offering (qorban)

The Hebrew qorbān (קָרְבָּן) originally means “that which is brought near.” Most English Bibles translate it as “offering.” The Hebraic English translation of Everett Fox uses near-offering and likewise the German translation by Buber-Rosenzweig has (the neologism) Darnahung.

See also burnt-offering and offering..


The Hebrew that is translated as “offering” in English is translated in Venda as nduvho. J. A. van Rooy (in The Bible Translator 1974, p. 439ff. ) explains: “It is derived from the verb u luvha (‘to pay homage to; to acknowledge the superiority of; at the same time usually asking for a favour’). It is sometimes used as a synonym for ‘asking something from a chief. The noun nduvho means ‘a gift of allegiance,’ which corresponds closely with minchah (מִנְחָה) as ‘offering of allegiance.’ This term nduvho has in it the elements of subjugation, of reciprocity (asking for a favor), of being taken up into the same community as the chief in allegiance to him. Only the element of expiation is missing.”

See also offering (qorban).

fat, oil

The different Hebrew and Greek terms that are translated as “(olive) oil” and “(animal) fat” in English are translated in Kwere with only one term: mavuta. (Pioneer Bible Translators, project-specific translation notes in Paratext)


The name that is transliterated as “Aaron” in English is translated in Catalan Sign Language and Spanish Sign Language as “stones on chest plate” (according to Exodus 28:15-30) (Source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)

“Aaron” in Spanish Sign Language (source )

In Colombian Sign Language, Honduras Sign Language, and American Sign Language, the chest plate is outlined (in ASL it is outlined using the letter “A”):

“Aaron” in ASL (source )

See also Moses and this lectionary in The Christian Century .

Translation commentary on Leviticus 6:20

Aaron and his sons: see 1.7 and 2.3. The singular pronoun which follows indicates clearly that the reference is to any one of the Aaronite priests.

On the day when …: this may also mean “as soon as he is anointed” (compare the expression “on the day of his guilt offering” in verse 5). But most versions take it to mean “on the day of his ordination.” New English Bible omits this part of the verse, indicating in a footnote that the text without these words is more probable. There are, however, few other versions that agree.

He is anointed: the verb used here actually means “to have oil poured on.” Oil was poured on the head of a person in a special ritual to indicate that he had been chosen for a particular work in God’s service. The king, the high priest, and perhaps all the priests during a certain period of Old Testament history were anointed for service in this way. The term may be translated “ordained” or “consecrated,” since these terms correspond most closely to the ancient rite. But in some languages such technical words do not exist, and it will be more natural to retain the image of the ritual; for example, “he becomes a priest by having oil poured on his head.” In some cases it will be essential to add a cultural note.

A tenth of an ephah: the exact equivalent of this measurement is uncertain. It is thought to be the equivalent of about two pounds or one kilogram. See 5.11.

Fine flour: see 2.1.

Regular: the work here carries the idea of “continually.” This explains the rendering “daily” found in Moffatt as well as Good News Translation.

Morning … evening …: that is, at the time of the regular sacrifices made each day (see Exo 29.38-42).

Quoted with permission from Péter-Contesse, René and Ellington, John. A Handbook on Leviticus. (UBS Helps for Translators). New York: UBS, 1990. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .