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. 1:6 Next, the one presenting the offering 8 must skin the burnt offering and cut it into parts, 1:7 and the sons of Aaron, the priest, 9 must put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 1:8 Then the sons of Aaron, the priests, must arrange the parts with the head and the suet 10 on the wood that is in the fire on the altar. 11 1:9 Finally, the one presenting the offering 12 must wash its entrails and its legs in water and the priest must offer all of it up in smoke on the altar 13 – it is 14 a burnt offering, a gift 15 of a soothing aroma to the Lord.
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).
8 tn Heb “Then he”; the referent (the offerer) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The LXX and Smr have “they” rather than “he” in both halves of this verse, suggesting that the priests, not the offerer, were to skin and cut the carcass of the bull into pieces (cf. the notes on vv. 5a and 9a).
9 tc A few medieval Hebrew
10 tc A few Hebrew
sn “Suet” is the specific term used for the hard, fatty tissues found around the kidneys of sheep and cattle. A number of modern English versions have simplified this to “fat” (e.g., NIV, NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).
11 tn Heb “on the wood, which is on the fire, which is on the altar.” Cf. NIV “on the burning wood”; NLT “on the wood fire.”
12 tn Heb “Finally, he”; the referent (the offerer) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Once again, the MT assigns the preparation of the offering (here the entrails and legs) to the offerer because it did not bring him into direct contact with the altar, but reserves the actual placing of the sacrifice on the altar for the officiating priest (cf. the notes on vv. 5a and 6a).
13 tn Heb “toward the altar,” but the so-called locative ה (hey) attached to the word for “altar” can indicate the place where something is or happens (GKC 250 §90.d and GKC 373-74 §118.g; cf. also J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:161). This is a standard way of expressing “on/at the altar” with the verb “to offer up in smoke” (Hiphil of קָטַר [qatar]; cf. also Exod 29:13, 18, 25; Lev 1:9, 13, 15, 17; 2:2, etc.).
14 tc A few Hebrew
15 sn The standard English translation of “gift” (אִשֶּׁה, ’isheh) is “an offering [made] by fire” (cf. KJV, ASV). It is based on a supposed etymological relationship to the Hebrew word for “fire” (אֵשׁ, ’esh) and is still maintained in many versions (e.g., NIV, RSV, NRSV, NLT; B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 7-8). For various reasons, including the fact that some offerings referred to by this term are not burned on the altar (see, e.g., Lev 24:9), it is probably better to understand the term to mean “gift” (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 22) or “food gift” (“food offering” in NEB and TEV; J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:161-62). See R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 1:540-49 for a complete discussion.