“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.”
King James Version (KJV)
1:2 There are divers kinds of sacrifices here prescribed, some by way of acknowledgment to God for mercies either desired or received; others by was of satisfaction to God for men's sins; others were mere exercises of devotion. And the reason why there were so many kinds of them was, partly a respect to the childish state of the Jews, who by the custom of nations, and their own natural inclinations were much addicted to outward rites and ceremonies, that they might have full employment of that kind in Gods's service, and thereby be kept from temptations to idolatry; and partly to represent as well the several perfections of Christ, the true sacrifice, and the various benefits of his death, as the several duties which men owe to their Creator and Redeemer, all which could not be so well expressed by one sort of sacrifice. Of the flock - Or, Of the sheep; though the Hebrew word contains both the sheep and goats. Now God chose these creatures for his sacrifices, either, In opposition to the Egyptian idolatry, to which divers of the Israelites had been used, and were still in danger of revolting to again, that the frequent destruction of these creatures might bring such silly deities into contempt. Or, Because these are the fittest representations both of Christ and of true Christians, as being gentle, and harmless, and patient, and useful to men. Or, As the best and most profitable creatures, with which it is fit God should be served, and which we should be ready to part with, when God requires us to do so. Or, As things most common, that men might never want a sacrifice when they needed, or God required it.