Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
Formed from "whole, " and "I consume with fire;" a kind of sacrifice wherein the whole burnt offering is burnt or consumed by fire, as an acknowledgment that God, the Creator, Preserver, and Lord of all, was worthy of all honour and worship, and as a token of men's giving themselves entirely up to him. It is called in Scripture a burnt-offering. Sacrifices of this sort are often mentioned by the heathens as well as Jews. They appear to have been in use long before the institution of other Jewish sacrifices by the law of Moses, Job 1:5 . Job 42:8 . Genesis 22:13 . Genesis 8:20 . On this account, the Jews, who would not allow the Gentiles to offer on their altar any other sacrifices peculiarly enjoined by the law of Moses, admitted them by the Jewish priests to offer holocausts, because these were a sort of sacrifices prior to the law, and common to all nations. During their subjection to the Romans, it was no uncommon thing for those Gentiles to offer sacrifices to the God of Israel at Jerusalem. Holocausts were deemed by the Jews the most excellent of all their sacrifices.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Holocaust'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/h/holocaust.html. 1802.