various sacrifices of the Old Testament, which are in turn abrogated by the operation of the final sacrifice. Only James and Jude among New Testament writers are silent as to the sacrifice of Christ, and they write for practical purposes only.
1. Teaching of John the Baptist:
The Baptist, it is true, presents Jesus as the coming Judge in the Synoptic Gospels, but in John 1:29, 36 he refers to Him as "the Lamb of God," in the former passage adding "that taketh away the sin of the world." Westcott (Commentary on John, 20) says: "The title as applied to Christ.... conveys the ideas of vicarious suffering, of patient submission, of sacrifice, of redemption, etc." There is scarcely any doubt that the Baptist looked upon the Christ as the one who came to make the great sacrifice for man's sins. Professor Burton (Biblical Ideas of Atonement, Burton, Smith and Smith, 107) says that John sees Christ "suffering under the load of human sin." 2. Teaching of Jesus:
There are recorded in the Synoptic Gospels two unmistakable references by Jesus to His death as a sacrifice (Mark 10:45 parallel Matthew 20:28; Mark 14:24 parallel Matthew 26:28 parallel Luke 22:20; compare 1 Corinthians 11:25). In the former He declares He came to give His "life a ransom." Thayer (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament) says this word means "the price paid for redeeming." Hence, the idea in ransom must be of sacrificial significance. But if there could be any doubt as to the sacrificial import of this passage, there is a clear case of the sacrificial idea in Mark 14:24. Practically all writers of the New Testament theology, Wendt, Weiss, Stevens, Sheldon and others, hold that Jesus considered the death as the ratification sacrifice of the new covenant, just as the sacrifice offered at Sinai ratified the old covenant (Exodus 24:3-8). Ritschl and Beyschlag deny that this passage is sacrificial. But according to most exegetes, Jesus in this reference regarded His death as a sacrifice. The nature of the sacrifice, as Jesus estimated it, is in doubt and is to be discussed later. What we are pressing here is the fact that Jesus regarded His death as a sacrifice. We have to concede the meagerness of material on the sacrificial idea of His death as taught by Jesus. Yet these two references are unquestioned by literary and historical critics. They both occur in Mark, the primitive Gospel (the oldest Gospel record of Jesus' teachings). The first occurs in two of the Synoptists, the second in all three of them. Luke omits the first for reasons peculiar to his purpose. According to Luke 24:25, Jesus regarded His sufferings and death as the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures.
3. Teaching of Peter:
Though the head apostle does not in the early chapters of Acts refer to Christ as the sacrifice for sin, he does imply as much in 2:36 (He is Lord and Christ in spite of His crucifixion); 3:18, 19 (He fulfilled the prophecies by suffering, and by means of repentance sins are to be blotted out); 4:10-12 (only in His name is salvation) and in 5:30, 31 (through whose death Israel received remission of sins). In his First Epistle (1 Peter 1:18, 19) he expressly declares that we are redeemed by the blood of the spotless Christ, thus giving the sacrificial significance to His death. The same is implied in 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Peter 3:18.
4. Paul's Teaching:
Paul ascribes saving efficacy to the blood of Christ in Romans 3:25; Romans 5:9 1 Corinthians 10:16; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:13 Colossians 1:20. He identifies Christ with a sin offering in Romans 8:3, and perhaps also in 2 Corinthians 5:21, and with the paschal lamb in 1 Corinthians 5:7. In other passages he implies that the death of Christ secured redemption, forgiveness of sins, justification and adoption (Romans 3:24-26; Romans 5:10, 11; 8:15, 17, etc.).
5. Teaching of Hebrews:
The argument of the author of Hebrews to prove the finality of Christianity is that Christ is superior to the Aaronic high priest, being a royal, eternal high priest, after the order of Melchizedek, and offering Himself as the final sacrifice for sin, and for the moral transformation of men (4:14; 10:18).
6. Johannine Teaching:
In the First Epistle of John (1 John 1:7; John 2:2; John 5:6, 8) propitiation for sin and cleansing from sin are ascribed to the blood of Christ. In Revelation 1:5 John ascribes deliverance (not washing or cleansing, according to best manuscripts) from sin, to the blood of Christ. Several times he calls Christ the Lamb, making the sacrificial idea prominent. Once he speaks of Him as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (13:8).
To sum up, all the New Testament writers, except James and Jude, refer to Christ's death as the great sacrifice for sin. Jesus Himself regarded His death as such. In the various types of New Testament teaching Christ's death is presented
(1) as the covenant sacrifice (Mark 14:24 parallel Matthew 26:28 parallel Luke 22:20 Hebrews 9:15-22);
(2) as the sin offering (Romans 8:3 2 Corinthians 5:21 Hebrews 13:11 1 Peter 3:18);
(3) as the offering of the paschal lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7);
(4) as the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement (Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 9:12).
IV. Relation of Christ's Sacrifice to Man's Salvation.
The saving benefits specified in the New Testament as resulting from the sacrificial death of Christ are as follows:
1. Redemption or Deliverance from Curse of Sin:
Redemption or deliverance from the curse of sin: This must be the implication in Jesus' words, "The Son of man also came.... to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45 parallel Matthew 20:28). Man is a captive in sin, the Father sends His Son to pay the ransom price for the deliverance of the captive, and the Son's death is the price paid. Paul also uses the words "redeemed" and "redemption" in the same sense. In the great letters he asserts that we are "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation.... in his blood" (Romans 3:24, 25). Here the apostle traces justification back to redemption as the means for securing it, and redemption back to the "blood" (Christ's death) as the cause of its procurement. That is, Christ's death secures redemption and redemption procures justification. In Galatians (3:13), he speaks of being redeemed "from the curse of the law." The law involved man in a curse because he could not keep it. This curse is the penalty of the broken law which the transgressor must bear, unless deliverance from said penalty is somehow secured. Paul represents Christ by His death as securing for sinners deliverance from this curse of the broken law (compare Galatians 4:5 for the same thought, though the word "curse" is not used). Paul also emphasizes the same teaching in the Captivity Epistles: "In whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses" (Ephesians 1:7; compare Colossians 1:14). In the pastoral letters (1 Timothy 2:6) he teaches that Christ gave "himself a ransom for all." This is the only New Testament passage in which occurs the strong word antilutron for "ransom." In his old age the apostle feels more positively than ever before that Christ's death is the ransom price of man's deliverance from sin.
The author of Hebrews asserts that Christ by the sacrifice of Himself "obtained eternal redemption" for man (9:12). John says that Christ "loosed (luo) us from our sins by his blood" (Revelation 1:5). This idea in John is akin to that of redemption or deliverance by ransom. Peter teaches the same truth in 1 Peter 1:19. So, we see, Jesus and all the New Testament writers regard Christ's sacrifice as the procuring cause of human redemption.
The idea of reconciliation involves a personal difference between two parties. There is estrangement between God and man. Reconciliation is the restoration of favor between the two parties. Jesus does not utter any direct message on reconciliation, but implies God's repugnance at man's sin and strained relations between God and the unrepentant sinner (see Luke 18:13). He puts into the mouth of the praying tax-gatherer the words, `God be propitious to me' (see Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon, hilaskomai), but Jesus nowhere asserts that His death secures the reconciliation of God to the sinner. Paul, however, does. "For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son," etc. (Romans 5:10). There can be no doubt from this passage that Paul thought of the death of Christ as the procuring cause of reconciliation. In Ephesians 2:13, 14, 18 Paul makes the cross of Christ the means of reconciliation between the hostile races of men. Paul reaches the climax in his conception of the reconciliation wrought by the cross of Christ when he asserts the unifying results of Christ's death to be cosmic in extent (Ephesians 1:10).
The author of Hebrews also implies that Christ's death secures reconciliation when he regards this death as the ratification of the "better covenant" (8:6;), and when he plays on the double meaning of the word (diatheke, 9:15;), now "covenant" and now "will," "testament." The death of Christ is necessary to secure the ratification of the new covenant which brings God and man into new relations (8:12). In 2:17 the author uses a word implying propitiation as wrought by the death of Christ. So the doctrine of reconciliation is also in the Epistle to the Hebrews. John teaches reconciliation with God through Christ our Advocate, but does not expressly connect it with His death as the procuring cause (1 John 2:1, 2). Peter is likewise silent on this point.
3. Remission of Sins:
Reconciliation implies that God can forgive; yea, has forgiven. Jesus and the New Testament writers declare the death of Christ to be the basis of God's forgiveness. Jesus in instituting the memorial supper said, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28). It is true Mark and Luke do not record this last phrase, "unto remission of sins." But there is no intimation that this phrase is the result of Matthew's theologizing on the purpose of Christ's death (see Wendt, Teaching of Jesus, II, 239;, who claims this phrase is not from Jesus; also Allen in "Matthew," ICC, in the place cited.). But Paul leaves no doubt as to the connection between man's forgiveness by God and Christ's sacrifice for him. This idea is rooted in the great passage on justification (Romans 3:21-5:21; see especially 4:7); is positively declared in Ephesians 1:7 Colossians 1:14. The author of Hebrews teaches that the shedding of Christ's blood under the new covenant is as necessary to secure forgiveness as the shedding of animal's blood under the old. John also implies that forgiveness is based on the blood (1 John 1:7-9).
4. The Cancellation of Guilt:
True reconciliation and forgiveness include the canceling of the offender's guilt. Jesus has no direct word on the cancellation of guilt. Paul closes his argument for the universality of human sin by asserting that "all the world may be brought under the judgment of God" (the King James Version "guilty before God," Romans 3:19). Thayer (Greek-English Lexicon, in the place cited.) says this word "guilty" means "owing satisfaction to God" (liable to punishment by God). But in Romans 8:1, 3 Paul exclaims, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.... God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin" (the English Revised Version and the American Revised Version margin "as an offering for sin"). The guilt, or exposure of the sinner to God's wrath and so to punishment, is removed by the sin offering which Christ made. This idea is implied by the author of Hebrews (2:15), but is not expressed in Peter and John.
5. Justification or Right Standing with God:
Right standing with God is also implied in the preceding idea. Forgiving sin and canceling guilt are the negative, bringing into right standing with God the positive, aspects of the same transaction. "Him who knew no sin he made to be sin (i.e. the sin offering; so Augustine and other Fathers, Ewald, Ritschl; see Meyer, Commentary, in loc., who denies this meaning) on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). In this passage Paul makes justification the divine purpose of the sacrificial death of Christ. This thought is elaborated by the apostle in Galatians and Romans, but is not expressed by Jesus, or in Hebrews, in Peter or in John.
6. Cleansing or Sanctification:
Jesus does not connect our cleansing or sanctification with His death, but with His word (John 17:17). The substantive "cleansing" (katharismos) is not used by Paul, and the verb "to cleanse" (katharizo) occurs only twice in his later letters (Ephesians 5:26 Titus 2:14).
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SACRIFICE, IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
I. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
II. ORIGIN AND NATURE OF SACRIFICES
1. Theory of a Divine Revelation
2. Theories of a Human Origin
(1) The Gift-Theory
(2) The Magic Theory
(3) The Table-Bond Theory
(4) The Sacramental Communion Theory
(5) The Homage Theory
(6) The Piacular Theory
(7) Originating Religious Instincts
III. CLASSIFICATION OF SACRIFICES
2. W.R. Smith and Others
4. Paterson and Others
5. H.M. Wiener
IV. SACRIFICES IN THE PRE-MOSAIC AGE
1. In Egypt
2. In Babylonia
3. Nomads and Tribes of Arabia and Syria
4. The Offerings of Cain and Abel
5. Of Noah
6. Of Abraham
7. Of Job
8. Of Isaac
9. Of Jacob
10. Of Israel in Egypt
11. Of Jethro
12. Summary and Conclusions
V. THE MOSAIC SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM
1. The Covenant Sacrifice
2. The Common Altars
3. The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons
4. Sacrifices before the Golden Calf
5. The Law of the Burnt Offering (`Olah)
(1) Ritual for the Offerer (Leviticus 1:3-17)
(2) Ritual for the Priest (Leviticus 1:3-17)
(3) General Laws for the Priest
(4) Laws in Deuteronomy 12:6, 13, 14, 27; 27:6
6. The Law of the Meal Offering (Minchah)
(1) Ritual for the Offerer (Leviticus 2:1-16)
(2) Ritual for the Priest (Leviticus 2:1-16)
(3) General Laws for the Priest (Leviticus 6:14-18 (Hebrew 7-11), etc.)
7. The Law of the Peace Offering
(1) Ritual for the Offerer (Leviticus 3:1-17)
(2) Ritual for the Priest (Leviticus 3:1-17)
(3) General Laws for the Priest (Leviticus 6:12 (Hebrew 5); 7:1;)
8. The Law of the Sin Offering
(1) At the Consecration of Aaron and His Sons (Exodus 29:10;)
(2) The Law of the Sin Offering (Leviticus 4:1-35; 24-30, etc.)
(a) The Occasion and Meaning
(b) Ritual for the Offerer (Leviticus 4:1-5, 13, etc.)
(c) Ritual for the Priest (Leviticus 4:1-5, 13, etc.)
(d) General Laws for the Priest (Leviticus 6:24-30)
(e) Special Uses of the Sin Offering
(i) Consecration of Aaron and His Sons
(ii) Purifications from Uncleanness
(iii) On the Day of Atonement
(iv) Other Special Instances
9. The Guilt Offering
(1) The Ritual (Leviticus 5:14-6:7)
(2) Special Laws: Leper, Nazirite, etc.
10. The Wave Offering
11. The Heave Offering
12. Drink Offerings
13. Primitive Nature of the Cult
VI. SACRIFICES IN THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL
1. The Situation at Moses' Death
2. In the Time of Joshua
3. The Period of the Judges
4. Times of Samuel and Saul
5. Days of David and Solomon
6. In the Northern Kingdom
7. In the Southern Kingdom to the Exile
8. In the Exilic and Post-exilic Periods
9. A Temple and Sacrifices at Elephantine
10. Human Sacrifices in Israel's History
11. Certain Heathen Sacrifices
VII. THE PROPHETS AND SACRIFICES
VIII. SACRIFICE IN THE "WRITINGS"
2. The Psalms
IX. THE IDEA AND EFFICACY OF SACRIFICES
1. A Gift of Food to the Deity
2. Expression of Adoration and Devotion, etc.
3. Means of Purification from Uncleanness
4. Means of Consecration to Divine Service
5. Means of Establishing a Community of Life between Worshipper and God
6. View of Ritschl
7. The Sacramental View
8. Symbol or Expression of Prayer
9. View of Kautzsch
10. Vicarious Expiation Theory; Objections
11. Typology of Sacrifice
I. Terms and Definitions.
zebhach, "sacrifice"; `olah, "burnt offering"; chata'ah, chatta'th, "sin offering"; 'asham, "guilt" or "trespass offering": shelem, shelamim, "peace offerings"; minchah, "offering," "present"; zebhach shelamim, "sacrifice of peace offerings"; zebhach ha-todhah, "thank offerings"; zebhach nedhabhah, "free-will offerings"; zebhach nedher, "votive offerings"; tenuphah, "wave offering"; terumah, "heave offering"; qorban, "oblation," "gift"; 'ishsheh, "fire offering"; necekh, "drink offering"; kalil, "whole burnt offering"; chagh, "feast"; lebhonah, "frankincense"; qetorah, qetoreth, "odor," "incense"; melach, "salt"; shemen, "oil":
Zebhach: a "slaughtered animal," a "sacrifice," general term for animals used in sacrifice, including burnt offerings, peace offerings, thank offerings, and all sacrifices offered to the Deity and eaten at the festivals. More particularly it refers to the flesh eaten by the worshippers after the fat parts had been burned on the altar and the priest had received his portion.
`Olah: a "burnt offering," sometimes whole burnt offering. Derived from the verb `alah, "to go up." It may mean "that which goes up to the altar" (Knobel, Wellhausen, Nowack, etc.), or "that which goes up in smoke to the sky" (Bahr, Delitzsch, Dillmann, etc.); sometimes used synonymously with kalil (which see). The term applies to beast or fowl when entirely consumed upon the altar, the hide of the beast being taken by the priest. This was perhaps the most solemn of the sacrifices, and symbolized worship in the full sense, i.e. adoration, devotion, dedication, supplication, and at times expiation.
Chota'ah, chatta'th: a "sin offering," a special kind, first mentioned in the Mosaic legislation. It is essentially expiatory, intended to restore covenant relations with the Deity. The special features were:
(1) the blood must be sprinkled before the sanctuary, put upon the horns of the altar of incense and poured out at the base of the altar of burnt offering;
(2) the flesh was holy, not to be touched by worshipper, but eaten by the priest only. The special ritual of the Day of Atonement centers around the sin offering.
'Asham: "guilt offering," "trespass offering" (King James Version; in Isaiah 53:10, the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "an offering for sin," the American Revised Version margin "trespass offering"). A special kind of sin offering introduced in the Mosaic Law and concerned with offenses against God and man that could be estimated by a money value and thus covered by compensation or restitution accompanying the offering. A ram of different degrees of value, and worth at least two shekels, was the usual victim, and it must be accompanied by full restitution with an additional fifth of the value of the damage. The leper and Nazirite could offer he-lambs. The guilt toward God was expiated by the blood poured out, and the guilt toward men by the restitution and fine. The calling of the Servant an 'asham (Isaiah 53:10) shows the value attached to this offering.
Shelem, shelamim: "peace offering," generally used the plural, shelamim, only once shelem (Amos 5:22). These were sacrifices of friendship expressing or promoting peaceful relations with the Deity, and almost invariably accompanied by a meal or feast, an occasion of great joy. They are sometimes called zebhachim, sometimes zebhach shelamim, and were of different kinds, such as zebhach ha-todhah, "thank offerings," which expressed the gratitude of the giver because of some blessings, zebhach nedhabhah, "free-will offerings," bestowed on the Deity out of a full heart, and zebhach nedher, "votive offerings," which were offered in fulfillment of a vow.
Minchah: "meal offering" (the Revised Version), "meat offering" (the King James Version), a gift or presentation, at first applied to both bloody and unbloody offerings (Genesis 4:5), but in Moses' time confined to cereals, whether raw or roast, ground to flour or baked and mixed with oil and frankincense. These cereals were the produce of man's labor with the soil, not fruits, etc., and thus represented the necessities and results of life, if not life itself. They were the invariable accompaniment of animal sacrifices, and in one instance could be substituted for them (see SIN OFFERING). The term minchah describes a gift or token of friendship (Isaiah 39:1), an act of homage (1 Samuel 10:27 1 Kings 10:25), tribute (Judges 3:15, 17 f), propitiation to a friend wronged (Genesis 32:13, 18; Hebrews 14:19)), to procure favor or assistance (Genesis 43:11 Hosea 10:6).
Tenuphah: "wave offering," usually the breast, the priest's share of the peace offerings, which was waved before the altar by both offerer and priest together (the exact motion is not certain), symbolic of its presentation to Deity and given back by Him to the offerer to be used in the priests' service.
Terumah: "heave offering," something lifted up, or, properly, separated from the rest and given to the service of the Deity. Usually the right shoulder or thigh was thus separated for the priest. The term is applied to products of the soil, or portion of land separated unto the divine service, etc.
Qorban: "an oblation," or "offering"; another generic term for all kinds of offerings, animal, vegetable, or even gold and silver. Derived from the verb qarabh, "to draw near," it signifies what is drawn or brought near and given to God.
'Ishsheh: "fire offering," applied to offerings made by fire and usually bloody offerings, but at times to the minchah, the sacred bread and frankincense placed on the tables as a memorial, part of which was burned with the frankincense, the bulk, however, going to the priest. The gift was thus presented through fire to the Deity as a sort of etherealized food.
Necekh: "drink offering," or "libation," a liquid offering of wine, rarely water, sometimes of oil, and usually accompanying the `olah, but often with the peace offerings.
Kalil: "whole burnt offering," the entire animal being burned upon the altar. Sometimes used synonymously with `olah. A technical term among the Carthaginians.
Chagh: a "feast," used metaphorically for a sacrificial feast because the meat of the sacrifices constituted the material of the feast.
Lebhonah: "frankincense," "incense," used in combination with the meal offerings and burnt offerings and burned also upon the altar in the holy place.
Qetorah, qetoreth: "smoke," "odor of sacrifice," or incense ascending as a sweet savor and supposed to be pleasing and acceptable to God.
Melach: "salt," used in all sacrifices because of its purifying and preserving qualities.
Shemen: "oil," generally olive oil, used with the meal offerings of cakes and wafers, etc.
Sacrifice is thus a complex and comprehensive term. In its simplest form it may be defined as "a gift to God." It is a presentation to Deity of some material object, the possession of the offerer, as an act of worship. It may be to attain, restore, maintain or to celebrate friendly relations with the Deity. It is religion in action-in early times, almost the whole of religion-an inseparable accompaniment to all religious exercises. Few or many motives may actuate it. It may be wholly piacular and expiatory, or an Offering of food as a gift to God; it may be practically a bribe, or a prayer, an expression of dependence, obligation and thanksgiving. It may express repentance, faith, adoration, or all of these combined. It was the one and only way of approach to God. Theophrastus defines it as expressing homage, gratitude and need. Hubert and Mauss define it as "a religious act which by the consecration of the victim modifies the moral state of the sacrificer, or of certain material objects which he has in view, i.e., either confers sanctity or removes it and its analogue, impiety."
II. Origin and Nature of Sacrifices.
The beginnings of sacrifice are hidden in the mysteries of prehistoric life. The earliest narrative in Genesis records the fact, but gives no account of the origin and primary idea. The custom is sanctioned by the sacred writings, and later on the long-established custom was adopted and systematized in the Mosaic Law. The practice was almost universal. The Vedas have their elaborate rituals. Some Semitic peoples, Greeks, Romans, Africans, and Indians of Mexico offered human sacrifices. It is unknown in Australia, but even there something akin to it exists, for some natives offer a portion of a kind of honey, others offer a pebble or a spear to their god. For this practically universal habit of the race, several solutions are offered.
1. Theory of a Divine Revelation:
One view maintains that God Himself initiated the rite by divine order at the beginnings of human history. Such a theory implies a monotheistic faith on the part of primitive man. This theory was strongly held by many of the Reformed theologians, and was based mainly on the narrative in Genesis 4:4 f. Abel offered an acceptable sacrifice, and, according to Hebrews 11:4, this was because of his faith. Faber makes a strong plea as follows: Since faith was what made the sacrifice acceptable to God, this faith must have been based upon a positive enactment of God in the past. Without this divine positive enactment to guarantee its truthfulness, faith, in Abel, would have been superstition. In other words, faith, in order to be truly based and properly directed, must have a revelation from God, a positive expression of the divine will. Fairbairn, in his Typology, goes further and holds that the skins wherewith Adam and Eve were clothed were from animals which had been slain in sacrifices. This is entirely without support in the narrative. The theory of a divine order cannot be maintained on the basis of the Biblical narrative. Moreover, it involves certain assumptions regarding the nature of faith and revelation which are not generally held in this age. A revelation is not necessarily a positive divine command, an external thing, and faith may be just as real and true without such a revelation as with it. That there may have been such a revelation cannot be denied, but it is not a necessary or probable explanation.
2. Theories of a Human Origin:
(1) The Gift-Theory.
By this it is held that sacrifices were originally presents to the deity which the offerer took for granted would be received with pleasure and even gratitude. Good relations would thus be established with the god and favors would be secured. Such motives, while certainly true among many heathen people, were obviously based upon low conceptions of the deity. They were either. Nature-spirits, ancestral ghosts or fetishes which needed what was given, and of course the god was placed under obligations and his favor obtained. Or, the god may have been conceived of as a ruler, a king or chief, as was the custom in the East.
Cicero vouches for such a view when he says: "Let not the impious dare to appease the gods with gifts. Let them hearken to Plato, who warns them that there can be no doubt what God's disposition to them will be, since even a good man will refuse to accept presents from the wicked" (HDB, IV, 331a). This view of sacrifice prevails in classical literature. Spencer therefore thinks it is self-evident that this was the idea of primitive man. Tylor and Herbert Spencer also find the origin of sacrifices in the idea of a gift, whether to the deity or to dead ancestors, food being placed for them, and this afterward comes to be regarded as a sacrifice. Such a view gives no account of the peculiar value attached to the blood, or to the burnt offerings. It may account for some heathen systems of sacrifice, but can help in no degree in understanding the Biblical sacrifices.
(2) The Magic Theory.
There are two slightly variant forms of this:
(a) that of R.C. Thompson (Semitic Magic, Its Origins and Developments, 175-218), who holds that a sacrificial animal serves as a substitute victim offered to a demon whose activity has brought the offerer into trouble; the aim of the priest is to entice or drive the malignant spirit out of the sick or sinful man into the sacrificial victim where it can be isolated or destroyed;
(b) that of L. Marillier, who holds that sacrifice in its origin is essentially a magical rite. The liberation of a magical force by the effusion of the victim's blood will bend the god to the will of the man. From this arose under the "cult of the dead" the gift-theory of sacrifice. Men sought to ally themselves with the god in particular by purifying a victim and effecting communion with the god by the application of the blood to the altar, or by the sacrifice of the animal and the contact of the sacrificer with its blood. Such theories give no account of the burnt offerings, meal offerings and sin offerings, disconnect them entirely from any sense of sin or estrangement from God, and divest them of all piacular value. They may account for certain depraved and heathen systems, but not for the Biblical.
(3) The Table-Bond Theory.
Ably advocated by Wellhausen and W.R. Smith, this view holds that sacrifices were meals which the worshippers and the god shared, partaking of the same food and thus establishing a firmer bond of fellowship between them. Sykes (Nature of Sacrifices, 75) first advocated this, holding that the efficacy of sacrifices "is the fact that eating and drinking were the known and ordinary symbols of friendship and were the usual rites in engaging in covenants and leagues." Thus sacrifices are more than gifts; they are deeds of hospitality which knit god and worshipper together. W.R. Smith has expounded the idea into the notion that the common meal unites physically those who partake of it. Though this view may contain an element of truth in regard to certain Arabian customs, it does not help much to account for Bible sacrifices. As A.B. Davidson says, "It fails utterly to account for the burnt offering, which was one of the earliest, most solemn and at times the most important of all the sacrifices."
(4) The Sacramental Communion Theory.
This is a modification of the table-bond theory. The basis of it is the totemistic idea of reverencing an animal which is believed to share with man the divine nature. On certain solemn occasions this animal would be sacrificed to furnish a feast. At this meal, according to men's savage notions, they literally "ate the god," and thus incorporated into themselves the physical, the intellectual and the moral qualities which characterized the animal. If the divine life dwelt in certain animals, then a part of that precious life would be distributed among all the people (RS2, 313). In some cases the blood is drunk by the worshippers, thus imbibing the life. Sometimes, as in the case of the sacred camel, they devoured the quivering flesh before the animal was really dead, and the entire carcass was eaten up before morning.
The brilliant work of W. R. Smith has not been universally accepted. L. Marillier has criticized it along several lines. It is by no means certain that totemism prevailed so largely among Semites and there is no evidence of its existence in Israel. Also, if an original bond of friendship existed between the god and the kin, there is no need to maintain it by such sacrificial rites. There is no clear instance of this having been done. If on the other hand there was no common bond between the god and the people but that of a common meal, it does not appear that the god is a totem god. There is no reason why the animal should have been a totem. In any case, this idea of sacrifice could hardly have been anything but a slow growth, and consequently not the origin of sacrifice. Hubert and Mauss also point out that W. R. Smith is far from having established the historical or the logical connection between the common meal and the other kinds of sacrifices. Under piacula he confuses purification, propitiation and expiations. His attempts to show that purifications of magical character are late and not sacrificial do not succeed. Smith's theory is mainly the sacramental, though he does recognize the honorific and piacular element. The theory may be applicable to some of the heathen or savage feasts of the Arabs, but not to the practices of the Hebrews (see Encyclopedia Brit, XXIII, 981).
(5) The Homage Theory.
This has been advocated by Warburton and F. D. Maurice. The idea is that sacrifices were originally an expression of homage and dependence. Man naturally felt impelled to seek closer communion with God, not so much from a sense of guilt as from a sense of dependence and a desire to show homage and obedience. In giving expression to this, primitive man had recourse to acts rather than words and thoughts. Thus sacrifice was an acted prayer, rather than a prayer in words. It was an expression of his longings and aspirations, his reverence and submission. There is much truth in this view; the elements of prayer-dependence and submission-enter into some sacrifices, the burnt offerings in particular; but it does not account for all kinds of offerings.
(6) The Piacular Theory.
This holds that sacrifices are fundamentally expiatory or atoning, and the death of the beast is a vicarious expiation of the sins of the offerer. Hubert and Mauss admit that in all sacrifices there are some ideas of purchase or substitution, though these may not have issued from some primitive form. The unifying principle in all sacrifices is that the divine is put in communication with the profane by the intermediary-the victim-which may be piacular or honorific. It is thus a messenger, a means of divination, a means of alimenting the eternal life of the species, a source of magical energy which the rite diffuses over objects in its neighborhood. Westermarck (Origin of Moral Ideas) makes the original idea in sacrifice a piaculum, a substitute for the offerer.
This view is the most simple, the most natural, and the only one that can explain certain sacrifices. Man felt himself under liability to punishment or death. The animal was his, it had life, it was of value, and perchance the god would accept that life in place of his. He felt that it would be accepted, and thus the animal was sacrificed. The offerer in a sense gives up part of himself. The beast must be his own; no sacrifice can be made of another person's property (2 Samuel 24:24 a). The true spirit of sacrifice appears in a willingness to acknowledge God's right to what is best and dearest (Genesis 12).
Objection is raised to this by A. B. Davidson (Old Testament Theology), Paterson (HDB, IV, 331) and others, on the ground that such an origin represents too advanced a stage of ethical thought and reflection for primitive man. We question seriously whether this be an advanced stage of moral reflection. On the contrary, it represents a very simple and primitive stage. The feeling that sin of some kind is never absent from human life, and that its true penalty is death, has been inseparable from the human heart's sense of sin. What could be more simple and natural than to take an innocent animal and offer it in place of himself, hoping that the Deity would accept it instead? Nor is there much force in Professor Paterson's objection that sacrifices were preponderantly joyous in character and therefore could not be offered as an expiation. This joyous character belongs to such sacrifices as peace offerings and thank offerings, but does not belong to the `olah and others. In most cases the joyous feast followed the killing of the animal by which the expiation was accomplished, and the feast was joyous because atonement had been made. In fact, many sacrifices were of the most solemn character and represented the deepest and most serious emotions of the heart.
(7) Originating in Religious Instincts.
Neither theory of an objective divine revelation, nor of a human origin will account for the universality and variety of sacrifices. The truth lies in a proper combination of the two. The notion of offering a gift to the Deity arose out of the religious instincts of the human heart, which in an early period had a consciousness of something wrong between itself and God, and that this something would mean death sooner or later. Added to these true instincts was the Omnipresent Spirit to guide men in giving expression. What could be more simple and primitive than to offer something possessing life? Of course the notion originated in simple and childlike ideas of God, and its real motive was not to gratify God by sharing a meal with Him, or to gain His favor by a bribe, but to present Him with something that represented a part of the offerer which might be accepted in his stead. Thus sacrifices became the leading features of the religious life of primitive man. Naturally other ideas would be added, such as a gift of food by fire to the Deity, the peace offerings, etc., to celebrate the friendly relations with God, the thank offerings, the sin offerings, etc., all of which naturally and logically developed from the primitive idea. It might be expected that there would be many corruptions and abuses, that the sense of sin would be obscured or lost among some peoples, and the idea of sacrifice correspondingly degraded. Such has been the case, and as well might we try to understand man at his best by studying the aboriginal tribes of Africa and Australia, or the inmates of asylums and penitentiaries, as to attempt to understand the Bible ideas in sacrifices by studying the cults of those heathen and savage tribes of Semites, etc.
III. Classification of Sacrifices.
Maimonides was among the first to classify them, and he divided them into two kinds:
(1) Those on behalf of the whole congregation, fixed by statute, time, number and ritual being specified. This would include burnt, meal and peace offerings with their accompaniments. (2) Those on behalf of the individual, whether by virtue of his connection with the community or as a private person. These would be burnt offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings with their accompaniments.
2. W. R. Smith and Others:
Others, such as W. R. Smith, classify them as: (1) honorific, or designed to render homage, devotion, or adoration, such as burnt, meal and peace offerings; (2) piacular, designed to expiate or make atonement for the errors of the people, i.e. burnt offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings; (3) communistic, intended to establish the bond between the god and the worshipper, such as peace offerings.
Oehler divides them into two classes, namely: (1) those which assume that the covenant relation is undisturbed, such as peace offerings; (2) those intended to do away with any disturbance in the relation and to set it right, such as burnt, sin and guilt offerings.
4. Paterson and Others:
Professor Paterson and others divide them into three: (1) animal sacrifices, burnt offerings, peace offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings; (2) vegetable sacrifices, meal offerings, shewbread, etc.; (3) liquid and incense offerings; wine, oil, water, etc.
5. H. M. Wiener:
H. M. Wiener offers a more suggestive and scientific division (Essays on Pentateuchal Criticism, 200):
(1) customary lay offerings, such as had from time immemorial been offered on rude altars of earth or stone, without priest, used and regulated by Moses and in more or less general use until the exile, namely, burnt offerings, meal offerings, and peace offerings;
(2) statutory individual offerings, introduced by Moses, offered by laymen with priestly assistance and at the religious capital, i.e. burnt offerings, peace offerings, meal offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings;
(3) statutory national offerings introduced by Moses and offered by the priest at the religious capital, namely, burnt, meal, peace and sin offerings.
IV. Sacrifices in the Pre-Mosaic Age.
Out of the obscure period of origins emerged the dimly lighted period of ancient history. Everywhere sacrifices existed and sometimes abounded as an essential part of religion. The spade of the archaeologist, and the researches of scholars help us understand the pre-Mosaic period.
1. In Egypt:
In Egypt-probably from the beginning of the 4th millennium B.C.-there were sacrifices and sacrificial systems. Temples at Abydos, Thebes, On, etc., were great priestly centers with high priests, lower priests, rituals and sacrifices in abundance. Burnt, meal and peace offerings predominated. Oxen, wild goats, pigs, geese were the chief animals offered. Besides these, wine, oil, beer, milk, cakes, grain, ointment, flowers, fruit, vegetables were offered, but not human beings. In these offerings there were many resemblances to the Hebrew gifts, and many significant exceptions. Moses would be somewhat familiar with these practices though not with the details of the ritual. He would appreciate the unifying power of a national religious center. It is inconceivable that in such an age a national leader and organizer like Moses would not take special care to institute such a system.
2. In Babylonia:
In Babylonia, from the year 3000 B.C. or thereabouts, according to E. Meyer (Geschichte des Alterthums), there were many centers of worship such as Eridu, Nippur, Agade, Erech, Ur, Nisin, Larsa, Sippar, etc. These and others continued for centuries with elaborate systems of worship, sacrifices, temples, priesthoods, etc. Considerably over 100 temples and sanctuaries are mentioned on inscriptions, and several hundreds in the literature and tablets, so that Babylonia was studded with temples and edifices for the gods. At all these, sacrifices were constantly offered-animal and vegetable. A long list of the offerings of King Gudea includes oxen, sheep, goats, lambs, fish, birds (i.e. eagles and doves), dates, milk, greens (Jastrow, in HDB, V, 580, under the word). The sacrifices provided an income for the priests, as did the Mosaic system at a later time. It had long passed the stage when it was supposed to furnish a meal for the god. A sacrifice always accompanied a consultation with a priest, and was really an assessment for the services rendered. It was not a voluntary offering or ritualistic observance. The priests on their own behalf offered a daily sacrifice, as in the Mosaic Law, and likewise on special occasions, to insure the good will of the gods they served. It seems certain that in some of the larger centers of worship animals were offered up twice a day, morning and evening. At these sacrifices certain portions were consumed on the altar, the rest belonging to the priest. The similarity of much of this to the Mosaic institutions is obvious. That the culture and civilization of Babylon was known to Egypt and Israel with other nations is shown clearly by the Tell el-Amarna Letters. Special sacrifices on special occasions were offered in Babylonia as in Israel. As Jastrow says, "In the Hebrew codes, both as regards the purely legal portions and those sections dealing with religious ritual, Babylonian methods of legal procedure and of ritual developed in Babylonian temples must be taken into consideration as determining factors."
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pneumatikai thusiai): A figure taken from the victim slain and offered on the altar, as e.g. the paschal lamb; thus signifying the complete and acceptable offering of the self-dedicated spirit. As the temple, priesthood and God Himself are spiritual, so is the sacrifice of the consecrated believer (1 Peter 2:5); compare "living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1); "sacrifice of praise" (Hebrews 13:15, 16). Any self-dedicating act of the inner man; the devout, renewed, consecrated spirit, e.g. Christian benevolence (Philippians 4:18); "to do good and to communicate" (Hebrews 13:16); "mercy" and "knowledge of God," instead of material and outward sacrifice (Hosea 6:6). This is defined and beautifully illustrated in the classic verse on this theme, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit," etc. (Psalm 51:17).
Dwight M. Pratt
DAILY OFFERING; DAILY SACRIFICE
See SACRIFICE, HUMAN.