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Leviticus 5-7 Listen
Notice the outline in the box to the right of the screen to view the five categories of sacrifices explained in Leviticus 1-7.
And these three sins need a sacrifice too (Leviticus 5:1-13)
This is a continuation of the sin offering which began in Leviticus 4:1 (see notes).
1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.
2 Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, 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 man, 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 with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce 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 in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing:
6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.
7 And if he be not able to bring a lamb, 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 off his head from his neck, but shall not divide it asunder:
9 And 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 out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering.
10 And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him.
11 But 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.
12 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 the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: it is a sin offering.
13 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.
If you lived in Israel back then, you might discover that you sinned without really meaning to, or inadvertently. So here's some sacrificial solutions that really continue from Leviticus 4:27-33 (see notes) for regular ol' Hebrew people.
These first 13 verses deal with three categories of inadvertent sin:
Verses 5-13 explain the procedure for sacrificing for inadvertent sin. If you sin, you confess it and bring your sacrifice to the priest, a female lamb or goat. But what if you are too poor to bring a lamb or a goat? Well, then bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons. But what if you can't afford to even bring doves or pigeons? Then bring some fine flour; the priest will burn a handful of fine flour on the altar if that's all you have. We see more about this "sin offering" in Leviticus 6:24-30 (see below).
I should point here that this inadvertent sin has no direct correlation for the Christian. A Christian's walk with God is a product of being led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leadership in one's life keeps him from sin. The formal definition of sin for the Christian is found in James 4:17 (see notes), "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." So, for the Believer, sin is when we are led by the Holy Spirit to do (or not do) one thing, and we rebel against the Holy Spirit's leadership. There's nothing inadvertent about that.
14 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
15 If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering:
16 And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.
17 And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.
18 And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him.
19 It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.
Leviticus 6:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;
3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:
4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,
5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.
6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:
7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.
This offering relates to restitution, or compensation, that has to be paid because of some misappropriation of property or failure in regard to material things. Here, the offender is guilty of some lack of integrity or honesty in his dealings with either the priests or his neighbors. Whatever the damage incurred here, it has to be restored and compensated with a 20% penalty in addition to the sacrifice of a male sheep. Additional instructions are found in Leviticus 7:1-7 (see below).
Now...how about those priests? (Leviticus 6:8-7:36)
This section of scripture outlines the requirements of the priests regarding these sacrifices.
We saw the five categories of offerings in the first five chapters of Leviticus.
These chapters served as the framework of instruction for the people of Israel to know what to do when they sin. Now we're going to see these same categories listed from the priests perspective. In other words, what is the priest's responsibility when the people come to him with these sacrifices?
8 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
9 Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it.
10 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.
11 And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place.
12 And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.
13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.
The Brazen Altar
Picture courtesy of BiblePlaces.com
Let's review the specifications of the Brazen Altar here in the courtyard of the tabernacle. You will recall that it stands about 4.5 feet tall and is about 7.5 feet square on it's surface. Now consider this. the fire had to be hot enough to completely consume whatever was laid upon it. But wait! There's more! We see here that this fire had to burn 24 hours each day, seven days each week. Every morning one of the priests had to put on his priestly garment and go empty the ashes of the Brazen Altar. After removing the ashes, he changed clothes before he carried the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. This priest refueled and stoked the fire in this process, and the ashes were removed while the fire was burning.
What the priest does with the meat (grain) offering (Leviticus 6:14-23)
14 And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar.
15 And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the LORD.
16 And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it.
17 It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.
18 All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the LORD made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy.
19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
20 This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.
21 In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the LORD.
22 And the priest of his sons that is anointed in his stead shall offer it: it is a statute for ever unto the LORD; it shall be wholly burnt.
23 For every meat offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten.
These instructions are essentially a repeat of those found in Leviticus 2:1-16 (see notes) with a couple of additions. First of all, the priests are told in this passage how they are to eat their portion of this sacrifice brought by the people. Secondly, we find instructions regarding this sacrifice when it is brought by the priests themselves on the day of their anointing for the priesthood. On this occasion, this sacrifice is not eaten, but wholly offered and consumed on the Brazen Altar.
24 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
25 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy.
26 The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.
27 Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place.
28 But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water.
29 All the males among the priests shall eat thereof: it is most holy.
30 And no sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire.
This is the offering we saw in Leviticus 4:1-5:13 (see notes). It would appear from these verses that one of the big sights to see in the outer court area of the Tabernacle was a bunch of the priests feasting on the sin offerings brought to them by the people; these meals had to be eaten there. Notice that NO blood from these sacrifices could leave this sacred area - not even on clothing. Everything had to be thoroughly washed of this sacrificial blood. There was even a concern that a residue of this offering might remain on the ceramic pots used for cooking, so they were to be broken after use. Apparently for this reason, metal pots were preferred instead.
1 Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering: it is most holy.
2 In the place where they kill the burnt offering shall they kill the trespass offering: and the blood thereof shall he sprinkle round about upon the altar.
3 And he shall offer of it all the fat thereof; the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards,
4 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul that is above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away:
5 And the priest shall burn them upon the altar for an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a trespass offering.
6 Every male among the priests shall eat thereof: it shall be eaten in the holy place: it is most holy.
7 As the sin offering is, so is the trespass offering: there is one law for them: the priest that maketh atonement therewith shall have it.
8 And the priest that offereth any man’s burnt offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt offering which he hath offered.
9 And all the meat offering that is baken in the oven, and all that is dressed in the fryingpan, and in the pan, shall be the priest’s that offereth it.
10 And every meat offering, mingled with oil, and dry, shall all the sons of Aaron have, one as much as another.
These are further instructions to the priests regarding the offering we saw in Leviticus 5:14-6:7 (see above). We notice here that, not only do the priests eat this food there on the premises, the priest that assisted in the sacrifice gets to keep the skin (verse 8). It would seem to me that an accumulation of skins could be a significant enhancement to one's wealth.
11 And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD.
12 If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.
13 Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings.
14 And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the LORD, and it shall be the priest’s that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings.
15 And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.
16 But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice: and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten:
17 But the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire.
18 And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity.
19 And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire: and as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof.
20 But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.
21 Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.
22 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
23 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.
24 And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use: but ye shall in no wise eat of it.
25 For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people.
26 Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.
27 Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.
28 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
29 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, He that offereth the sacrifice of his peace offerings unto the LORD shall bring his oblation unto the LORD of the sacrifice of his peace offerings.
30 His own hands shall bring the offerings of the LORD made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the LORD.
31 And the priest shall burn the fat upon the altar: but the breast shall be Aaron’s and his sons’.
32 And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings.
33 He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part.
34 For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel.
35 This is the portion of the anointing of Aaron, and of the anointing of his sons, out of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister unto the LORD in the priest’s office;
36 Which the LORD commanded to be given them of the children of Israel, in the day that he anointed them, by a statute for ever throughout their generations.
In verses 12-18 we see three kinds of occasions when a person might bring a peace offering:
We find separate regulations for the first (12-15), but the last two are dealt with together (16-18).
These offerings were eaten by laymen. Rules for guarding their sacredness were therefore needed (verse 19). They must be kept clean. An unclean person must absolutely not eat of the sacred meal (verse 20). In verses 28-36 we see the parts of the fellowship offering that belonged to the priest - the breast (verse 30) and the right thigh (verse 33).
You'll notice some pretty strong warnings against touching unclean animals or eating unclean food. The phrase "cut off from his people" in these verses is much debated among scholars. Most do not think this means they were executed, but obviously some differentiation was made in their status after such an occasion, and it obviously wasn't a good differentiation. And whatever you do, DON'T EAT FAT OR BLOOD! According to verse 25-27, that carried the same severe penalty as well.
Finally...the wrap up (Leviticus 7:37-38)
37 This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meat offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings;
38 Which the LORD commanded Moses in mount Sinai, in the day that he commanded the children of Israel to offer their oblations unto the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai.
I can't resist putting this into perspective the same way I do so frequently. For those Believers who still believe they are obligated to keep the Law of Moses, what about these? These sacrificial laws are just as important in the Law of Moses as any other law. Take note of what verse 36 says with regard to the expiration date for these laws of sacrifice, "...by a statute for ever throughout their generations."
Here's the good news: Jesus Christ fulfilled the requirements of the law on the cross. He said so in Matthew 5:17-18 (see notes). Reason with this in mind: If he didn't fulfill all of the requirements of the Law of Moses on the cross, he didn't' fulfill any of them. Therefore, either keep them all or keep none of them, but don't pick and choose to keep only the ones that are convenient.