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Daily Divinity Questions and Answers with Witness Dingani

by Witness Dingani
15 Jul 2017 at 07:46hrs | Views
Question
"In Israel, sacrifice was an essential act of worship yet prophets sometimes uttered violent attacks on it" . Discuss this statement with reference to prophets you have studied? (25)


COMMENT OVERVIEW

 - The question requires one to discuss the validity of the above statement. It is prudent to note that the question invites one to show that sacrifice was an essential act of worship. The Israelites offered sacrifices for several important reasons which will be discussed on the ongoing discussion. The question further demands one to indicate the prophets who uttered violent attacks on it ,not necessarily that it was bad but because Israelites were violating the principles which were suppose to be obeyed in offering the sacrifices. It is prudent at this stage to note that the idea of offering sacrifices was common even before Israel became a nation ,the good example is that of one of the patriarchs "Abraham" as it can be supported by Genesis 21 ,however the focus of the writer is in Israel. The prophets who uttered violent attacks on it includes ,Samuel, Amos,Hosea,Isaiah and Jeremiah.

SUGGESTED ANSWERS
SACRIFICE WAS AN IMPORTANT ACT BECAUSE
 - Sacrifice has been defined as the offering up of something precious for a cause or a reason. Offering sacrifice was essential because it pleased Yahweh.This was a belief among the Israelites even before they reached Canaan "the promised Land" ,the pleasing Aroma is mentioned in the book of Leviticus 1:9 in connection with various Jewish sacrifices. Perhaps ,this was mostly done by the people of Israel to seek for forgiveness ,protection from Yahweh since the aroma would please Yahweh. The Israelites developed this idea even when they reached Canaan. There are instances where Israelites are recorded to have offered sacrifices ,the crust being pleasing Yahweh .All this indicates that sacrifice was an essential act.

N.B More points can be added .This includes
- offering was to make atonement for "desecration" especially guilt offering.
- appreciation for the miraculous gift of life.
- Rabbi Zoe Klein in his work entitled "The role of Sacrifice" published in 2004,believes that Sacrifice was an essential step toward the establishment of a refined ethical-spiritual Judaism whose worship, study, and deeds have the profundity of several thousand years of striving toward godliness.

PROPHETS UTTERED VIOLENT ATTACKS
 - In as much as sacrifice was an essential act ,they are some prophets who uttered violent attacks on it .This does not mean that they were against offering sacrifices but how Israelites violated the principles which were suppose to be observed, the good example is that of Samuel who condemned Saul for hijacking the duties of a priest "offering sacrifices" ,this is recorded in 1st Samuel 13:10 .Among the writing prophets who are believed to be the cultic prophets, direct attacks were uttered by them .Amos condemned how sacrifices were offered in cultic centers "Gilgal and Bethel" ,this is also recorded in Amos 4:5 .The prophet Hosea is also recorded to have condemned the idea of offering sacrifices ,this can be supported by his message which he uttered to the priests in chapter 5:1ff .Hosea also explained what Yahweh needed ,this can be evidenced by Hosea 6:6 " For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings". This is also evidenced in the message of Isaiah and Jeremiah ( Isaiah 1:11 and Jeremiah 6:20).All this indicates that sometimes prophets uttered violent attacks on the idea of offering sacrifices especially when the principles were violated.

N.B More points can be added

The article was authored by Witness Dingani on the 15th of July 2017.Questions by schools to be answered on Newspaper can be submitted through my mobile number +263777896159 or Email address : witnessdingani@gmail.com .Readers of the Daily Old Testament Questions and Answers by Witness Dingani can follow the Questions and Answers on Sunday News Newspaper every week and Bulawayo24.com Online Newspaper every day. For more readership like Facebook page "Witness Dingani".

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