| Quote #1
It shall be cut up into its parts, with its head and its suet, and the priest shall arrange them on the wood that is on the fire on the altar; but the entrails and the legs shall be washed with water. Then the priest shall offer the whole and turn it into smoke on the altar; it is a burnt offering, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord. (NRSV 1:12-13)
And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord. (KJV 1:12-13)
In the book of Genesis, God's people could offer a burnt sacrifice anywhere they found rocks, wood, and a flamethrower. Now they have go to the holy Tabernacle and let the priests do it.
Priests writing a book that gives priests the starring role—whodathunkit? Not only does this say a lot about the development of Israel's social structure, but it also helps explain how Matt Damon and Ben Affleck became movie stars. Not that we're complaining.
| Quote #2
But if you cannot afford a sheep, you shall bring to the Lord, as your penalty for the sin that you have committed, two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.… But if you cannot afford two turtledoves or two pigeons, you shall bring as your offering for the sin that you have committed one-tenth of an ephah of choice flour for a sin offering; you shall not put oil on it or lay frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. (NRSV 5:7,11)
And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the Lord; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. . . . But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering. (KJV 5:7,11)
Let's face it—cows are expensive. To keep the Tabernacle from becoming an exclusive club for wealthy farmers (otherwise known as Israel's 1%), Leviticus gives other offering options for the middle and lower classes. Can't afford cattle? Bring sheep. No goats? Bring birds. No birds? Hie thee to a Safeway and get God a bag of flour instead.
| Quote #3
This is the portion allotted to Aaron and to his sons from the offerings made by fire to the Lord, once they have been brought forward to serve the Lord as priests; these the Lord commanded to be given them, when he anointed them, as a perpetual due from the people of Israel throughout their generations. (NRSV 7:35-36)
This is the portion of the anointing of Aaron, and of the anointing of his sons, out of the offerings of the Lord made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister unto the Lord in the priest's office; Which the Lord commanded to be given them of the children of Israel, in the day that he anointed them, by a statute for ever throughout their generations. (KJV 7:35-36)
It's an eternal law of God that priests at the Tabernacle shall be the only people who can offer sacrifices. God also commands that these sacrifices shall be used to provide the priests with a steady supply of holy meals and sacred snacks. Hey, wait a minute…