"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21
  • By Sophiee (on Facebook under the title)
    The Hebrew word translated as “sacrifice” is qorban:
    It means to draw near to G-d. 

    The whole concept of qorban (sacrifice) in Judaism is the opposite of what most people think it is — there is no blood thirsty god needing the deaths of some creature. Instead Jewish sacrifice could only be made with a kosher animal without blemish that was owned by the one bringing the sacrifice.

    You see — bringing something of VALUE that belonged to you was indeed a “sacrifice.” Think of giving little “Fluffy” whom you raised as a gift to G-d. G-d does not need the gift, but you (the giver) gains a great deal by giving the gift. You learn about doing something good because it IS good even if it is hard for you to do. You learn how fleeting life can be as you have your hand on the animal as it dies.

    The idea of sacrifices is a gift from G-d to you as much as you are giving a gift to Him. It is all about learning to give and feeling responsibility for the choices that you made — as well as emotions tied to the process.

    So blood is not “magic” — and blood is not a major part of atonement. The idea that blood is needed to be forgiven has to do with pagan religions who taught such a concept — and to Christians who distort Leviticus 17 — reading only line 11 and ignoring the rest of the chapter. Leviticus 17:11 tells us that life is in the blood and as such it is only fit for sacrifice or must be thrown out — Jews are not allowed to eat blood.

    Most qorbans have nothing to do with atoning for sin. When we speak of sins that qorban does atone for we must separate communal sins from individual sins (Jews are judged both as a nation and individually). The only types of sacrifices for sins are the chatat — which is for accidental sins and the asham, which was for three different types of violations:

    1. unintentionally taking and using something from the holy Temple. The person must return the items, add 1/5th in restitution and bring an asham;

    2. asham taluy is for when you aren’t sure if you sinned or not, so just to be sure you bring an asham taluy. If later you discover that you did commit a cheit (accidental sin) you bring a chatat (sin offer);

    3. asham g’zelot if you lied under oath defrauding someone of his things or money. In this case again you have to return the stolen things and add 1/5th to it as well as bring the asham g’zelot.

    An avon (unless it falls under the asham talu or asham g’zelot) cannot be rectified with a qorban, and neither can a pesha. Repentance and turning to G-d to seek forgiveness for sins against G-d and seeking forgiveness to any person that might have been harmed from that person are the methods of atonement.

    repentance (II Samuel 12:13-14, Jonah 3:10, Lev. 26:40-42, Ezek. 18:21-32, 33:11-16)
    kindness (Prov. 16:6, Daniel 4:24)
    prayer (Hos. 14:2-3,I Kings 8:46-50, Daniel 9:19)
    removal of idolatry (Is. 27:9)
    punishment (Is. 40:1, Lam. 4:22),
    death (Is. 22:14)
    flour offerings (Lev. 5:11-13)
    money (Ex. 30:15)
    jewelry (Num. 31:50)
    and incense (Num. 17:11-12).

    Here is a break down the type of atonement in the above list by type of sin committed. Before you read it you need to understand that while in English we have one word, “sin” — in Hebrew there are a variety of words and types of “sins.” They range from a missing of the mark (as if you shot an arrow at a bullseye and missed the target) — in other words you weren’t trying to do something bad — perhaps you were trying to do something GOOD — and missed to something you do without thinking (impulsive) to something you do knowing full well that what you did was wrong. . .
  • So realizing that sins are not “black and white” let’s move on. The major three types of sin in the Jewish bible are: 

    Cheit: A missing of the mark, aka you tried to do something right but messed up;

    Avon (ovon): To be led astray, often by lust or uncontrollable urges;

    Pesha: To willfully go against G-d.

    Those are the three types of sin that are most often mentioned in the Jewish bible. Another type of sin is rasha which can be either an evil (wicked) person or doing something evil.

    The Jewish bible tells us that the various types of sins also have various ways of atonement. The only types of individual sins forgiven with sacrifice are generally accidental (cheit). If we look at the list in the previous post where I listed various ways to atone for sin I mentioned a biblical reference showing where this atonement is used. Let’s break that down now. What type of sin is being atoned for in the examples I gave? Read on.


    2 Samuel 12:13-14 is a cheit (David admits to sin before Nathan the prophet and repents)
    Jonah 3:10 has to do with the sins of Nineveh (unspecified, just identified as “evil” in 1:2), the people repented and G-d forgave
    Leviticus 26:40-42 speaks of avon and repentence atoning for it
    Ezikiel 18:21-32 speaks of chatat (21), pesha (22), chatat (24), pesha (28), pesha and avon (30) are all atoned through repentance


    Proverbs 16:6 an avon is atoned for with kindness
    Daniel 4:24 is chatat and avon by showing mercy and kindness

    PRAYER (accompanied by repentance)

    Hosea 14:2-3 teshuva (turning to G-d) and 1prayer atones for avon
    1 Kings 8:46-50 include chatat, avon, rasha (wicked or evil) and pesha are atoned for by prayer
    Daniel 9:5-19 include chatat, avon, and rasha are atoned by prayer


    Isaiah 27:9 both chatat and avon are atoned by removing idolatry


    Isaiah 40:1-2 avon is removed by punishment
    Lamentations 4:22 avon is removed by punishment


    Isaiah 22:14 avon will surely not be atoned until you die.


    Leviticus 5:1-13 for specific ashams (guilts including not testifying honestly, touching something ritually unclean, if one makes an oath one doesn’t keep, he must confess, and he must bring a guilt offering which should be a female sheep or goat, but if he can’t afford it he may bring two turtle doves (one as a chatat and one as an olah). If he cannot afford the turtle doves he may bring flour as a chatat (sin offer)


    Exodus 30:15-16 to atone for the life-force (similar to blood in Leviticus 17:11)


    Numbers 31:50 to atone for the life-force (similar to blood in Leviticus 17:11)


    Numbers 17:11-12 atonement for the Israelites “for there is wrath” Per Rashi This secret was given over to him by the angel of death when he went up to heaven, that incense holds back the plague… as is related in Tractate Shabbath (89a).

    The gates to repentance atone for the most serious types of sin: being wicked, turning against G-d. . . only through prayer and repentance are those sins forgiven, and they can be done any where at any time — with or without a Temple.

  • Don’t believe me yet? Then let’s go through the very lengthy list of sacrifices that we find in the book of Vayikra (Leviticus). This is that annoying book in the Jewish bible that goes on and on and on about sacrifices. 

    Chapter one is about burnt offerings. First cattle, then smaller animals and then birds. We are told the burnt offering (olah — or elevation offering) is an appeasing fragrance.

    Chapter two has to do with flour offerings and baked goods. Yep. Baked goods. In my earlier posts I mentioned that the concept behind sacrifice is to give something of value. We are told in chapter two that we must give the best grade of wheat meal. Not just any old wheat — but the best we have.

    Chapter three talks about peace offers. Again, no sins and no atonement. So far we’ve had burnt offers for an appeasing fragrance, flour / baked offers and now we have peace offers. These are burnt offers and we are warned not to eat the blood. . .

    Chapter four. Now we begin to get to the subject of sins and sacrifices.

    A chatat (sin offer) is an atonement, but a very specific TYPE of atonement. It was brought for personal cheits (an unintentional sin through carelessness — a “missing of the mark.” The word comes from the idea of an archer shooting an arrow at a target and “missing” the target — missing the mark. A chatat (sin sacrifice) could not be brought for intentional, willful sins.
    Levitcus 4:2 This is the law] if an individual commits an inadvertent sin by violating certan [specified] prohibitory commandments of G-d.

    Leviticus 4:13 If the entire community of Israel commits an inadvertent violation.

    Leviticus 4:22 If the leader commits a sin by inadvertently violating certain of God’s prohibitory commandments

    Leviticus 4:27 If a commoner commits an inadvertent violation by violating any one of certain [specified] prohibitory commandments of G-d

    Note Leviticus 4 speaks of inadvertent sin. Not intentional sins, only UNINTENTIONAL sins can you bring a qorban (sacrifice).

    So much for sin and sacrifices being all encompassing! So much for the idea of Jsus being a “sin sacrifiice”! This is part of the problem with translations that just take a word and ignore all the real meaning behind it.

    Where in a sin sacrifice is all the blood for INTENTIONAL sins? Things like murder, adultery, etc?

  • Moving right along. . . 

    An asham is a different type of atonement sacrifice. It is often translated as a “guilt offer.” An asham (guilt offer) could be brought if you weren’t sure you had sinned (was it a cheit or not?) — or if you had taken something that belonged to the Temple. If you knew you had sinned you would have brought a chatat (sin offer).

    Only very specific guilts could be atoned with the asham — and they are all mentioned in Leviticus 5. So again, Jsus and the idea of a blood sacrifice atoning for all sins is un-biblical.
    Leviticus 5:1 If he is bound by an oath [to give evidence in court], where he was a witness who saw or knew [something], and he does not testify

    Leviticus 5:2 The same is true] if a person touches anything ritually unclean, whether it is any dead non-kosher animal, wild or domestic, or any dead unclean creeping animal, and then commits a violation while forgetting that he was unclean.

    Leviticus 5:3 if he comes in contact with any ritual uncleanliness stemming from a human being, which renders him unclean, and then forgets about it,

    Leviticus 5:4 if a person makes a verbal oath to do good or bad, no matter what is expressed in the oath, and then forgets about it.

    See? All these are VERY SPECIFIC. Guilts not mentioned can not be atoned for with these sacrifices!

    So no “biggie” sins were covered by either qorban. The main purpose of qorban is to draw nearer to G-d — there is the olah (burnt offer), the zebach sh’lamim (peace offer), Leviticus 3 speaks of peace offerings — not for atonement, but for peace — and there are various others as well.

  • The Yom Kippur sacrifices were mostly individual (for the high priest for example). The communal sacrificial goat on Yom Kippur was for very specific sins having to do with defilement of the Temple NOT a general, all purpose sin remover. The goat that did atone for sins was sent alive into the wilderness. 

    Let’s repeat: when qorban does atone for sins those sins are very specific ones — only the asham and chatat atone for individual sins — and in the case of Yom Kippur it is the day itself that atones — none of the sacrificed animals atoned for ALL sins.

    The scapegoat which did atone for the sins of the Jewish community (on Yom Kippur) was not a sacrifice — it was sent alive into the wilderness for Azazel. Again, on Yom Kippur it is THE DAY ITSELF THAT ATONES.

    Most qorbans have nothing to do with sin. Most are for giving thanks, they are peace offerings, etc. The few qorbans which atone for sin are VERY specific (only chatat and asham — for accidental sin and guilt offers). Qorbans are only brought for sins already committed, not for future sins.

    We are responsible for our own actions: we can choose the blessing or the curse. An all purpose “get out of jail (sin) free card” would only encourage people to sin MORE! You commit a sin? You atone for it. You commit another? You fix your own mess. . .
    The idea is that you REPENT and try not to repeat the sin — so how could a qorban made for violating a mitzvah keep the Jew from repeating the same sins the following year? Answer: it doesn’t. The Jew must make the effort not to make the same sin again, whether it was accidentally entering the Temple ritually impure or for breaking a vow, or whatever the sin was that IS covered by qorban.

    Most sins are not covered by qorban but through repentance and prayer.


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add your own }

syzygy June 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I agree that regardless of the sacrifice, people continue to sin. I agree that effort must be made through repentance and prayer. And I state that this does not null the reason for Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. God sacrificed His Son to cover the sin not of a person, not of a people, but of a race; to renew the relationship with man that has not been seen since Adam. A man may continue to sin, but I agree that, as you say, unless he repents and prays he does not meet that relationship in paradise.

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Dave & Yvonne June 19, 2012 at 2:36 am

There we differ – because Judiasm’s only son is Israel and “he” is alive and eternal. God has given us his way of connecting with Him and from what I have read in the Torah we are all responsible for how we live. There is no quick fix of a dying saviour – this is nothing new and is pure paganism. Each and everyone of us can come to God without a mediator.

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syzygy June 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm

From what I read in the Bible (which, as far as I know, also contains a good deal of the Torah), we are all responsible for how we live. Repentance and forgiveness still go hand-in-hand. Jesus does not lessen the fault of sin; rather, he greatens it. He does not null it such that anyone can one day join God in paradise; he clarifies that sin is not just breaking a law, it is doing anything apart from loving God. It is ingrained in our thoughts, etched in our hearts, it is cancer in our minds. We are born under it, and no amount of earthly sacrifices can atone for our heavenly standing. We need a mediator, and that mediator is the Spirit of God living within us and breathing through us. We will continue to sin on this earth because it is human nature. But when the body dies, the unclean will remain in the grave, and our soul cleansed through acceptance of Jesus as God’s sacrificial Son will rise.
Do not be misled by the zounds of people who claim Christianity and yet continue sinning as if it has no consequence. We will all answer to the one true Judge, and claiming a faith based on how one was brought up is not the same as being faithful. True faith existed long before Jesus’s incarnation. The faithful of the past (Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah,…) died and went to the grave, yet in Jesus they were raised to life. It is not that they didn’t need to claim Jesus as their Savior, but that their faith in God to work for their good was stronger than any of ours can ever be.
The Significance of Blood: In Exodus 24, the altar was consecrated with half of the blood of the offerings, and in agreeing with God’s covenant the people were consecrated with the other half. Before any of the numerous laws about how to carry out specific sacrifices, God marked his people with the blood of his covenant.

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Dave & Yvonne October 5, 2012 at 7:01 am

Syzygy – This is just not true, worship of any God apart from the God of Israel is idolatry – YOU do not need a mediator, You were created to have a relationship with God, without any mediator. The Christian concept of sin is flawed and therefore the antidote is flawed – The God of Israel is not the god of the New Testament. If you want truth read the Torah and compare what is eternal to sheer idolatrous lies!!

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syzygy October 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm

God’s Spirit is as much a part of Him as a man’s spirit is to him. I do not believe in a separate entity. I believe in the Father, whose Spirit hovered over the waters, whose Word brought forth everything into existence and communed with the prophets. “Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD?”

You were created to have a relationship with God, without any mediator.

And that relationship was broken upon the introduction of sin to the world, as dictated when God banished man from the garden. God does not plan things to go against His will, but He continues to work His good through them. We may not have needed a mediator upon the creation of the world, but He brought us one through His divine providence. If He had not, you and I would stand condemned and be unable to reach that blessed relationship which can only exist apart from sin, that is, in paradise.

The God of Israel is not the god of the New Testament.

But the God of the New Testament is the God of the Old.

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Dave & Yvonne October 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm

How syzygy do you work that out that the god of the New Testament is the God of Israel? I look forward to your comments ….

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syzygy November 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Forgive my delay and the rough appearance of my response. I’ve collected 30 pages of text from throughout the Bible that undoubtedly convey the same message of God to His people. For, our God is alive yesterday, today and forevermore, and His hope has always been for His people to bear His Name before the world, thus “increasing the ranks” (so to speak) of His people around the world. It is my belief that His covenant with Abraham points to Jesus the Messiah; that His covenant with Moses has been broken by man and the penalty for that paid by God’s Messiah; that the new covenant (or New Testament) was foretold of by God’s prophets; and that Jesus as God’s Messiah fulfills countless prophecies, and by his words continues others toward the future events.
For the sake of space, I will list the verses I’ve studied by number instead of text, save the most relevant to this topic:

Jeremiah 31.31-36
“‘The time is coming,’ declares YHWH,/ ‘when I will make a new covenant/ with the house of Israel/ and with the house of Judah./ It will not be like the covenant/ I made with their forefathers/ when I took them by the hand/ to lead them out of Egypt,/ because they broke my covenant,/ though I was their master,’/ declares YHWH./ ‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel/ after that time,’ declares YHWH./ ‘I will put my law in their minds/ and write it on their hearts./ I will be their God,/ and they will be my people./ No longer will a man teach his neighbor,/ or a man his brother, saying, “Know YHWH,”/ because they will all know me,/ from the least of them to the greatest,’/ declares YHWH./ ‘For I will forgive their wickedness/ and will remember their sins no more.’/ This is what YHWH says,/ he who appoints the sun/ to shine by day,/ who decrees the moon and stars/ to shine by night,/ who stirs up the sea/ so that its waves roar–/ YHWH Sabaoth is his name:/ ‘Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,’/ declares YHWH,/ ‘will the descendants of Israel ever cease/ to be a nation before me.’/ This is what YHWH says:/ ‘Only if the heavens above can be measured/ and the foundations of the earth below be searched out/ will I reject all the descendants of Israel/ because of all they have done,’/ declares YHWH.”

Genesis 1.29-30
Genesis 2.15-17
Genesis 9.1-11
Genesis 12.1-3
Genesis 14.18-20, Hebrews 7.1-10
Genesis 15.3-6
Exodus 19.3-6, Revelation 1.5b-6
Exodus 19.10-11, Revelation 22.14-15
II Samuel 7.4-16
Psalm 2, Matthew 7.7-11, Matthew 21.18-22, James 1.5-8
Psalm 22, Matthew 27.32-44
Psalm 45
Psalm 110
Psalm 132, Revelation 7.2-17
Isaiah 8.11-9.7
Isaiah 11-12, Revelation 22.16-17
Isaiah 42.1-9, Galatians 3.6-25
Isaiah 44.1-5, John 4.10-14, Revelation 21.6-8
Isaiah 52.13-54.10, Romans 9.30-10.21
Isaiah 60-62, II Peter 3, Revelation 21.1-4, Revelation 21.22-22.6
Isaiah 65.17-66.16
Jeremiah 23.5-8
Ezekiel 36.22-38, John 14.15-31a, Romans 11.25-36
Daniel 7.13-14, Revelation 1.10-20
Hosea 6.1-3, Luke 9.22
Joel 2.23-32, Acts 2.22-39
Amos 9.8-15, Revelation 13.9-10
Obadiah 1.15-21
Jonah 1.17-3.10, Matthew 12.38-42
Micah 5
Nahum 1.2-8
Habakkuk 1.2-2.20
Zephaniah 1.2-2.3, II Timothy 3.1-9
Zephaniah 3
Haggai 2.21-23
Zechariah 3.6-10, Romans 11.1-24
Zechariah 7.8-8.23, I Peter 2.9-12
Zechariah 9.9-13, Matthew 21.6-11
Zechariah 12.7-13.9, Revelation 1.7, Matthew 10.34-39, I Peter 1.5-9
Malachi 3-4, Matthew 11.11-15, Matthew 17.10-13
Luke 1.68-79, I Peter 1.10-12, II Peter 1.16-21
Romans 9.1-29
Hebrews 7.11-10.18, I John 3.4-6
Hebrews 12.18-29
Hebrews 13.15-16
Revelation 2.7, Revelation 2.11, Revelation 2.17, Revelation 2.26-29, Revelation 3.5-6, Revelation 3.12-13, Revelation 3.21-22

I hope you take these words in good faith.

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