The passuk in Leviticus 1:2 says:

דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם, אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן, לַיהוָה--מִן-הַבְּהֵמָה, מִן-הַבָּקָר וּמִן-הַצֹּאן, תַּקְרִיבוּ, אֶת-קָרְבַּנְכֶם

Speak to the Israelite people, and say to them: When any of you presents an offering of beheimah to the LORD, he shall choose his offering from the herd or from the flock.

What is the meaning of beheimah?

  • 2
    Though i answered what the simple meaning of behema is, I suspect that there was more to the question than what you mentioned. If that's true, please edit your question to include as many details as possible. Also, if the first part of the title is part of your question, please add it to the main body of the question, and explain what you mean by it.
    – aBochur
    May 16, 2018 at 3:07

3 Answers 3


I would say that בהמה comes to exclude a חיה (see Difference between behema and chaya) and then the Torah explains that what types of בהמה are acceptable:

  • מן הצאן - which means the ovicaprid family

  • מן הבקר - which means the bovine family.

This serves to exclude other possible kosher animals which might be considered a בהמה (like a buffalo according to some opinions).


Chabad.org translates Behema to mean animals.

Here's the translation of the full verse (Leviticus 1:2):

Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When a man from [among] you brings a sacrifice to the Lord; from animals, from cattle or from the flock you shall bring your sacrifice.

  • Aren't all korbanos from cattle or flock? So what does animals add?
    – Double AA
    May 16, 2018 at 3:09
  • While i could bring what rashi says about it, I don't see it to be part of the question. I do see the title, but it doesn't make much sense as shor is not a word in that possuk. So i guess I'll wait for an edit from op
    – aBochur
    May 16, 2018 at 3:16
  • Rashi doesn’t seem to add anything here. בהמה doesn’t seem to add anything to the passuk - Rashi’s inference could have been made if it just says מן הבקר ומן הצאן. Even his inference to exclude רובע ונרבע is from מן rather than בהמה.
    – DonielF
    May 16, 2018 at 4:28
  • Don’t forget doves. They are completely different from all the others. And the way they are handled is also unique. May 16, 2018 at 4:30
  • @DoubleAA Isn't this just a כלל ופרט? sefaria.org/Sifra,_Braita_d'Rabbi_Yishmael.7?lang=bi
    – Joel K
    May 16, 2018 at 6:08

Beheima means a land animal, or roughly "a mammal."


If you sacrifice a mammal, it must be a head of cattle or a sheep/goat.

Skip ahead to verse 14:

If your sacrifice is a bird, it must be a turtledove or common dove.

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's translation spells that out:

When one of you brings a mammal as an offering to God, the sacrifice must be taken from the cattle, sheep or goats. ...

If one's burnt offering is a bird, he must bring a turtle dove or a young common dove.

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