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Leviticus 1:14-15

Context
From the Birds

1:14 “‘If his offering to the Lord is a burnt offering from the birds, 1  he must present his offering from the turtledoves or from the young pigeons. 2  1:15 The priest must present it at the altar, pinch off 3  its head and offer the head 4  up in smoke on the altar, and its blood must be drained out against the side of the altar.

1 tn Heb “from the [category] ‘bird.’”

2 tn Heb “from the sons of the pigeon,” referring either to “young pigeons” (cf. KJV, NASB, NIV, NLT) or “various species of pigeon” (contrast J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:168, with J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 14).

3 tn The action here seems to involve both a twisting action, breaking the neck of the bird and severing its vertebrae, as well as pinching or nipping the skin to sever the head from the main body. Cf. NASB, NRSV “wring off its head”; NAB “snap its head loose”; NLT “twist off its head.”

4 tn Many English versions have “it” here, referring to the head of the bird, which the priest immediately tossed on the altar fire. However, “it” could be misunderstood to refer to the bird’s body, so “head” is repeated in the present translation for clarity. As the following lines show, certain things needed to be done to the body of the bird before it could be placed on the altar.



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