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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 5

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary


  1. Intro:
    1. We’ll follow the lead of the Hebrew bible which numbers ch. 5 right through to 6:7. (e.g. 6:1 = 5:20 etc.)
    2. Sin Offering deals w/the fact we are sinners by nature.
      1. It emphasizes the sin committed.
    3. Trespass Offering deals w/individual acts of sin.
      1. It emphasizes the harm done by the transgressor.
      2. We should “be honest” w/God in both “what we are” & “what we do”.
        1. 1 Jn.1:8,10 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
    4. The trespass offering is the Hebrew word “asham”.
      1. The word centers on guilt!
      2. Anyone who sins is a “guilty person”.
        1. To feel guilty, then, means to be conscious of your liability to repay.
        2. It is knowing you are in a state of debt.
        3. Financial debt today - A salesman was trying to sell a refrigerator to a housewife and said, "Lady, you can save enough on your food bill to pay for it." The housewife answered, "We're paying for a car on the carfare we save, we're paying for a washing machine on the laundry bill we save, we're paying for a television set on the cost of movies we don't see anymore. It looks as if we can't afford to save any money at this time.
        4. Amazing (at Guitar Center) “don’t pay till spring 2002!”
        5. Spiritual debt today – We are in just as deep.
        6. Jesus said, “forgive us our debts.”
      3. This moves from, the Act which brings guilt; to the Condition of guilt; to the Act of punishment.”
      4. This section outlines the procedure of obliterating guilt.
        1. An animal was brought to the priest, sin was confessed & the animal was sacrificed in a specific manner. Normally restitution must be made according to cash values + 20% cash penalty.
      5. The goal was atonement & forgiveness.
      6. Q: What do you do with your guilt?

Verses 1-19

      1. We can sin by “keeping quiet”.
      2. How often we are guilty of this sin today! - It is the sin of not wanting to get involved! - (e.g.)“It might hurt our relationship! - They may not like me anymore! - That’s butting in! – Someone else will deal w/it!”…& the list goes on.
      3. James says, “he who knows to do good & doesn’t do it to him it is sin.”
      4. “This also spoke of the public investigation of a crime. Qualified witnesses were asked to come forward & tell what they knew concerning the matter. A qualified witness who neglected to give his testimony was guilty of sin, & needed an atoning sacrifice.” (Charles Phiefer; pg.23 Leviticus)
      5. Q: Is there anything this week you are “keeping quiet”, that God is telling you to deal with, but you’re scared?
        1. Prov.27:5 “Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed.”
        2. Lev.19:17 “Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.” (note “not hate” & “rebuke” goes together)
        3. 1 Tim.5:20 “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.” (note, sinning is in the continual sense)
      6. Q: What advice would you give your child who says, “I have a friend that I heard say they’d do something for my other friend, but is now saying they never said it?” (pretend you didn’t hear it hunny?)
      7. Q: Will you commit tonight to dealing with it?
      1. When such a person learns of their ceremonial uncleanness, he is expected to provide the appropriate sacrifice.
      2. We can sin & “not be aware” of it.
        1. Q: When someone brings a sin to your attention how do you respond? (Be honest!)
        2. Prayer - “Oh Lord, let me be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for my wrath does not produce the righteousness of God.”
      1. We can sin by “speaking out”.
      2. The scope of the oath, “to do evil or to do good”, implies “to do anything (e.g. signifies totality)
      3. Any idle oath is sinful.
      4. Remember, Eccl.5:2-5 “Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool's voice is known by his many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed; Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”
      5. Q: How many times daily do we promise someone something…& then say, “I forgot”. (Teenager & Guy syndrome)
      1. [1] CONFESS (5) – This is the 1st step to forgiveness.
      2. [2] BRING HIS TRESPASS OFFERING (6) – This is the 2nd step to forgiveness.
      3. These are the prescribed steps to be taken for the specific sins mentioned in vss.1-4.
      1. This is for the individual who could not afford a sheep or goat.
      1. (11) 1/10 ephah of fine flour - equivalent to 1 days food.
      2. (13) A guarantee of forgiveness even at this level!
    1. An Unintentional Trespass in the things of GOD! (5:14-19)
      1. (15,16; 6:5) Involves both Sacrifice & Restitution.
        1. Which reminds us that sin harms others.
        2. Some say, “but I said I was sorry!” “But I repented to the Lord, isn’t that good enough?…aren’t I forgiven?”
        3. True repentance ought to result in our making right the things we have done wrong.
        4. One-fifth – or, 20 % or double tithe!
          1. This offset any gain which the transgressor had enjoyed during his period of his possession, which wasn’t rightly his.
          2. He shall bring(15) = “he shall restore” (again pointing toknowing you owe, or are in a state of debt)
          3. Prov.30:10 NKJV “Do not malign a servant to his master, Lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.”- where NIV says, "Do not slander a servant to his master, or he will curse you, and you will pay for it.”
        5. When you sinned against the Lord you paid it to the priest! When you sinned against man you paid it to the injured party!
      2. (17) Spurgeon asks, “If you think you righteousness will save you if it is perfect, how can you ever be sure that it is perfect? You may have sinned ignorantly, & that will spoil it.”
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Leviticus 5". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/leviticus-5.html. 2017.
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