In Leviticus, it is written:
‘You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces.’ 1:6
‘It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.’ 1:9
‘If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, when they realize their guilt and the sin they committed becomes known, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the tent of meeting. The elders of the community are to lay their hands on the bull’s head before the Lord, and the bull shall be slaughtered before the Lord. ‘ 4:13
‘ The priest shall then offer the other as a burnt offering in the prescribed way and make atonement for them for the sin they have committed, and they will be forgiven.’ 5:6
Both in the Bible and European history, there is a special place for ‘burnt offerings’.
Bremmer suggests that in ancient Greece, it was predominantly the lowest classes and marginals that were sacrificed. After extensively reviewing human sacrifice in ancient Greece, Jan Breemer concluded:
‘Summing up, we conclude that in historical reality the community sacrificed the least valuable members of the polis’1
Strabo, Caesar, Ibn Fadlan all record human sacrifice was being practised in Europe.
Caesar wrote of the Gauls:
‘they who are engaged in battles and dangers, either sacrifice men as victims, or vow that they will sacrifice them, and employ the Druids as the performers of those sacrifices; because they think that unless the life of a man be offered for the life of a man, the mind of the immortal gods can not be rendered propitious, and they have sacrifices of that kind ordained for national purposes.’ 2
Burnt offerings were quite different from scapegoats as the purpose of the scapegoat ritual was to physically take away the people’s sins and disperse them elsewhere. In almost all these cases, the dynamic of ritual sacrifice was a fear of divine displeasure shown through plague, famine or drought. Atonement and propitiation were required.
Burnt offerings pose a challenge for archaeology as such remains will not be there, thus bringing the challenge that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
It is best to acknowledge that in respect of human sacrifice, much of contemporary Western scholarship shows a public aversion to admit its existence in Western European history. Green, quoting Durand, sums up the position:
‘It is better to show human sacrifice in the realm of the imaginary, just as the cannibalism so close to it is best imagined in the faraway reaches of myth or in the tales of another people’ quoting Durand 3
SAM HOSE EVENTS:
‘After stripping Hose of his clothes and chaining him to a tree, the self-appointed executioners stacked kerosene-soaked wood high around him. Before saturating Hose with oil and applying the torch, they cut off his ears, fingers, and genitals, and skinned his face. While some in the crowd plunged knives into the victim’s flesh, others watched “with unfeigning satisfaction” (as one reporter noted) teh contortions of Sam Hose’s body as the flames rose, distorting his features, causing his eyes to bulge out of their sockets, and rupturing his veins. When in Hose’s agony he almost managed to unloosen his bonds, the executioners quenched the flames, retied him, and applied more oil to the body before relighting teh fire. “Such suffering,” reported one newspaper, “has seldom been witnessed.” The only sounds that came from the victim’s lips, even as his blood sizzled in the fire, were “Oh, my God! Oh, Jesus.” Before Hose’s body had even cooled, his heart and liver were removed and cut into several pieces and his bones were crushed into small particles. The crowd fought over these souvenirs …a piece of the liver “crisply cooked” sold for 10 cents ..Shortly after the lynching, one of the participants reportedly left for the state capitol, hoping to deliver to the governor of Georgia a slice of Sam Hose’s heart. ….Reporters noted the active participation of some of the region’s most prominent citizens in the execution.” 4
If we now note the features of this ritual: skinning, burning, cutting into small pieces, and the hint of cannibalism all combine to confirm that Sam Hose’s was a case of ritual human sacrifice and a burnt offering.
US and Europe have been carrying on human sacrifices for centuries. Time to see the truth.
2. (Caesar, n.d., bk. 6 ch 16)
Bremmer, J. (1983). Scapegoat Rituals in Ancient Greece. Harvard Studies in Clasical Philology, 89, 299–320.
Caesar, J. (n.d.). Gallic War. Retrieved May 15, 2021, from http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.02.0001
Green, M. (1998). Humans As Ritual Victims in The Later Prehistory of Western Europe | Sacrifice | Gaul. Oxford Jopurnal of Archeology, 17(2). https://www.scribd.com/document/206242897/Humans-as-Ritual-Victims-in-the-Later-Prehistory-of-Western-Europe
Litwack, L. F. (1998). Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in teh Age of Jim Crow`. Alfred A Knopp.
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