I seem to recall learning at some point during an Old Testament study that they did, and that the belief explained things like the significance of the blood that was part of the animal offerings ...
I've never completely understood the purpose as to why God required that the Israelite's should kill an animal in order for God to forgive them.
Genesis 8:20 (NIV) Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. Noah sacrificed burnt offerings. What ...