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I've been studying in Leviticus recently, and have recently come across a passage that I have read before multiple times, but never really spent a lot of time thinking through. From Leviticus 17:3-5:

What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp, And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people: To the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them unto the Lord, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest, and offer them for peace offerings unto the Lord.

From my reading of the passage (and I could be reading wrongly), there are basically two possible interpretations:

  1. The children of Israel were not permitted to make their own sacrifices (they had to bring the sacrifices to the priest)

  2. After having sacrificed the animal, they were to bring it to the priest (at the door of the congregation) for him to complete the ceremonial rites.

Which, if either, of these interpretations is correct?

1

Just reading through the text, in other translations, may answer your questions. As I understand it, 1. They were not allowed to make their own sacrifices, 2. This was not an excuse for them to be able to make their own sacrifices.

3 “Blood guilt will be accounted to any man from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox or a lamb or a goat inside the camp or outside the camp, 4 but has not brought it to the entrance of the Meeting Tent to present it as an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord. He has shed blood, so that man will be cut off from the midst of his people. 5 This is so that the Israelites will bring their sacrifices that they are sacrificing in the open field to the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent to the priest and sacrifice them there as peace offering sacrifices to the Lord. NET

3 Any Israelite who sacrifices an ox,[a] a lamb or a goat in the camp or outside of it 4 instead of bringing it to the entrance to the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to the Lord in front of the tabernacle of the Lord—that person shall be considered guilty of bloodshed; they have shed blood and must be cut off from their people. 5 This is so the Israelites will bring to the Lord the sacrifices they are now making in the open fields. They must bring them to the priest, that is, to the Lord, at the entrance to the tent of meeting and sacrifice them as fellowship offerings. NIV

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The children of Israel were not permitted to make their own sacrifices. They had to bring the sacrifices to the priest.

They were allowed to kill an ox, or lamb, or goat as long as it was not for sacrificial purpose to anything.

Leviticus 17:7 So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.

Deuteronomy 15:2 1If an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22You are to eat it in your own towns. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it, as if it were gazelle or deer. 23But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.

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