Monday, April 24, 2006

Why Did God Ask for Animal Sacrifice?


Ever wonder why God asked the Israelites to sacrifice animals like cattle, sheep and goats? It’s not because God loves the smell of burning meat.

Moses explains to Pharaoh why the Israelites must be allowed to go out to the desert to offer their sacrifices to the Lord; their sacrifices would be “abominable” to the Egyptians (Ex. 8:25-27). In other words, Israel was to sacrifice to the Lord the very animals the Egyptians worshipped as gods.

In fact, we know that worshipping these gods was a major temptation for the Israelites. The Israelites end up worshipping a golden calf in Exodus 32.

God wanted Israel to renounce the gods of Egypt and worship Him as the one true God. No longer would Israel serve other gods – God wanted them to serve Him.

When Pharaoh refused to let the people go, God responded by sending 10 famous plagues on Egypt. The plagues symbolize judgment on the gods of Egypt.
● In turning the Nile to blood, God symbolizes his victory over Egyptians gods like Hapi, who governed the Nile (cf. Exodus 7:14-25).
● With the plague of the frogs, the frog goddess Heket is mocked (Ex. 8:1-15).
● The bull gods Apis and Hathor are judged in the destruction of the cattle (Ex. 9:1-7).
● With the plague of darkness, the sun god Re is defeated (Ex. 10:21-23).

But even after nine plagues Pharaoh refuses to let God’s firstborn son, Israel, go. Because of this God threatens the firstborn of the Egyptians, as He promised Moses he would. The Lord tells Moses that he will send his angel of death to slay the firstborn sons in Egypt and the firstborn male offspring of all livestock (Ex. 11:4-9).

Yet, God gives Israel a way to save their firstborn sons - the Passover (Ex. 12:1-27).

By slaying these animals God symbolically slaughters the gods of Egypt. The Lord explains, “I will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment” (Ex. 12:12). This is the event that finally breaks Pharaoh (Ex. 12:30-31). Moses leads God’s people out of Egypt, through the Red Sea and into the desert.

20 comments:

Jonathan Erdman said...

But animal sacrifice is a demand that goes back to early Genesis....so, there are broader issues here, right??? The reason for the requirment of animal sacrifice is certainly greater than the one context of Israel and Egypt, wouldn't you agree?

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm nearly certain that animal sacrifice was instituted as a replacement for the human sacrifice that was practiced before that.

JerryDeMelo said...

Clearly the significance of sacrificing animals that were representative or favored by the gods of Egypt, does not preclude other layers of understanding. The history of blood sacrifices in all cultures is nicely handled by H. Clay Trumbull in 'The Blood Covenant'

Anonymous said...

It's really quite simple, the biblical god is not real, it's a story, it's fiction.

On a side note, how stupid is it when god instructs someone to kill another person simply because the condemned was collecting sticks? I mean c'mon, you've gotta be kidding me! This is the stuff a retard would think up!

Anonymous said...

Weren't the animal sacrifices a temporary attoinment for sins before Jesus was sacrificed as the ultimate sacrifice to pay for our sins?

Anonymous said...

the devil gives laws to try to stop the truth from being told by the spirit to the sons of god. they killed many sons because the are true sons of god that can reveal the lie. they make laws ,feasts , and rewrite stories to try to hide the fact that they do the work of devil ,there father

Anonymous said...

Read the "Gospel of the Holly Twelve" and learn that the true God our Creator never required human or animal sacrifice. This is the Gospel that has escaped hands of Roman correctors and corruptors and hopefully presented it the purest form possible.

Rebekah Paul said...

When Adam and Eve sinned by eating of the tree of knowledge, they felt shame for the first time and were at that point separated from God. They were given clothes by God, covered by the slaughter of an animal:

"The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them."

The shedding of blood to cover our sins goes back this far. However, the practice of the Israelites of transferring their sin to an animal for slaughter only temporarily removed their sin, and it was only for past sin. Jesus came to be the final sacrifice. When we accept him our sins are transferred onto Jesus, who took our place on the cross. Every one of us deserves to die for our sins. When we understand Jesus' purpose for his life and death, we accept him as messiah, we experience a new spiritual birth. Our sins are wiped out not only going back, but in the future as well. It's a glorious thing!

Why did God require blood to be shed in order to be made clean? I asked God this recently and the answer that I received was that it made people aware that they deserved to die for their sin. If you had to slaughter an animal for your sin, can't you imagine that you would think about your sin that much more? Luckily Jesus removed this need because I don't believe I could do that!

Thank you, Jesus, that you came as the final sacrifice so that anyone can be made perfect to be able to one day stand in God's presence.

CincyJeff said...

How does this relate to the blood sacrifice in Meso-America practiced by the Moche, Mayan, and Aztec cultures? Voodoo and Santeria still practice blood sacrifice, and it is depicted in carvings that predate Christianity by millenia. It is obviously a universal motif.

Edward Turner said...

The majority view seems to be that Egyptians did indeed sacrifice animals, cattle, rams, goats. Some say no lambs. There seems to be a report that the Elephantine Jewish temple was destroyed because they sacrificed bulls. It appears that the writer of Exodus thought that the Egyptians would be offended. I doubt that he is correct.e

Gabriel said...

@Anonymous Poster - 9.22 PM

The God of The Bible is real. Archaeological evidence has proven that most of the events in The Bible DID happen:

http://jesussavemeplease.blogspot.com/

And no, God didn't make all the laws in The Old Testament. Moses made some. Jesus even states this:

Mark 10:2-5

2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.

4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses WROTE YOU THIS LAW,” Jesus replied.

@The Other Anonymous guy who mentions human sacrifice

God is against human sacrifice:

Psalm 106:38: They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.

Jeremiah 19:4-5: For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned sacrifices in it to gods that neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built the high places of Baal to BURN THEIR SONS in the fire as offerings to Baal - SOMETHING THAT I DID NOT COMMAND OR MENTION, NOR DID IT ENTER MY MIND.

Get your facts straight next time atheists. God only kills when it's needed.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’

God wants people to turn from their evil ways. He doesn't like killing the wicked and he loves them just like he loves the righteous.

Next time, get your facts right atheists.

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larry said...

In Exodus 32:7-14 the God of Israel tells Moses to go down from the mountain because He wants to wipe the Israelites off the face of the earth & start with a new people. Moses argues with God & slaughters 3,000 of the Israelites (see Exodus 32:21-28) Why? Because they had offered their children as Human Sacrifices to Moloch & continued to do so right through the Bible, even Solomon offered Human Sacrifices to Moloch. The prophet Amos chapter 5 tells us this; see verse 25-27& Acts 7:42-43.

To see what happened we have to study Book of Jeremiah, especially chapter 7. Look at verses 21-27. It is clear that Judaism is corrupt from the beginning & we see that in Exodus 18 it’s the Pagan Priest of Median who is organizing Moses not God. The True religion of God is that of God's Prophets.

Talmudic Judaism has come down through the centuries pretending to be God's Chosen People, but as Jesus says in John 8:44-47, they are the children of the Serpent - Satan. Jesus warned His followers to, "Beware the leaven (teachings) of the Pharisees", which we have in English today called the Babylonian Talmud. In it you will read how Talmudic Jews are to offer Human Sacrifices:

MISHNAH. HE WHO GIVES OF HIS SEED TO MOLECH INCURS NO PUNISHMENT UNLESS HE DELIVERS IT TO MOLECH AND CAUSES IT TO PASS THROUGH THE FIRE. IF HE GAVE IT TO MOLECH BUT DID NOT CAUSE IT TO PASS THROUGH THE FIRE, OR THE REVERSE, HE INCURS NO PENALTY, UNLESS HE DOES BOTH.

Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 64a
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 437

Following the Mishnah is a discussion among the sages. One of the Talmud Sages, Rabbi Ashi, comments as follows:

GEMARA. R. Ashi propounded: What if one caused his blind or sleeping son to pass through, (3) or if he caused his grandson by his son or daughter to pass through? — One at least of these you may solve. For it has been taught: [Any men … that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall he put to death … And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people;] because he hath given of his seed unto Molech. Why is this stated? — Because it is said, there shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire. From this I know it only of his son or daughter. Whence do I know that it applies to his son's son or daughter's son too? From the verse, [And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man] when he giveth of his seed unto Molech [and kill him not: Then I will … cut him off.]

— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 64b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 439

Anonymous said...

I have never witnessed God kill anyone, nor do I think there has ever been a case recorded.

Thou shall not kill.

God is the giver of life not the taker.

Anonymous said...

Amen.

Anonymous said...

Cain and Abel. Animal sacrifice is preferred. You're welcome.

IGROKYOURGOD said...

You can't be serious?!
Animal sacrificed was practiced in Genesis by Abel (and God loved the smell BTW).
And you're telling me the Israelites (whoever) sacrificed cats?

You sir, are a moron.

Anonymous said...

On earth at least there are about 15 families who are GOD, two of them Rothschild and Rockefeller.Nobody can deny this! it would be interesting to trace back their geology, caananites? PHarisees? Sadducees? it was always politics....But I have hope in a good non-sacrifice required kind of GOD.

Anonymous said...

Amen brother.

Anonymous said...

Read Exodus 29 its God talking and he talking about how to kill them to become priest. Including washing the corpse and and other rituals.

Exodus 29: 26 talks about sacrificing a bull every day for 7 days and Exodus 29:38 talks about a daily sacrifice of 2 lambs a day.

I've re-read it a couple times and its clear that god is comanding this. So the argument the some use that god only allowed it is pretty weak.