Thank you so much for writing “From Shadow to Reality.” It has strengthened my faith by seeing how only God could have orchestrated the foreshadowing in the Old Testament. I have learned a lot, and have had theories of my own on foreshadowing confirmed by your explanation of the related Scriptures.   One issue has given me pause, though. In chapter 6, when you describe the different offerings from Leviticus, and their antitypes, I had 2 questions. First, on the burnt offering, you indicate on page 147 that the burnt offering is “not in order to be cleansed, but because we have been cleansed.” In Leviticus 1:4 it seems to indicate that the burnt offering relates to being cleansed. Also, concerning the fellowship offering, I couldn’t find any verses that directly stated that the giver ate the offering instead of the priest. Lev 7:14 indicates that the priest gets any grain offering that accompanies the fellowship offering, but I couldn’t tell who’s doing the eating in v. 15; the priest or the giver.  I hope this is not nit-picking. From time to time I have the opportunity to teach in the church, and I very much want to use your book as a source for teaching about prefiguring and foreshadowing in the Old Testament. I just wanted some help with these issues on the Levitical offerings in order to be more confident about their meaning.  Thank you so much for your hard work and Biblical scholarship. It is helping me directly.


This is not nit-picking, it is called being careful about how we handle God’s Word. I do see what you point out in Leviticus 1:4. I am not sure I can completely explain the wording found there. The burnt offering is a sweet-smelling offering–an aroma pleasing to the Lord (Lev 1:9,17) so I assume that it is not an offering to remove sin.

The sin and guilt offerings were not a sweet-smelling offering because they were blood atonement and were prefigures of the death of Jesus, which occurred outside the city and were not a pleasing aroma! For example the guilt offering is a penalty (5:15) a restitution (5:16). It produces forgiveness of sins (5:18) because the person is guilty (5:19). None of this applies to the burnt offering and there is no evidence that it was to remove a specific sin or that it was a restitution or a penalty.

The question remains, then, which is why is the word atonement even mentioned in Lev 1:4. The evidence I gave in the last two paragraphs clearly puts the burnt offering in a completely different category than the sin or guilt offerings, but I guess I am going to have to say I simply am not sure why the word atonement is mentioned in Leviticus 1:4. It may be a kind of ceremonial thing that does not relate to any actual sin committed by the individual who brings the burnt offering. What is the atonement a reference to, in that case? I guess I will have to settle for saying I am not sure. I believe the evidence is strong enough that I can continue to make the same point in the book, but I may have to mention the interesting point in Lev 1:4.

As for the grain offering, I may simply be wrong. I read Leviticus 7:13-18. It describes the offering being eaten the same day, or in some cases the next day (7:16-17). It does say that the food not burned up belonged to the priest, but it does not specify who actually eats the grain or the meat. It says that “it must be eaten.” (7:15) I have assumed that in order for all the food to be eaten the same day, it must be shared by those who gave it, even though the food belongs to the priest. In any case, it is possible that I am wrong about this, but no matter what, I probably should reword that portion, because, at the least, it is unclear.

Thanks for your input.

John Oakes

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