Israel always approached God with an offering, or sacrifice
(q.v.). It might have been a handful of grain, or a pair of
doves, or it could have been many sheep, goats and oxen, as
the law required and as the offerer could afford. There were
formal offerings of lambs and bullocks arranged by the priests
and Levites according to God's instructions through Moses.
Special events and days were recognised by offerings at the
Tabernacle. The passing of time, each day and night, the Sabbath,
the first day of the month, the New Year and the New Moons
were acknowledged with burnt offerings. Offerings were associated
with the three national feasts. There were offerings made
for the priests and the princes of Israel. In some cases these
offerings were burnt whole after the blood had been drained.
Other offerings were shared with the priests, Levites and
their families. Details of these offerings and how they were
made are given in Numbers 28 and 29, and elsewhere.
Every Israelite was free to make 'peace offerings' or 'fellowship
offerings' or to make an offering in thanksgiving to God for
His goodness and mercy towards them. The first thing that
Noah did when he left the ark was to offer some of the animals
in thanksgiving to God.
The animals brought for an offering would be killed by the
priest at the Tabernacle, or later the Temple, the blood would
be drained, the fat burned on the altar, and the meat shared
with the priest, and eaten by the man's family at the Tabernacle.
Thanksgiving offerings could also be made by any Israelite
when he wished to express his gratitude to God, and they were
similarly offered and the meat shared with the priests and
eaten. (See Leviticus 7:11-21).
(See also SACRIFICE).