The Various Offerings
of the ancient sanctuary
Cross and Its Shadow

By Stephen Haskell

Chapter 18, The Burnt Offering
Chapter 19, The Drink Offering
Chapter 20, The Meat Offering
Chapter 21, Trespass-offering
Chapter 22, The Offering of the Red Heifer


THE whole burnt-offering had its origin at the gate of the garden of Eden, (Gen. 4:4; 8:20) and extended to the cross; and it will never lose its significance as long as mankind is subject to temptation and sin. The entire sacrifice was laid upon the altar and burned, (Lev. 1:2-9) typifying not only a surrender of sin, but a consecration of the entire life to the service of God.

Wherever the people of God sojourned during the patriarchal age, rude altars of stone were erected, upon which to offer their whole burnt-offerings, Gen. 12:7,8; 13:4; 35:3) After the long period of Egyptian bondage, Israel was so prone to idolatry that the Lord had the brazen altar built in the court of the tabernacle, and instead of burnt- offerings being offered anywhere by the father of the household, they were brought to the sanctuary and offered by the priests of divine appointment. (Duet. 12:5,6) There were special occasions when burnt-offerings were offered in other places than the sanctuary, as the sacrifice offered by David on the threshing-floor of Ornan, (2 Sam. 24:18-25) and the memorable sacrifice offered by Elijah upon Mount Carmel. (1 Kings 18:31-38)

The accounts of the burnt-offerings in the Bible are a history of wonderful victories when individuals drew near to God by putting away their sins and surrendering their lives and all they possessed to the service of the Lord. Abraham's great test of faith was a burnt-offering upon Mount Moriah. (Gen. 22:2-13) Gideon's wonderful victories dated from the whole burnt-offerings offered before the Lord when he, by those offerings, showed he surrendered all to the Lord to be consumed on the altar as the Lord directed. (Judges 6:21-28)

The whole burnt-offering was a type of the full consecration that must come into every life that God can use to His glory. Paul urged the fulfilling of the antitype in the following words:"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.'' (Rom. 12:1)

The offering of the most costly animal was only an abomination to the Lord unless it was accompanied by the surrender of the heart and life of the one who offered it. (Is. 1:10,11 Amos 5:22)

This principle was beautifully illustrated in the Saviour's passing by as of little value the large gifts of the rich who offered only for display, and stating that in the valuation of heaven the two mites which the poor widow gave with a heart full of love, were of more value than all the wealth given for vain display. (Mark 12:41-44)

The Lord regards the gifts and offerings made by His people to carry forward His work on the earth, as "an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God," and He pledges to supply all their needs. (Phil 4:16-19) "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." (1 Sam. 15:22)

The whole burnt-offering was offered as an atonement for sin. (Lev. 9:7) The individual making the offering laid his hands on the head of the animal, confessing his sins; (Lev. 1:4; Num. 8:12) and then, if it was from the flock or the herd, with his own hands he took its life. If the burnt-offering was a bird, the priest killed the offering. The blood was sprinkled round about upon the brazen altar, in type of the cleansing blood of Christ, and then the offering was burned upon the altar.

Every morning and evening a lamb was offered at the sanctuary as a whole burnt-offering. (Ex. 29:38-42) Each Sabbath day four lambs were offered, two in the morning and two in the evening. (Num. 28:9,10) These sacrifices typified a reconsecration of the whole congregation each morning and evening to the service of God.

Since the shadow has met the substance, it would be hollow mockery to offer burnt-offerings morning and evening now; but the type has lost none of its significance, and contains lessons for us; for "to love Him [God] with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices." (Mark 12:33)

The heart filled with love to God and our fellow-men is an offering always acceptable to God. In order to keep the heart in this condition, it must be filled with the life-giving Word of God. (Ps. 119:11) The Lord regards a "knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.'' (Hosea 6:6)

The individual who will sacrifice selfish interests and pleasures sufficiently to take time morning and evening to study God's word, will experience that love in the heart which always has been and ever will be far more acceptable to God than "whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices."

Lev. I:9. Sacrifice given to God was accepted as "a sweet savor unto the Lord."

Ex. 29:38-43. God met with His people as they offered their whole burnt-offerings, and they were sanctified by His presence.

Lev. 1:2-9, 13, 17. The entire body was consumed on the altar, "an offering made fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord."

Eph. 5:2. Christ has given Himself for us "an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor."

Heb. 10:8-10. "We are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

Rom. 12:1. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the by mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.


THE drink-offering was celebrated long before the sanctuary service was instituted at Sinai. After the Lord appeared to Jacob at Bethel and said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob [a supplanter], (Gen. 27:36) but Israel [a prince of God]" "shall be thy name," (Gen. 32:28) Jacob felt so grateful to the Lord that he set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, and poured out a drink-offering thereon, (Gen 35:10-14) showing his willingness to pour out his life, if necessary, for the cause of God. The drink-offering was wine, but was never drunk by either priest or people; it was poured out before the Lord. No doubt wine was chosen for the drink-offering for the same reason that it was used in the celebration of the Lord's supper, as an emblem of the life of Christ, (Lev. 17:11; Matt. 26:27,28) who "poured out His soul unto death," to redeem a lost race. (Isa. 53:12)

The drink-offering, like the meat-offering, was offered with burnt-offerings, for "an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord." (Num. 15:10) When Israel departed from the Lord, the drink-offering, was often used in their idolatrous worship. (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19) Drink-offerings were never poured on the altar of incense, (Ex. 30:9) but always in the court, for they typified things which transpired in the antitypical court–the earth.

The pouring out of the drink- offering was no doubt an emblem of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. (Joel 2:28; Isa. 44:3) Paul used the beautiful type of pouring the drink-offering upon the burnt-offering, and the consuming of all upon the altar, as an illustration of his life fully surrendered to God's service. "Holding forth the word of life;" he said, "that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain .... Yea, and if I be poured forth upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy; and rejoice with you all." (Phil. 2:16,17)

When the three mighty warriors for the love they bore David risked their lives to bring him a drink from the well of Bethlehem, David considered the water too sacred to drink, for they had "put their lives in jeopardy" to obtain it; therefore he "poured it out to the Lord." (1 Chron. 11:17-19)

The drink-offering was a type of Christ's life poured out for us, and the antitype can be repeated in the life of every one who, like Paul, rejoices in being poured forth upon the sacrifice and consumed upon the altar.

The drink-offering is no doubt referred to in Judges 9:13 where wine is said to "cheer God and man." It is not the wine drunk at the table with friends, but wine used at the altar.

The wine of the drink-offering truly gladdened the heart of God and man; for like the water of Bethlehem poured out by David, it represented, when offered in sincerity, the pouring out of the heart or life of the sinner before God.

When Hannah gave Samuel to the sanctuary, she brought a bottle of wine with the animal for a burnt-offering. It was after she had expressed the full surrender of her only son to the Lord by her burnt-offering and the wine of the drink-offering, that she could fill the temple court with her voice of praise and thanksgiving. (1 Sam. 1:24; 2:1-10)

Gen. 35:14. The drink-offering was poured out before the Lord.

Num. 15:10. It was poured over the burnt-offering on the altar, and consumed. The burning was a sweet savor, acceptable to God.

Isa. 53:12. Christ "poured out His soul unto death."

Phil. 2:16, 17, margin. The one who fully surrenders his life for the Lord's service, pours his life upon the sacririce of Christ, to be spent for the glory of God, as His life was spent.


DANIEL prophesied that Christ would "cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease." (Dan. 9:27) Here reference is made to the two great divisions of offerings:sacrifices with, and sacrifices without blood. The meat-offerings belonged to the last class. There was neither flesh nor blood in the meat-offering. The original meaning of the word "meat" as first used in the Bible is "food"; (Gen. 1:29) and in this sense the term is used in connection with this offering.

The meat-offering consisted of flour, oil, and frankincense, (Lev. 2:1) In some cases the flour was baked into unleavened cakes, or wafers, before being offered. The bread of the meat-offering was never to be made with leaven. Every meat-offering was seasoned with salt. This offering was spoken of as "a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire." (Lev. 2:4-13; 6:17)

No leaven or honey was allowed in any of the meat-offerings; for leaven indicated "malice and wickedness," (1 Cor. 5:8) and honey turns sour and leads to fermentation.

The qualities of salt are directly opposite. Salt removes and prevents corruption; it is also an emblem of friendship. "The salt of the covenant" was never to be omitted from the meat-offering, thus reminding God's people of His protecting care and promise to save, and that only the righteousness of Christ could make the service acceptable to God.

A portion of the meat-offering was burned on the brazen altar, whether it was flour or unleavened cakes; also a portion of the oil, and all the frankincense; (Lev. 6:15) and the remainder was eaten by the priest in the court. (Lev. 6:16,17) If a priest offered a meat-offering, no portion was eaten, but the entire offering was burned on the brazen altar. (Lev. 6:20-22) The high priest offered a meat-offering every day.

Wherever flour or cakes were offered in connection with any other offering, it was called a meat-offering. The offering for the sinner too poor to bring even a wild turtle-dove was a meat-offering or trespass-offering. There was no oil or frankincense in this offering. (Lev. 5:11) In the offering for jealousy, the oil and frankincense were also left out. No frankincense was ever added to the meat-offerings that brought "iniquity to remembrance." (Num. 5:15)

The meat-offering was a very common offering and was united with all burnt-offerings. (Num. 15:3-12) It was offered every morning and evening on the brazen altar, in connection with the morning and evening burnt-offering. (Ex. 29:39-42)

The meat-offering of first-fruits was "green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears. " (Lev. 2:14-16) We quote from Andrew A. Bonar in regard to the significance of the green ears, "A peculiar typical circumstance attends these. These are ears of corn, a figure of Christ; (John 12:24) and ears of the best kind, for so the Hebrew intimates. They are dried by the fire, to represent Jesus feeling the wrath of His Father, as when He said, My strength is dried up, i.e., the whole force of my being is dried up; (Ps. 22:15) 'I am withered like grass.' (Ps. 102:4)

"What an affecting picture of the Man of Sorrow! How like the very life! The best ears of the finest corn in the plains of Israel are plucked while yet green; and instead of being left to ripen in the cool breeze, and under a genial sun, are withered up by the scorching fire. It was thus that the only pure humanity that ever walked on the plains of earth was wasted away during three-and-thirty years by the heat of wrath He had never deserved. While obeying night and day, with all His soul and strength, the burning wrath of God was drying up His frame. 'Beaten out of full ears,' represents the bruises and strokes whereby He was prepared for the altar. 'Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.' (Heb. 5:8) It is after this preparation that He is a perfect meat-offering, fully devoted, body and substance, to the Lord.

"In all this He is First-fruits, intimating that many more shall follow. He the first-fruits, then all that are His in like manner. We must be conformed to Jesus in all things; and here it is taught us that we must be conformed to Him in self-dedication–self-renunciation. We must please the Father; as He left us an example, saying, "I do always those things that please Him, (John 8:29) even under the blackest sky."

The meat-offering typified the full surrender of all we have, and all we are, to the Lord. This offering was always presented along with some animal sacrifice, thus showing the connection between pardon of sin and consecration to the Lord. It is after an individual's sins are forgiven that he lays all upon the altar to be consumed in God's service.

In the meat-offering, like the sin-offering, provision was made for the poor. The wealthy class baked their meat-offerings in an oven; the individual in moderate circumstances, on the "fire plate"; while the cakes baked by the poor in the "frying pan," were equally acceptable. (Lev. 2:4-8)

Lev. 2:1-3. It was "a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire."

Lev. 2:9. The meat-offering was "a sweet savor unto the Lord."

Lev. 2:13. "Every oblation of thy meat-offering shalt thou season with salt; . . . with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt."

Rom. 12:1. "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God."

Phil. 4:18. When God's people make sacrifices for Him, it is "an odor of a sweet smell, . . . well pleasing to God."

Mark 9:50. "Have salt in yourselves."
Col. 4:6. "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt."


THE trespass-offering was a sin-offering, and many Bible students make no distinction between it and the regular sin-offering. In some places the terms "sin-offering" and "trespass-offering" seem to be used synonymously, as in Lev. 5:1-13, but in other places they are spoken of as being two separate offerings. (Eze. 46:20)

A close study of the passages that speak directly of the trespass-offering, shows that it was offered more especially for sins "in the holy things of the Lord," (Lev. 5:15) as when a person had trespassed by not following God's instructions in regard to the holy things. He may have withheld his tithe, (Lev. 27:31) eaten the first-fruits, (Ex. 34:26) or sheared the first-born sheep; (Deut. 15:19) whatever the trespass, he was to bring a ram for an offering, (Lev. 5:18; 6:6) This offering was disposed of much the same as the ordinary sin-offering, except that the blood was sprinkled "round about upon the altar," instead of touching the horns with the blood as in the sin-offering. (Lev. 7.1-7)

It would seem from this that the trespass-offering did not always represent sins as public as the common sin-offering represented, but was often used for sins known only to the individual himself. If the person had taken any of the holy things for his own use, had been dishonest in his dealings with his neighbor, or had appropriated articles that had been lost, etc., he was not only to restore the full value, but was to add one fifth to the estimation by the priest. (Lev. 5:16; 6:5)

The restitution was always made to the one wronged. If the individual had dealt dishonestly with the holy things of the Lord, the restitution was made to the priest as the representative of the Lord. If he had wronged his fellowmen and the one wronged had died, then the restitution was made to his kinsman; but if there was no kinsman, the restitution was made to the Lord. (Num. 5:7,8)

There was no virtue in offering the ram for a trespass-offering, unless the restitution was made in full for the wrong done. One special object of the trespass-offering was to atone for dishonest dealings with either God or man, and always required the restitution of the wrong besides the ram for the offering. It taught very clearly that wherein we have dealt falsely with God or man, simply confessing the sin and bringing an offering will not suffice; we must make amends for the wrong.

Zacchaeus understood the law of the trespass-offering, and as soon as he surrendered his life to Christ, he was ready to go even beyond the requirements of the law, and restore "fourfold" to all whom he had wronged. (Luke 19:8)

The trespass-offering was a more complete offering than the ordinary sinoffering; besides atoning for the sin, it also, in figure, covered the result of the sin. The prophet Isaiah used the trespass-offering as a special type of Christ. He was truly the anti-typical trespass-offering when He shed His blood, not only to free the souls of men from guilt, but to remove forever the last trace of sin from the universe of God.

We quote Isa. 53:10 from the Jewish translator Leeser, as follows: "The Lord was pleased to crush him through disease:when (now) His soul hath brought the trespass-offering, then shall He see (His) seed, live many days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand."

There are many precious promises to the one who will present his trespassofferings to the Lord. He who would be victorious in God cannot be content with merely confessing his sin to God; he must make reconciliation and restoration. This is taught in the Saviour's words, "If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." (Matt. 5:23, 24)

Lev. 5:15, 16. The trespass-offering atoned for the result of sin as well as for the sin.

Lev. 6:1-7. The sacrifice without restitution was not accepted.

Isa. 53:10-1. The death of Christ the great trespass offering not only atones for sin but destroys all the effects of sin.

Matt. 5:23-26. Our prayers are of no avail if we cling to our sins and cherish evil in our hearts.


THE life of every sacrifice, from the first one offered at the gate of Eden down to the cross, was a type of Christ; but the offering of the red heifer is different in many respects from all others. It was an occasional sacrifice, offered when needed, to purify from ceremonial uncleanness those who for any reason had touched the dead. (Duet. 21:1-9)

The heifer was to be red, without one spot, thus in a special manner typifying the blood of Christ. It was to be without blemish, thus representing Him "Who knew no sin." (2 Cor. 5:21) It was to be one that had never been broken to bear the yoke; it must be a heifer that had always been free, never forced to do anything.

This was symbolic of the Son of God, who came of His own free will and died for us. Christ was above all law, no yoke was upon Him. (John 10:18)While enduring the agony of Gethsemane, He could have wiped the bloody sweat from His brow and returned to His rightful place in heaven, and left the world to perish. There was no power, only that of supreme heavenly love, that forced Christ toward the cross of Calvary. (John 3:16) He came a voluntary offering, from choice. He offered Himself for the sins of the world, and the Father's love for the fallen race was so great that, much as He loved His only Son, He accepted the offered life. Angels are amenable to the law of God, therefore their life could not have atoned for the transgression of the law. Christ alone was free from the claims of the law, the only one who could redeem the lost race.

The offering of the red heifer was a very imposing ceremony. The heifer was not taken to the temple, like most other offerings, but to a rough valley without the camp, that had never been cultivated or sown. The priest, clothed in the pure white garment of the priesthood, led the heifer, and was accompanied by the elders of the city and the Levites. Cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet were also carried to the place of offering.

When the procession reached the rough valley, they paused, and the elders came forward and killed the heifer. The priest then took the blood, and with his face toward the temple, sprinkled the blood with his finger toward the temple seven times.

If a person had been found dead in the field and it was not known who had taken the life, then the eiders of the city next to where the slain man had been found, came forward and washed their hands over the body of the heifer as they offered a prayer to God requesting that the Lord would not lay innocent blood upon them. (Duet. 21:1-9) After this the heifer's entire body, including the blood, was burned. As the flames mounted up, the priest stepped near and cast some of the cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet into the midst of the fire. (Num. 19:1-8)

The red heifer was offered without the camp, typifying that Christ suffered, not for the Hebrew race alone, but for the whole world. If every offering had been slain within the court of the sanctuary, some might have taught that Christ died only for His own people, the Hebrew race; but the red heifer was offered without the camp, (Heb. 13:12,13) symbolizing the fact that Christ died for all nations tribes, and people.

The condescension and love of the Lord is wonderful. Lest some poor, forlorn, discouraged soul should think he was not worthy to accept the offered sacrifice, the red heifer was not only taken without the camp, but to a rough valley, so rocky and utterly worthless that it had never even been plowed. No one had ever attempted to cultivate it; and yet here was the place chosen to sprinkle the blood of that special offering which typified Christ in a particular sense. It typified Him as one who is above law.

It does not matter if Satan has so marred the image of the Creator in man that there can scarcely a trace be seen of anything but the attributes of Satan; yet Christ with His mighty arm can raise such a one up to sit with Him on His throne. The whole life may be wasted and be, like the rough valley, of no account; but if such a one will turn his eyes toward the heavenly sanctuary, and plead for mercy by confessing his sins, the precious blood of Christ, of which the blood of the red heifer was a symbol, will be sprinkled over his wasted life, as verily as the blood of the heifer was sprinkled over the rough stones of the valley; and Christ will say to the repentant one as He did to the thief on the cross, who had wasted his life. "Thou shalt be with Me in paradise."(Luke 23:38-40

There are none so sunken in sin or in heathen darkness but that hope and salvation are held out to them through the typical offering of the red heifer. This sacrifice was a shadow of heavenly things. Now type has met antitype. Christ has suffered without the camp for the sins of the whole world. There are none so sunken but that He can lift them up. It may look impossible to man; the customs and habits of the world may condemn a person, and say he is lost; but Christ is above all law. He can save to the uttermost all who came unto God by Him. (Heb. 7:25)

The cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet cast into the fire were typical of the purifying of the earth and all vegetation from every trace of sin by the blood of Christ. (Isa. 65:17-19)

After the body of the heifer was burned to ashes, a person who was not contaminated by touching the dead, gathered up the ashes and placed them in a clean place, and they were kept to be used for purifying those who touched the dead. (Num. 19:9,10) If a person died in a tent or house, the house and all who touched the dead body were counted unclean until purified. This was to impress the people with the I terrible nature of sin. It taught them that death came as the result of sin, and was a representation of sin. (Jas. 1:14,15)

Some of the ashes were placed in pure running water, and a person who was ceremonially clean dipped a bunch of hyssop and cedar in the ashes and water, and sprinkled the tent, the articles within the tent, and the people. This was repeated several times until all were purified. (Numbers 19:18)

In like manner, Christ, after He shed His blood for sinful man, entered the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary to present His blood before the Father, to cleanse man from the defilement of sin. (Heb. 9:11,12)

The cedar and hyssop used to sprinkle the purifying water denoted that the person upon whom it fell was cleansed from all earthly moral defilement. The thoroughness of the work was typified by its being repeated several times.

David evidently had this ceremony in mind when he prayed, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Ps. 51:7) Paul's mind was led from type to antitype when he wrote to his Hebrew brethren, "If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." (Heb. 9:13, 14)

Many people read their Bibles and pass over these beautiful types as ceremonies peculiar to the Jews, and meaning nothing to Christians. They consider the Old Testament of little value But the Lord through Moses gave that wonderful galaxy of types and symbols contained in the sanctuary service and the Levitical laws; and Moses was so fearful lest the people might think he had given them the service, that over two hundred times we find him assuring them that God Himself was the Author of them, by such expressions as "The Lord said," or "The Lord commanded." He desired all to know that God had given that marvelous system of types and shadows, not only throwing light from Eden to the cross, but revealing to sinful man the work of Christ from the cross to the end of time.

These typical ceremonies, like a great reflector, throw light upon the ministry of Christ that cannot be obtained in any other portion of the Scriptures. The Saviour taught that a study of the writings of Moses would strengthen faith in Him.

"Had ye believed Moses," He said, "you would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe My words?" (John 5:46,47)

Num. 19:2 A red heifer without spot.

Num. 19:2 There was to be no blemish in the animal.

Num. 19:2 One that had never borne the yoke, never been forced to do anything.

Num. 19:3; Duet. 21:4 The red heifer was slain without the camp, in a rough valley, that had never been cultivated.

Num. 19:5,6 Heifer and cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet, were burned in the fire.

Num. 19: 17-19 Those ceremonially unclean were cleansed by being sprinkled with the ashes.

Heb. 9:13,14 Christ offered himself without spot to God.

John 15:10, 2 Cor. 5:21 Christ never disobeyed the law of God. He "knew no sin".

John 10:15 "As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep."

Heb. 13:12 John 10:16 "Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate."

2 Peter 3:7 The earth is "reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men".

1 Cor. 6:11 "You are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus."

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