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Instructions for the burnt offering:


Leviticus 6:1 - 6:6

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Command Aaron and his sons thus:

This is the ritual of the burnt offering: The burnt offering itself shall remain where it is burned upon the altar all night until morning, while the fire on the altar is kept going on it. 3 The priest shall dress in linen raiment, with linen breeches next to his body; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire has reduced the burnt offering on the altar and place them beside the altar. 4 He shall then take off his vestments and put on other vestments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. 5 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning, not to go out: every morning the priest shall feed wood to it, lay out the burnt offering on it, and turn into smoke the fat parts of the offerings of well-being. 6 A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar, not to go out.

-The Jewish Theological Seminary online Torah

The Jewish "burnt offering" is also translated (olah) as "whole offering." This emphasizes the degree of sacrifice. In short, the burnt offering was a sacrifice made to God upon the Altar, such as in the Temple of Jerusalem. The burnt offering emphasizes the sacrifice made, as it includes the destruction by fire of all of the offering (the offering was an edible animal such as a lamb). No part of of the offering is saved for consumption by people; rather, all of it, specifically including the precious edible parts, are offered to God ("turn into smoke the fat parts of the offerings of well-being.")

These offerings were made frequently; there were daily burnt offerings to be made at the morning and evening prayers, usually consisting of a kid or lamb one year old from the flock. Larger offerings were made on Sabbath and during Festival offerings. In addition to these 'scheduled' offerings, there were offerings which were made for particular occasions such as when consecrating a priest (The Jewish Encyclopedia).

The original English translation of burnt offering was, in fact, 'holocaust' (small h!) which was derived from Greek for "Wholly burnt."

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