Archive for August 4th, 2022


For today’s post we will tackle the question the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: Who may offer sacrifices to God?

Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes shows a Bible contradiction:

Only Levites in the tabernacle

Sacrifices are to be done only by Levites:“6 Behold, I Myself have taken your fellow Levites from among the sons of Israel; they are a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord, to perform the service for the tent of meeting. 7 But you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything that concerns the altar and inside the veil, and you are to perform service. I am giving you the priesthood as a service that is a gift, and the unauthorized person who comes near shall be put to death.” 8 Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, “Now behold, I Myself have put you in charge of My offerings, all the holy gifts of the sons of Israel I have given to you as a portion and to your sons as a permanent allotment. (Numbers 18:6-8)

In the tabernacle: “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel, and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord has commanded, saying, 3 “Anyone from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox, a lamb, or a goat in the camp, or slaughters it outside the camp, 4 and has not brought it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to the Lord in front of the tabernacle of the Lord, bloodshed is to be counted against that person. He has shed blood, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 5 This shall be done so that the sons of Israel will bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing in the open field—so that they will bring them to the Lord at the doorway of the tent of meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the Lord. (Leviticus 17:1-5)

Non-Levites may offer sacrifices away from the tabernacle.

Elkanah, Samuel’s father, was an Ephrathite (a member of the tribe of Judah), not a Levite: “Now there was a man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the [a]other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children…It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him of the Lord.”” (1 Samuel 1:1-2, 20)

And yet Samuel offered sacrifices to God at Mizpeh (away from the tabernacle in Jerusalem) and God didn’t seem to mind: “Now when the Philistines heard that the sons of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the governors of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard about it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 So the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that He will save us from the hand of the Philistines!” 9 Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; and Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him.” (1 Samuel 7:7-9)

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

Here’s a closer look at whether or not there is a contradiction:


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