Messiah 201
Messiah in the Temple Offerings
R' Richard Pustelniak
January 2, 2001

The Korban Olah
The Source Text
Important Terms
The Missing "Process" Elements
The Korban Olah's Position in "The Process"
The Essential Korban Olah
The Essential Elements of the Korban Olah
The Korban Olah, Fulfilled in Messiah
Other Examples of the Korban Olah
The Korban Olah in Action
The Korban Minchah
The Zevach Shelamim
The Chatat
The Asham

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Warning: The truths contained in this teaching are not for the faint of heart, or the lukewarm! You can be sure that haSatan (the adversary) will do all he can to keep you from understanding and applying the concepts and truths contained herein, but it is our prayer that every one who receives these notes will carefully consider and apply the contents to their lives.

IV. The Korban Olah

IV-A. The Source Text
bible iconNow the L_RD called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When any one of you brings an offering to the L_RD, you shall bring your offering of the livestock — of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the L_RD. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. He shall kill the bull before the L_RD; and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting. And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire. Then the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; but he shall wash its entrails and its legs with water. And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the L_RD. If his offering is of the flocks — of the sheep or of the goats — as a burnt sacrifice, he shall bring a male without blemish. He shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the L_RD; and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar. And he shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; but he shall wash the entrails and the legs with water. Then the priest shall bring it all and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the L_RD. And if the burnt sacrifice of his offering to the L_RD is of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or young pigeons. The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out at the side of the altar. And he shall remove its crop with its feathers and cast it beside the altar on the east side, into the place for ashes. Then he shall split it at its wings, but shall not divide it completely; and the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the L_RD.'" (Lev 1:1-17, emendation added)
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IV-B. Important Terms

Olah ( ), the whole burnt offering, which, if more accurately translated would be, "the offering that goes up," from alah ( ), meaning "to go up" or "to ascend."

Zerikat hadam ( ), the rite of sprinkling, or more succinctly, scattering or casting the blood of a korban (offering), typically on or around the altar. This idea is derived from the root, expressed in the word, zarak ( ), meaning "to sprinkle, scatter, or strew (liquid or particles), to be here and there" (as Israel is scattered around the world).

Rachatz ( ), meaning to wash, not by running water, but by full immersion. This principle has been previously examined in the rite of tevilah (ceremonial immersion), such rite manifesting the idea of marking the transition of what is immersed, for a new use or status. As relating to the korban in view in this study, the korban olah, two areas of the korban are to be subjected to the rite of rachatz:

Kara ( ), the leg or foot (from the knee down), representing the future "actions" of the individual making the korban

Kerev ( ), that which is "near" or "central" (innards, including heart and intestines), representing the essential inner person (thoughts and intents) of the individual making the korban

Katar ( ), meaning to convert to an enveloping smoke, which rises (as one burns incense). This is the key idea to grasp, as we seek to understand the korban olah. This is the way that fire is utilized with this korban, whereby it's entirety is completely converted to smoke, which rises, the meaning of the word olah.

Saraph ( ), meaning "to consume out of existence by fire." This application of fire is not utilized in the korban olah, since the entire korban is converted to smoke, via katar, on the altar. Saraph is used with the expiatory korbanot (those dealing with sin and its purification), so it is important to note the idea here, for the purpose of comparison.

The idea conveyed by katar is: sending to the Holy One, that which is converted to smoke. In contrast, the idea conveyed by saraph is: judgement, permanent separation and loss.

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IV-C. The Missing "Process" Elements

As stated in the introduction to this series, there are five types of korbanot, only two of which have anything whatsoever to do with sin. The other three are making completely different statements, expressing completely different ideas. Unfortunately, the only thing that most believers know, about our Messiah's korban, is that it atones for sin. As we shall see in the next section, if that is all our Messiah has done for us, we have only been brought back to where we came in, and there are three essential korbanot still due. Actually, only one of the remaining korbanot is actually an offering made to the Holy One. One of the remaining two is an expression of relief, quietness of spirit, and peace. The last one is actually a celebration of the state of intimacy with our Creator, and an expression of our desire to share what we have gained with others.

We all know that our Messiah voluntarily laid down on that wood, and yielded up His life, while suspended between heaven and earth, like smoke, in order to fulfill for us all of the temple korbanot. If all we know about His provision is the propitiatory aspects of it, we are missing out on our very reason for living, as well as the very best of what He has provided and accomplished for us.

The korban olah provides us the ability to do what we are here to do in the first place: to decide if we want to be a part of our Creator's eternal economy, or not. That membership begins at the moment that we take on, express, and commence the process of following through with the statements and symbolism of the korban olah. More than a gift, our membership in that economy requires an exchange: our sovereignty in exchange for His; everything we are, and everything we could be, in exchange for everything He could be, in and through us. Essentially, the korban olah encapsulates the idea of the "new birth" of the child of G_d. Death (separation from the Divine) is put behind us, and eternal life, in our Creator, is laid out before us.

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IV-D. The Korban Olah's Position in "The Process"

The following diagram shall serve to encapsulate our study of this offering:

package image

The relationship status, with the Holy One, where the korban olah becomes available is indicated by the highlighted area on the map. The actual offering is represented by the emphasized ring, just inside the highlighted area. The center area of the map represents the essential goal of the whole korbanot process, "intimacy with our Creator," which is the very reason we were all created; the reason for life, if you will.

As we shall see, in our study of the other offerings in this series, the highlighted area represents a relational state, where there is no sin, nor its stain, associated with the individual. If sin, or its stain, would be present, the area of the map then occupied would be farther from its center. Also, as we shall see, the korban olah would be unavailable to that individual, until the prohibiting conditions have been properly dealt with.

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IV-E. The Essential Korban Olah

As previously stated, the korban olah, or the offering that goes up, has nothing whatsoever to do with sin. It does involve the death of the korban, however. If there is no sin to deal with, why does the korban still have to be killed? As usual, the words we use, and the questions we ask, strongly affect how we see the associated data. Such can even serve to obsure the proper interpretation of that data.

As we have seen, the rite of s'michat yadayim (the laying on of the hands) conveys the concept of the mutual exchange of identity, the establishment of a relationship of mutual agency, where, dealing with one is dealing with the other, and what happens to one is happening, or should/will, happen to the other. In view of these ideas, and in the case of the olah, rather than saying, "the korban is killed, as agent of the one making the offering," we should say, "the korban lays its life down, as an agent of the one making the offering, in the service of, and in the presence of G_d." Hence, what is symbolized and stated is, "as the korban is doing, so am I doing, and so shall I, henceforth, do." In modern, new birth language, we need to state the following: "Abba, as provided for by Messiah, please take all that I am, and all that I could ever be, and do with it whatever You wish, and whatever pleases You." Now that is an effective prayer of salvation.

In view of these understandings, the korban olah represents a whole-hearted, un-reserved devotion and dedication to our beloved Creator. Most offerings call for a memorial portion to be converted to smoke, on the altar, a portion given to the officiating priest, and the rest to be consumed in fire, outside the camp. This is not the case with the olah. The whole korban is converted to smoke, which rises, as to G_d.

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IV-F. The Essential Elements of the Korban Olah

The following lists the essential elements of the korban olah:

  • The olah is completely voluntary, unlike the asham (so called "guilt" offering) and the chatat (so called "sin" offering), which are obligatory. There is an olah that is associated with the other two offerings, but the olahs are only obligatory in terms of establishment, or renewal, of a life intimately connected to our Creator. If one does not have that intent, then the asham and chatat offerings are rendered pointless.
  • S'michat yadayim (laying on of hands) is performed, without the confession, or acknowledgment, of sins. All that is being established is the relationship of mutual agency.
  • The korban is to be a male, without blemish. The maleness of the korban speaks to the hard work that this offering represents. The lack of blemish is required because, if the korban is blemished, all that can occur with the establishment of mutual agency is an exchange of blemishes (symbolic of sin and its stain). There can be no obtaining of the requisite holiness and perfection, on the part of the one making the offering, since none would be available. Also, sin blemishes render the korban olah inaccessible to the one making the offering.
  • Shochet lifnei HaShem: the life of the korban is yielded up, in the presence of the Holy One, and in His service. A single stroke, with an extremely sharp, double-edged blade is performed, and the blood is poured into a container. A nick in the blade renders it invalid for use. Such a nick is sufficient cause to consider the act as too painful. Pain is to be avoided at all costs here. To be successful, the act must be performed from a very intimate position between the kohen (priest) and the korban.
  • Zerikat hadam: the blood of the korban is to be splashed on the altar (the symbol of this cosmos or creation). This symbolizes the one, who is making the offering, spending his very life in the service of Holy One, and those created in His image.
  • The korban is then skinned and flayed: the insides are laid open and bare, even to the separation of joints and marrow. Nothing, at all, remains hidden.
    This disposition of the body of the korban provides a more empowering interpretation of the following scripture than is commonly seen:
    bible iconFor the word of G_d is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword {sacrificial blade}, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Heb 4:12-13, emendation added)
  • Rachatz...kara v'kerev: a ceremonial immersion is performed on the legs, from the feet downward, representing the future "actions" of the individual making the korban, and on the innards (including heart and intestines, with contents left intact), representing the essential inner person (thoughts and intents) of the individual making the korban, flawed though these things may be. The retained intestinal contents represent the potential flaws in the fulfillment. The Holy One has no false expectations of the one making this korban.
    bible iconSo when they had eaten breakfast, Y'Shua said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you agape Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, L_rd; You know that I phileo You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you agape Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, L_rd; You know that I phileo You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you phileo Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you phileo Me?" And he said to Him, "L_rd, You know all things; You know that I phileo You." Y'Shua said to him, "Feed My sheep." (Jn 21:15-17, emendation and emphasis added)
  • Katarat hachol: all of the parts of the korban, are arranged on the fire, the most inside surfaces facing up (ex., the split bones are placed marrow side up, on the altar). This includes the intestines, with their contents. All of this is converted to smoke, like incense, which then rises, symbolically to G_d. This symbolizes the entire life and potential of the one offering the korban, being transferred to the Holy One.

  • The aroma, or truth, of the offering is spoken of, by the Holy One, as a re-ach nicho-ach l'Hashem ( ), a sweet smelling savor to to the Holy One. Please note that this expression is never used in reference to the propitiatory korbanot. The statement being made with the olah, is most satisfying, and is highly prized by our Creator.
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IV-G. The Korban Olah, Fulfilled in Messiah

When Messiah came, he lived a life that was wholehearted, and unreservedly dedicated and devoted to G_d, and G_d was not disappointed.

bible iconWhile he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (Mat 17:5, emphasis added)
bible iconThen Y'Shua said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him." (Jn 8:28-29, emphasis added)

When the Messiah laid down on that wood, he did so completely of his own volition.

bible icon"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father." (Jn 10:17-18)
bible icon"O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."...Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." (Mat 26:39-42)
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IV-H. Other Examples of the Korban Olah

When Noach exited the ark, the first thing he did, for himself, and his seed after him, was to offer a korban olah. This gets the new, post-diluvial world off to a good, dedicated and devoted start.

bible iconThen Noah built an altar to the L_RD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the L_RD smelled a soothing aroma... (Gen 8:20-21, emphasis added)

Our father Abraham was asked to take his beloved son, and offer him as an olah. One can hardly imagine a more dedicated, unreserved and devoted act, unless one considers the fact that young Isaac carried the wood for his own offering up the same hill that Y'Shua carried his, and in like manner, voluntarily laid down on that wood. These are some of most powerful examples of the korban olah in scripture, or history.

bible iconThen He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which G_d had told him. (Gen 22:2-3, emphasis added)
bible icon"By Myself I have sworn, says the L_RD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son — blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." (Gen 22:16-18)

And what the Holy One had asked Abraham to do, G_d, Himself did.

bible iconFor G_d so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (Jn 3:16)
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IV-I. The Korban Olah in Action

In Leviticus, chapter 14, the restoration of a metzorah is specified. A metzorah is an individual that has been stricken with tzaraat by the Holy One, for grave sin. Tzaraat is normally translated "leprosy," but it is very unlikely that it is Hanson's Disease (leprosy), because the symptoms described do not correspond with those for tzaraat. In fact, there is no evidence to indicate the presence of Hanson's Disease in the ancient near east prior to the time of Alexander the Great (356 - 323 BCE). Instead, tzaraat is more likely a slow consumption of skin and hair pigmentation, most generally beginning with the face, head and extremities, such as seen associated with the disease known as vitiligo.

Tzaraat (not vitiligo) is a mark upon the individual, intended to be seen by others. The result is that the stricken one is to live away from others, who are also instructed to avoid/refuse contact with the stricken one. The Holy One likened it to the expression of displeasure of a father, when his child has perpetrated a sin causing grave dishonor upon the family.

bible iconSo Moses cried out to the L_RD, saying, "Please heal her, O G_d, I pray!" Then the L_RD said to Moses, "If her father had but spit in her face, would she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut out of the camp seven days, and afterward she may be received again." (Num 12:13-14)

In order for the metzorah to be restored, either the tzaraat must disappear completely, or it must have completely consumed all pigmentation on the metzorah's body. Once either of those two states have been certified, by the priesthood, the metzorah can be restored. Note that, in the account referenced above, Miriam, Moses' sister, had been stricken to the state where all pigment had been consumed. She was not healed, but she was restored. She was immediately in a state where, following the specified process, she could be restored.

On the day that a metzorah is being restored, first an asham, then a chatat, then, an olah lamb is offered. The asham shows that an affront, causing some sort of damages, was perpetrated by the metzorah. This sin was serious enough for the Holy One to strike him with tzaraat, thereby ostracizing him from society. On the day of his purification, once he has properly dealt with his sin, and its stain, he is offered the opportunity to re-commit himself completely to the Holy One, and to enjoy fullness of life once more, via the Olah.

Such a one is anointed with oil and blood, on his right ear (to show that his attentions should be made right). on the big toe of his right foot (to show that his actions are to be made right), and on his head (to show that his very existence is now underpinned by the Divine Presence). This anointing is very similar to the anointing of a priest, showing that the life of the restored metzorah is to be fully yielded to the service of the Holy One, and to those created in His image.


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