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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Leviticus 4

 

 

Verses 1-13

D.—SIN OFFERINGS

Leviticus 4:1 to Leviticus 5:13

1And the Lord, spake unto Moses, saying, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance [inadvertence[FN1]] against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do [omit against[FN2]] any of them:

3If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people [to the guilt of the people[FN3]]; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the Lord for a sin offering 4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the [omit the] congregation before the Lord; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock’s head, and kill the bullock before the Lord 5 And the priest that is anointed[FN4] shall take of the bullock’s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the [omit the] congregation: 6and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the vail of the sanctuary 7 And the priest shall put some of the blood[FN5] upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle of the [omit the] congregation; and shall pour all the [other] blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the [omit the] congregation 8 And he shall take off from it all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering; the fat that covereth the[FN6] inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 9and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with [on[FN7]] the kidneys, it shall hetake away, 10as it was taken off from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering 11 And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung, 12even the whole bullock shall Hebrews 8 carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt.

13And if the whole congregation[FN9] of Israel sin [err[FN10]] through ignorance [inadvertence1], and the thing be hid[FN11] from the eyes of the assembly,8 and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty; 14when the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock[FN12] for the sin [a sin offering[FN13]] and bring him before the[FN14] tabernacle of the [omit the] congregation 15 And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the Lord: and the bullock shall be killed [one shall kill the bullock[FN15]] before the Lord 16 And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock’s blood to the tabernacle of the [omit the] congregation: 17and the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it[FN16] seven times before the Lord even before the vail 18 And he shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar[FN17] which is before the Lord, that is in the tabernacle of the [omit the] congregation, and shall pour out all the [other] blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the [omit the] congregation 19 And he shall take all his fat from him, and burn it upon the altar 20 And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a [the[FN18]] sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them 21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it[FN19] is a sin offering for the congregation.

22When a ruler [prince[FN20]] hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance [inadvertence[FN21]] against any of the commandments of the Lord his God concerning 23 things which should not be done, and is guilty; or if [if perhaps[FN22]] his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid [a buck[FN23]] of the goats, a male without blemish: 24and he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill[FN24] it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the Lord: it is a sin-offering 25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out[FN25] his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering 26 And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.

27And if any one of the common people [any soul of the people of the land[FN26]] sin through ignorance [inadvertence1] while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments 28 of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; or if [if perhaps20] his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats [a she-goat[FN27]] a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned 29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering 30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the [other] blood thereof at the bottom of the altar.[FN28] 31And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the Lord; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.

32And if he bring a lamb [a sheep[FN29]] for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish 33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin-offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering 34 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the [other] blood thereof at the bottom of the altar: 35and he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb [sheep[FN30]] is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to [upon28] the offerings made by fire unto the Lord: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

Genesis 5:1. And if a soul sin, and hear [in that he hear[FN31]] the voice of swearing [adjuration[FN32]], and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not 2 utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. Or if[FN33] a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast,[FN34] or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty 3 Or if he touch the uncleanness of Prayer of Manasseh, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty 4 Or if a soul swear, pronouncing [speaking idly[FN35]] with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce [speak idly32] with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these 5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty[FN36] in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: 6and he shall bring his trespass offering [bring for his trespass[FN37]] unto the Lord, for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats [a sheep 27 or a she-goat[FN38]], for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.

7And if he be not able[FN39] to bring a lamb [sheep27], then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the Lord; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering 8 And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring [pinch] off his head from his neck, but shall not divide it asunder: 9and he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be wrung [pressed[FN40]] out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering.[FN41] 10And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner [ordinance]: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him.

11But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering: he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering 3712 Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, even a memorial thereof, and burn it on the altar, according to [upon[FN42]] the offerings made by fire unto the Lord: it is a sin offering 3713 And the priest shall make an atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and the remnant shall be the priest’s, as a meat offering [an oblation[FN43]].

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

Leviticus 4:2. בִּשְׁגָגָה from שָׁגָא = שָׁגָה = שָׁגַג = to totter to and fro, to wander, to go wrong. It includes not only sinning unawares, through ignorance ( Leviticus 4:13; Leviticus 4:22; Leviticus 4:27; Leviticus 5:17), or carelessness, and want of consideration ( Leviticus 5:1; Leviticus 5:4); but also unintentional sins (like that of manslaughter without malice, Numbers 35:11; Numbers 35:15; Numbers 35:22), and therefore sins arising from human infirmity in contradistinction to intentional and defiant sins—sins “with a high hand”—for which no sacrifice was allowable ( Numbers 15:27-31). The LXX. ἀκουσίως, the Targ. Onk. (also Ben Uz. and Jerus.) בְּשָׁלוּ = through error, so also the Syr. The old Italic has imprudenter. Aquila reads ἐν ἀγνοίᾳ, and it was perhaps by a literal translation of this that the Vulg. came to read per ignorantiam, which has been perpetuated in the A. V.; but in Hellenistic Greek ἀγνοία and ἀγνοήμα. ( Hebrews 9:7) bear rather the sense given above. See Schleus. Lex. in LXX. Through going astray might better express the meaning, except that it does not sufficiently bring out the distinction as in the animus of the sinner.

Leviticus 4:2. מֵאַחַת מֵהֵנָּה. The A. V. has supplied against, as in the former clause, where the construction is the same; but there it is required, and here worse than useless to the sense. It should be omitted as in nearly all the ancient versions. The מִן in both clauses is to be taken partitively.

Leviticus 4:3. לְאַשְׁמַת Prop. inf. const. Kal, and there used as a noun = to bring guilt upon. So most of the ancient versions and the modern expositors generally.

Leviticus 4:5. To anointed the LXX. and Sam. Vers. add whose hand is consecrated. The Sam. text has a similar addition.

Leviticus 4:7. The Sam. and8 MSS. prefix the article to דָּם, while the Sam, 3MSS, and Vulg, omit the bullock.

Leviticus 4:8. עַל־הַקֶּרֶב. This is translated in the A. V. and in the ancient versions as if it were אֵתָ־ה֟ as in Leviticus 3:14. So it must be translated, and such is actually the reading in the Sam. and many MSS.

Leviticus 4:12. The Sam. and LXX. here have the plural. Of course the high-priest did not do this with his own hands, but is said to do that which he caused to be done, according to common usage of all languages.

Leviticus 4:9. On. See Leviticus 3:4, Textual Note3.

Leviticus 4:13. כָּל־עֲדַת (congregation) קָהָל (assembly) the two words used here, and מוֹעֵד Numbers 16:2 and freq. have no difference in signification which can be recognized in translation. They are used in apposition.

Leviticus 4:13. שָׁגָה. In the A. V. sin always in Lev. is the translation of חָטָא. This being the only exception, should be changed.

Leviticus 4:13. נֶעְלַּם has dagesh in the ל here and in Leviticus 5:2; Leviticus 5:4. According to Delitzsch it is an old rule of pointing “that every consonant which followed a syllable terminating with a guttural should be pointed with dagesh, if the guttural was to be read with a quiescent sheva and not with chateph.” Comp. וַיֶּאְסֹּר Genesis 46:29; Exodus 14:6, תַּעְלּיִם (according to some copies) Psalm 10:1.

Leviticus 4:14. The Sam. and LXX. here add the “without blemish” so frequently expressed, and always to be understood.

Leviticus 4:14. לְחַטָּאת. The word is used in both senses—a sin, and a sin-offering. The context requires the latter here. It has no article.

Leviticus 4:14. The LXX. and Vulg. add the door of, which is implied.

Leviticus 4:2. בִּשְׁגָגָה from שָׁגָא = שָׁגָה = שָׁגַג = to totter to and fro, to wander, to go wrong. It includes not only sinning unawares, through ignorance ( Leviticus 4:13; Leviticus 4:22; Leviticus 4:27; Leviticus 5:17), or carelessness, and want of consideration ( Leviticus 5:1; Leviticus 5:4); but also unintentional sins (like that of manslaughter without malice, Numbers 35:11; Numbers 35:15; Numbers 35:22), and therefore sins arising from human infirmity in contradistinction to intentional and defiant sins—sins “with a high hand”—for which no sacrifice was allowable ( Numbers 15:27-31). The LXX. ἀκουσίως, the Targ. Onk. (also Ben Uz. and Jerus.) בְּשָׁלוּ = through error, so also the Syr. The old Italic has imprudenter. Aquila reads ἐν ἀγνοίᾳ, and it was perhaps by a literal translation of this that the Vulg. came to read per ignorantiam, which has been perpetuated in the A. V.; but in Hellenistic Greek ἀγνοία and ἀγνοήμα. ( Hebrews 9:7) bear rather the sense given above. See Schleus. Lex. in LXX. Through going astray might better express the meaning, except that it does not sufficiently bring out the distinction as in the animus of the sinner.

Leviticus 4:15. The subject of שָׁחַט is one of the elders.

Leviticus 4:17. The ellipsis supplied by it in the A. V. is filled out in the Sam, in one MS, and in the Syr, by “of the blood,” comp. Leviticus 4:6. Several other words are filled out in the same version in the following verses from the preceding paragraph.

Leviticus 4:18. The Sam. and LXX. unnecessarily specify “altar of incense.”

Leviticus 4:20. The article of the original should be retained as the reference is to the sin-offering of the high-priest.

Leviticus 4:21. The Sam. and many MSS. have here again the later feminine form הִיא.

Leviticus 4:22. נָשִׂיא. This word variously rendered in the A. V. captain, chief, governor, prince, and ruler, occurs in Lev. only here, but very frequently in Numbers, where it is translated captain in Leviticus 2 (12times), chief in chs 3, 4 (5 times), once ruler, Leviticus 13:2, and prince throughout the rest of the book (42times) as well as throughout Gen. and Josh. In Ex. it occurs four times uniformly translated ruler. In nearly all these places it refers to persons of substantially the same rank, and it would be better therefore that its translation should be uniform. It means literally, an exalted person, and is applied to the head of a tribe, or other large division of the people, whether of Israel or of other nations. Lange interprets it of “the tribe chieftain,” referring to Numbers 3:24. As prince is on the whole the most common rendering of the A. V, and expresses very well the sense, it is retained here.

Leviticus 4:23. The conjunction אוֹ should be rendered if perhaps, Fuerst, Gesenius. The Syr. renders by if, the LXX. καί, Vulg. et postea.

Leviticus 4:23. שָׂעִיר = a Hebrews -goat, generally understood of one older than the עַתּוּד or young Hebrews -goat used in the burnt and peace-offerings (Fuerst, Knobel). It is often rendered kid in the A. V. It is also rendered devil Leviticus 17:7; 2 Chronicles 11:15, where the reference is to the idolatrous worship of the goat, (or goat-like deity) and twice satyr in Isa. ( Leviticus 13:21; Leviticus 34:14). It is the kind of goat used in the sin-offering generally. Bochart supposes it to mean a goat of a peculiar breed; so Keil.

Leviticus 4:24. The Sam. puts the verb in the plural; so also in Leviticus 4:33.

Leviticus 4:25. The LXX. and 4 MSS. have all his blood, as in the other places.

Leviticus 4:27. There seems no occasion here to deviate from the literal translation which is retained so far as “people of the land” is concerned, in Leviticus 20:2; Leviticus 20:4; 2 Kings 11:18-19; 2 Kings 16:15. It was the common name of the whole people as distinguished from the priests (in this case probably from the high-priest) and the rulers.

Leviticus 4:28. שְׂעִירָה is simply the feminine of the word discussed under Leviticus 4:23.

Leviticus 4:28. שְׂעִירָה is simply the feminine of the word discussed under Leviticus 4:23.

Leviticus 4:30. Two MSS, the Sam, and the Syr, unnecessarily add “of burnt-offering.” The Sam. and the LXX. make the same addition at the end of Leviticus 4:34.

Leviticus 4:32. כֶּבֶשׂ = a sheep, see Text. note5 under Leviticus 3:7.

Leviticus 4:35. עַל אִשֵּי. The sense is here as in Leviticus 3:5 upon. These being special offerings, the daily burnt-offering would always have been upon the altar before them, and even if that were already wholly consumed, the expression “upon” it could still be naturally used.

Leviticus 5:1. “Particula ו ante שָֽׁמְעָה hic usurpatur αἰτιολογικῶς, estque vertenda quia, eo quod, ut Genesis 26:12; Deuteronomy 17:16.” Rosenmueller.

Leviticus 5:1. אָלָה. Commentators are generally agreed that this should be translated adjuration. The verb in the Hiph. is translated adjure in 1 Samuel 14:24. See Exeg. Com. The Heb. has no word for adjuration as distinct from swearing. It is expressed in the LXX. by ὁρκισμοῦ.

Leviticus 5:2. The full form would be כִּי אֲשֵׁר; accordingly the Sam. and some MSS. prefix כִּי here and add אֲשֶׁר in Leviticus 5:4

Lev 5:2. See note 1 on Lev 11:2.

Leviticus 5:4. יְבַטֵּא,לְבַטֵּא, speak idly, or ill-advisedly. Comp. βαττολογέω, Matthew 6:7.

Leviticus 5:5. For יֶאְשַּׁם the Sam. and20 MSS. here substitute יֶחֱטָּא.

Leviticus 5:6. אָשָׁם, like חָטָּאת, is used in the sense both of trespass and trespass-offering. The ancient versions leave the question between them open. The Vulg. has simply agat, penitentiam, LXX. οἴσει περὶ ὧν ἐπλημμέλησε κυρίῳ, while the Semitic versions leave the same doubt as the Hebrew. Modern commentators are divided, but the weight of opinion accords with the Exeg. Com. At the end of the verse the Sam. and the LXX. have the fuller form, “and the priest shall make an atonement for him, for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him.”

Leviticus 5:7. וְאִס־לֹא תַגִּיעָ יָדוֹ lit. If his hand cannot acquire. The sense is well expressed by the A. V.

Leviticus 5:9. יִמָּצֵה the translation of the A. V. wrung might answer here, but as the same word must be translated pressed in Leviticus 1:15, it seems better to preserve uniformity.

Leviticus 5:9; Leviticus 5:11-12. The Sam. and many MSS. have the later feminine form of the pronoun היא.

Lev 5:12. עַל = upon, as Lev 3:5; Lev 4:35.

Leviticus 5:13. Oblation. Comp. Leviticus 2:1, Textual Note2, and Exeg. at beginning of Leviticus 2.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

The formula by which this chapter is introduced—And the LORD spake unto Moses—answering to Leviticus 1:1-2; Leviticus 5:14; Leviticus 6:1; Leviticus 6:8, etc, marks this passage as a distinct portion of the law. The offerings of chaps1–3, when brought by individuals, were all voluntary, and are recognized as already familiar; but in chaps, 4, 5. sacrifices are appointed (no longer voluntary) for certain offences, and these sacrifices now for the first time receive names from the purposes for which they were commanded—Sin and Trespass offerings. These specialized sacrifices were a creation of the Mosaic law, and are therefore naturally placed after the more general sacrifices of chaps1–3. Lange says also: “The former class of sacrifices refer to innate sinfulness, and in so far forth to the general participation in guilt of the offerer (on which account throughout a כִּפֵּר, a covering of the offerer, takes place); but does not have reference to peculiar personal transgressions to be atoned for by the sin and trespass offerings.” In the present section we have to do only with the sin offering ( Leviticus 4:1 to Leviticus 5:13); yet this and the trespass offering are closely related, and are distinguished only as the sin or the trespass comes into the foreground, so that the line of separation is not always strongly marked, and in particular cases might even be difficult to trace. “Sin is the transgression of the law,” and may involve no further harm, and requires expiation only for its own guilt; while trespass is wrong done to another (whether God or man), and involves not only sacrifice for its sin, but also amends for its harm. With neither were oblations or drink-offerings allowed; and when, in case of extreme poverty, flour was permitted as a sin-offering, it must be without oil or frankincense ( Leviticus 5:11).

Lange takes a somewhat different view of the relation of these two offerings, and consequently of the proper analysis of this whole passage, Leviticus 4:1 to Leviticus 6:7. The substance of his views may be gathered from the headings of his several subdivisions as follows: The Sin offering and the Trespass offering (4–6:7). (a) The Sin-offering and the little Sin and Trespass offering (4–5:13). 1. The Sin offering ( Leviticus 4:1-21). 2. The little Sin offering ( Leviticus 4:22-35). (b) The Trespass offering1. The little Sin and Trespass offering, or the uncleanness of the common people ( Leviticus 5:1-13). 2. The great Trespass offering, or guilt offering ( Leviticus 5:14 to Leviticus 6:7). Accordingly he says: “The following considerations may serve somewhat to disentangle the question how the sections of the sin offering and the trespass offering are to be separated from one another, and whether Leviticus 5:1-13 treats of the sin offering or of the trespass offering. There Isaiah, certainly, no question that all sin is at the same time guilt, a deed which has made itself into an actual state of things which must be atoned for, or has become liable to punishment. And there is also no question that guilt in general is also sin, although as participation in guilt, it may be widely separated from the centre of sinfulness, as far as the disappearing minimum, even until it is said of the guiltless Messiah in Isaiah 53. that He would give his life as a trespass offering—Asham; and from this arises also the possibility that two classes may be formed in which the one emphasizes sin as such, while the other emphasizes more the state of guilt. The state of guilt may be very trifling, as being accessory to a guilty principal, or very evil as an original offence; in all cases it requires a proportionate penance (not expiation) or satisfaction. From the indeterminate character of the antithesis, it also comes that there may be a transitional form between the sin and the trespass offerings—a form of sin offerings which, at the same time, becomes elevated as a trespass offering. There are forms of the predominating participation in guilt, and one such we find in the section Leviticus 5:1-13. On the other hand, in the strict trespass offerings which follow further on, we shall take up all cases in which the offence against the holy places and rights of Jehovah, or in regard to the property of a neighbor, amount to an offence that is a violation of right, which must be atoned for by restitution, punishment and sacrifice.

“In Leviticus 4:3 the sin of the High Priest brings guilt on the people—that Isaiah, the guilt of participation in guilt. Luther translates לְאַשְמִית הָעָםthat he scandalizes the people—a conception not very different from our own—viz.: that he brings upon them liability of penalty and punishment. So it is also with the congregation of Israel: it becomes guilty through its sin ( Leviticus 4:13). So also with the noble ( Leviticus 4:22). So too, at last, with the common Israelite ( Leviticus 4:27). Ought now the section Leviticus 5:1-13 to be (as Knobel) only an example to illustrate the foregoing transaction in the case of the sin offering of the common Israelite? Leviticus 5:6 says: And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the lord for his sin.” [This is probably the key to the whole view of Lange. If, however, אָשָׁם be here considered as standing not for trespass offering, but for trespass (see Text. note 34 on verse6), the view before given seems preferable.] “It is true that both Leviticus 5:11-12 repeat the statement that his offering is a sin offering. But according to the context, the meaning of this is that this sacrifice must be treated entirely after the analogy of the sin offering. No incense nor oil are to be added to this sacrifice. The same rule is applied to the great trespass offerings that follow, Leviticus 5:14 sq. The first instance, Leviticus 5:1, has peculiarly the character of participation in guilt. The properly guilty person in this case is the blasphemer; the participation in guilt comes from a soul hearing the curse and not cleansing itself from defilement by giving information. The view of the Heidelberg Catechism, that “by silence and looking on one may become a participant in such fearful sins,” appears here. So the touching a corpse is set with the unclean states of men by its natural connection, and the rash swearing, by traditional and common custom. That which is spoken of in the special greater crimes, as they are raised into a class by themselves by the introduction in Leviticus 5:14, is the gross violation of the law. Here, then, rightly appear the actions in which a man is guilty against Jehovah, i.e, against His holy things or His law. The fraud of which the sinner has at last become conscious must be atoned for in most cases by a restitution which was increased by one-fifth of the whole amount. But legal restitution alone was not enough; it must be preceded (without mentioning the trespass offering elsewhere prescribed) by a costly sacrifice of a ram worth two shekels. As religious atonement was of little value alone, when social restitution was directed, so also restitution, as a supplementary payment, was of little worth without religious atonement.

“Now, on the one hand, we must not mistake the fact that the section Leviticus 5:14 sq. draws a distinction between those faults which at the same time have become debts or relate to customs (mostly legal transgressions of right, as violations of the rights of property), and the purely religious faults in which throughout (with the exception of the case in Leviticus 5:17-19) the sinner has only to deal with God. and so far the newer division must be considered right, as in Knobel and Keil (and so also in Kurtz and others). But, on the other hand, it must not be overlooked that the subject has already been about the offering of the Asham in the section v 1 sq. [?], and this is in favor of the older opinion which may be found in the headings of Stier’s translation. There is also no question that to reduce the whole guilt-idea to legal transgressions will obscure very much the guilt-idea in the present case, as when Knobel wishes to leave out of consideration the passage Isaiah 53:10, when he says “אָשָׁם can be no actual trespass offering.” According to Knobel, the Asham arises from the rights of neighbors. But here evidently it arises from the rights of Jehovah, which Keil also emphasizes, and Knobel states indirectly. But we should rather say that it arises from the absolute right which is considered to be under Jehovah’s protection, in heaven and earth, and which has been completely confused with the guilt-idea itself in the theology of the day, in which justice in its many forms is travestied by “Good disposition” (the substantive and the adjective are allowed to evaporate into the adverb). It would have been better to have found the key to the conception of guilt in Isaiah 53. For just as the guilt of a sinner can extend over a community, so also the exculpation wrought by the Redeemer. The אָשָׁם expresses that man has become guilty, liable to punishment, towards Jehovah or towards his fellow-man; and the emphasis lies so strongly on the liability to punishment that the same word denotes at the same time satisfaction; and conversely, the Hiphil means not merely to give satisfaction, but also to bring over others the ban of guilt as a penalty. As concerns the varying distinction between the respective sections, we must especially notice that one must proceed from the distinction between the universal guilt idea and the conception of a legal fault, falling into the theocratic judicial sphere. If this difference be held to, we can certainly establish the newer division; for in the ritual of sacrifice the distinction between the sin and trespass offerings is not to be mistaken. Knobel has stated this difference accurately, p 394 sq. It is properly made prominent that the trespass-offering—as a religious offence makes the forgiveness of God necessary—may also be a sin-offering, so that it is frequently cited as a sin-offering “The trespass-offering, it may then be said, was always available only for the single Israelite, and was the same for all; while the sin-offering served also for the whole people, and varied according to the standing of the sinner in the Theocracy; the trespass-offering consisted always of sheep, while in the sin-offering all sacrificial animals were allowed; the trespass-offering must be worth a definite price, and was not modified, in the case of those who were unable to offer it, to a pair of doves or a meat-offering, as was the sin-offering; in the trespass-offering, as in the burnt-offering and thank-offering, the blood was sprinkled on the side of the altar of burnt offering ( Leviticus 7:2); in the sin-offering, on the other hand, departing from the custom in all other sacrifices, it was brought before God ( Leviticus 4:5); the flesh in the trespass-offering always belonged to the priest ( Leviticus 7:6), while in the more especial sin-offerings it was burned.” Then the distinction of the occasions may be expressed as follows: 1) Dishonesty against the revenues of the priests, as against the holy things of Jehovah2) Dishonesty in the due fidelity towards a neighbor (in a trust, in a deposit, in property found). 3) Dishonestuse of authority over a maid betrothed to another man ( Leviticus 19:20). 4) Defrauding in regard to the preference of the daughters of Israel over heathen women ( Ezra 10:19). Besides these, the Violation of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines ( 1 Samuel 6:3); imperilling the congregation by the contagious leprosy ( Leviticus 14:12); Defilement of the Nazarite, as weakening the inviolability of his vow ( Numbers 6:12). “According to these examples the trespass-offering is distinguished from the sin-offering in the following manner: it arises from the right of a neighbor, and rests upon a violation of this right.” But Jehovah too claims satisfaction, “since He has fixed the rights of those pertaining to Him.” Or also the right simply claims satisfaction: a particular instance is the case of a guilty person who has gone astray, through oversight or heedlessness, in a way that is known to no one but himself; who afterwards has an uneasy conscience, and then feels himself burdened by his misdeed, and becomes conscious of his guilt ( Leviticus 5:17-18). Otherwise indeed, he would be unable to atone, for instance, for his false oath. With the former division one could with propriety reverse the designations, and term the sin-offering the trespass-offering, and the trespass-offering for the most part the sin-offering, the offering for real and ideal transgressions of right. In this confusion of ideas the manifold differences are not too prominent as they are cited in Knobel, p396, Keil, p. (53) 316, Winer (Schuld und Sündopfer) and others. If we go back briefly to the ideal distinctions: sin, as sin, is indeed guilt, κατ’ ἐξοχήν, the particular evil deed; guilt, as such on the contrary, is the entire effect of sin in its cosmic sphere from the bad conscience even to death, to Sheol, to Hell. Guilt, as such, falls within the circle of evil, although the axiom “guilt is the greatest of evils” refers to sin. The sinfulness in guilt is the temptation to further sinfulness; it has, however, also a natural influence, according to which it reacts upon sin. See the article “Schuld” in Herzog’s Realencyclopädie. Guilt rests in the legal effect, there must be satisfaction for it; in the ethical effect, evil conscience, false position towards God, temptation to new sin; in the social effect, it lies as a burden upon the sphere of life that surrounds the sinner, whether he be high or low; in the generic effect, it is visited upon the children of the fathers, and becomes a universal might, a cosmic evil. Sin is solitary, guilt is common (“forgive us our trespasses”). It is obvious that sin in all cases is originally guilt; but guilt in distinction from sin Isaiah, in many cases, only participation in sin—accessoriness. Even in the section of the great trespass-offering, the force of participation in guilt may not be entirely wanting, for the severity of the Levitical relations, the temptations which adhered to the church goods and lands, to property, come into consideration. Under the law the ignorant man is touched on all sides, and is thus constituted in some measure a sinner, an accessory through greater sinners who made the law necessary. Sin is like a stone cast into a lake; guilt like the wave-circles which go out from it, the circumference of that evil centre. Sin, in its consequences, is ideally an infinitum, enmity against God; guilt, in itself considered, is a self-consuming finitum, so far as it is not changed into a curse by its constant reciprocity with sin. Sin can only be done away through the reconciliation of person to person; it requires repentance. Guilt is to be done away by means of atonement (voluntary penance, not expiation), personal or vicarious restitution; for, on the one hand, this of course is preliminary to the completed reconciliation, and, on the other hand, that breaks the way for expiation. See the history of Jacob: the vision of the heavenly ladder preceded the wrestling at the Jabbok. Keil says somewhat differently: “As in the sin-offering the idea of expiation or atonement for sin, indicated in the sprinkling of blood, comes forward, so in the trespass-offering we find the idea of satisfaction for the purpose of restoring the violated rightful order.”

In what follows, the views previously presented will be followed, since the rendering of אָשָׁם by trespass rather than by trespass-offering in Leviticus 5:6 renders it unnecessary to enter upon much of the nice distinctions here drawn by Lange, and enables us clearly to separate the sections of the sin and the trespass-offering.

Lange continues: “ Leviticus 4:1. Sin, חטָּאת, as missing, is in Leviticus more particularly missing in regard to the holy fellowship with the holy God through transgression of His command or violation of the reverence due Him. It must, as debt, be paid for by punishment. It makes the sinner unclean, so that he cannot appear in God’s fellowship, and hence uncleanness is a symbolic representation of sin, and the unclean needs, when cleansed, a sin-offering for a token and sign of his cleanness. It is understood that the sin offering that was introduced into the law by Moses preceded the given law; and so it is easily to be supposed that voluntary sin-offerings from compulsion of conscience most probably must be as old as the sacrifice in general, as certainly in the Passover the force of the sin offering may be plainly recognized.”—[Lange must mean that the more general sacrifices of old often included within them the idea of the sin offering, as they did of every other sacrifice; but the specialized sin offering itself, as already pointed out, is not mentioned before Exodus 29:14, nor is there any evidence that it was used or known at an earlier date.]—”On the extra-theocratic sin offering see Knobel, p386. But it is not correct to see with Knobel in the death of the sacrificial animal an actual satisfactio vicaria of the sinner, or to find in the death of the animal the expression that the offerer had already deserved death. In regard to the first point, the sacrificial animal furnishes only in the symbolical sense what the offerer ought to furnish personally, but cannot. And as to the second point, the death-punishment, in the peace-offering, it is self-evident, that the reference could not be to the punishment of death, and also in the sin-offering the difference between the Cherem” [חֶרֶם=a curse, a thing devoted to destruction] “and the propitiation through the sacrifice must be considered. That the divine Justice should have punished an inadvertence, בִּשְׁנָנָה, with death is an overstraining of the confession (with which the sacrificer appeared before God), that by this oversight or going astray he had entered the paths of death,[FN44] as this idea indeed belongs to pardonable sin. Otherwise an arbitrary distinction would have to be drawn between sin with uplifted hand, and sin from inadvertence, under which head must be understood not only sins of ignorance and precipitation, but also natural weakness and heedlessness. The turning point of these sins lay in contrition. But the sacrificer could in reality hardly satisfy the theocratic order by his sacrifice; on the religious side his sacrifice was thus a confession of his inability to satisfy, an appeal for mercy; and hence the sacrifice became a typical prophetic movement towards the future satisfaction.”

The sins for which sin offerings were to be presented were offences against the Divine law much more in its moral than in its ceremonial aspect. Great offences against civil society, such as involuntary manslaughter ( Numbers 35:10-15; Deuteronomy 19:1-10), did not come within the scope of these sacrifices; and minor breaches of the ceremonial law, such as uncleanness from contact with the dead bodies of animals ( Leviticus 11:24; Leviticus 11:28) or men ( Numbers 19:11; Numbers 19:19-20), were otherwise provided for. The sin offering had relation much more to the individual conscience than to the theocratic state or the peculiar Hebrew polity. In Numbers 15:29 its privileges are expressly extended to the “stranger.” But it was not allowed to be offered in cases where no true penitence could be supposed to exist, and it was therefore not permitted in the case of presumptuous or defiant sins ( Numbers 15:30-31).

The idea of vicarious satisfaction necessarily appears more clearly in this specialized offering for sin than in other sacrifices which were either more general in their character, or specialized for other purposes. (The word חַטָּאת occurs several times in Genesis in the sense of sin, but never in the sense of sin offering, before Exodus 29:14). Hence, in view of the intrinsic insufficiency of animal victims to atone for moral offences, this sacrifice was emphatically typical of the true Sacrifice for sin to come. The object of all the divine dealings with man has been his restoration to communion with God by the restoration of his holiness; and the first step to this end was necessarily the putting away of his sin. Under the old dispensation, therefore, the typical sin offering was the culmination of its whole system, presented in the most emphatic form on the great day of atonement (chap16); just as under the new dispensation the culmination of Christ’s work for the redemption of His people was His atoning sacrifice of Himself upon the Cross of Calvary.

Unlike the preceding sacrifices, the victim in the sin offering varied according to the offender’s rank in the theocracy. The ground of this is to be sought in the conspicuousness of the offence, not at all in its grossness. Here, as elsewhere, there was no correlation between the value of the victim and the magnitude of the sin. Every sin, great or small, of the same class of persons was expiated by the same means; a victim of higher value was only required in consequence of official responsibility and position, and the consequently greater strain which offences brought upon the theocracy. There was no such gradation in the Trespass offering, which was related more to the harm done than to the sin committed. Four grades are prescribed: for the sin—(1) of the high-priest ( Leviticus 4:3-12); (2) of the whole congregation ( Leviticus 4:13-21); (3) of a prince ( Leviticus 4:22-26); (4) of any of the people of the land ( Leviticus 4:27-35). After this follows an enumeration of special sins for which confession should be made and sin offerings offered ( Leviticus 5:1-6), with the allowance of inferior offerings in case of poverty ( Leviticus 4:7-13).

Leviticus 4:1-2. The general condition of the sin offering.

Leviticus 4:2. Speak unto the children of Israel.—It is always to be remembered that these laws are given to a people already in covenant relation to God, and the essential point of that covenant was the promise of the final victory over sin in the person of “the seed of the woman.” The laws given until He should come are therefore necessarily based upon His coming, and look forward to Him.

Any of the commandments.—מִכֹּל in a partitive sense. At the close of this verse must be understood some such clause as he shall bring an offering for his sin. The actual apodosis of the verse is the whole following chapter, and not Leviticus 4:3, which relates only to the high-priest.

Leviticus 4:3-12. The sin offering of the high-priest. Lange here says: “It must be noticed that the high-priest could become the most guilty of all, which the haughtiness of the hierarchy never thought of enough; that the whole congregation was rated as one personality equal in rank to him; that the prince was only considered slightly greater than the common man (the difference is he goats, she goats, or an ewe); and that for the poor, in the section Leviticus 5:1-13, there were two more peculiar modifications.”

Leviticus 4:3. The priest that is anointed.—LXX.: ἀρχιερεύς, כַּהֲנָא רַבִּא = high-priest, Targums. The high-priest is so called by reason of the peculiar authority by which he alone was consecrated to his office ( Exodus 29:7; Leviticus 8:12). The anointing of all the priests was indeed expressly commanded ( Exodus 28:41; Exodus 40:15), and is recognized as having taken place Leviticus 7:36; Leviticus 10:7; Numbers 3:3; yet in the account of the consecration, chap, 8, no other anointing of the common priests is mentioned than that Moses sprinkled both them and Aaron with “the anointing oil” and the blood from the altar. According to the best Jewish authorities, however, the priests were anointed with the finger upon the forehead. Outram places the distinction in the fact that each successive high-priest was personally anointed, while the others were only anointed once for all in the persons of Aaron’s immediate sons. Whatever may be the truth in regard to these things, the high-priest is evidently regarded in a peculiar sense as anointed, and is generally designated in Lev. ( Leviticus 4:5; Leviticus 4:16; Leviticus 6:22; Leviticus 16:32) as the anointed priest. He is also called the הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל= great priest ( Leviticus 21:10; Numbers 35:25; Numbers 35:28 bis: Joshua 20:6), and in later times the head or chief priest ( 2 Kings 25:18; 2 Chronicles 19:11), or simply the priest, κατ’ ἐξοχὴν ( 1 Kings 2:35, etc.).

Do sin.—Origen (Horn. II. in Lev. § 1) observes that inadvertence is not specified in the case of the high-priest. It must, of course, be supposed in view of the general principles on which sacrifices were allowed at all; but it probably was not written in the law that the infirmity of the high-priest might not be made too prominent.

To the guilt of the people,לְּאַשְׁמַת הָעָם—i.e, to bring upon the people the guilt of his own transgression. It is an undue restriction of the sense of these words to limit them to the sins committed by the high-priest in his official capacity. Such sins, of course, did bring guilt upon the people ( Leviticus 10:17; Malachi 2:7-8); but over and above this, nothing can be clearer in history, both under the old covenant and in the world at large, than that God had so constituted men with a federal as well as individual relation, that the sins of the head, whether of the nation, the community, or the family, entail suffering upon its members. The high-priest as the head of the theocracy could not sin, but that the whole body of Israel should feel its effects. The distinction may indeed be made between natural and moral consequences, between earthly and future punishments; still the two things are so intimately connected, a debasing of the moral sense of the community is so much the effect of the unfaithfulness of its head that the spiritual condition of the Israelites, following the general law, was largely affected by that of their high-priest, so that his sins did indeed “bring guilt upon the people.”

A young bullock without blemish.—The high-priest’s sin offering was the same as that of the whole congregation ( Leviticus 4:14), not merely because of the conspicuousness of his position and of the gravity of sin in one who should be the leader to all holiness; but especially (see Leviticus 4:3) because of his representative character and his federal headship mentioned above. According to Jewish tradition, if the bullock of the high-priest and the bullock of the congregation stood together ready for sin offerings, the former had the preference in every way. There was a careful gradation of the victims for the sin offering: the high priest and the whole congregation offered a male—a young bullock; the prince offered also a male, but of the goats ( Leviticus 4:23); the people offered a female of either the goats ( Leviticus 4:28) or the sheep ( Leviticus 4:32). There was also a corresponding gradation, but with fewer steps, in the ritual in regard to the blood, and also in the disposition of the flesh. See below.

Leviticus 4:4. The presentation, laying on of hands, and slaughtering, were the same ( Leviticus 4:14-15; Leviticus 4:23-24), as in the case of other sacrifices ( Leviticus 1:3-5).

Leviticus 4:5-7. And the priest that is anointed shall take.—At the point of the treatment of the blood the difference between the ritual of the sin offerings and the other sacrifices begins, and this treatment differs somewhat in the several sin offerings themselves. In this case, the high-priest, who was himself the offerer, brought some of the blood to the tabernacle of the congregation; afterwards the person officiating is designated simply the priest. From this it has been argued that, as the high-priest was the one whose sin was to be atoned for, the service was here taken up on his behalf by another priest; but there is precisely the same change at the same point in the following offering for the whole congregation ( Leviticus 4:16-17), and the high-priest certainly officiated throughout on the great day of atonement (chap16); moreover, the fact of his offering the sin offering for himself as well as for the people is established by Hebrews 5:3.

Leviticus 4:6. Sprinkle of the blood.—The word הִזָּה is different from זָרַק used for sprinkle in chaps1,3in view of the much smaller quantity of blood used here. It is difficult to express this in English translation, though the difference is observed in the LXX. and Vulg.

Seven times.—The seven-fold sprinkling of blood is frequently commanded ( Leviticus 4:17; Leviticus 16:17; Leviticus 16:19; Numbers 19:4) always in connection with sin offering, or ( Leviticus 14:7; Leviticus 14:27) with the purification of leprosy. In consecrations, too, there was a seven-fold sprinkling of oil ( Leviticus 8:11; Leviticus 14:16), and frequently the number seven is designated for the victims in sacrifice ( Leviticus 23:18; Numbers 23:1; Numbers 23:4; Numbers 23:14; Numbers 23:29; Numbers 28:11; Numbers 28:19; Numbers 28:27; Numbers 29:2; Numbers 29:8; Numbers 29:13; Numbers 29:36). The same number also appears in many other particulars connected with the divine service, and has always been considered as symbolical of completeness and perfection. The number is so frequent in the divine word, as well as in the ordering of nature, that it must be thought to have its foundation in some unfathomable heavenly relations. Its use in connection with the sin offering is plainly to give emphasis to the typical completeness of the propitiation.

Before the veil of the sanctuary.—There is a variety of opinion as to precisely where the blood was sprinkled. The LXX: κατὰ τὸ καταπέτασμα, and the Vulg.: contra velum, seem to have supposed it was upon the veil itself. It is more probable that the high-priest, dipping his finger in the blood at the entrance of the sanctuary, sprinkled it before him towards the veil as he advanced to the altar of incense. The object was plainly the presenting of the blood before Jehovah, the manifestation of whose presence was on the ark just within the veil. “The objective point was not the veil, but the ark of the covenant.” Lange.

Leviticus 4:7. Upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense—the golden altar which stood immediately before the veil. It was only in the case of the sin-offerings for the high-priest and for the whole people ( Leviticus 4:18) that the blood was brought to this altar—doubtless on account of the especial gravity of the sins to be atoned for; in case of the other sin offerings the blood was put on the horns of the altar of burnt-offering, ( Leviticus 4:25; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34) which stood in the court without. It was to be put in either case upon the horns of the altar because in these the significance of the altar culminated, and in the sin offering, as has already appeared, and will still more fully appear, the utmost emphasis was to be given to every part of the ritual of propitiation.

Shall pour all the blood.—But very little of the blood had thus far been used; the remainder—all the blood—was to be poured out at the foot of the altar of burnt-offering, the place to which all blood of the sacrifices not otherwise required was to be brought; it had no sacrificial significance. During the life in the wilderness the blood of the comparatively small number of sacrifices was here absorbed by the earth; later, in the temple conduits were arranged by which it was carried off into the valley of the Kedron.

Leviticus 4:8-10. The fat of the sin offering was to be treated in the same way as that of the peace offering, only that it is not said that it shall be burned “upon the burnt offering” since when both were offered the sin offering came first ( Leviticus 16:11; Leviticus 16:15; Leviticus 16:24); neither is the burning of the fat described as “an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord.”

Leviticus 4:11-12. The disposition of the rest of the victim, i.e, of the whole animal except the blood and the fat, was the same in the sin offering of the high-priest and of the whole congregation ( Leviticus 4:20-21). The difference in the treatment of the flesh of these from that of other sin offerings is determined by the treatment of the blood ( Leviticus 6:30). When the blood had been brought within the sanctuary, the flesh must be wholly burned; yet not burned as a sacrifice, the word שָׂרַף being never used in that sense.

Without the camp.—No flesh of a sin-offering might be burned upon the altar, because the nature of the offering was purely propitiatory, and it did not admit of being so used as to be called “the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord” (see on Leviticus 3:11). It is described as “most holy” ( Leviticus 6:25), and unlike the flesh of any other sacrifice, affected everything with which it came in contact ( Leviticus 6:26-28); whatever it touched must either be destroyed or specially purified. This was the law for all sin-offerings, and a further law comes into play in regard to those sacrifices (that of the high-priest and that of the whole congregation) whose blood was brought within the sanctuary ( Leviticus 6:30). Their flesh was strictly forbidden to be eaten; and it remained that it must be destroyed in some other way. Hence the command that it should be “burned without the camp.” Yet this was not a mere convenience, resorted to because there was nothing else to be done with it. The burning without the camp had a deep symbolical teaching of sufficient prominence to be referred to in Hebrews 13:11-12, and applied to Christ. The ground of the law seems to be that the flesh of all sin offerings was in a peculiar sense “holy”—devoted, under the ban—because they were for the propitiation for sin; yet a gradation was to be observed between them in this as in other respects. Their blood had been offered before the Lord, but when the blood had been offered in a more peculiar and emphatic way by bringing it within the sanctuary itself; a corresponding emphasis must mark the treatment of the flesh by carrying it forth to burn without the camp. The red heifer, whose ashes were to be used for purification, ( Numbers 19) was to be burned in the same way. The sinfulness of sin and the importance and sacredness of everything connected with its propitiation were thus set before the people in the strongest light.

Unto a clean place—not carelessly anywhere, lest it might happen to be to an “unclean place” ( Leviticus 14:40); but where the ashes are poured out, which was not merely “clean,” but being used only in connection with sacred things, had itself acquired a certain sacred association. The word שָׂרַף, as already noted, indicates that the burning itself was not sacrificial. The same word is used for the burning of the red heifer, Numbers 19:5. No especial sin offering is provided for the ordinary priest. It was the spirit of the law to have as little as possible of the caste relation about the priests, and in all matters in which they were not necessarily separated by their official functions, to treat them as ordinary citizens. Their sin-offering was doubtless the same with that of “any one of the people of the land.”

Leviticus 4:13-21. The sin-offering of the whole congregation.

If the whole congregation of Israel sin.—Prominent among the ways in which a whole congregation might sin are these: The civil ruler might do that which involved the nation in sin, and brought down punishment upon it, as in Saul’s slaughter of the Gibeonites, or David’s numbering of the people; a single individual by an act which caused a breach of the divine commands given to the whole people, might bring sin upon them all, as in the case of Achan, Joshua 7:1; or the people generally might commit some special sin, as in 1 Samuel 14:32, or fall into some habitual neglect of the divine commands, as in regard to the Sabbatical year ( 2 Chronicles 36:21), and the neglect of tithes and offerings for which they are so frequently reproved by the later prophets.

Through inadvertence.—There were two kinds of such sin: first, inadvertence of conduct, where the sinfulness of the act would be acknowledged when attention was called to it; and secondly, inadvertence of the law, when the act would not be known to be sinful until the law had been explained. In either case there would be no consciousness or intention of sin, and the thing would be hid from the eyes of the assembly.

And are guilty.—Every transgression of the divine law brought guilt, whether through a faulty heedlessness of conduct, or a criminal ignorance of the law which had been given. This principle is abundantly recognized in the New Testament.

Leviticus 4:14-21. The ritual of the sin offering for the whole congregation is the same as that for the high-priest. The victim prescribed here is a bullock; in Numbers 15:24 a kid in addition is required for sins of inadvertence of the congregation. Either the law was modified, which seems unlikely, or else the two requirements have reference to some distinction in the occasion or character of the sin, such as in one case sins of omission, in the other of commission. There was also another and very peculiar sin-offering for the congregation prescribed on the especial occasion of the great day of atonement ( Leviticus 16:5). The high-priest’s sin offering is there unchanged; but that for the people is highly altered in view of the especial purpose of the day.

Leviticus 4:15. The elders—since the congregation could only perform the acts required of the offerer by means of their representatives.

Leviticus 4:20. And the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.—This naturally was not said in regard to the high-priest’s own sin offering, but is repeated in connection with those that follow ( Leviticus 4:26; Leviticus 4:31; Leviticus 4:35; Leviticus 5:6; Leviticus 5:10; Leviticus 5:13), and elsewhere in the same connection ( Numbers 15:25; Numbers 15:28); also in connection with the trespass offering ( Leviticus 5:16; Leviticus 5:18; Leviticus 6:7; Leviticus 19:22). It is also used in connection with the purificatory offerings, the change being made from forgiveness to cleansing as the result of the atonement ( Leviticus 12:7-8; Leviticus 14:20; Leviticus 14:53; Numbers 8:21). The use of the simpler form “make atonement for him” in connection with the burnt-offering has already been noticed. The priest in these cases unquestionably acted, and was understood by the people to Acts, in a mediatorial capacity. כִּפֶּר, as noticed under Leviticus 1:4, means literally, to cover, to put out of sight, to hide. What is promised here is of course not that God will cause to be undone the wrong that has been done; but that He will so put it out of His sight that the sinner may stand without fault in His presence. See the various expressions to this effect in the prophets, e. g, Psalm 85:2; Psalm 103:12; Psalm 38:17; Psalm 44:22; Jeremiah 31:34; Ezekiel 18:22; Ezekiel 33:16; Micah 7:18-19, etc. This atonement was thus effectual in removing the guilt of all transgression (other than wilful) against the divine law. Hence the efficacy of the sin-offering could only have been derived from its typical relation to Him who was the Propitiation for the sins of the whole world. ( 1 John 2:2).

Leviticus 4:22-26. The sin offering for a Prince.

The ritual in this case differs from that in the previous cases, first in the selection of the victim, which must now be a Hebrews -goat instead of a bullock; and secondly, in that the blood was not presented within the sanctuary, which involved consequently a difference in the disposition of the flesh.

Leviticus 4:24. In the place where they kill the burnt offeringi.e, the burnt-offering “of the flock,” on the north side of the altar, Leviticus 1:11.

Leviticus 4:25. The horns of the altar of burnt offering.—In this and the following cases, as the sin was less extensive in its effects, so the ritual was far more simple. There was no sprinkling of blood before the veil, and the great altar in the court was substituted for the altar of incense within the sanctuary. The fat was burned as before; on the disposition of the flesh, see Leviticus 6:26-29.

Leviticus 4:27-35. The sin offering for one of the people.

In this case the victim is changed to a female, but the ritual remains the same in all respects as in the sin offering of the prince. An option was allowed as to the victim whether it should be of the goats, which seems to have been preferred ( Leviticus 4:28-31), or of the sheep ( Leviticus 4:32-35).

Leviticus 5:1-13. Certain specified sins and the sin-offering for them.

There is a difference of opinion among commentators as to whether this section should be connected with the sin-offerings which precede, or with the trespass offerings which follow. See Lange’s discussion under Leviticus 4:1. The chief argument for the latter is from the use of the word אֲשָׁמוֹ, Leviticus 5:6 (see below), which, however, rightly understood, does not bear out the inference. On the other hand, these verses are distinctly a part of the same divine communication begun Leviticus 4:1, while another begins at Leviticus 5:14; the word sin-offering is expressly used throughout ( Leviticus 5:6-7; Leviticus 5:9; Leviticus 5:11); and the idea of compensation for the harm done, prominent in the trespass offering (especially Leviticus 5:16), only slightly appears ( Leviticus 5:6) in these offerings. They are reckoned with the sin offerings by Knobel and Keil. They may perhaps be considered as somewhat intermediate between the ordinary sin offering and the trespass offering, yet belonging in the category of the former. The sins for which they were to be offered were of a less flagrant character than those of Leviticus 4.

Four particular cases of inadvertent sins are first mentioned, Leviticus 5:1-4 (for Leviticus 5:2-3 are clearly to be distinguished); and then confession ( Leviticus 5:5) and an offering ( Leviticus 5:6-13) is required for each. The normal offering is prescribed in Leviticus 5:6, a substitute allowed in case of poverty, Leviticus 5:7-10, and a further substitute in case of extreme poverty, Leviticus 5:11-13. Only in regard to these substitutes is the ritual given, that for the normal sin offering having been already described in Leviticus 4

Leviticus 5:1. The case here specified is that of a witness put upon oath who withholds testimony as to that which is within his own certain knowledge—וְהוּא עֵד. It is the omission, according to our phraseology, “to tell the whole truth.” It may cover also the case of neglect to testify when a public demand for information has been made with an adjuration; St. Augustine (Quest. in Lev. I.) and Theodoret extend it also to the case of hearing testimony, known to be false, given under oath. The case of giving positive false witness is quite a different one, and is treated in Deuteronomy 19:16-19.

Adjuration.—In the forms of Jewish trial, the witness did not himself utter the oath, or express his assent to it, but was adjured by the magistrate. Comp. Matthew 26:63; 2 Chronicles 18:15.

Whether he hath seen or known.—This covers both the cases of eye-witness and of knowledge derived from any other source.

Bear his iniquity.—Until purged in the way herein provided. The expression is a very common one in the law ( Leviticus 7:18; Leviticus 17:16; Leviticus 19:8; Leviticus 20:17; Leviticus 24:15; Numbers 5:31; Numbers 9:13; Numbers 14:33-34, etc.), and means that he shall endure the punishment of the sin, whether in its natural consequences or in positive inflictions. It is used both with reference to capital sins and also to those which might be expiated by sacrifice. If the sacrifice were not offered, the sinner must bear the consequences of his sin. In this case confession ( Leviticus 5:5) was a necessary condition of the sin-offering; therefore if he do not utter it, for without this there could be no desire to be again at one with God, and hence no place for the offering of sacrifice.

Leviticus 5:2. The second case is that of uncleanness from touching the carcase of any unclean animal, and was a sin of a ceremonial character.

It be hidden from him.—For the uncleanness of this and the following verse simple and speedy forms of purification were provided in case immediate action were taken ( Leviticus 11:24-25; Leviticus 11:28; Leviticus 11:39-40; Leviticus 15:5; Leviticus 15:8; Leviticus 15:21; Numbers 19:22); but if it were neglected or unobserved, the defilement still actually existed, and as the offender was in danger of communicating his own uncleanness to others, and also of constant violation of the precepts of the law, it must be expiated by sacrifice. On the connection between uncleanness and sin, see preliminary note to Leviticus 11.

Leviticus 5:3. Or if he touch the uncleanness of man.—A special case is made of this in order, as everywhere in the law, to emphasize the distinction between man and the lower animals. Thus while observed impurity from contact with the carcase of an unclean animal was removed at even after washing the clothes ( Leviticus 11:24, etc.), and neglected might be expiated by the sin-offering, the impurity from contact with the human dead body continued seven days, and required repeated purifications ( Numbers 19:11-16); and neglected, the offender defiled the tabernacle, and must “be cut off from Israel.” The various kinds of uncleanness in man are detailed in Leviticus 11-15.

When he knoweth of it.—This expression is to be taken in connection with the “it be hidden from him” of Leviticus 5:2. Of course while the defilement was “hidden” there could be no consciousness of guilt, nor of moral sin; yet the transgression of the law was an existing fact, and entailed its consequences. When it was brought to the offender’s knowledge, then he was guilty in the further sense that he was bound to remove the already existing guilt by confession and sacrifice.

Leviticus 5:4. The fourth and last case specified is that of careless or forgotten oaths, not embracing the breach of the third commandment; but the neglect or forgetfulness to perform an oath (such as might be uttered in recklessness or passion).—To do evil, or to do good.—That is to do anything whatever. Comp. Numbers 24:13; Isaiah 41:23.

Leviticus 5:5. And it shall be, when.—A form to introduce the apodosis to each of the previous verses.

He shall confess.—This applies to the particular sins mentioned in the foregoing verses, not to the sin-offering in general. It is also required in the case of the trespass offering, Numbers 5:6-7. According to Jewish tradition a prayer and confession accompanied the laying on of the hand in all offerings. This is a distinct acknowledgment of the particular fault, apparently before presenting the victim.

Leviticus 5:6. Bring for his trespass.—The Hebrew being exactly the same as in the following verse, it seems better to give the same translation. The A. V. has also the same translation in Leviticus 5:15, 25 ( Leviticus 6:6). The phrase is thus parallel to, and in apposition with, for his sin which he hath sinned. The sacrifice for this is expressly called a sin offering in this verse and Leviticus 5:7; Leviticus 5:11-12. By this rendering the sin and the trespass offerings are kept distinct as they were certainly intended to be.

A female from the flock.—The victim and the ritual are precisely the same as in the sin offering for “one of the people of the land,” and probably Leviticus 5:1-4 are intended to apply only to sins committed by them.

Leviticus 5:7-10. The alternative offering of the poor.

As in the case of the voluntary burnt offering ( Leviticus 1:14-17), so in this of the required sin offering, the poor are allowed to bring pigeons or turtledoves.

One for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.—The two together evidently constitute the full sin-offering; but they are called by these names because the treatment of the two birds was different, and each after the analogy of the offering from which it is named. The bird being too small to admit of its parts being disposed of as a sin offering, two were required, one of which was undoubtedly (although this is not expressed) to be eaten by the priest, as is stated in the Mishna, after the fashion of the flesh of the sin offering ( Leviticus 6:26; Leviticus 6:29; Leviticus 7:7); the other was to be burned on the altar like the fat of that sacrifice.

Leviticus 5:8. Pinch off the head.—See under Leviticus 1:15. In this case the head was not to be entirely separated, but pinched off enough to allow the blood to flow and to kill the bird.

Leviticus 5:9. Sprinkle of the blood.—This was not done in the case of the bird for the burnt-offering. It could easily be accomplished by swinging the bleeding bird against the side of the altar.

Pressed out at the bottom.—Where the blood of the other sin offerings was poured. In the burnt offering this blood ( Leviticus 1:15) was pressed out against the side of the altar.

Leviticus 5:10. The ritual of the second bird was to be the same as when birds were offered for a burnt offering ( Leviticus 1:15-17). The two birds together constituted a complete sin offering. From the fact, however, that two were required, it is plain that the part of the offering not required to be consumed upon the altar was still essential to the sacrifice.

Leviticus 5:11-13. The second alternative for the extremely poor.

This was allowed, on account of the absolute necessity of the sin offering, in order to put it within the reach of all. Lange notes that the sins specified in this section are, for the most part, sins arising from the lowness and rudeness of the inferior people: the law seeks to refine them. Still it is to be remembered that this alternative offering was not only for the sins mentioned Leviticus 5:1-13, but for all sins reached by the sin offering. The fact that it was unbloody is not opposed to the general significance of the shedding of blood in connection with the remission of sin ( Hebrews 9:22), since this alternative was altogether of an exceptional character and allowed only in case of necessity. It was also supplemented by the general sin offering on the great day of atonement.

The tenth part of an Ephah.—The Ephah according to Josephus was about Leviticus 1:1-9 bushels; according to the Rabbins, rather less than half that amount. The tenth of an Ephah (called an Omer, Exodus 16:36) was therefore, according to the lower and more probable estimate, very nearly three pints and a half.

He shall put no oil upon it.—The sin-offering of flour was sharply distinguished from the oblation of the same ( Leviticus 2:5) by the absence of the oil and frankincense, just as the other gin offerings were marked by the absence of the oblations. In both cases, the difference indicates that the offerer stood in a different relation toward God, not that of one in communion with Him, but of one seeking atonement for the sin which separated from Him.

Leviticus 5:12. On the “handful” and “memorial” see on Leviticus 2:2.

Leviticus 5:13. In one of these.—As in Leviticus 5:5, one of the sins specified, Leviticus 5:1-4.

As an oblation,i.e. as most holy. Comp. under Leviticus 2:3. The character of the sin offering in its two parts is still preserved in this its humblest form.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

I. One of the plainest teachings of the sin offering is that everything opposed to the revealed will of God is sin, whether done with the purpose of transgressing it or not. Butler has shown that this is in perfect accordance with the divine law in nature. St. Paul considered himself the chief of sinners, because he “persecuted the Church of God;” yet as he obtained mercy because he did it ignorantly in unbelief ( 1 Timothy 1:13-15), so the sin-offering was provided for those who put themselves in opposition to the divine will without intending to do so. It was on this principle that Jesus could pray for those who nailed Him to the cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” ( Luke 23:34). The great mass of human sin is incurred not for the sake of sinning, but in heedlessness, or through wrong judgment, or under the impulse of passion. It comes under the head of sins of inadvertence; but, as of old, needs the intervention of the blood of the atonement before the sinner can be restored to communion with God.

II. In the law of the sin offering it appears clearly that under the old dispensation as well as the new the character of the sin was determined by the animus of the sinner. For high-handed and defiant sin no sacrifice was allowable; he who committed this put himself out of the pale of reconciliation. But he who committed sins—which might in themselves be far worse—“through inadvertence” might bring his offering and have “an atonement made for him.” An excellent historical illustration may be found in comparing the stories of the lives of Saul and of David; and the distinction between the two kinds of sin is expressed in the psalm of David ( Leviticus 19:12).

III. In the sin offering the offerer must have already been in a state of mind which led him to desire the forgiveness of his sin, as is shown by his very act of bringing his victim to the priest; he was also ready to confess his sin; yet still the offering was required. By this was taught in outward symbol to the people of the old dispensation what is so clearly proclaimed in the Gospel, that for the forgiveness of sin there must be some propitiation outside and beyond the sinner himself; mere penitence, though an essential prerequisite, cannot alone avail to restore the disturbed relations to God of one who has transgressed His law.

IV. The inherent inefficacy of these sacrifices to atone for sin has been already repeatedly noticed; moreover, this inefficacy was constantly brought to the mind of the worshipper by the repetition of the sin offerings, as is especially noted in regard to the sacrifices of the day of atonement in the Ep. to the Heb. ( Leviticus 9:6-8); still the sin offering is insisted upon in the law with an emphasis greater than belongs to any other sacrifice. Most clearly, therefore, does it point to the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”

V. In the extension of the privileges of the sin-offering in Numbers 15:29 to “the stranger” one of those many intimations is given, scattered everywhere throughout the Old Test, which the Israelites were so slow to understand, that the blessings of forgiveness and of approach to God were intended for all people, and that the narrowness of restriction to the children of Abraham after the flesh was only a temporary provision “because of transgressions” until the promised Seed should come. But even while the restriction continued the stranger in Israel might present his sin offering, and Israel’s priests must make atonement for him.

VI. The sacramental value of the sin offering is happily expressed by Calvin in Leviticus 4:22. “In truth they hold not the first rudiments of the faith who do not recognize that the legal ceremonies were sacraments. But in all sacraments, at least those which are regular in the church, there is a spiritual promise annexed. It follows therefore that forgiveness was truly promised to the Fathers who reconciled themselves to God by the victims offered; not that the slaughter of sheep could expiate sins, but because this was a symbol, certain and impossible to deceive, in which pious souls might rest so that they could dare to appear before God in calm confidence. In fine, as sins are now sacramentally washed away by baptism, so under the law also sacrifices were expiations, although in a different fashion; since baptism sets before us Christ immediately, who was only obscurely shadowed forth under the law. Improperly indeed is that transferred to the signs which belongs to Christ alone, in whom is set forth to us the truth of all spiritual good, and who finally did away sin by His single and perpetual sacrifice. But since the question is not what the sacrifices availed in themselves, let it suffice that they testified of the grace of God of which they were figures.”

VII. The ritual of the sin offering was the most solemn of all the sacrifices, and the blood of this (except in case of the alternative doves) was always to be placed at least on the horns of the altar, while that of the greatest burnt or peace-offering was only sprinkled on its sides; thus the forgiveness of sin is shown to be the most fundamental and necessary part of the whole approach to God.

VIII. No sin offerings, although some of them were “burned without the camp,” were ever wholly burned upon the altar, and the common expression in regard to other sacrifices, “the food of the Lord” is never applied to these. Frankincense and oil were not allowed with the vegetable, nor an oblation with the animal sin offering. The whole ritual was stern and severe, until by the sacrifice itself propitiation had been made. By this symbolism is set forth the attitude of the Infinite in holiness towards sin; and thus is seen what must have been the consequences to the sinner, except for the Propitiation that is in Christ Jesus.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

The “exceeding sinfulness of sin” is shown in every possible symbolical way by this offering. It has in it nothing of the oil of gladness, or the fragrance of frankincense; it has nothing of festive joy, or of communion between the worshipper and God. Yet dark as the shadow of sin is hereby shown to be, it appears on all occasions when man comes into the presence of God. The sin offering was presented for “the people, on all the great festivals and days of solemn convocation, on Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles, on the Day of Memorial, on the first day of the seventh month, and on the Day of Atonement” (Kalisch) and on many other public occasions. Besides all these, it was offered continually by individuals as the sins of their own lives were brought to their consciousness. So must man’s approach to God ever be with the plea, “Have mercy upon me, a sinner.” Coming in this temper, propitiation is provided for all. There was none so poor but that a sin offering was within his reach. And so the word of the great Propitiation Isaiah, “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” “He is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by Him.”

Yet for high-handed and defiant sin, for sin that sets itself in opposition to the Divine way of salvation, there is no other way of forgiveness, “there remains no more sacrifice.” Comp. Hebrews 10:26.

For the sin of the high-priest a higher victim was commanded, and with a higher ritual, because he “sinned to the guilt of the people.” Only for the sin of the whole people collectively the same offering was required. So it must ever be with those in positions of influence and authority; when they sin, they drag others with them into guiltiness. There is ever a federal, as well as an individual relation between man and God, and though the latter may determine his final condition, yet his individual relation itself is largely affected by his federal.

Sins of omission are regarded as sins equally with those of commission.

No one is so humble that the means of propitiation is not provided for him. Under the law this could only be symbolized by alternative offerings of different degrees, showing forth the freeness under the Gospel of the offer of the waters of life to all that are athirst.


Footnotes:

FN#1 - Leviticus 4:2. בִּשְׁגָגָה from שָׁגָא = שָׁגָה = שָׁגַג = to totter to and fro, to wander, to go wrong. It includes not only sinning unawares, through ignorance ( Leviticus 4:13; Leviticus 4:22; Leviticus 4:27; Leviticus 5:17), or carelessness, and want of consideration ( Leviticus 5:1; Leviticus 5:4); but also unintentional sins (like that of manslaughter without malice, Numbers 35:11; Numbers 35:15; Numbers 35:22), and therefore sins arising from human infirmity in contradistinction to intentional and defiant sins—sins “with a high hand”—for which no sacrifice was allowable ( Numbers 15:27-31). The LXX. ἀκουσίως, the Targ. Onk. (also Ben Uz. and Jerus.) בְּשָׁלוּ = through error, so also the Syr. The old Italic has imprudenter. Aquila reads ἐν ἀγνοίᾳ, and it was perhaps by a literal translation of this that the Vulg. came to read per ignorantiam, which has been perpetuated in the A. V.; but in Hellenistic Greek ἀγνοία and ἀγνοήμα. ( Hebrews 9:7) bear rather the sense given above. See Schleus. Lex. in LXX. Through going astray might better express the meaning, except that it does not sufficiently bring out the distinction as in the animus of the sinner.

FN#2 - Leviticus 4:2. מֵאַחַת מֵהֵנָּה. The A. V. has supplied against, as in the former clause, where the construction is the same; but there it is required, and here worse than useless to the sense. It should be omitted as in nearly all the ancient versions. The מִן in both clauses is to be taken partitively.

FN#3 - Leviticus 4:3. לְאַשְׁמַת Prop. inf. const. Kal, and there used as a noun = to bring guilt upon. So most of the ancient versions and the modern expositors generally.

FN#4 - Leviticus 4:5. To anointed the LXX. and Sam. Vers. add whose hand is consecrated. The Sam. text has a similar addition.

FN#5 - Leviticus 4:7. The Sam. and8 MSS. prefix the article to דָּם, while the Sam, 3MSS, and Vulg, omit the bullock.

FN#6 - Leviticus 4:8. עַל־הַקֶּרֶב. This is translated in the A. V. and in the ancient versions as if it were אֵתָ־ה֟ as in Leviticus 3:14. So it must be translated, and such is actually the reading in the Sam. and many MSS.

FN#7 - Leviticus 4:9. On. See Leviticus 3:4, Textual Note3.

FN#8 - Leviticus 4:12. The Sam. and LXX. here have the plural. Of course the high-priest did not do this with his own hands, but is said to do that which he caused to be done, according to common usage of all languages.

FN#9 - Leviticus 4:13. כָּל־עֲדַת (congregation) קָהָל (assembly) the two words used here, and מוֹעֵד Numbers 16:2 and freq. have no difference in signification which can be recognized in translation. They are used in apposition.

FN#10 - Leviticus 4:13. שָׁגָה. In the A. V. sin always in Lev. is the translation of חָטָא. This being the only exception, should be changed.

FN#11 - Leviticus 4:13. נֶעְלַּם has dagesh in the ל here and in Leviticus 5:2; Leviticus 5:4. According to Delitzsch it is an old rule of pointing “that every consonant which followed a syllable terminating with a guttural should be pointed with dagesh, if the guttural was to be read with a quiescent sheva and not with chateph.” Comp. וַיֶּאְסֹּר Genesis 46:29; Exodus 14:6, תַּעְלּיִם (according to some copies) Psalm 10:1.

FN#12 - Leviticus 4:14. The Sam. and LXX. here add the “without blemish” so frequently expressed, and always to be understood.

FN#13 - Leviticus 4:14. לְחַטָּאת. The word is used in both senses—a sin, and a sin-offering. The context requires the latter here. It has no article.

FN#14 - Leviticus 4:14. The LXX. and Vulg. add the door of, which is implied.

FN#15 - Leviticus 4:15. The subject of שָׁחַט is one of the elders.

FN#16 - Leviticus 4:17. The ellipsis supplied by it in the A. V. is filled out in the Sam, in one MS, and in the Syr, by “of the blood,” comp. Leviticus 4:6. Several other words are filled out in the same version in the following verses from the preceding paragraph.

FN#17 - Leviticus 4:18. The Sam. and LXX. unnecessarily specify “altar of incense.”

FN#18 - Leviticus 4:20. The article of the original should be retained as the reference is to the sin-offering of the high-priest.

FN#19 - Leviticus 4:21. The Sam. and many MSS. have here again the later feminine form הִיא.

FN#20 - Leviticus 4:22. נָשִׂיא. This word variously rendered in the A. V. captain, chief, governor, prince, and ruler, occurs in Lev. only here, but very frequently in Numbers, where it is translated captain in Leviticus 2 (12times), chief in chs 3, 4 (5 times), once ruler, Leviticus 13:2, and prince throughout the rest of the book (42times) as well as throughout Gen. and Josh. In Ex. it occurs four times uniformly translated ruler. In nearly all these places it refers to persons of substantially the same rank, and it would be better therefore that its translation should be uniform. It means literally, an exalted person, and is applied to the head of a tribe, or other large division of the people, whether of Israel or of other nations. Lange interprets it of “the tribe chieftain,” referring to Numbers 3:24. As prince is on the whole the most common rendering of the A. V, and expresses very well the sense, it is retained here.

FN#21 - Leviticus 4:2. בִּשְׁגָגָה from שָׁגָא = שָׁגָה = שָׁגַג = to totter to and fro, to wander, to go wrong. It includes not only sinning unawares, through ignorance ( Leviticus 4:13; Leviticus 4:22; Leviticus 4:27; Leviticus 5:17), or carelessness, and want of consideration ( Leviticus 5:1; Leviticus 5:4); but also unintentional sins (like that of manslaughter without malice, Numbers 35:11; Numbers 35:15; Numbers 35:22), and therefore sins arising from human infirmity in contradistinction to intentional and defiant sins—sins “with a high hand”—for which no sacrifice was allowable ( Numbers 15:27-31). The LXX. ἀκουσίως, the Targ. Onk. (also Ben Uz. and Jerus.) בְּשָׁלוּ = through error, so also the Syr. The old Italic has imprudenter. Aquila reads ἐν ἀγνοίᾳ, and it was perhaps by a literal translation of this that the Vulg. came to read per ignorantiam, which has been perpetuated in the A. V.; but in Hellenistic Greek ἀγνοία and ἀγνοήμα. ( Hebrews 9:7) bear rather the sense given above. See Schleus. Lex. in LXX. Through going astray might better express the meaning, except that it does not sufficiently bring out the distinction as in the animus of the sinner.

FN#22 - Leviticus 4:23. The conjunction אוֹ should be rendered if perhaps, Fuerst, Gesenius. The Syr. renders by if, the LXX. καί, Vulg. et postea.

FN#23 - Leviticus 4:23. שָׂעִיר = a Hebrews -goat, generally understood of one older than the עַתּוּד or young Hebrews -goat used in the burnt and peace-offerings (Fuerst, Knobel). It is often rendered kid in the A. V. It is also rendered devil Leviticus 17:7; 2 Chronicles 11:15, where the reference is to the idolatrous worship of the goat, (or goat-like deity) and twice satyr in Isa. ( Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:14). It is the kind of goat used in the sin-offering generally. Bochart supposes it to mean a goat of a peculiar breed; so Keil.

FN#24 - Leviticus 4:24. The Sam. puts the verb in the plural; so also in Leviticus 4:33.

FN#25 - Leviticus 4:25. The LXX. and 4 MSS. have all his blood, as in the other places.

FN#26 - Leviticus 4:27. There seems no occasion here to deviate from the literal translation which is retained so far as “people of the land” is concerned, in Leviticus 20:2; Leviticus 20:4; 2 Kings 11:18-19; 2 Kings 16:15. It was the common name of the whole people as distinguished from the priests (in this case probably from the high-priest) and the rulers.

FN#27 - Leviticus 4:28. שְׂעִירָה is simply the feminine of the word discussed under Leviticus 4:23.

FN#28 - Leviticus 4:30. Two MSS, the Sam, and the Syr, unnecessarily add “of burnt-offering.” The Sam. and the LXX. make the same addition at the end of Leviticus 4:34.

FN#29 - Leviticus 4:32. כֶּבֶשׂ = a sheep, see Text. note5 under Leviticus 3:7.

FN#30 - Leviticus 4:35. עַל אִשֵּי. The sense is here as in Leviticus 3:5 upon. These being special offerings, the daily burnt-offering would always have been upon the altar before them, and even if that were already wholly consumed, the expression “upon” it could still be naturally used. FN#31 - Leviticus 5:1. “Particula ו ante שָֽׁמְעָה hic usurpatur αἰτιολογικῶς, estque vertenda quia, eo quod, ut Genesis 26:12; Deuteronomy 17:16.” Rosenmueller.

FN#32 - Leviticus 5:1. אָלָה. Commentators are generally agreed that this should be translated adjuration. The verb in the Hiph. is translated adjure in 1 Samuel 14:24. See Exeg. Com. The Heb. has no word for adjuration as distinct from swearing. It is expressed in the LXX. by ὁρκισμοῦ.

FN#33 - Leviticus 5:2. The full form would be כִּי אֲשֵׁר; accordingly the Sam. and some MSS. prefix כִּי here and add אֲשֶׁר in Leviticus 5:4

FN#34 - Leviticus 5:2. See note 1 on Leviticus 11:2.

FN#35 - Leviticus 5:4. יְבַטֵּא,לְבַטֵּא, speak idly, or ill-advisedly. Comp. βαττολογέω, Matthew 6:7.

FN#36 - Leviticus 5:5. For יֶאְשַּׁם the Sam. and20 MSS. here substitute יֶחֱטָּא.

FN#37 - Leviticus 5:6. אָשָׁם, like חָטָּאת, is used in the sense both of trespass and trespass-offering. The ancient versions leave the question between them open. The Vulg. has simply agat, penitentiam, LXX. οἴσει περὶ ὧν ἐπλημμέλησε κυρίῳ, while the Semitic versions leave the same doubt as the Hebrew. Modern commentators are divided, but the weight of opinion accords with the Exeg. Com. At the end of the verse the Sam. and the LXX. have the fuller form, “and the priest shall make an atonement for him, for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him.”

FN#38 - Leviticus 5:27. שְׂעִירָה is simply the feminine of the word discussed under Leviticus 5:23.

FN#39 - Leviticus 5:7. וְאִס־לֹא תַגִּיעָ יָדוֹ lit. If his hand cannot acquire. The sense is well expressed by the A. V.

FN#40 - Leviticus 5:9. יִמָּצֵה the translation of the A. V. wrung might answer here, but as the same word must be translated pressed in Leviticus 1:15, it seems better to preserve uniformity.

FN#41 - Leviticus 5:9; Leviticus 5:11-12. The Sam. and many MSS. have the later feminine form of the pronoun היא.

FN#42 - Leviticus 5:12. עַל = upon, as Leviticus 3:5; Leviticus 4:35.

FN#43 - Leviticus 5:13. Oblation. Comp. Leviticus 2:1, Textual Note2, and Exeg. at beginning of Leviticus 2.

FN#44 - “It is also a straining of the text to render the words: “in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die,” as meaning “thou shalt actually die the death.” Religiomoral death realizes itself gradually. Indeed, the principle of death is the germ of death itself.”

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Leviticus 4:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/leviticus-4.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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