How Did Aaron Cope?

Question: Christopher asked, How was Aaron able to cope with all the numerous sacrifices? Wouldn't he and his sons be overwhelmed? There seems like a lot of offerings mentioned in the first few chapters of Leviticus.

Answer: We know that there was a “daily sacrifice” morning and evening: “This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old.  Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight” (Exod 29:38-39). 

And the sacrifice for the people’s sins were made once a year on the Day of Atonement. “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites” (Lev 16:34).

However, if someone wanted to draw near to the tabernacle and come before the Lord, for some reason, they could bring an offering themselves. Notice that Leviticus 1 begins by saying, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When anyone among you brings an offering to the LORD” (Lev 1:2). “You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. You are to slaughter the young bull before the LORD” (Lev 1:4-5).  So the people themselves offered the sacrifice in those instances. How often this happened, we don’t know, but it was the person offering that laid his hands on the animal and slaughtered it.

Aaron and his sons would splash the blood against the sides of the altar, but they would do this under normal time constraints, depending on how many people brought offerings to the Lord, which in those days in the Sinai wilderness was probably not too many, maybe days would go by with out any offerings. Or if there were a good number the blood may have been collected and then splashed together at one particular time.

I haven’t really looked into this subject but that is my first thoughts about it.

But another thought is that once the children of Israel were in the promised land the food offered as sacrifices would help to feed the priests and Levites. “The priests, who are Levites, won’t receive any part of the land of Israel. That also applies to the whole tribe of Levi. They will eat the food offerings presented to the Lord. That will be their share” (Deut 18:1). So people whose heart was moved could bring an offering to help those whose job it was to look after their spiritual wellbeing.