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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 7435 sacrifice, in OT
7435 sacrifice, in OT

7435 sacrifice, in OT

An act that involved offering to God the life of an animal. It expressed gratitude for God’s goodness or acknowledgment of sin. It was also associated with establishing a covenant.

Sacrifice was an integral part of worship

See also Ge 46:1; Ex 10:24-26; Jdg 13:19; 1Sa 1:3; 1Ki 3:4

Sacrifices were a means of offering thanks to God

Ge 4:4 Abel; Ge 8:20 Noah delivered from the flood; Ex 18:12 Jethro after God had delivered the Israelites; Jdg 11:31 Jephthah; 1Sa 6:15 after the safe return of the ark The returning exiles: Ezr 3:3; Ezr 8:35 In response to God’s deliverance from danger and sickness: Ps 27:6; Ps 54:6; Ps 107:17-22

Sacrifices were offered at regular religious festivals

Lev 23:5-8 Passover; Lev 23:18-20 the Feast of Weeks; Lev 23:23-25 the Feast of Trumpets The Day of Atonement: Lev 16:6-10; Lev 23:26-32
Lev 23:33-36 the Feast of Tabernacles

Special occasions were marked by sacrifices

1Ki 8:63 the dedication of Solomon’s temple; 2Ch 29:31-33 after Hezekiah had purified the temple; Ezr 3:2-3 the Jews who returned from the Babylonian exile; Ezr 6:17 at the completion of the second temple

Sacrifices as signs of individual and national penitence

Lev 4:1-3,13-14; Jdg 2:1-5; Jdg 20:26; 1Sa 7:8-9; 2Sa 24:10-25

The place of sacrifice

It was divinely chosen Dt 12:13-14 See also Lev 17:3-5; Dt 12:2-6

Rival places of sacrifice caused the Israelites to sin 1Ki 12:28-29,32; 2Ch 15:17; 2Ch 31:1 Under Hezekiah the high places were destroyed.

God condemned certain sacrifices

Sacrifices to other gods 1Ki 11:7-8 See also Nu 25:1-3; 2Ki 16:4,15; Ps 106:28; Isa 57:7; Isa 65:3,7; Jer 19:4

Human sacrifices Lev 18:21; Dt 12:31; 1Ki 16:34; 2Ki 3:26-27; 2Ki 16:3; 2Ki 17:31; 2Ki 21:6; Eze 20:31

Sacrifice to the Lord may be rejected

If it is a substitute for obedience 1Sa 15:20-22; Jer 7:21-22; Hos 8:11-13; Am 4:4; Mk 12:33

If it is a substitute for justice and mercy Isa 66:2-3; Mic 6:7-8; Mt 9:13

If it is imperfect Mal 1:13-14

Blessing is promised when right sacrifices are offered

Ge 22:15-18; Ps 4:5; Ps 50:14-15,23; Ps 51:17

See also

6636drawing near to God
7332child sacrifice
7354feasts and festivals
7374high places
7467temple, Solomon’s

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