125. Who may offer sacrifices to God?
Only Levites in the tablenacle
Sacrifices are to be done only by Levites.
And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel:
to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the
congregation. Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for
everything of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have
given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger
that cometh nigh shall be put to death. And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Behold,
I also have given thee the charge of mine
heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given
them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever.
In the tabernacle
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron, and unto his
sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them ... What man ... 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. 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.
Elkanah ... an Ephrathite:
And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah.... Hannah had conceived, that she
bare a son, and called his name Samuel. 1 Samuel 1:1-2, 20
And yet Samuel offered sacrfices to God at Mizpeh (away from the tabernacle in Jerusalem)
and God didn't seem to mind.
And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered
together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And
when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.And
the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God
for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. And Samuel
took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD:
and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him. 1 Samuel 7:7-9