Sacrifice within the Israelite Religion

1605 WordsJul 12, 20187 Pages
The primary religious rituals of Israelite religion involved sacrifices and offerings. The ritual system within the Israelite cult evolved around gifts and offerings that were presented before Yahweh. In examining the book of Leviticus, the sacrificial system of the Israelites can be identified. It is this sacrificial system that was handed down by God through Moses that allowed the people of Israel to cross over the gap between their own weaknesses and corruption to the expectations presented by God. Sacrifices symbolized an acknowledgement of guilt and a need for divine grace and forgiveness. Understanding the Israelite Cult The Israelite cult is set apart from other cults in that the people were bound together to worship one…show more content…
The cleansing ritual of the Leper transferred the individual from the unclean to the clean again prior to their entrance back into society (Lev 14). “The elaborate anointing which follows the healing served to remove the person from his status of seclusion into a position of social fellowship within the community, and also served to reposition him within the natural categories of the world” (Davies, 1985;158). Finally, the elevation rituals were considered “rites of passage,” in that it transferred the person from one clear-cut social category into another. Upon installation, priests endured seven days of isolation, humility and sacrality before entering into the community (Lev 8-9). This rite of passage allows the priest to cross over a threshold where the boundaries between the clean and unclean, holy and profane are blurred (Nelson, 1993;58). It was a state of liminality for the priest where the rules of society are suspended. Sacrifice within the Book of Leviticus In the book of Leviticus the sacrificial framework is broken down in a series of speeches from God to Moses. In these speeches, God gave laws for the people of Israel directing them to glorify him through the sacrifice. In glorifying him, the Israelites were acknowledging that all their worldly possessions were gifts from God, and in sacrificing them, they were forfeiting themselves as sinners before him. These offerings were expressions
Open Document