It is said during the offering of a burnt sacrifice of a bird the Priest shall wring off its head and burn it,then shall drain its blood,remove its feathers,divide it and then finally burn it.

Leviticus 1:14 NIV ~ “‘If the offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, you are to offer a dove or a young pigeon. 15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off the head and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar.

What was the significance or symbolism of first wringing off the head and burning it?


Gill suggests that it is a type of Christ's death:

this wringing off the head, and wringing out the blood, denote violence, and show that Christ's death, which this was a type of, was a violent one; the Jews laid violent hands upon him, and pursued his life in a violent manner, were very pressing to have it taken away, and his life was taken away in such a manner by men, though not without his Father's secret will, and his own consent.


It was done to make sure there is no life in the bird. Then the priest cuts the neck so it attached to the body only by the skin of the neck. All the blood must be drained and then only it must be burnt.

  • There are many other ways one could do that other than cutting the head. One could cut the torso, the feet, the wings, and drain the blood that way, too. There is something symbolic about the head going on here
    – Robert
    Jun 21 at 0:09
  • Possible reasons for this choice. a. The neck is closer to the heart and blood pressure will be higher here than at the torso. b. squeezing out / pressing out the neck is much easier than a torso. c. If a bird's vascular anatomy is similar to humans'(I am not aware) there are 2 carotid arteries that supply large volumes of blood to the brain and are easily assessible than the other major arteries in the body that are much deeper and not easy to access.
    – Yeddu
    Jun 21 at 4:10

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