Hebrew olah ; i.e., "ascending," the whole being consumed by fire, and regarded as ascending to God while being consumed. Part of every offering was burnt in the sacred fire, but this was wholly burnt, a "whole burnt offering." It was the most frequent form of sacrifice, and apparently the only one mentioned in the book of Genesis. Such were the sacrifices offered by Abel ( Genesis 4:3 Genesis 4:4 , here called minhah ; i.e., "a gift"), Noah ( Genesis 8:20 ), Abraham ( Genesis 22:2 Genesis 22:7 Genesis 22:8 Genesis 22:13 ), and by the Hebrews in Egypt ( Exodus 10:25 ).
The law of Moses afterwards prescribed the occasions and the manner in which burnt sacrifices were to be offered. There were "the continual burnt offering" ( Exodus 29:38-42 ; Leviticus 6:9-13 ), "the burnt offering of every sabbath," which was double the daily one ( Numbers 28:9 Numbers 28:10 ), "the burnt offering of every month" ( 28:11-15 ), the offerings at the Passover (19-23), at Pentecost ( Leviticus 23:16 ), the feast of Trumpets ( 23:23-25 ), and on the day of Atonement ( Leviticus 16 ).
Free-will burnt offerings were also permitted ( Leviticus 1:13 ), and were offered at the accession of Solomon to the throne ( 1 Chronicles 29:21 ), and at the reformation brought about by Hezekiah ( 2 Chronicles 29: : 3135 -35).
These offerings signified the complete dedication of the offerers unto God. This is referred to in Romans 12:1 . (See ALTAR, SACRIFICE .)