1:3 “‘If his offering is a burnt offering 1 from the herd he must present it as a flawless male; he must present it at the entrance 2 of the Meeting Tent for its 3 acceptance before the Lord. 1:4 He must lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted for him to make atonement 4 on his behalf.
1 sn The burnt offering (עֹלָה, ’olah) was basically a “a gift of a soothing aroma to the
2 tn Heb “door” (so KJV, ASV); NASB “doorway” (likewise throughout the book of Leviticus). The translation “door” or “doorway” may suggest a framed door in a casing to the modern reader, but here the term refers to the entrance to a tent.
3 tn The NIV correctly has “it” in the text, referring to the acceptance of the animal (cf., e.g., RSV, NEB, NLT), but “he” in the margin, referring to the acceptance of the offerer (cf. ASV, NASB, JB). The reference to a “flawless male” in the first half of this verse suggests that the issue here is the acceptability of the animal to make atonement on behalf of the offerer (Lev 1:4; cf. NRSV “for acceptance in your behalf”).
4 tn “To make atonement” is the standard translation of the Hebrew term כִּפֶּר, (kipper); cf. however TEV “as a sacrifice to take away his sins” (CEV similar). The English word derives from a combination of “at” plus Middle English “one[ment],” referring primarily to reconciliation or reparation that is made in order to accomplish reconciliation. The primary meaning of the Hebrew verb, however, is “to wipe [something off (or on)]” (see esp. the goal of the sin offering, Lev 4, “to purge” the tabernacle from impurities), but in some cases it refers metaphorically to “wiping away” anything that might stand in the way of good relations by bringing a gift (see, e.g., Gen 32:20 [21 HT], “to appease; to pacify” as an illustration of this). The translation “make atonement” has been retained here because, ultimately, the goal of either purging or appeasing was to maintain a proper relationship between the