Sacrifices and Offerings.

An Act of worship expressing submission to the deity and seeking his favour; in the biblical context the sacrifice was also atoning for his sins. The Hebrew word for sacrifice comes from the root meaning "to approach" and signified that which is brought near, or offered, to God. The nations surrounding the Israelites made human sacrifices but the story of Isaac was to show God’s displeasure with such practice. Sacrifice is first mentioned in the story of Cain and Abel while for Noah and the patriarchs, it was an accepted form of worship. In those times, every religious cult included sacrifice and until the time of the Deuteronomic code, the only animals slaughtered by the Israelites were for that purpose. Once in their own land, the Israelites concentrated sacrifice in the Jerusalem Temple.

The Illustrated Dictionary & Concordance of the Bible