Sorry about missing a day. I’ve been feeling under the weather. My goal is to finish this book by the end of April, but that means I can’t miss many more days. Fortunately I don’t have to do English lessons until next week, which means that more of my time is free.
Skipping the first seven verses, which I covered last week, this chapter discusses more of what the rituals for sacrifices actually look like and when they’re performed.
Burnt-offerings, for example, are daily, on a fire that’s kept going constantly. The question for me becomes, then, how on earth they transported the altar around the desert. Maybe this means that burnt offerings were something that only became common practice once they arrived in Canaan and the tabernacle became more permanent.
While it’s not clear on all the occasions when a grain offering might be offered, it does list one of them at the ordination of a priest.
The more interesting thing to me is that things which touch the sacrifice become holy. Usually it’s the other way around – if you let something else touch it, the sacrifice is profaned. But here, you have to cleans or even destroy things the things that touch the offering because they’ve become filled with the same intensely holy power that the offerings and tabernacle contain. Thus far the only thing that’s been potent enough to create that kind of taboo is the presence of God. So does this imply that the sacrifices become imbued with a kind of divine presence? That God doesn’t so much consume the sacrifice as make it part of him?
Obviously some of this is me, as a Lutheran, thinking about the idea of what we call the Real Presence in the elements. Luther once said that God’s presence fills all physical things, but that Holy Communion is the God-ordained way of making that real to us. Maybe the sacrifices can be seen the same way.
The Japanese: yodooshi “all night” (v 2), kasu “dregs, refuse, scum” (v 3), kuberu “to throw on the fire” (v 5), neru “to knead” (v 14), mochiiru “to make use of,” yusugu “to rinse, to wash out” (v 21).