Relationship Between Vayikra 1-5 and 6-7



Why Two Parshiyot?

Parashat Vayikra (Vayikra 1-5) introduces the sacrificial service, discussing each of the five types of offerings, the Olah (burnt offering), Minchah (flour offering), Shelamim (peace offering), Chattat (sin offering), and Asham (guilt offering), at length.  As such, it is somewhat surprising to find that Parashat Tzav (Vayikra 6-7) discusses these same exact sacrifices yet again.  What is the relationship between these two sets of chapters?  Why are some laws found in one unit, others in the second, and yet others in both? Moreover, why is there a need for two distinct units at all; could not the Torah have simply combined all the laws into a single integrated discussion?

Unique Aspects of Each

Each of the two units focuses on several aspects of the sacrificial service that the other does not include:

What is the common denominator between all the various details which are unique to each list?  How might it account for the division of the laws into two units?

Overlap in Sacrificial Procedures

In general, the details of the sacrificial procedures (including laying of hands, slaughtering, sprinkling of blood, and burning) are mentioned in Parashat Vayikra rather than in Parashat Tzav.  However, there are certain exceptions to this rule:

Other Questions

Several other differences between the units are worthy of note:

Earlier Mention of Sacrifices in Shemot 29

Our chapters are not the first time that the various sacrifices or their procedures are mentioned. Already in Shemot 29, when discussing the Consecration Ceremony (the Milluim), Moshe is commanded to sacrifice a Chattat, Olah, and Milluim (a type of Shelamim)7 accompanied by several loaves of unleavened bread. The end of the chapter further speaks of the daily Tamid offering. On the whole, the sacrificial processes discussed are fairly similar to those mentioned in Sefer Vayikra, though the details of the allocation of the sacrifices differ from that mandated in Vayikra 6-7.8  What is the relationship between this list of sacrifices and those mentioned in Sefer Vayikra?  To what extent do the one time instructions of Shemot 29 serve as a model for all subsequent generations?

Comparison Table

The following table shows the major points of contact and contrast between the three discussions of the various sacrifices:

ויקרא א-ה ויקרא ו-ז שמות כ"ט
נמען בני ישראל ("דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל") כהנים ("צַו אֶת אַהֲרֹן וְאֶת בָּנָיו") משה / כהנים ("וְזֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה" )
מיקום וזמן אהל מועד הר סיני הר סיני
סדר עולה, מנחה, שלמים, חטאת, אשם עולה, מנחה, חטאת, אשם, שלמים [חטאת, עולה, מילואים, לחמים]
תוכן ייחודי
מבחר בהמות, סוגי מנחות, סיבות להבאת הקרבן חילוק הקרבן, איסור דם וחלב, קרבנות מיוחדות: מנחת כהן משיח, קרבן תודה ---


סמיכה, שחיטה, זריקת הדם, הפשטה, ניתוח, הקטרה


תרומת הדשן

סמיכה, שחיטה, זריקת הדם, ניתוח, הקטרה


שמן ולבונה, קמיצה, הקטרה

--- קמיצה, הקטרה


סמיכה, שחיטה, זריקת הדם, הקטרת החלב


הקטרת החלב

סמיכה, שחיטה, זריקת הדם, הקטרת החלב
חטאת סמיכה, שחיטה, זריקת הדם, הקטרת החלב, שריפת בשר חטאות פנים



סמיכה, שחיטה, זריקת הדם, הקטרת החלב, שריפת בשר
אשם --- שחיטה במקום העולה, זריקה, הקטרת החלב ---
Vayikra 1-5 Vayikra 6-7 Shemot 29
Audience Lay Israelite


Moshe / Priests
Location & Time
Tent of Meeting Mt. Sinai Mt. Sinai
Order of Sacrifices Olah, Minchah, Shelamim, Chatat, Asham Olah , Minchah, Chatat, Asham, Shelamim [Chatat, Olah, Miluim, loaves of bread]
Unique Discussion Points Choice of animals to be brought. Types of Minchah offerings. Sins which obligate a Chatat / Asham Apportioning of offering. Prohibition of blood and fat. Unique offerings: מנחת כהן משיח, קרבן תודה ---
Sacrificial procedure: Olah Laying of hands (סמיכה), slaughter, sprinkling of blood, removal of skin, cutting, burning


Removal of ashes

Laying of hands (סמיכה), slaughter, sprinkling of blood, cutting, burning

Sacrificial procedure: Minchah

Oil and frankincense, taking a handful (קמיצה), burning, 

taking a handful (קמיצה), burning,


Sacrificial procedure: Shelamim

Laying of hands (סמיכה), slaughter, sprinkling of blood,  burning of fat


burning of fat

Laying of hands (סמיכה), slaughter, sprinkling of blood, burning of fat
Sacrificial procedure: Chatat Laying of hands (סמיכה), slaughter, sprinkling of blood, burning of fat, burning of meat of internal chatat



Laying of hands (סמיכה), slaughter, sprinkling of blood, burning of fat, burning of meat
Sacrificial procedure: Asham ---- Slaughter, sprinkling of blood, burning of fat -----