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There are several terms used in the Bible to describe the act of sacrifice. The first has to do with something given or offered to God, and is used particular with regard to bloodless offerings. Examples are the use of the word “gift” in Gen. 33:13–21; 43:11, etc.; the word “tribute” in 2 Sam. 8:2,6; 1 Kings 5:1 and 2 Kings 17:4; and the word “offering” in 1 Chron. 16:29 and Isa. 1:13.

The other type is the bloody sacrifice, in which the shedding of blood is the main idea, as opposed to the whole burnt offering which is completely burned. The Greek word θυσια (thusia) is used for both the animal in the sacrifice and for the act of burning, whether literal or figurative. In the New Testament, a sacrifice (or offering) is ὁλοκαυτομα (holokautoma), which means “wholly consumed (Latin holocaustum). See Acts 21:26; 24:17; Eph. 5:2; Heb. 10:5; Mark 12:33; Heb. 10:6,8.

Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God (Gen. 4:3,4). Cain’s offering was “of the fruit of the ground,” and Abel “of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof”. Then, Noah expressed his thanks for deliverance from the flood by offering burnt sacrifices on an altar he had constructed. The patriarchs consistently built altars and offered sacrifices, particularly in places where God had revealed Himself to them. As Edersheim has put it, in his book The Temple, “Indeed, to sacrifice seems as natural to man as to pray; the one indicates what he feels about himself, the other what he feels about God. The one means a felt need of propitiation, the other a felt sense of dependence.”

In the Pentateuch, the fundamental idea of sacrifice is that of substitution; and under the Mosaic law the offering of sacrifice was a covenant duty, with the materials of the offering and the ceremonies described in minute detail. The ground on which the legal offering of sacrifices is based is the commandment, “None shall appear before me empty” (Exo. 23:15), or “Appear not empty before the face of Jehovah”. That is to say, “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee” (Deut. 16:16,17).

No religious act in the Old Testament was complete unless accompanied with sacrifice; the system was designed by God with the intention of awakening a consciousness of sin and uncleanness and of showing the possibility of obtaining the forgiveness of sin and becoming righteous before God.

The presenting to God a gift of a portion of the results of one’s labor implied a surrender of the person to God. But man is unholy and sinful, and is thus unable to surrender himself to the holy God. Therefore, laying the hand upon the head of the animal was a symbol of transferring to the victim of the sacrifice the sinfulness of the offeror. The animal thus took the place of the offeror and became his substitute; and the killing of the animal pointed out the necessity of death of the man whose sin alienates him from God.

However, sacrifices, as such, had no power in themselves to heal the rupture between God and man, because an animal cannot make an adequate satisfaction for the sin and guilt of man. When Jesus Christ, the sinless and righteous God-man, voluntarily offered Himself on the Cross, He fulfilled the Law of sacrifices and ordinances; and the typical meaning of each sacrifice and offering was brought out in full.

The rest of this study is devoted to a description of the Mosaic sacrifices and offerings, including a study of the materials used in each offering, the ceremony employed in making the sacrifice, and a brief discussion of the spiritual meaning, the typology, of each.

The Classes of Levitical Sacrifices

There were two classes of sacrifice in Old Testament times.

The first class was those sacrifices offered to enable a person to enter into communion (fellowship) with God. These are known as propitiatory offerings and included the sin and trespass offerings.

The second class was intended to be offerings made by believers in fellowship; and these included the burnt offerings, peace offerings, thank offerings, votive offerings, freewill offerings, and meal and drink offerings.

Keep in mind that when several sacrifices were offered on the same occasion, the propitiatory offerings were offered first, followed by the burnt offerings, and then the peace offering. The meal and drink offerings were offered with the burnt offerings, or by themselves.

Materials Used in the Sacrifices

With respect to the materials used in the sacrifices, they were divided into two classes: the blood sacrifices, in which an animal was killed, and the bloodless offerings, the “meal” (vegetable and mineral) and drink offerings.

Animals offered included oxen, sheep, goats, and turtledoves or young pigeons. The pigeons were used by people who could not afford the more expensive animals (Lev. 5:7; 12:8) and to serve as lesser sin offerings. Both male and female cattle could be offered (Lev. 3:1-6), but among the sheep and goats special prominence was given to the male animal (Num. 15:5 ff; 28:11 ff). The animal had to be at least eight days old (Lev. 22:27; Exo. 22:30), although sheep and goats were usually offered when a year old (Exo. 29:38; Lev. 9:3), and oxen when they were three years old. Any animal offered had to be free from any blemish (Lev. 22:20-24).

Vegetables offered were grain, olive oil, wine, salt, and incense, which was partly vegetable and partly mineral. The grain was offered roasted in the ear or as fine flour, to both of which incense and oil were added (Lev. 2:1-15), or as unleavened bread or biscuits. The bread was either baked in an oven, baked in a pan, or fried in oil; in each case the flour was mixed with oil.

All of the animal and vegetable offerings had to be salted (Lev. 2:13; Eze. 43:24; Mark 9:49). Neither leaven nor honey were allowed in any offering made to God by fire (Lev. 2:13).

The animals and meat offerings selected for sacrifice were from the ordinary food of the Hebrews, in order to express gratitude for blessings bestowed and to pray for continuation of His goodness. As these offerings were the fruit of their life and work, and presenting them showed a consecration to God of their life with all its ability and energy.

Method of Presentation of the Sacrifices

In animal sacrifices, the animal was brought to the door or the tabernacle, near the altar. The person bringing the animal placed his hand on the animal’s head, then killed it at the north side of the altar (Lev. 1:4,5,11; 3:2,8; 6:25; 7:2). When the sacrifice was part of the regular services on festive occasions or offered on behalf of the whole people, the animals were slaughtered and cut up by the priests.

Once the animal was slain, the priest caught the blood in a vessel, and depending on the nature of the sacrifice, sprinkled some of it either on the side of the altar, on the horns of the Altar of Incense, or on the Ark (Day of Atonement). The remainder of the blood was emptied at the foot of the great altar. (Exo. 29:12; Lev. 4:17 ff)

The animal was then skinned and cut into pieces by the offeror (or priest), and either entirely burnt on the altar or just the fat burnt on the altar, with any remainder being burnt outside the camp. This “burning” amounted to cooking the animal, and the animal was then eaten by the priests, or by the priests along with the one who had brought the animal.

If the sacrifice was a bird, the priest wrung off the bird’s head and allowed the blood to flow on the side of the altar. He then threw the viscera on the ash heap beside the altar, and the head and body were burnt on the altar (Lev. 1:15).

If vegetable offerings were being made at the same time as burnt offerings, part of the flour and oil, some of the ears of corn and the cakes, along with the incense, were burned on the altar, the remainder going to the priests, who were required to consume it in the court of the tabernacle without leaven (Lev. 2:2ff; 6:9–11; 7:9ff; 10:12ff). If the offering was a thank offering, one cake was presented as a wave offering (see below) to God, and was given to the priest who spilled the blood (Lev. 7:14), the remainder of the offering being eaten by those who presented it.

The Sin Offering

The sin offering was first directly commanded in Lev. 4. “If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them”, then that conduct would required a sin offering. The idea is that some sins are unintentional, “in error”, and may have been committed through ignorance, hurry, lack of consideration, or carelessness, in other words, sins which came from human weakness, as opposed to sins which are deliberately and knowingly done in rebellion against God and His commandments. [The penalty for presumptuous sin was to be cut off from among God’s people (Lev. 15:30).]

The effect of the sin offering was forgiveness of the sin and cleansing from the pollution of sin (Lev. 4:20,26,31,35; 5:10; 12:8; 14:20; 16:19). Its presentation assumed that the offeror was conscious of sin; and the laying on of the hands was understood to mean that the sin was to be transferred to the animal (Lev. 4:4,14).

The soul was brought into fellowship within divine grace through the pouring out of the blood of the sacrifice, analogous to the death of Christ on the Cross. The burning of the fat on the altar was an offering of a “sweet savor” to God, and was symbolical of the handing over to God the better part of man, that which is capable of cleansing and renewal, in order that it might be purified by the fire of God’s holiness and love.

The Material of the Sin Offering

The animal to be offered was determined by the nature of the offense and by the position, or rank, of the one making the offering.

A young bullock was offered for a sin of the whole congregation (Lev. 4:13), for a sin of the high priest (Lev. 4:3), for the high priest on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:3), and for the consecration of priests and Levites to their offices (Exo. 29:10,14,35; Num. 8:8).

A he-goat was offered on new moon and annual festivals (Num. 28:15,22,30; 29:5,11,16,19), at the dedication of the tabernacle (and Temple) (Num. 7:16,22; Ezra 6:17, w/8:35), and for the sin of a prince (Lev. 4:23).

A she-goat was offered for a sin by one of the common people (Lev. 4:28,32; 5:6).

A she-lamb of a year old was offered for the cleansing of a leper (Lev. 14:10,19) and when a Nazarite was released from his vow (Num. 6:14).

A pigeon or turtledove was used for purifying a woman after childbirth (Lev. 12:6), for a man or woman who had protracted issues of blood (Lev. 15:14,29), and for a Nazarite who had been defiled by contact with a dead body (Num. 6:10). A bird was also used as a substitute for a lamb in the case of poverty, for an ordinary offense (Lev. 5:7).

Method of Presenting the Sin Offering

If the offering was a bullock offered on behalf of the high priest or of the whole congregation, its blood was taken into the Holy Place and sprinkled seven times toward the inner veil, then upon the horns of the altar of incense. The remainder was poured at the foot of the altar of burnt offering (Lev. 4:5ff). If the animal was a ram, a she-goat, or a lamb, the blood was merely put on the horns of the altar of burnt offering.

On the Day of Atonement, the high priests took the blood of the sin offering made for himself (the bullock) into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled it on the Mercy Seat of the Ark. He then returned to the altar and took the blood of the goat offered for the sins of the congregation into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled it in the same manner.

In all cases, the next step was to separate the fatty portions of the animal and burn them on the altar (Lev. 4:8–35).

In those cases in which the blood was sprinkled either in the Holy Place or in the Holy of Holies, the flesh, along with the skin, head, and all other parts of the animal were carried outside the camp (later, outside the city of Jerusalem) to a clean place where the ashes of sacrifice were usually placed, there to be consumed by fire (Lev. 4:11ff; 6:23; 16:27). In the case of other sin offerings, the flesh was eaten by the priests in the holy place (Lev. 6:26; Num. 18:9,10).

Any earthenware vessel from which the priests ate was broken; copper vessels were scoured. Garments on which blood had fallen were washed (Lev. 6:27,28).

Typology of the Sin Offering

The sin offering presents Christ atoning for the guilt of sin (Heb. 13:11,12). It shows Christ as actually burdened with the believer’s sin, standing in the sinner’s place as his substitute. This offering tells of the Lord’s death as presented in Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, and 1 Peter 2:24. It carefully guards the holiness of Him who “was made sin for us.”

The Trespass Offering

The trespass offering was also a propitiatory offering, but it was made for a special offense, while the sin offering was made for the person of the offender. “In fact, the trespass offering may be regarded as representing ransom for a special wrong, while the sin offering symbolized general redemption” (Edersheim, The Temple, p. 100ff).

The trespass offering was a ram, which was valued by a priest according to the shekel of the sanctuary (Lev. 5:15,18; 6:6; 19:21). In the case of a leper or a Nazarite, this offering was a lamb. These offerings were offered for the following offenses:

  1. Trespass in ignorance against things of the Lord, that is, to inadvertently take away from God that which belonged to Him, of sacrifices, first fruits, tithes, etc. Compensation for the harm done accompanied the sacrifice, with the gift of a fifth part of the value to the priests.

  2. Ignorant transgression of any definite prohibition of the law (Lev. 5:17).

  3. Fraud, suppression of the truth, or perjury against a neighbor; with compensation to the victim and an additional fifth part of any property in question to the person wronged (Lev. 6:1ff).

  4. Rape of a slave (Lev. 19:20–22)

  5. At the purification of a leper (Lev. 14:12), and of a polluted Nazarite (Num. 6:12).

In this offering, the skin of the animal and any meat offering went to the officiating priest, except that portions that were mixed with oil or were dry were divided among all the priests.

Typology of the Trespass Offering

This ritual shows Christ’s atoning for the damage caused by sin and has in view the injury of the sin as opposed to the guilt of the sin. This aspect of the trespass offering is seen in Psalm 51:4, “Against thee and thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest and be clear when thou judgest.”

The Burnt Offering

The name for the burnt offering comes from the Hebrew word holah, “ascending”, because, as the animal was wholly consumed in the fire (with the exception of the skin), the smoke would rise toward heaven. (The animals in other sacrifices were only partially consumed on the altar.) The burnt offering symbolized the entire surrender to God of the individual or congregation, God’s acceptance of that surrender, and therefore the renewal and restoration of the individual. This offering was not made to atone for sin, as were the other offerings.

This offering was supposed to reflect the inward volition of every true Hebrew and so was required to be presented regularly on the following occasions:

  1. Every morning and evening (Exo. 29:38–42; Num. 28:3–8).

  2. Each Sabbath day, double offerings (Num. 28:9,10).

  3. At the new moon, the three great festivals, the Day of Atonement, and Feast of Trumpets (Num. 28:11–29:39).

Special burnt offerings were required:

  1. At the consecration of priests (Exo. 29:15; Lev. 8:18; 9:12).

  2. At the purification of women (Lev. 12:6–8)

  3. At the cleansing of lepers (Lev. 14:19).

  4. For removal of other ceremonial uncleanness (Lev. 15:15,30).

  5. On any accidental breach of the Nazarite vow, or at its conclusion (Num. 6:11,14).

Freewill burnt offerings were made on any solemn occasion such as the dedication of the tabernacle or the Temple (1 Kings 8:64).

The burnt offering was the only sacrifice that non-Israelites were allowed to bring. The emperor Augustus had a daily burnt offering brought for him of two lambs and a bullock; and this sacrifice was regarded as indicating that the Jews recognized him as their ruler. At the commencement of the Jewish war, the high priest Eleazar rejected this offering, which was seen as rebellion against Rome.

Typology of the Burnt Offering

In this offering, the idea of sin is not conspicuous, and sets forth Christ offering Himself without spot to God to perform God’s will with joy; the offering is a sweet savor to God, so-called because it deals with Christ in His own perfections and devotion to the Father’s will, as opposed to the non-sweet savor offerings which show Christ carrying the believer’s sin.

The sacrificial animals symbolize Christ in some aspect of His redeeming character. The ox shows His patient endurance as Savior (1 Cor. 9:9,10; Isa. 52:13–15; Phil. 2:5–8). The sheep or ram portrays Christ in His unresisting facing of death (Isa. 53:7). The goat typifies a sinner, and, when it is used for Christ, shows Him as the One who was “numbered with the transgressors.” The turtledove or pigeon symbolizes mourning innocence and portrays poverty. It shows forth Him who became poor that we might become rich. (Isa. 38:14; Heb. 7:26; Lev. 5:7; 2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:6–8).

The Peace Offering

The peace offering was another sacrifice offered by a believer in fellowship with God. It is divided into three kinds of offering: (1) the thank offering, or sacrifice of thanks (Lev. 7:12; 22:29); (2) the votive offering, or sacrifice which accompanied the taking of a vow (Num. 6:14; 15:3,8); and (3) the freewill offering. The peace offering always followed any other sacrifices that were taking place.

Public peace offerings were customary on festive occasions, the election of kings, and whenever some important enterprise had been successful (Exo. 24:5; 2 Sam. 6:17ff; 1 Kings 8:63; 1 Sam. 11:15; Deut. 27:7; Josh. 8:31).

These offerings were specifically prescribed for the Feast of Pentecost (Lev. 23:19). Festivals were observed with peace offerings; and Solomon ordered a sacrificial festival of burnt and peace offerings to be held three times a year (1 Kings 9:25).

The peace offerings speak of the state of grace of the believer in fellowship with God, and they took place mainly in connection with feasts commemorating God. They helped to establish people more firmly in their walk with Jehovah and to be more mindful of God when enjoying prosperity and mercies. The peace offering also enabled the Hebrew to be reminded of God’s nearness and protection whenever adversity threatened to take his mind off the Lord.

The thank offering was offered in times of personal or national prosperity or success, at any time, in fact, when the believer felt thankful to God for what He had bestowed.

The freewill offering seems to have been centered in the desire to thank God for the enjoyment of His provision and to make supplication for its continuance.

The animals in the peace offerings were either unblemished oxen or smaller cattle of either sex (Lev. 3:1,6; 9:4). Deformed animals were allowable in freewill offerings (Lev. 22:23). There is no mention of pigeons beings used. These sacrifices were always accompanied by a meat and drink offering.

In the ritual, the offeror led the animal to the altar, laid his hand upon its head, and killed it. The fat parts were taken from the animal and burned on the altar, on the burnt offering (Lev. 3:3–16; 9:18ff). Thus, the peace offering presupposed the previous reconciliation of the offeror with God and the holiness of his life as a basis of admission to fellowship with God.

The breast and right shoulder were then separated from each other, the shoulder being laid aside as the portion for the officiating priest. The breast was “waved”, that is, raised in symbolic presentation to the Lord, and was given to the priests to be eaten either boiled or roasted in some clean place (Lev. 7:30ff; 10:13ff). The rest of the meat belonged to the offeror, furnishing food for the sacrificial feast for himself and his family. In the case of the thank offering, it must be eaten the same day; in other cases it could have been eaten on the second day, but no later. Whatever was not eaten had to be burned, but not on the altar (Lev. 7:15–17; 22:30).

As the offeror and his family ate the material food of the peace offering, it was a symbol of their being spiritual fed with the mercies of God, of being satisfied with fullness of joy in the presence of the Lord (Psa. 16:11). This was a feast of love and joy, symbolizing the privilege of dwelling in the house and family of the Lord, and so pictured the joy of His people before him (Deut. 12:12,18; Luke 14:15; 22:30).

Typology of the Peace Offering

As a sweet savor offering, the peace offering shows Christ as our peace. Jesus Christ made peace, He proclaims peace, and He is our peace (Col. 1:20; Eph. 2:14-18). The offering sets forth God as propitiated and the believer as reconciled - God and the sinner brought together in peace, both satisfied with the finished work of Christ.

Meal and Drink Offerings

The meal and drink (libation) offerings recognized the sovereignty of God and His goodness in providing earthly blessings; thus the best gifts were dedicated to Him, such as flour, as the main support of life; oil, the symbol of richness; wine, as the symbol of vigor and refreshment (see Psa. 104:15). The idea seems to be expressed by David in 1 Chron. 29:10–14, “All that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine…All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.”

The material of the meal offering was sometimes grain, offered partly unground and partly in refined flour, in both cases with oil poured on and incense added. At other times cakes were prepared, in three different ways (see above), with oil, but without leaven. Both kinds of meal offering were to be seasoned with salt (Lev. 2:13). The drink offering was always wine.

Meal offerings were either public or private, and were either brought in connection with burnt or peace offerings or by themselves. They were never offered with sin or trespass offerings. The established public occasions for the meal offering were; (1) the presentation of the twelve loaves of showbread for the Holy Place, (2) the omer, or sheaf of wheat presented on the second day of Passover, and (3) the two wave loaves at Pentecost. Four private meal offerings were prescribed by law:

  1. The daily meal offering of the high priest, according to the Jewish interpretation of Lev. 6:14ff

  2. A meal offering at the consecration of priests (Lev. 6:20)

  3. A meal offering in substitution for an animal at the sin offering, in case of poverty (Lev. 5:11,12), and

  4. A meal offering in the case of a husband’s jealousy of his adulterous wife (Num. 5:11–15ff).

In all of the baked meal offerings, an “omer”, or sheaf of grain, was made into ten cakes, except for the high priests’ meal offering of twelve loaves, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. In presenting the meal offering, the priest brought it in the gold or silver dish in which it had been prepared, then transferred it to a holy vessel, putting oil and frankincense on it. Standing at the south corner of the altar, he took a “handful” that was to be burned, put it in another vessel, laid some of the frankincense on it, carried it to the top of the altar, salted it, and placed in on the fire. The rest of the offering belonged to the priests, except in the case of the twelve loaves of showbread and loaves offered at the consecration of priests, which could not be eaten but were entirely burned (Lev. 6:16ff; 6:20-23).

There is no regulation given as to how the wine was presented or how it was disposed of!

Typology of the Meal Offering

This offering typifies Christ in His human perfection tested by suffering. The fine flour represented His sinless humanity. The fire is the testing by suffering, even unto death. The frankincense symbolizes the aroma of His life toward the Father (Exo. 30:34). The absence of leaven, a type of evil, shows forth His spotless character. The oil mingled with the offering speaks of his conception by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18–23). Oil poured on the offering speaks of his enduement with the Spirit (John 1:32; 6:27).

Heave and Wave Offerings

Some of the offerings are called “heave” or “wave” offerings because of the special manner in which they were presented. Those portions of the offerings which were “heaved”, or lifted up, were regarded as gifts to God, and were understood to be handed over to the priests to be used only by them and their families (Num. 18:19; Lev. 22:10).

The wave offering was placed upon the outstretched hands of the offeror, and the priest put his hands under those of the offeror. Then the priest moved the whole backward and forward in a horizontal movement. The following offerings were to be waved before the Lord:

  • The breast of a private thank offering (Lev. 7:30)
  • The fat, breast, and shoulder of the thank offerings at the consecration of the priests (Exo. 29:22–26; Lev. 8:25–29)
  • The first sheaf offered on the second day of Passover (Lev. 23:11)
  • The two lambs as a thank offering at the Feast of Pentecost (Lev. 23:20)
  • The lamb and oil as a trespass offering for the purification of the leper (Lev. 14:12)
  • The thank offering of the Nazarite (Num. 6:20), and
  • The jealousy offering (Num. 5:25)
The Red Heifer Offering

When a person became ceremonially unclean by some contact with an unclean animal or person or by contact with a dead person, he was required to go through a ritual cleansing. The material for this purification was composed of running water and the ashes of the “red heifer” (Num. 19:1ff).

The ashes were prepared as follows:

A heifer, without blemish, and which had never been yoked, was slaughtered outside the camp.

The son and successor of the high priest dipped his finger in the blood and sprinkled it seven times toward the sanctuary.

The heifer was burned in the presence of the priest, who, at the same time, took the cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet wood, and cast them into the flames.

A man who was free from defilement gathered the ashes and carried them to a clean place, still outside the camp, where they were stored for use as needed. All persons who were involved with this ceremony were considered unclean until that evening.

The Procedure

When someone needed to have the purification rite performed on him, a man, who was himself free from defilement, took some of the ashes, put them in a vessel, and poured some fresh running water over them.

He dipped a bunch of hyssop into the mixture and sprinkled it upon the person to be purified, once three days after the uncleanness had been contracted, and again seven days after.

At the same time, the tent in which a corpse had lain and all the furniture were sprinkled with the same water.

Typology of the Red Heifer Offering

The red heifer offering is called a sin offering (Num. 19:9,17), and it portrays the sacrifice of Christ as the medium of the believer’s cleansing from the pollution contracted by his contact with the world.

The order of cleansing is:

  1. The slaying of the sacrifice

  2. The sevenfold sprinkling of the blood, showing the completed putting away of the believers sins before God (Heb. 9:12–14).

  3. The burning of the sacrifice to ashes and their preservation as a memorial of the sacrifice

  4. The cleansing by sprinkling with ashes mixed with water, typical of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God (John 7:37–39; Eph. 5:26).

The whole ritual shows the fact that the Holy Spirit used the Word of God to convict the believer of sin, thus making the believer conscious that the guilt of sin was to be borne by Christ in His sacrifice. Instead of losing hope, the convicted believer confesses the unworthy act and is forgiven and cleansed (John 13:3–10; 1 John 1:7–10).

The Yearly Schedule of Sacrifices

References for the following are taken from Exo. 12, Lev. 16 and 23, and Num. 28 and 29

Daily Offerings

The daily sacrifice, offered morning and evening:

  • One yearling lamb, for a burnt offering
  • A portion of flour, for a meal offering
  • 1 1/4 pints of wine, for a drink offering
Sabbath Day Offerings

On the Sabbath, the daily offerings were made, plus the following:

  • Two yearling lambs
  • Two portions of flour mingled with oil
  • 2 1/2 pints of wine
  • Twelve fresh loaves of showbread
New Moon Offerings

On the occasion of the new moon, the regular daily offerings were made, plus:

  • Two young bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs, for burnt offerings
  • Flour mingled with oil, three portions for each bullock, two portions for the ram, and one portion for each lamb
  • A drink offering
Feast of Trumpets (or seventh New Moon)

The daily and new moon offerings were made, plus:

  • One bullock, one ram, seven yearling lambs, for burnt offerings
  • Flour mingled with oil; three portions for the bullock, two portions for the ram, one portion for each lamb
  • One kid of goats, for a sin offering
  • Drink offerings
Feast of Passover

On Passover the daily offerings were made. In addition a kid (lamb or goat) was selected, on the 10th of the month Abib, and slain on the 14th, its blood being sprinkled on the doorposts and lintels.

Feast of Unleavened Bread

The daily offerings were made on each day of the feast, held from the 15th to the 21st of Abib (following Passover), plus, daily:

  • One goat for a sin offering
  • Two young bullocks, one ram, and seven yearling lambs, for a burnt offering
  • Flour mingled with oil, distributed as in the new moon offering

In addition, on the 2nd day of the feast, the first sheaf of the new harvest (barley) was offered by waving, not burning. With this sheaf was offered a male yearling lamb, two measures of flour, and 2 1/2 pints of wine.

Pentecost (Feast of Weeks)

The daily offerings were made, plus the following on each day of Pentecost:

  • A kid of goats for a sin offering
  • Two young bullocks, one ram, seven yearling lambs, for burnt offerings
  • Flour and oil to accompany each burnt offering
  • A drink offering for the ram and for each lamb.
  • After the above was presented, the new meal offering, “two wave loaves”, baked with leaven, were offered. With these were offered seven yearling lambs, one young bullock, and two rams (burnt offering); a he-goat (sin offering); and two yearling lambs (peace offering).
The Day of Atonement

On the Day of Atonement the regular daily offerings were made, plus:

  • A bullock for a sin offering for the priesthood
  • A ram for a burnt offering for the priesthood
  • Two goats for a sin offering for the people
  • A ram for a burnt offering for the people
  • One young bullock, one ram, seven lambs, with accompanying meal and drink offerings
The Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles lasted eight days and there were different combinations of offerings made on each of those days. There were a total of 71 bullocks, 15 rams, 105 lambs, and 8 goats offered during the feast, with accompanying meal and drink offerings.

Sources for this study:

Edersheim, The Temple

Edersheim, History of the Old Testament

Unger, Bible Dictionary