These chapters detail the various types of offerings God requires the Israelites to present to Him at the tabernacle. Five major types of offerings were offered at the tabernacle and later at the temple in Jerusalem. In the New Testament Jesus speaks of Korban (see Mark 7:11). The original Hebrew meaning of the word Korban was “sacrifice.” The English word sacrifice is found 194 times in the English Old Testament and is translated as zaback or “to slaughter an animal” (see Exod. 3:18), and as olah, meaning to “go up,” referring to the smoke of the offering ascending to God (see Lev. 1:3). Most believers perceive a sacrifice as something they must “give up” as an offering to God. The Hebrew meaning, however, is far from this. Below is a Hebrew commentary on the meaning of Korban:
“It is most regrettable that we have no word that really reproduces the idea that lies in the expression ‘Korban.’ The unfortunate use of the term ‘sacrifice’ implies giving up something of value to oneself for the benefit of another, or having to do without something of value, ideas not only entirely absent from the nature of ‘Korban’ but diametrically opposed to it. In addition, the idea of an ‘offering’ presupposes a wish on the part of the one to whom it is brought . . . But the idea of ‘Korban’ is far away from all this. It is used exclusively with reference with human- ity’s relationship with God, and can only be understood from the meaning that lies in its root, ‘K.R.V.’—to approach, to come near, to enter into a relationship. Korban implies closeness (the root is K.R.V.—near); bringing things together . . . it engenders compassion, never harshness. That is why it is Korban L’Hashem, a gift to the name of Hashem.” (Source: R. Shimshon Refael Hirsch, opening to Sefer Vayikra, The Pentateuch Judaica Press, 1962).
Thus, the true meaning of a Korban is not to give up something, but to draw near to God through a sacrifice.
These numerous offerings and sacrifices were intended to bring a person closer to God, not for a person to give up something of value and feel a sense of loss.