Parashat Vayikra, The Salt of the Covenant of our God


In this week’s reading from Parashat Vayikra (Vayikra / Leviticus 1:1-5:26) the Lord calls to Moshe from the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting, אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד) saying דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן לַיהוָֹה מִן-הַבְּהֵמָה מִן-הַבָּקָר וּמִן-הַצֹּאן תַּקְרִיבוּ אֶת-קָרְבַּנְכֶם: ג   אִם-עֹלָה קָרְבָּנוֹ מִן-הַבָּקָר זָכָר תָּמִים יַקְרִיבֶנּוּ אֶל-פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד יַקְרִיב אֹתוֹ לִרְצֹנוֹ לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה:  1:2Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When any man of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock.  1:3 ‘If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer it, a male without defect; he shall offer it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord. (NASB)  The Lord instructs Moshe on the burnt offering (1:3) the man bringing the offering he is to lay his hand upon the head of the burnt offering that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf (ד   וְסָמַךְ יָדוֹ עַל רֹאשׁ הָעֹלָה וְנִרְצָה לוֹ לְכַפֵּר עָלָיו:).  The blood is taken by the priest to make atonement on the altar.  The animal is skinned and cut into pieces and burned on the altar.  The young bull is slaughtered at the entrance to the Ohel Moed.  If the offering is from the flock of sheep or goats, the animal is to be slaughtered next to the altar (1:11).  If the offering is a burnt offering of the birds (pigeon or turtledove) the priest is to wring off its head, the blood poured out on the side the altar, and it is offered up as a whole burnt offering (1:14-15).  The grain offering that is presented is made of fine flour with oil and frankincense (2:1).  The grain offering is offered up in smoke before the Lord (2:2).  When bringing a grain offering that is baked as cakes it is to be unleavened bread (2:4), it is broken into pieces and oil is poured upon it.  The Lord commands of the grain offering saying יא   כָּל-הַמִּנְחָה אֲשֶׁר תַּקְרִיבוּ לַיהֹוָה לֹא תֵעָשֶֹה חָמֵץ כִּי כָל-שְֹאֹר וְכָל-דְּבַשׁ לֹא-תַקְטִירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָֹה: 2:11 ‘No grain offering, which you bring to the Lord, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the Lord. (NASB)  The Lord commands that every grain offering be seasoned with salt so the salt of the covenant is not lacking from the grain offering (2:12-13).  The first fruits are commanded to be brought as a part of the grain offering before the Lord.  If the offering is a part of the peace offering, the animal is slaughtered at the entrance to the tent, the blood is sprinkled on the altar, and the fat of the entrails are offered along with the two kidneys and the liver are offered on the altar before the Lord (3:1-16).  Because of this for all generations as a perpetual statute, we are not to eat the fat or the blood (3:17).  The Lord then speaks to Moshe saying that if a man sins unintentionally in the things that are commanded not to do he is to bring an offering to make atonement for the sin that is committed (4:1-12).  If the entire congregation of Yisrael sins and does not know it they are to bring an offering before the Lord (4:13-20).  The command repeats that if anyone unintentionally sins he is to bring an offering for the forgiveness of sins (4:27).  The scriptures also says יז   וְאִם-נֶפֶשׁ כִּי תֶחֱטָא וְעָשְֹתָה אַחַת מִכָּל-מִצְוֹת יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֵעָשֶֹינָה וְלֹא-יָדַע וְאָשֵׁם וְנָשָֹא עֲוֹנוֹ:  5:17 ‘Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the Lord has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment. (NASB)  Unintentional sin or unknowingly sinning before God (ignorance) does not exempt a person from the consequences of sin; an offering must be brought before the Lord in order to be forgiven.  Read More here.

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!