The present monograph is the first, since 1848, to be entirely devoted to the study of the cereal offerings. Its purpose is to attract attention to a form of sacrifice which was largely neglected and solely considered as an appendix to the animal sacrifice.
The study of their substance, ritual and the circumstances in which the cereal offerings are brought to God demonstrates their great complexity as well as their specific function.
His vegetarian utopia has led P to give the cereal offerings a prominent place among the sacrifices. A similar appreciation of the cereal offerings is also found among the Essenes, and, finally, in the Christian Last Supper.
The present study is an attempt to decode the sacrificial system of ancient Israel, to understand how the different kinds of sacrifice are related, the choice of the sacrificial materials, and the shape of their ritual. Special attention is given to the social function of sacrifice. Starting from a comparison between the isolated data and the systems of P, the Chronist and Ezekiel, the study stresses the specificity of each system, and tries to point out the distinctive features of Israel's sacrificial cult. The concluding chapter sketches the evolution of the sacrificial cult. An exhaustive index of textual references offers an overview of all Old Testament passages relating to sacrifice.