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. 1:5 Then the one presenting the offering 5 must slaughter the bull 6 before the Lord, and the sons of Aaron, the priests, must present the blood and splash 7 the blood against the sides of the altar which is at the entrance of the Meeting Tent.
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
5 tn Heb “Then he”; the referent (the offerer) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The LXX has “they” rather than “he,” suggesting that the priests, not the offerer, were to slaughter the bull (cf. the notes on vv. 6a and 9a).
6 tn Heb “the son of the herd”; cf. KJV “bullock”; NASB, NIV “young bull.”
7 tn “Splash” (cf. NAB) or “dash” (cf. NRSV) is better than “sprinkle,” which is the common English translation of this verb (זָרַק, zaraq; see, e.g., KJV, NASB, NIV, NLT). “Sprinkle” is not strong enough (contrast נָזָה [nazah], which does indeed mean “to sprinkle” or “to splatter”; cf. Lev 4:6).