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CHAPTER X. Enumeration of all the kinds of Victims appointed in
the Law of Moses. Particular Account of the Burnt Offerings.
HAVING shewn what animals were to be used for sacrifice, according to the law of Moses, we proceed to the various kinds of victims appointed in that law. These are distinguished in the scriptures by the following appellations : a burnt offering, a peace offering, a sin offering, and a trespass offering. The class of peace offerings includes three sorts, the votive, voluntary, and eucharistic: to which must also be added, those others which may be referred to the eucharistic, and which are generally so called by the Jews; the festive and rejoicing peace offerings, the ram of the Nazarite, the paschal lamb, the firstlings, and the tithes. Of all these the most ancient were the holocausts or whole burnt offerings. The sacrifices of Abraham and Noah, were certainly of this kind; and there is the highest probability that Abel's were the same. The scriptures mention no other till long after the time of Abraham. But it is not to be doubted that peace offerings were in use before the law was given by Moses. This is evident from his address to Pharaoh : “ Thou must give us “ also sacrifices and burnt offerings,* that we may “sacrifice unto the Lord our God." To this add what is recorded of Jethro, that he “ took a burnt
offering and sacrificest for God.” The word rendered sacrifices in these passages denotes peace offerings: an interpretation maintained by all the Jews,
* . . toinen n by Exod. xviii, 12.
,25 .Exod. x זבחים ועלת *
and sanctioned by the use of the word itself;—which, especially when mentioned in connection with burnt offerings, is never applied in the scriptures to any other kinds of victims than peace offerings. Whether piacular sacrifices, such as are described by Moses, were ever used before the law was given to the Jews, I would not undertake to decide. It is evident that these and other kinds of victims were prescribed by Moses, with such rites and ceremonies as were chiefly designed and adapted to make the Jewish sacrifices prefigure the sacrifice of Christ.
II. Every kind of sacrifices partook of the nature of divine worship. Burnt offerings were presented to God, as the maker, preserver, and sovereign of the universe, entitled to all worship and honour. Peace offerings were presented to him, as the giver of all blessings; whether already received, or not yet received, but only desired and prayed for, and that either with or without the intervention of a vow: in the first case the offering was eucharistic; in the second, votive ; and in the third, voluntary, proceeding from the mere free will of the individual. Though burnt offerings were likewise offered from voluntary choice, and in consequence of vows, yet the original terms which we have rendered eucharistic, votive, and voluntary, are generally applied in the scriptures exclusively to peace offerings. Piacular sacrifices, both sin offerings and trespass offerings, were presented to God, in the character of a judge, offended by sins, and having power to punish or to pardon. Hence it appears that sacrifices were directed to the same end, as prayers and thanksgivings uttered by the lips; only with this difference, that the same intention was expressed by different signs, in the
latter by articulate sounds, in the former by significant rites.
III. Let it be observed, that, as the natural worship of God consists, either in supplicating his favour, or in commemorating his favour and celebrating his praise; so these were clearly the objects contemplated in all sacrifices. And holocausts, or whole burnt offerings, were offered with both these views. This twofold design is evident from the primitive use of them. In the early ages of the world, when no other sacrifices were offered but whole burnt offerings, this one kind of sacrifice was both petitionary and eucharistic, and was applied to every part of natural worship, according to the intention of each individual. This might be done with the greater propriety, because in every kind of worship God ought to be regarded as the maker, preserver, and sovereign of the universe. But other sacrifices were less extensive in their application. The eucharistic were not offered, except to celebrate God's praise, and to commemorate his favour; nor the piacular, votive, or voluntary, but with a view to supplicate and obtain that favour. The piacular sacrifices, indeed, both sin offerings and trespass offerings, were offered in order to obtain the pardon of sins, which is an eminent exhibition of divine favour; but the votive and voluntary, in order to conciliate that favour, which is displayed in averting dangers, and in continuing or increasing prosperity. Almost all votive offerings had respect to the former of these objects; and the free will offerings, to both.
IV. From this brief account of all the kinds of victims, and of their design and efficacy, we proceed to the remaining branches of this subject in the fol
lowing order : we shall treat, first, of the sacrifices of individuals ; secondly, of the paschal sacrifice, enjoined on each family, or small neighbourhood; and lastly of the sacrifices appointed for the whole nation.
Sacrifices of every class, except the paschal lamb, were frequently offered for individuals; burnt offerings, and piacular offerings, and peace offerings ; and likewise all the kinds both of piacular and of peace offerings.
V. The original term for a burnt offering is derived from a root which signifies to ascend.*
It is so called, because it was laid whole on the altar, and there being consumed by fire, the greatest part went upwards. Hence the subtleties of Abarbinel, who considers the burnt offering as symbolical of the ascent of the mind towards heaven: 'The design of the
burnt offering is, to teach the intelligent soul to unite, ? itself to its Creator.'t Hence he represents piacular sacrifices as far inferior to burnt offerings. But, dismissing vain conjectures, the principal thing to be remembered is what we have already observed ; that burnt offerings were anciently applied to every part of natural worship, to thanks for benefits received, to deprecation of evil, and supplication of good. All this is clearly deducible from the sacred history. Noah offered burnt offerings as an expression of gratitude to God, for the preservation of himself and his family when all the rest of mankind had perished in the deluge. I Job added burnt offerings to prayers, when he interceded for forgiveness for his sons and his friends.9 Balaam, following beyond all doubt the general custom, directed burnt offerings to be prepared when he was about to pray for safety to
+ Præf, ad Levit.
Gen. viii, 20.
$ Job i. 5. xlii, 8.
Balak, and destruction to the Israelites.* These facts justify the conclusion, that those who lived bcfore the time of Moses, or were unacquainted with his law, sometimes connected burnt offerings with every part of divine worship.
VI. Nor was the use of victims of this kind less extensive among the Jews after the giving of the law. For the Jews were in the habit of offering them, both in compliance with express injunctions of the law, and as votive and voluntary oblations on any occasion they chose. The law required them of a Nazarite when defiled by a dead body, and when discharged from a vow by having fulfilled it;t-of persons who were to be cleansed from the leprosy, and other specified pollutions; -of women after childbirth; ||of the high priest on the day of atonement;/-and of all adult Israelites on the three great festivals, of passover, pentecost, and tabernacles, at which every individual used to appear before God in the sanctuary. The burnt offerings presented at these solemnities, being considered as causing every individual to appear before God with greater acceptance, have been called by the Jews holocausts of appearance.ft-That burnt offerings used also to be presented as votive and voluntary oblations, may be concluded from the language of David: “I will go “ into thy house with burnt offerings; I will “thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my “mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. I will “offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the “incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats.” II
I will pay
of Num, vi. 11. 14. $ Levit. xiv. 19, 20, § Levit. xv. 15. 30. l Levit, xii. 8. [ Levit. xvi. 24.
tt Maimon. Præf. ad Cod. Zebach. Abarb. Præf. ad
11 Psalm lxvi. 13-15.
# Num. xxiii.
** Deut. xvi. 16. Levit.