Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 13.djvu/360

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SACRIFICE


314


SACRIFICE


But the blood obtained by the slaying exerts its ex- piatoiy power first on the altar, where the soul of the victim symbolically laden with sin comes into contact with the purifying and sanctifjang power of God. The technical " term for the reconciliation and remission of sin is kipper "to ex-piate" ("isr, Piel from "ZZ "to cover"), a verb which is con- nected rather with the Assyrian knppuru (wipe off, destroy) than with the Arabic "to cover, cover up". The fifth and last act, the burning, was performed differently, according as the whole victim (holocaust) or only certain portions of it were to be consumed by fire. By the altar and the "consuming fire" (Deut., iv, 24) Jahweh sj^mboli- oally appropriated, as through His Di\-ine mouth, the sacrifices offered; this was strikingly manifested in the sacrifices of Aaron, Gedeon, and Ehas (cf. Lev., ix, 24; Judges, vi, 21; III Kings, xviii, 38).

(4) Different Categories of the Bloody Sacrifices. — (a) Among the various classes of bloodj' sacrifice, the burnt offering takes the first place. It is called both the "ascent sacrifice" (olah) and the "holocaust" {k-dlil) ; Sept. bXoKavTwim; in Philo, oXi/cawro;'), because the whole victim — with the exception of the hip muscle and the hide — is made through fire to ascend to God in smoke and vapour (see Holocaust). Although the idea of expiation was not excluded (Lev., i, 4), it retired somewhat into the background, since in the complete destruction of the victim by fire the abso- lute submission of man to God was to find expression. The holocaust is indeed the oldest, most frequent, and most widespread sacrifice (cf. Gen., iv, 4; viii, 20; .xxii, 2 sqq.; Job., i, 5; xlii, 8). As the "ever enduring" sacrifice, it had to be offered twice daily, in the morning and in the evening (cf. Ex., xxix, 38 sqq.; Lev., vi, 9 sqq.; Num., xxviii, 3 sqq., etc.). As the sacrifice of adoration par excellence, it included in itself all other species of sacrifice. [Concerning the altar, see Altar (in Scripture).]

(b) The idea of expiation received especially forcible expression in the expiatory sacrifices, of which two classes were distinguished, the sin and the guilt-offering. The distinction between these lies in the fact that the former was concerned rather with the absolution of the person from sin (expiatio), the latter rather with the making of satisfaction for the injury done {satisf actio) .

(o) Turning first to the sin-offering (sacrificium pro peccato, rN'jn, chatlalh), we find that, according to the Law, not all ethical delinquencies could be expiated by it. Excluded from expiation were all deliberate crimes or "sins with raised hand", which involved a breech of the covenant and drew upon the trans- gressor as punishment ejection from among the p«)ple becau.se he had "been rebellious against the Lord" (Num., XV, 30 sq.). To such sins belonged the omis.sion of circumcision (Gen., xvii, 14), the dese- cration of the Sabbath (Ex., xxxi, 14), the blasphem- ing of Jahweh (Lev., xxiv, 16), failure to celebrate the Pa,sch (Num., ix, 2 sqq.), the "eating of blood" (Lev., vii, 26 sq.), working or failure to fast on the Day of At<jnement (Lev., xxiii, 21). Expiation availed only for misdeeds committed through igno- rance, forgetfulness, or hastiness. The rites were determined not so much by the kind and gravity of the tran.sgressions as by the quality of the persons for whom the sacrifice of expiation was to be offc^njd. Thus, for the faults of the high-priest or the whole people a calf was prescribed (Lev., iv, 3; xvi, 3); for thosr; of the prince of a tribe (I^ev., iv, 23), as well as on certain festivals, a he-goat; for those of the ordinary' lKra<!lites, a she-goat or ewe lamb (Lev., iv, 28; v, i'))] for purification after child-birth and certain other legal unoleannesses, turtle doves or young pige<^>ns (I^-v., xii, 6; xv, 14, 29). The last- mentioned might also be used by the poor as the substitute for one of the small cattle (Lev., v, 7;


xiv, 22). The very poor, who were unable to offer even doves, might "in the case of ordinary transgres- sions sacrifice the tenth of an ephi of flour, but with- out oil or incense (Lev., v, 11 sqq.). The manner of the application of the blood was different according to the various degrees of sin, and consisted, not in the mere sprinkling of the blood, but in rubbing it on the horns of the altar for burnt - offerings or the incense altar, after which the remainder of the blood was poured out at the foot of the altar. Con- cerning the details of this ceremony the handbooks of Biblical archaH)logy should be consulted. The usual and best sacrificial portions of the victims (pieces of fat, kidneys, lobes of the liver) were then burned on the altar of burnt-offerings, and the re- mainder of the victim eaten by the priests as sacred food in the outer court of the sanctuary (Lev., vi, 18 sq.). Should any of the blood have been brought into the sanctuary', the flesh had to be brought to the ash-heap and there likewise burned (Lev., iv, 1 sqq.; \'i, 24 sqq.).

{P) The guilt-offering {sacrificium pro delicto, ZZ'H, asham) was sjjecially appointed for sins and transgressions demanding restitution, whether the material interests of the sanctuary or those of pri- vate persons were injured — e.g. by misappropriating gifts to the sanctuary, defrauding one's neighbour, retaining the property of another, etc. (cf. Lev., v, 15 sqq.; vi, 2 sq.; Num., v, 6 sqq.). The material restitution was reckoned at one-fifth higher than the loss inflicted (six fifths had thus to be paid). In ad- dition, a guilt-sacrifice had to be offered, consisting of a ram sacrificed at the north side of the altar. The blood was sprinkled in a circle around the altar, on which the fatty portions were burnt ; the rest of the flesh as sacrosanct was eaten by the priests in the holy place (Lev., vii, 1 sqq.).

(c) The third class of bloody sacrifice embraced the " peace off erings " {victima pacifica, 2*^2^^", shelamim), which were sub-divided into three classes: the sacrifice of thanks or praise, the sacrifice in fulfilment of a vow, and entirely voluntary offerings. The peace sacrifices in general were distinguished by two characteristics: (i) the remarkable ceremony of "wave" and "heave"; (ii) the communal sacrificial meal held in connexion with them. All animals allowed for sacrifice (even female) might be used and, in the case of entirely "voluntary sacrifices", even such animals as were not quite without defects (Lev., xxii, 23). Until the act of sprinkling the blood the rites were the same as in the burnt-sacrifice, except that the slay- ing did not necessarily take place at the north side of the altar (Lev., iii, 1 sqq.; vii, 11 sqq ). The usual portions of fat had, as in the case of the sacri- fice of expiation, to be burned on the altar. In the cutting up of the victim, however, the breast and the right shoulder (S(!pt. /Spax^w; Vulg. armus) had to be first separately severed, and the ceremony of "wave" (tenupha) and "heave" {tcruma) jxTformed with them. According to Talmudic tnulilioii the "wave" was performed as follows: the jjricst i)la<'('d the breast of the victim on the hands of the off(!rer, and then, having placed his own hands under those of this person, moved them backward and forward in token of the reciprocity in giving and receiving between God and the offerer. With the right shoul- der the same c(!n!mony was then performed, except that the "heave" or "teruma" consisted in an up- ward and downward movement. The breast and shoulder used in these ceremonies fell to the share of the priests, who might consume them in a "clean place" (Lev., x, 14). They also received a loaf from the supi)l(!mentary food-offering (Lev., vii, 14). The offenjr asscmVjled his friends at a common m(;al on the same day to consume in the vicinity of the sanctuary the fi(!sh remaining after the sacri- fice. Levitically clean guests, especially the Lovilcs