Burnt Offerings. 1The LORD called Moses, and spoke to him from the tent of meeting:a 2Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When any one of you* brings an offering of livestock to the LORD, you shall bring your offering from the herd or from the flock.b
3* c If a person’s offering is a burnt offering* from the herd, the offering must be a male without blemish.d The individual shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to find favor with the LORD, 4and shall lay a hand* on the heade of the burnt offering, so that it may be acceptablef to make atonementg for the one who offers it. 5The bull shall then be slaughtered* before the LORD, and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall offer its blood by splashing it on all the sides of the altar which is at the entrance of the tent of meeting.h 6Then the burnt offering shall be flayed and cut into pieces. 7After Aaron’s sons, the priests, have put burning embers on the altar and laid wood on them, 8they shall lay the pieces of meat, together with the head and the suet, on top of the wood and the embers on the altar; 9but the inner organs and the shanks shall be washed with water. The priest shall then burn all of it on the altar as a burnt offering, a sweet-smelling oblation to the LORD.i
10If a person’s burnt offering is from the flock, that is, a sheep or a goat, the offering must be a male without blemish. 11It shall be slaughtered on the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall splash its blood on all the sides of the altar. 12When it has been cut into pieces, the priest shall lay these, together with the head and suet, on top of the wood and the embers on the altar; 13but the inner organs and the shanks shall be washed with water. The priest shall then offer all of it, burning it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a sweet-smelling oblation to the LORD.
14If a person offers a bird as a burnt offering to the LORD, the offering brought must be a turtledove or a pigeon.j 15Having brought it to the altar, the priest shall wring its head off and burn it on the altar. The blood shall be drained out against the side of the altar.k 16He shall remove its crissum* by means of its feathers and throw it on the ash heap at the east side of the altar. 17Then, having torn the bird open by its wings without separating the halves, the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood and the embers. It is a burnt offering, a sweet-smelling oblation to the LORD.
* [1:2] Any one of you: women as well as men bring sacrifices (see 12:6–8; 15:28–30) and are explicitly obligated in other ritual matters (e.g., 13:29, 38; Nm 5:6; 6:2; Lk 2:24). Thus, though the Hebrew formulates sacrificial and other law with male reference, the translation reflects the inclusion of women in ritual requirements. From the herd or from the flock: the only animals which could be used as sacrificial victims were domestic animals either of the bovine class (bulls, cows and calves) or the ovine class (sheep and lambs, goats and kids). Excluded, therefore, were not only all wild animals, but also such “unclean” domestic animals as the camel and the donkey (cf. 11:1–47; 27:26–27).
* [1:3–5] Entrance of the tent of meeting…before the LORD: probably the forecourt from the entrance of the court to the entrance of the tent (cf. Ex 27). Thus the altar in front of the tent was entirely accessible to the laity.
* [1:3] The burnt offering is used for regular daily (6:1–6) offerings, public festivals (Nm 28–29), purification rituals (Lv 12:6–8; 14:19–20; 15:15, 30), and individuals’ vows and voluntary offerings (22:18–20).
* [1:4] Lay a hand: the imposition of a single hand for the sacrifices in chaps. 1–5 may be a means of designating the animal as belonging to the offerer. See note on 16:21. Atonement: see note on 16:6.
* [1:5] Shall then be slaughtered: lit., “he shall slaughter the bull.” Slaughtering is not something the offerer must do (as opposed to, for example, hand placement [v. 4] or the presentation of sacrificial portions as an elevated offering [7:29–34]). Thus the verb is construed impersonally here.
* [1:16] Crissum: the area around the anus of the bird, lying beneath the bird’s tail.