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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Lamb

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Most of the Old Testament references to lambs are related to sacrificial rituals. (For references to matters other than sacrifice see SHEEP.) Abel’s offering was probably a lamb (Genesis 4:4), Abraham considered a lamb to be the natural animal for a burnt offering (Genesis 22:7-8), and the Israelites in Egypt offered sacrificial lambs at the time of the original Passover (Exodus 12:3-8; see PASSOVER). In the religious system that God gave Israel, lambs were one of the animals most commonly used for sacrifice (Leviticus 3:1; Leviticus 3:7; Leviticus 4:32; Leviticus 9:3; Leviticus 12:6; Leviticus 14:10; Leviticus 23:12; Numbers 28:4; Numbers 28:11; Numbers 29:13; Ezra 6:17; Ezra 7:17; Ezekiel 46:4-15; see BLOOD; SACRIFICE).

A lamb offered in sacrifice had to be without defects, symbolizing its fitness to be the guiltless substitute for the guilty offerer (Exodus 12:5-6; Leviticus 4:32; Leviticus 9:3). Although the shedding of a sacrificial animal’s blood was necessary, no animal sacrifice in itself could take away a person’s sin (Hebrews 9:22; Hebrews 10:4). Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, achieves what all the animal sacrifices could not achieve. He willingly gave his life as a sacrifice for guilty sinners, and through his sacrifice takes away their sin (John 1:29; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

In the visions of the book of Revelation, the Lamb again symbolizes Jesus Christ. Having died for sin, he has now overcome death and is the Lord of life and salvation (Revelation 5:6; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 5:12; Revelation 7:14; Revelation 12:11). He is the conqueror of Satan, the Saviour of his people, the judge of the world, the King of kings, and the object of heaven’s worship (Revelation 7:17; Revelation 14:1; Revelation 14:10; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:7; Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:1; Revelation 22:3).

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Lamb'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/bbd/l/lamb.html. 2004.

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