Leviticus 5 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Another Overview Chart of Leviticus - Charles Swindoll
A third Overview Chart of Leviticus

Adapted and modified from C. Swindoll
Leviticus 1-17 Leviticus 18-27
The Way to God
The Walk with God
The Approach: Offerings Practical Guidelines
The Representative: Priest Chronological Observances
The Laws: Cleansing
Physically & Spiritually
Severe Consequences
Verbal promises
Ritual for Worship
Worshipping a Holy God
Practical for Walking
Living a Holy Life
Location: Mt Sinai for one full year
Theme: How sinful humanity can approach and worship a holy God
Key Verses: Lev 17:11, 19:2, 20:7-8
Christ in Leviticus: In every sacrifice, every ritual, every feast
Time: about 1446BC

1) Sweet aroma

2) Voluntary

Heb = 'olah

1) Sweet aroma

2) Voluntary

Heb = minchah

1) Sweet aroma

2) Voluntary

Heb = selemim

1) Non-sweet aroma

2) Compulsory

Heb = chattath

Aka-Purification Offering

Atoning sacrifice of animals with no physical defects. The required offering varied with the situation and station of the person receiving its benefits

1) Non-sweet aroma

2) Compulsory

Heb = asam

Aka - Reparation or Guilt Offering

Atoning sacrifice of a ram or lamb with no physical defects

Scripture Lv 1:3-17-note
Lv 6:8-13-note
Cp Nu 15:1-16
Lv 2:1-16-note
Lv 6:14-18-note
Lv 7:12-13-note
Cp Nu 15:17-21
Lv 3:1-17-note
Lv 7:11-21-note, Lv 7:28-34-note
Cp Deut 12:20-28
Lv 4:1-5:13-note
Lv 6:24-30-note
Cp Nu 15:22-31
Lv 5:14-6:7-note
Lv 7:1-7-note




1) To propitiate for sin in general -Lv 1:4-note

2) To signify complete dedication & consecration to God hence called the whole burnt offering.

Acceptance before God for worship & service

Maintenance of fellowship with God

Recognition of the sovereignty of God

This offering accompanied all burnt offerings.

Signified homage & thanksgiving to God.

Recognition of God's bountiful provision

Expression of dedication, praise & thanksgiving to God

Acknowledging God as the source of provision and prosperity.

Celebration of peace & of God's covenant faithfulness...

Generally expressed peace & fellowship between the offerer & God & thus culminated in a community meal.

1) Thank offering: express thanks for unexpected blessing or deliverance

2) Votive Offering: to express gratitude for a blessing or deliverance granted when a vow had accompanied the petition.

3) Freewill Offering: to express gratitude to God without regard to any specific blessing or deliverance.

To atone for sins committed unknowingly, especially where no restitution was possible. Note Nu 15:30, 31: The sin offering was of no avail in cases of defiant rebellion against God.

Confession to God for impurities and offenses

Recognition of the effects of one's sins on others in the covenant community

Restoration of fellowship with God

To atone for sins committed in ignorance, esp where restitution was possible

Confession to men for impurities and deceptions

Willingness of the repentant believer to make proper restitution

Consists of According to wealth:
1) Bull without blemish-Lv 1:3–9-note

2) Male sheep or goat without blemish-Lv 1:10–13-note); 3 Turtledoves or young pigeons-Lv 1:14–17-note

3) Turtledoves or young pigeons-Lv 1:14–17-note

Three Types:
1) Fine flour mixed with oil and frankincense-Lv 2:1–3-note

2) Cakes made of fine flour mixed with oil and and baked an oven Lv 2:4-note, in a pan Lv 2:5-note or in a covered pan Lv 2:7-note

3) Green heads of roasted grain mixed with oil and frankincense-Lv 2:14, 15-note

According to wealth:
1) From the herd, a male or female without blemish-Lv 3:1–5-note

2) From the flock, a male or female without blemish-Lv 3:6–11-note

3) From the goats-Lv 3:12–17-note

Note: Minor imperfections were permitted when the peace offering was a freewill offering of a bull or a lamb-Lv 22:23

1) For the high priest, a bull without blemish-Lv 4:3–12-note

2) For the congregation, a bull without blemish-Lv 4:13–21-note

3) For a ruler, a male goat without blemish-Lv 4:22–26-note

4) For a commoner, a female goat or lamb without blemish-Lv 4:27–35-note

5) In cases of poverty, two turtledoves or two young pigeons (one for a sin offering, the other for a burnt offering) could be substituted-Lv 5:7–10-note

6) In cases of extreme poverty, fine flour could be substituted-Lv 5:11–13-note; cp Heb. 9:22-note

1) If the offense was against the Lord (tithes, offerings, etc), a ram w/o blemish was offered; restitution was reckoned according to the priest's estimate of the value of the trespass + 20% (Lv 5:15-16-note)

2) If the offense were against man, a ram w/o blemish was offered, restitution reckoned according to the priest's estimate + 20% (Lv 6:4-6-note)

Entirety burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 1:9-note except the skin-Lv 7:8-note Memorial portion burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 2:2, 9, 16-note Fatty portions burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 3:3–5-note 1) Fatty
portions to be burned on the altar of burnt offering Lv 4:8–10-note, Lv 4:19. 26-note, Lev 4:31, 35-note

2) When the sin offering was for the high priest or congregation, the remainder of the bull was to be burned outside the camp-Lv 4:11, 12-note, Lev 4:20, 21-note

Fat burned on altar of burnt offering-Lev 7:3-5-note
Skin only-Lv 7:8-note Remainder eaten in court of tabernacle-Lv 2:3, 10-note, Lev 6:16-18-note, Lv 7:14-15-note Breast (wave offering) & right thigh (heave offering)-Lv 7:30-34-note   Remainder eaten in holy place-Lv 7:6-7-note
None None Remainder to be eaten in the court by the offerer & family
1) Thank offering = eaten same day-Lv 7:15-note
None None
Consecration Service Fellowship Redemption for the sinner that he is Redemption for the sinner he commits
Christ He presented Himself to the Father to do His will He served His Father and men as Son of Man He is the common bond of fellowship between God & man He atoned for the guilt of sin He atoned for the damage of sin.
Signifies complete dedication of life to God

1) On part of Christ-Mt 26:39-44, Mk 14:36, Lk 22:42, Php 2:5-11-note

2) On part of believer-Ro 12:1-2-note, Heb 13:15-note

Signifies perfect humanity of Christ:

1) Absence of leaven ~ sinlessness of Christ-He 4:15-note, 1Jn 3:5

2) The presence of oil is emblematic of the Holy Spirit-Lk 4:18; 1Jn 2:20-note, 1Jn 2:27-note

Shadow of the peace believer has through Christ-Ro 5:1-2-note, 1Cor 10:16-18, 11:17-34, Col 1:20-note

NB: Only offering in which offerer shared

Thank Offering:

1Th 5:18-note

Heb 13:15-note

Prefigures fact that Christ's death...

1) Was made sin for us - 2Cor 5:20-21-note

2) He suffered outside the gate - Heb 13:11-13-note

Cp Lv 4:3-note, 1Ti 5:20

Cp Lv 4:27-note, 1Cor 8:9-13

Cp Lv 5:5-note, 1Jn 1:9-note

See Heb 9:22-note

Shadow of Christ as our Trespass offering - Col 2:13-note

Cp Lv 5:15-note, Lv 22:14-16

Cp Lv 6:2-5-note, Eph 4:25-32, Jas 5:16

See Isa 53:10

Adapted from Believer's Bible Commentary & Irving Jensen


1. The second utterance of Jehovah (Leviticus 4:1-2)

2. The sin offering for the high priest (Leviticus 4:3-12)

3. The sin offering for the congregation (Leviticus 4:13-21)

4. The sin offering for the ruler (Leviticus 4:22-26)

5. The sin offering for one of the common people (Leviticus 4:27-35)

6. The sin offering for special inadvertent offences (Leviticus 5:1-13) (A C Gaebelein)


Introduction to Sin Offering (Lev 4:1–2),

Sin Offering for Inadvertent Sin of High Priest (Lev 4:3–12),

Sin Offering for Inadvertent Sin of Congregation (Lev 4:13–21),

Sin Offering for Inadvertent Sin of Ruler (Lev 4:22–26),

Sin Offering for Inadvertent Sin of Individual (Lev 4:27–35),

Sin Offering for Specific Inadvertent Offenses (Lev 5:1–13). (Rooker)


Inadvertent sin Leviticus 4

Introduction Leviticus 4:1-2

Blood sprinkled in the holy place Leviticus 4:3-21

For the high priest Leviticus 4:3-12

For the congregation Leviticus 4:13-21

Blood smeared on the brazen altar Leviticus 4:22-35

For the tribal leader Leviticus 4:22-26

For the ordinary Israelite offering a goat Leviticus 4:27-31

For the ordinary Israelite offering a lamb Leviticus 4:32-35

Sins of omission Leviticus 5:1-13

A lamb or goat offering Leviticus 5:1-6

A bird offering Leviticus 5:7-10

A flour offering Leviticus 5:11-13 (Constable)

Purification Offerings

Lev 4:1-35 for inadvertent sin

Lev 4:2 general introduction (introductory words)

Lev 4:3-21 blood sprinkled in the holy place

Lev 4:3-12 for the high priest

Lev 4:13-21 for the whole congregation

Lev 4:22-35 blood smeared on the main altar

Lev 4:22-26 for the tribal leader

Lev 4:27-31 for an ordinary person offering a goat

Lev 4:32-35 for an ordinary person offering a lamb


Lev 5:1-13 for sins of omission

Lev 5:1-6 offering—lamb or goat

Lev 5:7-10 offering—birds

Lev 5:11-13 offering—flour


William Barrick - Section Outline

I. Sacrificial System (Leviticus 1–7)

A. Prescript (Lev 1:1-2)

B. The Burnt Offerings (Lev 1:3-17; 6:8-13)

C. The Grain Offerings (Lev 2:1-16; 6:14-23)

D. The Peace Offerings (Lev 3:1-17; 7:11-36)

E. The Sin Offerings (Lev 4:1–5:13; 6:24-30)

F. The Guilt Offerings (Lev 5:14–6:7; 7:1-10)

G. Postscript (Lev 7:37-38)

Message of Leviticus 1–7: Good news! God has provided a means for sinners to be accepted and to enter His presence.

1. The Burnt Offering: 'olah (Lev 1:3-17; 6:8-13; cf. Nu 15:1-16)

♦ Acceptance before God for worship and service.

♦ Maintenance of fellowship with God.

♦ Recognition of the sovereignty of God.

 See Psalm 40:6-8-note (cf. Hebrews 10:6-8-note).

 See Psalm 50:7-23-note.

 See Romans 3:25-note.

 See 1 John 1:6-7-note.

2. The Grain/Non-Meat Offering: minchah (Lev 2:1-16; 6:14-23; cf. Nu 15:17-21)

♦ Recognition of God's bountiful provision.

♦ Expression of dedication, praise, and thanksgiving to God.

 See Romans 12:1-2-note.

 See Philippians 4:18-note.

 See Hebrews 13:15-16-note.

3. The Peace/Fellowship Offering: selamim (Lev 3:1-17; 7:11-18; cf. Dt 12:20-28)

♦ Celebration of peace with God.

♦ Celebration of God's covenant faithfulness.

♦ Participation in the communion/fellowship of the covenant community (fellow believers).

 See Romans 5:1-8-note.

 See 1 Corinthians 10:16-18; 11:17-34.

 See Hebrews 13:15-16-note.

4. The Sin/Purification Offering: chattat/chattath (Lev 4:1–5:13; 6:24-30; cf. Nu 15:22-31)

♦ Confession to God for impurities and offenses.

♦ Recognition of the effects of one's sins might have on others in the covenant community.

♦ Restoration to fellowship with God.

 Compare Leviticus 4:3 with 1 Timothy 5:20.

 Compare Leviticus 4:27 with 1 Corinthians 8:9-13.

 Compare Leviticus 5:5 with 1 John 1:9-note.

 See Hebrews 9:22-note.

 See 1Peter 1:2-note.

 See 2Corinthians 5:20-21-note.

 See Hebrews 13:11-12-note.

5. The Guilt/Restitution Offering: asam (Lev 5:14–6:7; 7:1-10)

♦ Confession to men for impurities and deceptions.

♦ Willingness of the repentant believer to make proper restitution.

 Compare Leviticus 5:15 with Lev 22:14-16.

 Compare Leviticus 6:2-5 with Eph 4:25-32-note, James 5:16.

 See Isaiah 53:10.

(Source: Summary Notes from Dr William Barrick)

Leviticus 5:1 'Now if a person sins after he hears a public adjuration to testify when he is a witness, whether he has seen or otherwise known, if he does not tell it, then he will bear his guilt.

  • person - Lev 5:15,17 4:2 Eze 18:4,20
  • hears: Ex 22:11 Jdg 17:2 1Ki 8:31, 22:16 2Ch 18:15 Pr 29:24, 30:9 Mt 26:63
  • bear: Lev 5:17 7:18 17:16 19:8 20:17 Nu 9:13 Ps 38:4 Isa 53:11 1Pe 2:24
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

NET "'When a person sins in that he hears a public curse [against one who fails to testify] (these words are not in the Hebrew text but supplied to make sense of the remark about the "curse') and he is a witness (he either saw or knew what had happened) and he does not make it known, then he will bear his punishment for iniquity.

NLT "If you are called to testify about something you have seen or that you know about, it is sinful to refuse to testify, and you will be punished for your sin.


(Lev 5:1-13)

NET Note - Lev 5:1–13 is an additional section of sin offering regulations directed at violations other than those referred to by this expression in Lev 4:2 (see esp. Lev 5:1–6), and expanding on the offering regulations for the common person in Lev 4:27–35 with concessions to the poor common person (5:7–13).

Henrietta Mears has this simple outline...

Leviticus 1—Burnt Offering: "Surrender" of Christ for the world

Leviticus 2—Grain Offering: "Service" of Christ in life

Leviticus 3—Fellowship Offering: "Serenity" of Christ in life

Leviticus 4-5:13—Sin Offering: "Substitute" of Christ for sin

Leviticus 5:14-6:7—Guilt Offering: "Satisfaction" by Christ for demands of God

Rob Morgan - The first seven chapters of Leviticus are devoted to describing the sacrifices and offerings of the ancient Israelites. These were the sacrifices to be offered on the altar just inside the gateway of the Tabernacle. If you remember from our series of studies last year on the Tabernacle, that altar just inside the gate of the Tabernacle represented the cross of Christ. Every day, opportunity was given for the Israelites to come and, with the assistance of the priests, to offering sacrifices and burnt offerings on that altar near the entrance of the Tabernacle, and those sacrifices all represented the One who would later die on the cross. There were five basic kinds of sacrifices, and they are described for us here in Leviticus 1-5. You have:

  • · The Burnt Offering in Leviticus 1
  • · The Grain Offering in Leviticus 2
  • · The Peace Offering in Leviticus 3
  • · The Sin Offering in Leviticus 4
  • · The Trespass Offering in Leviticus 5

In Leviticus 6-7, these five offerings are reviewed with some additional instructions given. That is the content of Leviticus 1-7. Do you see how important this is? Do you see how significant these offerings are? They were designed by God to teach us five different truths about the great coming One who would offer Himself on the cross for our sins. They are prophetic in nature. They are Messianic. They teach us about the sacrifice our Savior made for you and me. Who would not want to study these offerings and thus learn of Christ? (All on the Altar)

Harrison explains that "These verses deal with three types of transgression, the first of which is a rather special case involving a person who is reluctant to divulge information about a misdemeanor that he has observed, or heard about from another source. Though the verse says nothing about inadvertence, the offence is evidently treated as a sin of ignorance. A person who found himself in such a situation could not assume that the mere offering of a sacrifice would remove the guilt that had been incurred through interfering with the processes of justice. He had first to confess his sin (Lev 5:5) and then make appropriate restitution (Lev 6:5). The phrase he shall bear his iniquity is in effect an official pronouncement of guilt. The public adjuration was frequently known as ‘the curse’ (Heb. ’ālâ), presumably because it consisted in part of a solemn denunciation of any witness who continued to be silent about the matter. Scriptural instances of persons who kept their own counsel until placed under some kind of adjuration included Achan (Josh 7:19), Micah (Jdg. 17:2), a blind man (Jn 9:24) and Jesus himself (Mt. 26:63). Being a true and faithful witness was an important consideration under the old covenant (cf. Ex 20:16), since individual integrity and communal justice depended so much upon it. (Leviticus: an introduction and commentary: Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

If...if...then - A conditional promise - not of good but of guilt!

Gal 6:1-2 Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; [each one] looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.

His guilt - The Hebrew word is 'avon which means iniquity but in some contexts such as the present one also refers to the consequence that results from the iniquity (i.e., that person is guilty of the iniquity). We see a similar sense in Lev 5:17; 7:18; 10:17; 17:16, 20:17, 19, Nu 5:31. In Lev 18:25 the NAS goes one step further in rendering 'avon as the punishment on the land (cp "punishment for guilt" in Lev 22:16). In Lev 26:40 we see that if Israel confesses its 'avon (tantamount to "unfaithfulness") then (Lev 26:41-42) God will remember His covenant with their forefathers (referring to the Abrahamic Covenant). In the end times, Israel will "lay hold" of this covenant promise and confess and repent and be saved (Zech 12:10, Ro 11:26-27-note).

Andrew Bonar - THE meaning is, 'If a person sin in this respect,' viz., that he hear the oath of adjuration (a solemn oath) administered by the judge, and is able to tell, having either seen or otherwise known the matter about which he is to testify: if such a man does not tell all he knows, he shall be reckoned guilty of a sin....The sins mentioned in this chapter are chiefly sins arising from negligence—sins which might have been avoided, had the person been more careful. The case of the witness in ver. 1, is one where the person omitted to tell particulars which he could have told, or else, through carelessness, misstating some things. Let us learn the breadth of God's holy law! Not a tittle fails. Let us learn the Holy Spirit's keen observation of sin in us. Let us learn to be jealous over ourselves, and seek to be of 'quick discernment, in the fear of the Lord.' Much sin is committed by omissions. Duties partially done have in them the guilt of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)

Guzik - It wasn't enough to merely not tell lies. God also required His people to make the truth known, so even if one merely knew about a lie, they were responsible to make the truth known. If he does not tell it, he bears guilt: Therefore it was the duty of someone who was a witness to come forward and tell the truth about the matter. 'In Israel all the people were to be involved in seeing that justice was done. Not to witness was a sin.' (Harris) We can say that the same principle applies to our witness of Jesus Christ. It isn't enough that we refrain from actively denying Jesus or lying about our relationship with Him. We must also take every opportunity to tell the truth about Jesus.

Bush - We are not to account our duty discharged merely by avoiding sin ourselves; we are bound to use our utmost endeavors to prevent it in others, and not to shrink from the responsibility or odium of bearing public testimony against it. Especially does this apply to such sins as brought dishonor upon the holy name of God. A man may be patient in regard to wrongs done to himself, but not in regard to those that are done to the Most High. (Notes, Critical and Practical, on the Book of Leviticus)

Ryrie - Lev 5:1-4 Three examples of sins (all unpremeditated) requiring a sin offering are given. The first is that of withholding evidence when called upon to testify: a public adjuration to testify; i.e., a summons to testify. Lev 5:2-3 give the case of accidental ceremonial defilement by contact with an unclean animal or man. The third example is that of being unable to fulfill a rash vow (Lev 5:4).

Dr William Barrick - Principles Involved in the Old Testament Sacrificial System (Reference)

1. Old Testament sacrifices were to be offered by believers only. Those believers were indoctrinated and obedient (i.e., they exhibited right teaching and right behavior).

◆ Israelite believers: Leviticus 1:2-3-note; Lev 2:1-note

◆ Foreign believers: Leviticus 17:8-note; Lev 22:18, 25-note; Numbers 15:14-16; Isaiah 56:6-8

2. Old Testament sacrifices were to be the outward demonstration of a vital faith. Without faith the sacrifices were worthless (cf. Hebrews 11:4-note).

◆ 1 Samuel 15:22-23

◆ Psalm 51:15-19-note

◆ Isaiah 1:11-15-note

◆ Micah 6:6-8-note

3. Old Testament sacrifices did not save from sin nor forgive sins. The Levitical sacrifices included no provision for the sinful nature of mankind. The animal sacrifices were insufficient to atone for the sins of human beings—only a human life could atone for a human life.

◆ Compare Leviticus 1:3-note with Psalm 49:5-9-note.

◆ Galatians 3:10-14

◆ Hebrews 10:1-18-note

◆ 1 Peter 1:18-19-note

4. Old Testament sacrifices did not take care of every sin—especially willful, defiant sin. Many sins required capital punishment—no sacrifice would avail for such sin. (Note: That no sacrifice was available for capital offenses does not mean that God did not or could not forgive capital offenses. The legal consequences required death. Such consequences should not be confused with one's ultimate spiritual relationship to God.)

◆ Leviticus 24:10-23-note

◆ Numbers 15:30

5. Old Testament sacrifices had fellowship with God as their chief object. They outwardly symbolized forgiveness for sins, which resulted in continued communion with the covenant-keeping God of Israel.

◆ Exodus 29:42-43; 30:36

6. Old Testament sacrifices declared, emphasized, and magnified sin and its consequences.

◆ Romans 3:19-20-note; Ro 5:20a-note; Ro 7:5-11-note

◆ Galatians 3:21-22

7. Old Testament sacrifices declared, emphasized, and magnified God's holiness, righteousness, love, grace, mercy, and sovereignty.

◆ Psalm 119:62-note

◆ Nehemiah 9:13

◆ Matthew 23:23

◆ Romans 7:12-note

8. Old Testament sacrifices demonstrated that there was no totally independent access to God for the Old Testament believer under the Mosaic legislation.

◆ Hebrews 9:8-10-note

9. Old Testament sacrifices demonstrated that God's desire with regard to the giving of His people did not go beyond their normal ability. The sacrificial objects (cattle, sheep, goats, doves; flour, oil, wine, and frankincense) were all immediately available to the individual Israelite. God did not require that His people bring something exotic or beyond their normal means. He did not require them to extend themselves to the point of either economical discomfort or disaster.

◆ 1 Corinthians 16:2

◆ 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 through 2Cor 9:1-27

10. Old Testament sacrifices emphasized the ministry of the priesthood.

◆ Leviticus 1:9-note; Lev 2:8-note; Lev 4:20-note; Lev 6:6-note

◆ Hebrews 5:1-note-Through Heb 10:1-25-note

◆ 1 Peter 2:5-note

11. Old Testament sacrifices involved the recognition of God's covenant with His people.

◆ Leviticus 2:13-note

◆ Psalm 50:5, 16-note

12. Old Testament sacrifices were commanded by God for the maintenance of the priesthood. The covenant community provides for those who minister.

◆ Leviticus 7:34-35-note

◆ Nehemiah 13:5

◆ Malachi 3:8-10-note

Leviticus 5:2 'Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean beast or the carcass of unclean cattle or a carcass of unclean swarming things, though it is hidden from him and he is unclean, then he will be guilty.

  • touch: Lev 7:21 11:24,28,31,39 Nu 19:11-16 Deut 14:8 Isa 52:11 Hag 2:13 2Co 6:17
  • hidden: Lev 5:4,17 Ps 19:12 Lk 11:44
  • and guilty: Lev 5:17 4:13
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

If...then - Touches > guilty.

Touches any unclean thing - This made the person unclean. and the phrase though it is hidden signifies that his uncleanness is accidental.

Harrison - The second offence involved contact with either unclean animals or persons. The description of clean and unclean animal species occurs in Leviticus 11, while the next four chapters deal with instances of human uncleanness. (Ibid)

Unclean (02931)(tame) means "foul" in a ritual sense, ceremonially polluted or impure according to God's holy standard and is translated here in Lxx with akathartos. which describes anything that makes "dirty," which adulterates or corrupts, and in the NT speaks especially of moral or ethical uncleanness, which is surely one of the NT truths toward which this OT "shadow" was pointing!

Carcass of an unclean beast - Bonar writes "Through inadvertency (unintentionally) a man might touch a carcass of an unclean beast the term used for the sort of animals most commonly met with in every-day work. These are noticed first, as it was most likely they would oftenest meet with them. Then cattle in the fields or forests. Lastly, creeping things, such as the weasel, the mouse, or the lizard (Lev 11:30). Thus there is a gradation, greater, middle, and smallest; as if to say to us, that any degree of pollution is offensive to a pure and holy God. A true Israelite ought to keep completely free from all that defiles, however trifling, in the eye of the world. Whatever sin God's eye rests on, that is the sin which the man of God abhors. The man after God's own heart prays, "Cleanse thou me from secret faults." (Ps. 19:12.) And, in reference to its being hidden, yet still chargeable upon the sinner, he exclaims, 'Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.' (Ps 90:8.) Here, too, we learn that sin is the transgression of the law. (1John 3:4.) It is not merely when we act contrary to the dictates of conscience that we sin; we may often be sinning when conscience never upbraids us. The most part of a sinner's life is spent without any check on the part of conscience—that being dead and corrupt, fallen and depraved, responding to the man's lusts, rather than to the will of God (Eph 2:1). Hence it is said here, that though it be hidden from him, he shall be unclean. He is guilty, though his conscience did not warn him of the guilt contracted. Awful truth! We know not what we do! (Leviticus 5 Sin Offering for Sins for Inadvertency)

Guilty (asam) means to offend or to be held guilty.

Swarming (08318) (sherets) is a masculine noun which means creeping (especially but not always on the belly). A creature that crawls or swarms (insects, small animals, fish, Lev 11:10). The Septuagint translates it here with the word bdelugma (from bdeo = to stink) which describes that which is foul, extremely detested or disgusting, or abominable (used of the antichrist in Mt 24:15! Bdelugma is also used in Lev 20:13 where it speaks of homosexuality!)

Sherets - 15v - insects(3), swarming thing(3), swarming things(5), swarms(1), teeming life(2), teeming things(1).

Genesis 1:20 Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms (Lxx = herpeton = that which crawls = serpent, reptile) of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."

Genesis 7:21 All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing (Lxx = herpeton = that which crawls = serpent, reptile) that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind;

Leviticus 5:2 'Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean beast or the carcass of unclean cattle or a carcass of unclean swarming things, though it is hidden from him and he is unclean, then he will be guilty.

Leviticus 11:10 'But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you, (Of the water creatures, those without scales were unclean to Israel for food.)

20 'All the winged insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you.

21 'Yet these you may eat among all the winged insects which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs with which to jump on the earth.

23 'But all other winged insects which are four-footed are detestable to you.

29 'Now these are to you the unclean among the swarming things which swarm on the earth: the mole, and the mouse, and the great lizard in its kinds,

31 'These are to you the unclean among all the swarming things; whoever touches them when they are dead becomes unclean until evening.

41 'Now every swarming thing that swarms on the earth is detestable, not to be eaten.

42 'Whatever crawls on its belly, and whatever walks on all fours, whatever has many feet, in respect to every swarming thing that swarms on the earth, you shall not eat them, for they are detestable.

43 'Do not render yourselves detestable through any of the swarming things (Lxx = herpeton = that which crawls = serpent, reptile) that swarm; and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean.

44 'For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean (tame) with any of the swarming things (Lxx = herpeton = that which crawls = serpent, reptile) that swarm on the earth.

Leviticus 22:5 or if a man touches any teeming things Lxx = herpeton = that which crawls = serpent, reptile) by which he is made unclean, or any man by whom he is made unclean, whatever his uncleanness;

Deuteronomy 14:19 "And all the teeming life with wings are unclean to you; they shall not be eaten.

Guzik - The cleansing of the sin offering was also necessary when a person became ceremonially unclean through touching any unclean thing. There were several things that might make a person ceremonially unclean. These included touching the carcass of an unclean animal or a person who was already ceremonially unclean. The sin offering was a remedy for this uncleanness.

Leviticus 5:3 'Or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort his uncleanness may be with which he becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty.

  • uncleanness: Lev 12:1-13:59 15:1-33 22:4-6 Nu 19:11-16
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Then it becomes known to him - When convicted of sin, he now has a responsibility to offer an appropriate sacrifice. Knowing he is unclean and failing to offer sacrifice would only worsen his relationship with Yahweh. James alludes the idea of clean and unclean as it relates to NT saints writing that "This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of [our] God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, [and] to keep oneself unstained (aspilos) by the world." (Jas 1:27)

Uncleanness (02932)(tumah [see also another study] from tame = to be or become unclean or defiled, used here in Lev 5:3) is a feminine noun which means foulness, dirtiness, filthiness and in this context is want of ritual or ceremonial purity. Tumah can describe ceremonial uncleanness for a violation of a standard of covenant. In Ezek 24:11, tumah speaks of dross ("filthiness" - Lxx - akatharsia - literally worthless material, waste, figuratively moral uncleanness - 1Th 2:3-note), the he scum or extraneous matter of metals, thrown off in the process of melting. (Ed: This picture makes me think of God's refining discipline [paideia] wherein He "heats up" our life in order to remove the impurities and dross - end result = peaceful fruit of righteousness - Heb 12:11-note). In Zech 13:2 tumah speaks of a demon or "unclean (Lxx - akathartos) spirit." Note that the NIV translates Zec 13:2 as "spirit of impurity" implying not a demon, but an attitude of sin and rebellion. Tumah speaks of the "uncleanness of a woman in her impurity." (Ezek 36:17, Lev 15:25, 26, 30, 18:19) Tumah describes sexual "uncleanness" in Nu 5:19. In Leviticus tumah was serious as it made a person guilty of sin and it could even result in them being cut off from the congregation (Lev 7:20, 21)! The good news is that at least in some instances, God provided a way for a man to be "cleansed from his uncleanness." (Lev 14:19)

Septuagint (Lxx) translates tumah with akatharsia which in the NT speaks of moral uncleanness in thought, word, or deed. The term is graphic as it literally refers to filth or refuse! Woe! When we are tempted by the lusts of the flesh, the "bait" may look beautiful but it is deceptive and hides the truth that it is filthy and refuse in God's sight! God, emblazon this image on the eyes of our heart for the sake of your glory and the Name of Jesus. Amen. Akatharsia is used in Eph 5:3-note in context of sexual immorality and the practice of this filth as one's lifestyle will end in destruction in hell! (Eph 5:5-note, cp Jesus' strong warning - Mt 5:27-30-note)

Tumah - 31v - translated in NAS as filthiness(4), impure(2), impurities(3), impurity(3), unclean(1), unclean thing(3), uncleanness(20).

Leviticus 5:3 'Or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort his uncleanness may be with which he becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty.

Leviticus 7:20 'But the person who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the LORD, in his uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from his people.

21 'When anyone touches anything unclean (tumah), whether human uncleanness (tumah), or an unclean (uses root word - tame) animal, or any unclean (uses root word - tame) detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his people.'"

Leviticus 14:19 "The priest shall next offer the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from his uncleanness. Then afterward, he shall slaughter the burnt offering.

Leviticus 15:3 'This, moreover, shall be his uncleanness in his discharge: it is his uncleanness whether his body allows its discharge to flow or whether his body obstructs its discharge.

Leviticus 15:25 'Now if a woman has a discharge of her blood many days, not at the period of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond that period, all the days of her impure discharge she shall continue as though in her menstrual impurity; she is unclean.

26 'Any bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her like her bed at menstruation; and every thing on which she sits shall be unclean (tame), like her uncleanness (tumah) at that time.

30 'The priest shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. So the priest shall make atonement on her behalf before the LORD because of her impure discharge.'

Ryrie comments on Lev 15:25-30 - These verses deal with a kind of discharge not connected with a woman's menstrual period. A sin and a burnt offering were required.

Leviticus 15:31 "Thus you shall keep the sons of Israel separated (Hebrew - nazar - root of Nazarite) from their uncleanness, so that (terms of purpose or result - so that, in order that, that, as a result) they will not die in their uncleanness by their defiling My tabernacle that is among them (cp "the LORD's holy things" in Lev 5:15)."

Leviticus 16:16 (Context = Day of Atonement ~ "Yom Kippur") "He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities. (Ed: Interesting statement - "the tent of meeting" was God's presence among them and it was there even "in the midst of their impurities." Is this not great mercy, that He does not immediately withdraw from us when we sin -- it would certainly be His right because of His perfect holiness and abhorrence of impurities! How great are the lovingkindnesses of our God! Lam 3:20-24)

19 "With his finger he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it seven times and cleanse it, and from the impurities of the sons of Israel consecrate it.

Leviticus 18:19 'Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity.

Leviticus 22:3 "Say to them, 'If any man among all your descendants throughout your generations approaches the holy gifts which the sons of Israel dedicate to the LORD, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from before Me; I am the LORD.

5 or if a man touches any teeming things by which he is made unclean, or any man by whom he is made unclean, whatever his uncleanness;

Numbers 5:19 'The priest shall have her take an oath and shall say to the woman, "If no man has lain with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse;

Numbers 19:13 'Anyone who touches a corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him.

Judges 13:7 "But he said to me, 'Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.'"

14 "She should not eat anything that comes from the vine nor drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; let her observe all that I commanded."

2 Samuel 11:4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.

2 Chronicles 29:16 So the priests went in to the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and every unclean thing which they found in the temple of the LORD they brought out to the court of the house of the LORD. Then the Levites received it to carry out to the Kidron valley.

Ezra 6:21 The sons of Israel who returned from exile and all those who had separated themselves from the impurity of the nations of the land to join them, to seek the LORD God of Israel, ate the Passover.

Ezra 9:11 which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and with their impurity.

Lamentations 1:9 Her uncleanness was in her skirts; She did not consider her future. Therefore she has fallen astonishingly; She has no comforter. "See, O LORD, my affliction, For the enemy has magnified himself!"

Ezekiel 22:15 "I will scatter you among the nations and I will disperse you through the lands, and I will consume your uncleanness from you.

Ezekiel 24:11 "Then set it empty on its coals So that it may be hot And its bronze may glow And its filthiness may be melted in it, Its rust consumed.

13 "In your filthiness is lewdness. Because I would have cleansed you, Yet you are not clean, You will not be cleansed from your filthiness again Until I have spent My wrath on you.

Ezekiel 36:17 "Son of man, when the house of Israel was living in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds; their way before Me was like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity.

25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

29 "Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you.

Comment: These uses of uncleanness in Ezekiel 36 (see commentary) come "full circle" from the accusation by God against Israel in Ezekiel 36:17 to the redemption of Israel in the end times when "all" (actually 1/3 [Zech 13:8] -- but "all" that truly believe in Messiah) are saved by the Deliverer Who comes to Zion (Jerusalem). (See Ro 11:26-27-note)

Ezekiel 39:24 (note) "According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them."'"

Zechariah 13:2 "It will come about in that day (this expression of time should always grab our attention and pique our curiosity - What day? We should check the context for clues! It can be very rewarding. See Zech 13:1 for example! This passage has to refer to the end times and so is a prophecy that remains to be fulfilled for Israel - Beloved, God is not FINISHED with Israel as so [too] many in the evangelical world are teaching!)," declares the LORD of hosts, "that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land.

Guilty (condemned) (asam) means to be liable for a wrongdoing and sin against a standard (in this case "clean" and "unclean"), and so possibly suffer punishment or recompense for the wrongdoing. The Lxx translates asam with plemmeleo which was used in Greek to describe making a false note in music and figuratively came to mean to do wrong.

NET Note - Lev 5:2–3 are parallel laws of uncleanness (contracted from animals and people, respectively), and both seem to assume that the contraction of uncleanness was originally unknown to the person (vv. 2 and 3) but became known to him or her at a later time (v. 3; i.e., 'has come to know' in Lev 5:3 is to be assumed for Lev 5:2 as well). Uncleanness itself did not make a person 'guilty' unless he or she failed to handle it according to the normal purification regulations (see, e.g., 'wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening,' Lev 15:5NIV; cf. Lev 11:39–40; 15:5–12, 16–24; Nu 19, etc.). The problem here in Lev 5:2–3 is that, because the person had not been aware of his or her uncleanness, he or she had incurred guilt for not carrying out these regular procedures, and it would now be too late for that. Thus, the unclean person needs to bring a sin offering to atone for the contamination caused by his or her neglect of the purity regulations.

Bonar - Again the lesson is enforced, that unconscious as our depraved souls may be of the presence of sin, sin may have polluted us and separated between us and God. We are guarded against the deceitfulness of sin. We need to be told of sin by others. Our coming afterwards to know our sin, may often be by means of our brethren's reproofs, and their quicker discernment of evil. Hence it is written, "Exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." (Heb. 3:13-note)

Leviticus 5:4 'Or if a person swears thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, in whatever matter a man may speak thoughtlessly with an oath, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty in one of these.

  • evil: Lev 27:2-34 Jos 2:14 9:15 Jdg 9:19 11:31 21:7,18 1Sa 1:11 1Sa 14:24-28 24:21,22 25:22 2Sa 21:7 2Ki 6:31 Ps 132:2-5 Ec 5:2-6 Eze 17:18,19 Mt 14:7,9 Mk 6:23 Ac 23:12
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Bonar on swears thoughtlessly - More literally, 'If a person swear, blabbing with his lips'—rashly uttering his vow. The careless way of doing even what is right is here condemned. Inconsiderateness is a heinous crime, for the man is appealing to God; and especially so when the thing vowed is evil. The case of man inadvertently swearing to do evil, is a case like Jephtha's. (Jdg 11:30) Jephtha meant good, but it turned out to be evil of a flagrant nature. The clause, 'And it be hid from him,' is equivalent to 'And did not rightly understand the thing about which he swore.' There is a solemn lesson taught us in regard to the mode of doing even right things. Approach the Holy One with fear and reverence. But alas! how plentiful is the flow of hidden sin committed in our dedications to God, or in resolutions to be his, expressed to him in prayer and praise. Even in saying or writing 'God willing' (d.v.) this secret sin may be oftentimes chargeable upon our unconscious souls!

Harrison - The third kind of transgression requiring a sin offering was that in which someone pronounced aloud (‘with his lips’) any kind of rash oath (4), without perhaps realizing fully the implications of what was being said. The combination evil … good is an ancient expression denoting totality. Hence the phrase could be translated ‘a rash oath to do anything at all’. Such oaths were not infrequently uttered in the ancient world under the influence of alcoholic beverages, and this would doubtless be the case where someone had to be told by someone else (‘when he comes to know’) of his wrongdoing. The Christian is reminded that the tongue is a powerful instrument (Jas 3:5–6), and is specifically warned against the swearing of oaths in the sermon on the mount (Matt. 5:34–36) and in Christ’s rebukes to the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23:16–22). The Lord’s servants must be completely credible and reliable as witnesses for him.

Guzik - A careless promise was still a promise before the LORD and had to be observed. If the promise was not kept it had to be atoned for by a sin offering. When he realizes it, then he shall be guilty: When we are aware of our broken vows we must repent of them. It is common to make vows and promises in the Christian that are not kept, and when we see this we must repent and trust in the atoning, covering blood of Jesus to bring forgiveness. Think of these common examples of broken vows:

· More time in prayer

· More intercession for others

· More devotional reading

· More intense Bible study

· More personal witness

· More faithful tithing

· Better example to others

· More patience with the children

· A vow to personal purity in sexual matters

It may not be wrong to make such vows. They may be the legitimate expression of a move of the Holy Spirit in a person's life. Yet if the vow is not kept, it must be confessed as sin and repented of. (David Guzik Commentary)

Thoughtlessly is the key and is repeated. This means these oaths were uttered without thinking and were flippant, i.e., lacking a proper respect or sense of seriousness. They were spoken rashly, in a reckless manner.

Thoughtlessly (0981)(bata) means to speak rashly or without thinking. In a manner marked by undue haste or lack of deliberation or caution.

Bata - only 3x in the OT -

Psalm 106:33 Because they were rebellious against His Spirit, He (Moses - Ps 106:32) spoke rashly with his lips.

Proverbs 12:18 There is one who speaks rashly like (term of comparison which gives us a "picture" of rash speech!) the thrusts of a sword, But (term of contrast marks the striking contrast) the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Leviticus 5:5 'So it shall be when he becomes guilty in one of these, that he shall confess that in which he has sinned.

  • confess: Lev 16:21 26:40 Nu 5:7 Jos 7:19 Ezr 10:11,12 Job 33:27 Ps 32:5 Pr 28:13 Jer 3:13 Da 9:4 Ro 10:10 1Jn 1:8-10
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Compare Leviticus 5:5 with 1 John 1:9-note.

Proverbs is clear that "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses (yadah) and forsakes them will find compassion." (Pr 28:13-note)

NET Note - What all the transgressions in Lev 5:1–4 have in common is that the time is past for handling the original situation properly (i.e., testifying in court, following purity regulations, or fulfilling an oath), so now the person has become guilty and needs to follow corrective sacrificial procedures.

Constable - Under the New Covenant the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses the believer from all sin (cf. Heb. 9-10; 1Pet. 1:2; 1John 1:7; Rev. 7:14). Thus this offering (sin offering) is now obsolete for the Christian. However sin in the believer's life can grieve the indwelling Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30-note). Furthermore the New Testament reminds us that judgment is still proportionate to responsibility (cf. Luke 12:48; James 3:1). For us confession is a prerequisite to cleansing for fellowship (1John 1:9) even though Christ's death has brought purification from sin's defilement and condemnation. Confession of particular sins also had to accompany the sin offerings in Israel (Lev 5:5).

When he becomes guilty - This really has the idea of 'when he realizes his guilt.' Though a person is guilty of sin the moment he commits it, he has no idea he needs to get it right until he realizes his sin. He shall confess: This was an important part of the sin offering; to confess meant one would agree with God that the sin was wrong. Confession of sin is still an important principle for clearing away sin that hinders our fellowship with God. (Guzik Commentary)

Guilty (0816)(asam - word study) is a verb which means to be liable for a wrongdoing, implying the one who is liable will suffer or be punished for their guilt (eg, Hos 10:2). Guilt before God is the result of sin and was used of individuals (Lev 5:2–5; Nu 5:6, 7); congregations (Lev 4:13); or nations (Ezek. 25:12; Hos 13:16) In Lev 5:6-7 not only was the person guilty but restitution was to be made plus 20%, which the goal being atonement and forgiveness.

Merrill - Confession is needed here because the time has passed for handling the situation in the initially required manner (testifying in court, following purity rules, or fulfilling an oath). (Bible Knowledge Word Study)

Bonar on he shall confess - But we have not met this duty before in the express form of a command, because hitherto the sins brought to the altar were open and admitted sins.* But here the sins are “hidden;” and therefore the offerer must openly confess them, that so God may be honored—“That thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” (Psalm 51:4.) This is the end of confession; it vindicates God, proclaiming him just in the penalty he inflicts. We see this in Achan’s case, when Joshua said, “My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him, and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.” (Josh. 7:19.) It is thus that, when we truly confess, we become witnesses for God—we testify that we have come to see the sin and its evil which he declared that his pure eye saw. The original uses a word for confess, which in another form means to praise (חִתְוַדָּה and חוֹרָה); and in the New Testament as well as the Old, the two acts are often reckoned the same. (See the use of ξομολογομαι.) The tribute to the holiness of the Lord, paid in confession, is praise to his name. We decrease; he increases.

Confess ( (03034)(yadah) is a verb which means to throw or cast and then means to acknowledge, to confess, to praise, to give thanks. "The primary meaning of this root (yadah) is 'to acknowledge or confess sin, God's character and works, or man's character.' The basic difference between this verb and its synonym, hālal, is that the latter term tends to stress 'acclaim of,' 'boasting of,' or 'glorying in' an object, while yādâ emphasizes 'recognition' and 'declaration' of a fact, whether good or bad. (yadah)." (TWOT)

The common element in verb yadah is that there is a recognition or declaration of a fact. "Confess" is the proper translation when the fact is a "bad" one (as here in Lev 5:5) while "praise or thanks" is appropriate when the fact is a "good" one (Ge 29:35).

The first use is to praise (Lxx = exomologeo - to agree with, to gratefully acknowledge or praise, Mt 11:25) of Yahweh (Ge 29:35). Exomologeo is also used to translate yadah when it means to giving of thanks or praise in almost every use in the Psalms (Ps 6:5; 7:17; 9:1; 18:49; 28:7; 30:4, 9, 12, etc, also in 2Sa 22:50, 2Chr 20:21, 30:22, 31:2)

In Ge 49:8 the name Judah (Yehudah = "praise" ) is a wordplay on yadah ("your brothers shall praise [yadah; Lxx - aineo - to praise, in NT only used of praise for God] you"; cp similar meaning of "give praise" translated by aineo in 2Chr 7:3). In 1Chr 16:4 (also in 1Chr 16:7-8, 34, 35, 1Chr 23:30, 25:3, 29:13) describes the giving of thanks (yadah; Lxx = exomologeo)

The three uses of yadah in Leviticus ( all in the Hithpael stem that denotes an intensive, reflexive action) are all translated confess and all translated in the Lxx with the verb exagoreuo which means to tell out, to make known, to declare, to confess. Exagoreuo is also used to translate yadah when it means confess in Nu 5:7, Ezra 10:1, Neh 1:6, 9:2-3, Ps 32:5, Da 9:20.

In 1Ki 8:33 Solomon appeals to God that when Israel sins and confesses (Lxx = exomologeo), He would hear and forgive (1Ki 8:34, cp similar sense in 1Ki 8:35, 2Chr 6:24, 26).

Yadah - 111v translated confess(10), confessed(3), confesses(1), confessing(2), gave(1), gave praise(1), give you thanks(5), give thanks(59), giving praise(1), giving thanks(3), glorify(1), hymns of thanksgiving(1), making confession(1), placed(1), praise(17), shoot(1), thank(5), thanksgiving(1), throw down(1).

Ge 29:35; 49:8; Lev 5:5; 16:21; 26:40; Num 5:7; 2Sa 22:50; 1 Kgs 8:33, 35; 1 Chr 16:4, 7f, 34f, 41; 23:30; 25:3; 29:13; 2Chr 5:13; 6:24, 26; 7:3, 6; 20:21; 30:22; 31:2; Ezra 3:11; 10:1; Neh 1:6; 9:2-3; 11:17; 12:24, 46; Job 40:14; Ps 6:5; 7:17; 9:1; 18:49; 28:7; 30:4, 9, 12; 32:5; 33:2; 35:18; 42:5, 11; 43:4f; 44:8; 45:17; 49:18; 52:9; 54:6; 57:9; 67:3, 5; 71:22; 75:1; 76:10; 79:13; 86:12; 88:10; 89:5; 92:1; 97:12; 99:3; 100:4; 105:1; 106:1, 47; 107:1, 8, 15, 21, 31; 108:3; 109:30; 111:1; 118:1, 19, 21, 28f; 119:7, 62; 122:4; 136:1ff, 26; 138:1f, 4; 139:14; 140:13; 142:7; 145:10; Prov 28:13; Isa 12:1, 4; 25:1; 38:18f; Jer 33:11; 50:14; Lam 3:53; Dan 9:4, 20; Zech 1:21

Practically speaking, believers need to confess their sins before they offer up a sacrifice of praise or before they implore the Almighty to meet a specific need. In Psalm 66:18 the writer is quite clear on this point declaring "If I regard (Heb = raah = see; Lxx theoreo = observe with sustained attention, come to an understanding) wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear."

F B Meyer - Leviticus 5:5–6 He shall confess that wherein be hath sinned, and bring his Guilt-offering. (R.V.) It is said that sometimes a soldier will come from the battle bleeding from a hidden wound which he has received without knowing it. So in the rush of life we may contract defilement by touching uncleanness, or speaking rashly, which in the sight of God will leave a foul stain upon the white robe of the soul. The presence of unconscious sin with us is the reason why we are often unable to pray or read the Word of God at night. We are aware of a certain distance, a veil, a cloud, which has settled down between us and the beatific vision. At such times we do well to examine ourselves and the past more critically; for probably we shall be able to detect the hidden cause, which, when we know it, must be confessed and placed on the head of our guilt-offering, whilst we yield ourselves to God as a whole burnt-offering, in a new act of self-surrender. But confession is all important. We must confess our sins, if the faithful Lord is to forgive them. Confession is taking God's side against ourselves. It is the act of judging evil in the light of the Throne. It is like the unpacking of a box, in which one begins with the lighter things at the top, and works steadily down to the heavy articles underneath. It is the repetition in the heart of Joshua's calling the roll of Israel until Achan, the son of Carmi, was taken. When the atonement has been made as touching sin 'in any of these things,' there is forgiveness. Dare to believe that this is so, O penitent soul, who hast made Christ's soul an offering for thy sin. He says: 'I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins.' Go thy way, and sin no more.

Leviticus 5:6 'He shall also bring his guilt offering to the LORD for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin.


See discussion of the fulfillment of this Old Testament shadow in the Messiah rendering Himself (literally "His soul") as a guilt offering in commentary notes on Isaiah 53:10. 

After confession of his sin (Lev 5:5), he brings his guilt offering and the priest would accept it as a sin offering. While we don't see sin offering mentioned in this passage, it is mentioned in Lev 5:7. Guilt offering is closely related to the sin offering - Lev 4:13, 22, 27; 5:17; 6:4. Harrison writes that the guilt offering "receives its proper legislative emphasis in Leviticus 5:14–16, and can be distinguished from the sin offering by the added requirement of restitution."

To the LORD (101x in 92v) - Lev 1:2, 9, 13f, 17; 2:1ff, 8ff, 14, 16; 3:3, 5f, 9, 11, 14; 4:3, 31, 35; 5:6f, 15; 6:6, 15, 18, 20ff; 7:5, 11, 14, 20f, 25, 29f, 35, 38; 8:21, 28; 17:4ff, 9; 19:5, 21, 24; 21:6; 22:3, 15, 18, 21f, 24, 27, 29; 23:3, 6, 8, 12f, 16ff, 20, 25, 27, 34, 36ff, 41; 24:7; 25:2, 4; 27:2, 9, 11, 14, 16, 21ff, 26, 28, 30, 32;

Guilt offering (asam) is translated penalty in NIV ("as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the LORD a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering").

Eugene Merrill comments on the translation of guilt offering (NET Bible, NLT, NIV = "penalty", ESV = "compensation") - This Hebrew term (Hebrew = asam = guilt offering) is used in Lev. 5:15b and following (Lev 5:16, 18, 19) for the offering often called "the guilt offering." The vast majority of its uses refer to this particular offering. However, since this offering has not yet been explained and because birds were never offered as a guilt offering, it seems preferable to translate this as "penalty" (as in the NIV) or "reparation" (Ed: As in the ESV's translation of "compensation") both here and in Lev. 5:7, 15a. It denotes the liability to penalty rather than the means by which the sin can be atoned. (Bible Knowledge Word Study)

The NET Note agrees with Merrill's comment on guilt offering - "In this context the word for "guilt" (asam) refers to the "penalty" for incurring guilt."

Sin offering (02403)(chattat/chattath - word study)

So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin - The phrase "on behalf of" signifies the animal substitutes for the offerer (cp Jn 18:14). Sin kills, and God provides the life of sin bearer in place of the life of the offerer who has committed the sin. Amazing grace in both the Old and New Testament!

Priest shall make atonement (17x mostly in Leviticus) - Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:6, 10, 13, 18; 6:7; 12:8; 14:18, 20, 31; 15:15, 30; Num 15:25, 28

Make atonement (03722)(kapar) covers (but not in the sense of concealing), in the sense that there is imposition of something (a blood sacrifice in this case) to change its nature, thus appeasing the offended party (God).

The Septuagint (Lxx) uses the verb exilaskomai used 87 times in the OT but not in the NT (which uses hilaskomai)

Ge 32:20; Ex 30:10, 15f; 32:30; Lev 1:4; 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:6, 10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7, 30; 7:7; 8:15, 34; 9:7; 10:17; 12:7f; 14:18ff, 29, 31, 53; 15:15, 30; 16:6, 10f, 16ff, 20, 24, 27, 30, 32ff; 17:11; 19:22; 23:28; Num 5:8; 6:11; 8:12, 19, 21; 15:25, 28; 16:46f; 25:13; 28:22, 30; 29:5, 11; 31:50; 35:33; 1 Sam 3:14; 6:3; 2 Sam 21:3; 1 Chr 6:49; 2 Chr 29:24; 30:18; Neh 10:33; Ps 106:30; Prov 16:14; Ezek 16:63; 43:20, 22, 26; 45:15, 17f, 20; Dan 9:24; Hab 1:11; Zech 7:2; 8:22; Mal 1:9

Leviticus 5:7 'But if he cannot afford a lamb, then he shall bring to the LORD his guilt offering for that in which he has sinned, two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.

  • Lamb - Lev 5:11 12:8 14:21 2Co 8:12 Jas 2:5,6
  • turtledoves: Lev 1:14,15 Mt 3:16 10:16 Lk 2:24) (one: Lev 5:8,9 9:3 14:22,31 15:14,15,30 16:5 Heb 10:6-10
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

As Bush says "It is not the greatness of the gift but the heart of the giver, which God regards." (cp Cain and Abel - Ge 4:1-7).

Allen Ross comments that on "one hand this arrangement (Ed: See previous passages in Lev 4-5:1-6 for animals required) says that the more influential the person, the costlier the offering that had to be brought—the sins of the prominent were more defiling. (Ed: Are you a pastor, a church leader, an elder? Take heed to this principle and shun sin like the bubonic plague!) But on the other hand it is also saying that the way was open to all (Ed: We see the same gracious principle in the Passover - read Ex 12:4). The poor were not excluded because their sins were not so defiling or because they had no animals. God made provision for everyone to find cleansing for reentry into the sanctuary." (Holiness to the Lord: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus) (Bolding added)

Guilt offering (asam - word study) - see Merrill's comment on Lev 5:6. NET Bible - "he must bring his penalty for guilt for his sin that he has committed."

Two turtledoves or two young pigeons - This accommodates those who were too poor to bring a larger animal. God is far more interested in our hearts (cp Ps 51:16-17-note) See Lev 1:14-note

Sin offering (02403)(chattat/chattath - word study)

Burnt offering (05930)('olah - word study)

G Campbell Morgan - Lev 5:7 - A great principle of the method of God with man in grace is revealed in these words. The appointed offering was "a lamb or a goat." But it might be that some man would not be able to provide one —his means might not suffice for it. Then was he to be excluded from the benefit of the priest and the altar? By no means. Let him bring "two turtle doves or two young pigeons." Or if he could not provide these, then let him bring "the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour." The right of access was not created by the intrinsic value of the guilt-offering, but by a gift of such relation to a man's means, as should show his appreciation of the principle upon which it was possible for him to be received and forgiven. This negative word necessarily has a positive value. If a man's means sufficed for the appointed lamb or a goat, and he brought two turtle doves or pigeons, or a tenth part of an ephah of fine flour, such action would show that he had no adequate sense, either of his own sin, or of the Divine grace. Is there not some light here on the whole question of "the means of grace"? The supreme thing is grace. The means may vary. Nevertheless, in every case they must be an adequate representation of the soul's apprehension of grace. Where they are so, grace comes through them, whether ornate or simple. Where they are not so, they are never its channels. (Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)

Leviticus 5:8 'He shall bring them to the priest, who shall offer first that which is for the sin offering and shall nip its head at the front of its neck, but he shall not sever it.

The priest - Serves as the mediator, ever a picture of our Great High Priest, Jesus (Heb 3:1-note, Heb 4:14-note). As Paul said "there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time." (1Ti 2:5-6) Peter puts it this way "Christ also died for sins once for all, [the] just for [the] unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit." (1Pet 3:18-note)

Nip its head - This means its neck was broken, but the head was not removed (he shall not sever it) as in the peace offering (Lev 1:15).

Leviticus 5:9 'He shall also sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, while the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar: it is a sin offering.

  • sprinkle: Lev 1:5, 4:25,30,34 7:2 Ex 12:22,23 Isa 42:21 Heb 2:10, 12:24
  • rest: Lev 4:7,18,25,30,34
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Sprinkle...blood - The blood was sprinkled on the side of the altar and the remainder at the base of the altar, as was done in sin offerings. The writer of Hebrews refers to sprinkled blood writing, that we under the New Covenant have come "to Jesus, the Mediator of a New Covenant, and to the sprinkled blood (cp 1Pe 1:2-note), which speaks better than [the blood] of Abel." (Heb 12:24-note) Clearly, the blood required in this and other OT sacrifices was a shadow that was fulfilled in the blood of Christ (1Pe 1:18-19-note).

Sin offering (02403)(chattat/chattath - word study)

The guilt offering (Lev 5:6) was accepted as a sin offering.

Leviticus 5:10 'The second he shall then prepare as a burnt offering according to the ordinance. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it will be forgiven him.

  • offer: Lev 1:14-17 Eph 5:2
  • manner: or, ordinance, Lev 1:14-17
  • make: Lev 5:6,13,16 4:20,26,31,35 Ro 5:11 1Jn 2:2
  • It: Jas 5:15
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The second - The second bird for burnt offering.

Harrison explains that the sin offering (Lev 5:9) had to "precede the burnt offering in the ritual procedures, for according to the Hebrew sacrificial system reconciliation had to be effected between God and the sinner before the latter’s burnt offering could be accepted. The procedure for this ordinance (Lev 5:10) is that described in Leviticus 1:14–17-note. (Ibid)

Burnt offering (05930)('olah - word study)

Make atonement (03722)(kapar) covers (but not in the sense of concealing), in the sense that there is imposition of something (a blood sacrifice in this case, but a grain offering in Lev 5:13) to change its nature, thus appeasing the offended party (God).

He will be forgiven- See Leviticus 4:20 Comment

Forgiveness in Leviticus (10x in 10v) - Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35, 5:10, 13, 16, 18, 6:7, 19:22. 

Forgiven (05545)(salach) means to pardon so as to remove guilt associated with a offerer's sin. The Lxx translates salach in this verse with the verb aphiemi which means to send away and then to remit, cancel or forgive (as one would cancel a debt owed - cp Ro 6:23-note)

Forgiven (use of word in OT and NT) - Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7; 19:22; Num 14:19; 15:25f, 28; Deut 21:8; Ps 32:1; Isa 6:7; 22:14; 27:9; 33:24; Ezek 16:63; Matt 6:12; 9:2, 5; 12:31f; Mark 2:5, 9; 3:28; 4:12; Luke 5:20, 23; 7:47-48; 12:10; John 20:23; Acts 8:22; Rom 4:7; 2Cor 2:10; Eph 4:32; Col 2:13; Jas 5:15; 1 John 2:12

Scofield's Note on forgiveness - Forgiveness, Summary: The Greek word here (also in Acts 10:43; Heb 9:22) means to send off or away. And this, throughout Scripture, is the one fundamental meaning of forgiveness - to separate the sin from the sinner. Distinction must be made between divine and human forgiveness: Human forgiveness means the remission of a penalty deserved, whereas the divine forgiveness, in type and fulfillment in both OT and NT, always follows the execution of the penalty. "The priest will make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven" (Lev 4:35). "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness [sending away] of sins" (Mat 26:28). "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Heb 9:22). See Sacrifice (Gen 4:4 and Heb 10:18). The sin of the justified believer interrupts his fellowship; it is forgiven upon confession, but always on the ground of Christ's propitiating sacrifice (1John 1:6-9; 2:2). Human forgiveness rests upon and results from the divine forgiveness (Ed: I would agree and add that the command to forgive is something we must do but we can only do it as the Spirit gives us the desire and power - Php 2:13NLT). In many passages this is assumed rather than stated, but the principle is declared in Mt 18:32-33; Eph 4:32.

Leviticus 5:11 'But if his means are insufficient for two turtledoves or two young pigeons, then for his offering for that which he has sinned, he shall bring the tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall not put oil on it or place incense on it, for it is a sin offering.

  • But if: Lev 5:7

  • the tenth part: Ex 16:18,36
  • fine flour: Lev 2:1 Nu 7:13,19-89 15:4-9
  • no oil: Lev 2:1,2,4,5,15,16 Nu 5:15 Ps 22:1-21 69:1-21 Isa 53:2-10
  • for it is: Lev 5:6,9,12 2Co 5:21
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Criswell on Lev 5:11-13- For the extremely poor, a tenth of an ephah (about two quarts) of fine flour could be substituted. In the economy of God even the poorest of the poor is not left out.

Tenth of an ephah - How much did this represent? While it may have been as much as 4 pints, it is not possible to accurately determine the size of the offering using modern measurements. This description recalls the grain (cereal) offering in Lev 2:1-3-note, but in that offering had oil and frankincense added.

The writer of Hebrews alludes to this OT passage writing "And according to the Law, one may almost say (exceptions Lev 5:11-13; Nu 16:46; 31:50), all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (Heb 9:22-note) This exception is clear proof that the old cleansing was symbolic. Just as the animal blood symbolized Christ's true atoning blood, so the ephah of flour symbolized and represented the animal blood (See Harrison's comment under Lev 5:12). This non-blood offering for sin was acceptable because the old sacrifice was entirely symbolic.

Incense (frankincense) (03828)(lebonah - see word study)

Sin offering (02403)(chattat/chattath - word study)

Guzik on an tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering: Cleansing from sin was available to everyone, even if they couldn't offer a sheep or a goat. If a man was too poor to offer two birds, even fine flour could be offered as a sin offering. When we see how strongly the principle of atonement by sacrifice is emphasized in the Old Testament, many people wonder why the Jewish people today no longer make sacrifice. The answer is that they believe their good works will substitute for animal sacrifice. 'Indeed, when the second temple fell, the rabbis, denied an altar in Jerusalem, came to the conclusion that gifts and prayers were as acceptable as animal sacrifice.' (Harris)

Leviticus 5:12 'He shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it as its memorial portion and offer it up in smoke on the altar, with the offerings of the LORD by fire: it is a sin offering.

  • memorial: Lev 2:2,9,16 6:15 Nu 5:26 Ac 10:4 Eph 5:2
  • according: Lev 1:9,13,17 2:9 3:4,11 4:35
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Memorial portion (0234)(azkarah from zakar means to remember and is also root of zikkaron [02146]) means a reminder (something most of us need in the spiritual realm!) and described the portion of the grain (meal) offering that was burnt on the altar (Lev 2:2-note).

Harrison has an interesting explanation of memorial portion as it relates to the use of cereal for the sin offering - The burning of a memorial portion (Lev 5:12) gave the offering the status of a blood sacrifice, since the token was mixed with the other burnt sacrifices on the altar. There is thus no exception to the principle that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Heb. 9:22-note). The flour served as a replacement for a blood sacrifice, thereby emphasizing the concept of vicarious or substitutionary offering, which is basic to Hebrew sacrificial thought. Once atonement and forgiveness had been effected, the remainder of the flour became the priest’s property, as in the cereal offering (cf. Lev 2:1–10). (Ibid - italics mine)

Ross on the memorial portion memorial portion given to God goes beyond a simple reminding. The verb often carries the nuance of beginning to act on the basis of what is remembered. The 'memorial portion' (Lev 2:2, 9, 16) thus reminded or prompted worshipers to live according to the covenant obligations, that is, to live as if all they had truly came from the LORD and it prompted or motivated the LORD to honor and bless those who offered this dedication.

Sin offering (02403)(chattat/chattath - word study)

Leviticus 5:13 'So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin which he has committed from one of these, and it will be forgiven him; then the rest shall become the priest's, like the grain offering.'"

  • priest: Lev 5:6 4:20,26,31
  • shall be: Lev 2:3,10 7:6 1Sa 2:28 Ho 4:8 1Co 9:13
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Priest shall make atonement (17x mostly in Leviticus) - Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:6, 10, 13, 18; 6:7; 12:8; 14:18, 20, 31; 15:15, 30; Num 15:25, 28

Make atonement (kapar)...shall be forgiven (salach) - see note on Lev 5:10.

Will be forgiven- See Leviticus 4:20 Comment

Forgiven (05545)(salach or see another study) means to pardon and is translated in the Lxx with the verb aphiemi which means to send off or away, to let go and then to cancel or forgives debts or sin.

Forgiveness in Leviticus (10x in 10v) - Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35, 5:10, 13, 16, 18, 6:7, 19:22

Grain Offering (minchah - word study) - The grain offering signified homage and thanksgiving to God as a voluntary offering which was offered along with a burnt offering and a drink offering at the appointed sacrifices (cf. Nu 28:1–15). Three variations were prescribed: 1) uncooked flour (Lev 2:1–3-note); 2) baked flour (Lev 2:4–13-note); or 3) roasted first-fruit grain from the harvest (Lev 2:14–16-note). This was the only non-animal sacrifice of the five and shows that there was a place for offering from the fruit of the soil as in the case of Cain in Ge 4:1-5 - Cain's problem wasn't his fruit but his heart, his lack of faith - cp Abel's heart in Heb 11:4-note.

[The rest] shall become the priest's like the grain offering - For some of the other allusions to the portions of the various offerings which were to be given to the priests see the following passages (Note: This is not an all inclusive list, as this is a complex topic) -- Grain offering in Lev 2:3-note and Lev 2:10-note, Sin offering in Lev 5:13-note, (Note: Some Sin Offerings could not be eaten by the priests - When the sin offering was a bull, either for the high priest Lev 4:3-12 or the congregation Lev 4:13-21, no part of the bull was to be eaten by the priests, because the blood of that animal had been carried into the tent of meeting - this restriction also applies to the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement) Grain offering in Lev 6:16-18-note, Sin offering in Lev 6:26, 29-note, Guilt (Trespass) Offering in Lev 7:6-note, Peace Offering (Wave Offering) Lev 7:31-37-note. None of the burnt offering went to the priest but it was wholly given to the LORD.

See Wenham's The Christian Application of Leviticus 4-5.

Bonar sums up this section on the sin offering - In looking back on this chapter concerning sins of inadvertency, how awful is the view it presents of the Lord’s jealousy! “His eyes are as a flame of fire;” and he “judges not according to the hearing of the ear,” but according to the truth that remains untold. How great the provocation that his own saints give to him daily, by touching the unclean, and by other almost imperceptible movements of the heart towards evil. “Woe is me! I am undone! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips!” In such cases we need to take for ourselves the counsel that Cain rejected when the Lord said, “If thou doest well (sinnest not) shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well (sinnest), a sin-offering lieth at thy door” (רֹבֵץ חַטָאת). (Gen. 4:7.) How ancient is the grace of God! How old is that gracious saying, “These things write I unto you that ye sin not; and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins.” In these ancient days there was the same grace exhibited to the sinner as there is under the New Testament. God held out forgiveness, full and immediate, in order to allure the sinner, without delay, back to fellowship with himself. And as now, so then, many abused this grace. They used it not to cleanse their conscience, but to lull it asleep.

Leviticus 5:14 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,


Lev 5:14-6:7

To trespass means going beyond the limits of what is right.

The Trespass Offering - Lev 5:14-6:7

1. The trespass against Jehovah (Leviticus 5:14-19)

2. The trespass against man (Leviticus 6:1-7) (Gaebelein)

5. The Guilt/Restitution Offering: asam (Lev 5:14–6:7; 7:1-10)

♦ Confession to men for impurities and deceptions.

♦ Willingness of the repentant believer to make proper restitution.

 Compare Leviticus 5:15 with Lev 22:14-16.

 Compare Leviticus 6:2-5 with Eph 4:25-32-note, James 5:16.

 See Isaiah 53:10.

(Source: Summary Notes from Dr William Barrick)

Jesus the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29) fulfilled this offering for us by becoming a guilt offering!...

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.

Isa 53:10 But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting [Him] to grief; If He would render Himself [as] a guilt offering, He will see [His] offspring, He will prolong [His] days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

Acts 2:23 this [Man], delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put [Him] to death.

Wiersbe - The trespass (guilt) offering illustrates the solemn fact that it is a very costly thing for people to commit sin and for God to cleanse sin. Our sins hurt God and hurt others. True repentance will always bring with it a desire for restitution. We will want to make things right with God and with those whom we’ve sinned against. Forgiveness comes only because of the death of an innocent substitute. The passage in Isaiah 53:10 states clearly that when Jesus died on the cross, God made His Son “a guilt offering” (NIV). The penalty we should have paid, He paid for us!

Leviticus 5:15 "If a person acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against the LORD'S holy things, then he shall bring his guilt offering to the LORD: a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation in silver by shekels, in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering.

  • person: Lev 5:1,2 4:2
  • in the: Lev 5:16 7:1,6 10:17,18 22:1-16 24:5-9 27:9-33 Nu 18:9-32 Dt 12:5-12,26 15:19,20 26:1-15
  • ram: Lev 5:18 6:6 Ezr 10:19
  • thy estimation: Lev 26:2-8,12,13,17,18,23-27
  • the shekel: Lev 27:25 Ex 30:13
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
  • Leviticus 5:14 - 6:7 The Trespass Offering - S Lewis Johnson


Leviticus 5:15-16
(Cp Guilt Offering in Lev 6:1-7 for deliberate sin)

KJV - 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.

Young's Literal - 'When a person committeth a trespass, and hath sinned through ignorance against the holy things of Jehovah, then he hath brought in his guilt-offering to Jehovah, a ram, a perfect one, out of the flock, at thy valuation in silver -- shekels by the shekel of the sanctuary -- for a guilt-offering.

ESV "If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the LORD, he shall bring to the LORD as his compensation (NAS calls this the "guilt offering"), a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering.

NET "When a person commits a trespass and sins by straying unintentionally from the regulations about the Lord's holy things, then he must bring his penalty for guilt to the LORD, a flawless ram from the flock, convertible into silver shekels according to the standard of the sanctuary shekel, for a guilt offering.

Deffinbaugh gives the following summary of the guilt offering:

1. Leviticus 5:14-16 The Guilt Offering is required for violating the Lord’s holy things.

2. Leviticus 5:17-19 The Guilt Offering is required when one sins without knowing it.

3. Leviticus 6:1-7 The Guilt Offering is required for extortion or robbery.

4. Leviticus 7:1-6 The details of the Guilt Offering.

If...then - a conditional statement.

Wenham points out that sin offering and guilt offering were distinct and different - Closer examination shows that the two sacrifices were quite distinct. The ritual was different. The sacrificial animals were different. The circumstances in which they were offered differed. The function of the reparation offering was not the same as that of the purification (sin) offering. In short, different names denote different sacrifices. Insofar as other sacrifices also had to do with the guilt of sin, there is much to be said for calling this "the reparation offering" or the "compensation offering" to bring out its precise function.

Notice that in Lev 5:5-6 if a person is guilty he needs to bring a sin offering, but in Lev 5:15, if he is sins, he needs to bring a guilt offering!

Acts (unfaithfully) (VERB) (04603)(maal means to act unfaithfully, to trespass, to violate one's duty, to break faith, to commit a violation, to act. in a manner which is untrustworthy or unreliable in relation to an agreement or relationship. It is often used in Hebrew together with the noun maal (04604 - described below), so literally it could be translated "trepasses a trespass." (NIV = "commits a violation") (following use both verb and noun forms of maal - Lev 5:15, 6:2, Nu 5:6, 27, Josh 22:20, 22:31)

The idea of maal is that of a conscious act of treachery or unfaithfulness against the Lord. In fact in Ezek 39:23 and Da 9:7 maal describes the sin which resulted in Judah's exile to Babylon! They were unfaithful to their covenant with Yahweh. Maal describes the horrid sin of Achan (Josh 7:1) in which he took "the things that were under the ban." (Josh 6:18) Maal describes King Uzziah's prideful usurping of priestly authority and offering incense in the Temple in 2Chr 26:16-18. Maal is also used to refer to adultery (Nu 5:12, 27) and worshipping pagan deities (Nu 31:16; Ezek 20:27). In Dt 32:51 God says Moses "broke faith" (maal; Septuagint translates it with apeitheo = to disobey) and in so doing did not treat Him as holy, for which he was punished by not being allowed to enter the promised land!

NET Note - The word maal refers to some kind of overstepping of the boundary between that which is common (i.e., available for common use by common people) and that which is holy (i.e., to be used only for holy purposes because it has been consecrated to the LORD).

It is interesting that in Ezra 10:2, 10, Neh 13:27 maal is used to describe the Israelites as acting unfaithfully by marrying foreign (pagan) women. Israel was to be holy to the Lord and was in a sense married to Jehovah (See Jer 31:32 "My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD.") To marry foreign women (who worshiped other gods) was a treacherous act, an unfaithful act. Believers today as the church are the "Bride of Christ." Should we not seek to be faithful to our Bridegroom Jesus? Is there an area of my life where I am sinning unintentionally against Him? We are under grace, but sin is still sin and is still an offense to the Holy One, Christ Jesus!

Maal (verb) - 32v - translated in NAS - act(1), acted(2), acted treacherously(2), acting(1), acting treacherously(1), acting unfaithfully(1), acts(2), became...unfaithful(1), been(1), been unfaithful(5), broke faith(1), committed(6), committing unfaithfulness(1), err(1), perpetrated(1), unfaithful(3), unfaithfulness they committed(1), violated(1).

Leviticus 5:15 "If a person acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against the LORD'S holy things, then he shall bring his guilt offering to the LORD: a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation in silver by shekels, in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering.

Net Note on "acts unfaithfully" - Hebrew literally is 'trespasses a trespass' (verb and direct object from the same Hebrew root, מַעַל, ma'al); cf. NIV 'commits a violation.'

Leviticus 6:2 "When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the LORD, and deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him, or through robbery, or if he has extorted from his companion,

Net Note - Hebrew literally = 'trespasses a trespass' (verb and noun, the direct object from the same Hebrew root מַעַל, ma'al).

Leviticus 26:40 'If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me

Numbers 5:6 "Speak to the sons of Israel, 'When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind, acting unfaithfully (uses the noun and the verb maal) against the LORD, and that person is guilty,

Net Note - The verb is מַעַל (ma'al), which means to 'defraud, violate, trespass against,' or 'to deal treacherously, do an act of treachery.' In doing any sin that people do, the guilty have been unfaithful to the LORD, and therefore must bring him a sacrifice.

Numbers 5:27 'When he has made her drink the water, then it shall come about, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, that the water which brings a curse will go into her and cause bitterness, and her abdomen will swell and her thigh will waste away, and the woman will become a curse among her people.

Deuteronomy 32:51 because you (Moses) broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel.

Joshua 7:1 But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel. (see 1Chr 2:7 below)

Joshua 22:16 "Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD, 'What is this unfaithful act (maal - noun - 04604) which you have committed against the God of Israel, turning away from following the LORD this day, by building yourselves an altar, to rebel against the LORD this day?

20 'Did not Achan the son of Zerah act unfaithfully in the things under the ban, and wrath fall on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity.'"

31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Manasseh, "Today we know that the LORD is in our midst, because you have not committed (maal - verb) this unfaithful act (maal - noun - 04604) against the LORD; now you have delivered the sons of Israel from the hand of the LORD."

1 Chronicles 2:7ESV The son of Carmi: Achan, the troubler of Israel, who broke faith (Lxx = atheteo = to reject something as invalid, to ignore - this is exactly what Achan did - he ignored the ban) in the matter of the devoted thing;

1 Chronicles 5:25 But they acted treacherously (Lxx = atheteo = rejected as invalid, ignored) against the God of their fathers and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them.

1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his trespass (maal - noun - 04604) which he committed (maal) against the LORD, because of the word of the LORD which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it,

Note - Hebrew reads "and Saul died because of his unfaithfulness by which he acted unfaithfully against the LORD, concerning the word of the LORD which he did not keep, also to Saul, a ritual pit to seek."

2 Chronicles 12:2 And it came about in King Rehoboam's fifth year, because they had been unfaithful to the LORD, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem

2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he (the sad saga of King Uzziah) became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly (Heb literally = "His heart was high to destroy"), and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. (Note the root of unfaithful here is pride)

18 They opposed Uzziah the king and said to him, "It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful and will have no honor from the LORD God."

2 Chronicles 28:22 Now in the time of his distress this same King Ahaz became yet more unfaithful to the LORD.

2 Chronicles 29:6 "For our fathers have been unfaithful (Lxx uses aphistemi = to forsake, to depart from, to apostatize, to fall away from) and have done evil in the sight of the LORD our God, and have forsaken Him and turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the LORD, and have turned their backs.

2 Chronicles 30:7 "Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were unfaithful (Lxx uses aphistemi = to forsake, to depart from, to apostatize, to fall away from) to the LORD God of their fathers, so that He made them a horror, as you see.

Ezra 10:2 Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra, "We have been unfaithful to our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope for Israel in spite of this.

10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, "You have been unfaithful and have married foreign wives adding to the guilt of Israel.

Nehemiah 1:8 "Remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the peoples; (See this prophecy in Lev 26:33, Dt 4:25-27, Dt 28:64, 1Ki 9:6-7)

Nehemiah 13:27 "Do we then hear about you that you have committed all this great evil by acting unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign women?"

Proverbs 16:10 A divine decision is in the lips of the king; His mouth should not err (Lxx = planao) in judgment.

Ezekiel 14:13 "Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness (translated in Lxx with 2 words = parapipto = turns away and paraptoma = deviates from living according to what God has revealed is the right/righteous way to live!), and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast,

Note: This is a frightening verse for the United States of America! Our great nation has gone to great lengths to minimize the influence of God, whether it be in Christmas displays, prayers before sporting events, abortion, marriage, and the list sadly goes on! The question we must each ask ourselves is "Has America sinned against God by committing unfaithfulness?" And they we need to continually PRAY FOR REVIVAL!

Ezekiel 15:8 'Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have acted unfaithfully (translated in Lxx with 2 words = parapipto = turns away and paraptoma = deviates from living according to what God has revealed is the right/righteous way to live!),'" declares the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 17:20 "I will spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. Then I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there regarding the unfaithful act (noun form - 04604 - maal) which he has committed (verb maal) against Me.

Ezekiel 18:24 "But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery noun form - 04604 - maal) which he has committed (verb form - maal) and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die.

Ezekiel 20:27 "Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me by acting treacherously against Me.

Ezekiel 39:23 "The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword.

26 "They will forget their disgrace and all their treachery (noun form - 04604 - maal) which they perpetrated (verb form of maal) against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid.

Daniel 9:7 "Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day-- to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You.

Unfaithfully (NOUN) (04604)(maal from the verb maal [04603] = to act unfaithfully) is a masculine noun which describes an unfaithful act, a trespass or a treacherous act.

Merrill on maal (both the verb and the noun forms) - It is a word that denotes a breach of faith in regard to a revealed command. The person has acted unfaithfully by violating the boundary between the common and the holy. Here in Lev. 5:15 the exact nature of the violation in regard to the holy things is not specified. It may refer to the eating of holy food, the failure to fulfill a dedicatory vow, or the failure to present the full and proper tithe. In each of these violations a compensation would be possible. It is specifically to just such sins-those for which restoration is possible-that the guilt offering is applicable. In other places this term is used of a wide variety of serious sins such as adultery (Nu 5:12, 27), worshiping pagan gods (Nu 31:16; Ezek. 20:27), Achan's sin of taking the dedicated booty (Josh. 7:1), Uzziah's sin of offering incense in the temple (2Chr 26:16, 18), and marrying foreigners (Ezra 10:2, 10).

Maal "is an act committed by a person who knows better but who, for selfish motives, acts in bad faith. The story of Achan (who took things devoted to God - Josh 6:18) bears out the attitude of treachery (Josh 7:1). Joshua challenged Israel not to follow the example of Achan: 'Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit [maal] a trespass [maal] in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel?' (Josh. 22:20)." (Vine)

Rooker adds - The root maal suggests acting unfaithfully or treacherously, violating one's obligations in either the judicial or religious sphere. Most often the root is used to designate the violation of religious law as a conscious act of treachery against God, who would be the offended party. The idea is that an act of defection from covenantal allegiance had been committed.

Rainey summarizes the function of the guilt offering and explains why this specific offering was also to be presented in the otherwise enigmatic case regarding the cleansing of the leper "The guilt offering was a specialized kind of sin offering (cf Lev 5:7) required in cases when someone had been denied his rightful due; reparation of the valued amount defrauded was required plus a fine of twenty percent (Lev 5:6; 6:5).…As with the sin offering, the animal went to the priest as food (Lev 7:6, 7; 14:13). The guilt offering was commanded in instances when another party had suffered some deprivation. The case of the leper can be assigned to this category in that the Lord was deprived of the service due from the infected person so long as his disease kept him outside the pale of the ritually clean society (Lev 14:12–18)."

Lxx translates maal in Lev 5:15 with the phrase lathe auton lethe which the NETS-Lxx translates into English "If a soul forgets obliviously and sins unintentionally (maal - 4603)." The verb translated forgets is lanthano which can mean to fail to remain aware of the significance of something (to lose sight of, to ignore). Isn't that what we all do when we commit sin (unholiness) against Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel? We have "transient amnesia" as it were, conveniently choosing "my way" (or the highway!), not His way, the highway of holiness! The word translated "obliviously" is the noun lethe which literally means to "receive forgetfulness of something," and simply amplifies the picture of our "transient (albeit still inexcusable) amnesia!"

Lev 5:15 is the first use of maal in Scripture and obviously describes unfaithfulness to Jehovah as does Lev 6:2. Note that in both cases there is a descriptive definition of unfaithfulness as sin against Jehovah or His holy things. The third use in Nu 5:6 describes unfaithfulness of

Unfaithful (Webster's definition) - not adhering to vows, allegiance, or duty : disloyal; not faithful to marriage vows. Not observant of promises, vows, allegiance or duty; violating trust or confidence; treacherous; perfidious; as an unfaithful subject; an unfaithful husband or wife; an unfaithful servant; an unfaithful bailee or agent.

Treacherously (Webster's definition) - The adjective treacherous refers to Violating allegiance or faith pledged; faithless; traitorous to the state or sovereign; perfidious in private life; betraying a trust. A man may be treacherous to his country, or treacherous to his friend, by violating his engagements or his faith pledged.

The adverb treacherously = By violating allegiance or faith pledged; by betraying a trust; faithlessly; perfidiously; as, to surrender a fort to an enemy treacherously; to disclose a secret treacherously.

Maal (noun) is translated in NAS as falsehood(1), treachery(2), trespass(1), trespass*(1), unfaithful(3), unfaithful act(4), unfaithful deeds(1), unfaithfully(6), unfaithfulness(6), very unfaithful(1).

Maal - 26v - Lev 5:15; 6:2; Nu 5:6, 12, 27; 31:16; Josh 7:1; 22:16, 20, 22, 31; 1Chr 9:1; 10:13; 2 Chr 28:19; 29:19; 33:19; 36:14; Ezra 9:2, 4; 10:6; Job 21:34; Ezek 15:8; 17:20; 18:24; 39:26; Da 9:7

Nu 5:6 'Speak to the sons of Israel, ‘When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind, acting unfaithfully against the LORD, and that person is guilty,

Nu 5:12 'Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, ‘If any man's wife goes astray (Heb = salah = turn aside; Lxx = parabaino = turns aside, offends, oversteps, transgresses) and is unfaithful (Lxx = huperorao = to disregard as not worthy of one's notice, to indulgently take no notice of, to overlook, to not attend) to him,

Nu 31:16 'Behold, these (Who are these? See context - Nu 31:15 - MEN, listen up! Walk by the Spirit - Gal 5:16-note or else you are an "open target!") caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass (Lxx = aphistemi - to cause someone to move from a "reference point," in this case from loyalty or faithfulness to Jehovah) against the LORD in the matter of Peor (cf Nu 25:1-5) so the plague was among the congregation of the LORD.

Ezra 9:4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness (Lxx = asunethesia = transgression, faithlessness) of the exiles gathered to me, and I sat appalled until the evening offering.

Da 9:7 'Righteousness belongs to Thee, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day–to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which Thou hast driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against Thee.

Comment: Israel's unfaithful deeds resulted in God's judgment of exile from their homeland.

Sins (verb) (02398)(chata') means "misses the mark" of God's standard of righteousness!

The Hebrew noun qodesh (see word study) translates "holy things" and "sanctuary."

Against the LORD's holy things (the LORD'S sacred property) - The nature of "holy things" is not absolutely clear. Constable says "The phrase evidently refers to anything dedicated to God by the Israelites, including the tabernacle, its furnishings, the offerings, houses, lands, and tithes (cf. ch. 27).[111] Violating these things would have involved eating holy food (cf. 22:14), taking dedicated things, and perhaps failing to fulfill a dedicatory vow or failing to pay a tithe." (Leviticus) An example may be the event in the life of King Uzziah when he became proud and offered incense which was legally the job of the priests (Read 2Chr 26:16-18)

NET Note on phrase "holy things of the LORD" - 'from the holy things of the LORD.' The Hebrew expression here has the same structure as Lev 4:2, 'from any of the commandments of the LORD.' The latter introduces the sin offering regulations and the former the guilt offering regulations. The sin offering deals with violations of 'any of the commandments,' whereas the guilt offering focuses specifically on violations of regulations regarding 'holy things' (i.e., things that have been consecrated to the LORD; see the full discussion in J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:320–27).

The LORD's holy things - To what does this refer? Wenham says "The (holy things) seems to refer to offerings made to the priests, which in Lev. 22 and Lev 27 are called "holy things." Only priests and members of their household are allowed to eat the holy things (Lev 22:2-13). "Anyone who eats holy food inadvertently must add a fifth to it, and give it to the priest" (Lev 22:14). Lev 27 defines "holy things" as anything dedicated by men to God, e.g., animals, houses, land, tithes. When a man dedicated something it was valued by the priest, and if the dedicator subsequently changed his mind, he had to pay a fifth extra to redeem the item. "Very holy things," literally "holy thing of holy things," is a technical term for the parts of sacrifices eaten by the priests (e.g., Lev. 2:3, 10)." (NICOT)

Deffinbaugh introduces his discussion of Lev 5:14-16 by asking "What are the Lord’s holy things?"

1. The Lord’s name is holy. We are commanded to not misuse it or take it in vain. Swearing falsely by the name of the Lord violates and brings dishonor to the Lord. In the Lord’s prayer, we pray for the sanctity of the Lord’s name.

2. The Sabbath was to be kept holy. An unintentional Sabbath violation would be one of the things that required a guilt offering.

3. The offerings and the temple rites were holy. Much of the temple ceremony dealt with maintaining its holy character. An improperly trained priest could violate any part of the ordinance and be guilty. Leviticus 19 directs that any remains of the peace offering was to be burned on the third day. Leviticus 19:7,8 says, “So if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an offense; it will not be accepted. And anyone who eats it will bear his iniquity, for he has profaned the holy thing of the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from his people

4. National purity was holy. The Israelites were to be holy just as their Lord God was holy. Not maintaining purity in their worship of the one true God and by their inter-marrying, they violated the Lord’s holy things.

Unintentionally (07584)(segagah - word study from root šgg) means unwillingly, sin of error or inadvertance, without premeditation.

Then - Don't miss this word, a strategically placed expression of time! It marks an event that occurs in succession or following some other event (in this case SIN!). The picture is IF...SIN...THEN, "then what?" For those who are in the New Covenant, we can't bring an animal to God when we sin, because the Lamb has already been sacrificed for us and for our sin. Now based on His meritorious Finished Work (tetelestai - Jn 19:30-note), we come before the Throne of Grace to receive mercy and to confess to Him our sin which is against Him and "He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1Jn 1:9-note, cf Pr 28:13-note) And now go out in joy and thanksgiving, cognizant of that little word ALL! At that moment we are clean, cleansed of ALL unrighteousness, which John defines as sin (1Jn 5:17).

Guzik - The guilt offering was essentially the same procedure used in the sin offering, except that the guilt offering was used when someone had sinned in regard to the holy things. This spoke of some type of desecration of the tabernacle or its associated items.

Criswell - In the trespass (also called guilt, reparation, or compensation) offering, which emphasizes the fact that the rights of both God and man had been violated, both sacrifice (to God) and restitution (to fellowman) were necessary. Offenses requiring a trespass offering may be divided into three classes: (1) trespasses against the Lord with respect to the "holy things of the Lord" (Lev 5:15, 16; cf. Lev 22:14; 27:14, 15); (2) the breaking of any of the commandments of the Lord through ignorance (Lev 5:17-19); and (3) deliberate trespasses against the Lord as the result of dealing falsely with one's neighbor (Lev 6:1-7). The only animal permitted for the trespass offering was the ram, except in the case of the leper (Lev 14:12) and the defiled Nazarite (Nu 6:12), which simply called for a male lamb.

Harris - Guilt in the biblical sense is not just a feeling but a condition. There may be known transgressions that bring feelings of guilt, but there is also the condition of guilt before God, caused by sins known or unknown. Sometimes a hardened sinner has few feelings of guilt when he is the most guilty.

Guilt (Trespass) Offering (0817)(asam) is also called guilt, reparation, or compensation offering, and emphasizes the fact that the rights of both God and man had been violated, and that both sacrifice (to God) and restitution (to fellowman) were necessary. Wenham refers to it as the reparation offering (NICOT). The guilt offering was commanded in instances when another party had suffered some deprivation. Asam can connote the deeds which bring about guilt (Ps. 68:21). Asam can also express the condition of being guilty, i.e., the results of the actions as shown in Ge 26:10NIV. In Nu 5:7 asam refers to the restitution that the guilty party was to make to the victim in the case of property damage.

Offenses requiring a guilt offering may be divided into three classes: (1) trespasses against the Lord with respect to the "holy things of the Lord" (Lev 5:15, 16; cf. Lev 22:14; 27:14, 15); (2) the breaking of any of the commandments of the Lord through ignorance (Lev 5:17-19); and (3) deliberate trespasses against the Lord as the result of dealing falsely with one's neighbor (Lev 6:1-7). The only animal permitted for the trespass offering was the ram, except in the case of the leper (Lev 14:12) and the defiled Nazarite (Nu 6:12), which simply called for a male lamb.

Vine - This specialized kind of sin offering (Lev. 5:7) was to be offered when someone had been denied what was due to him. The valued amount defrauded was to be repaid plus 20 percent (Lev. 5:16; 6:5). Ritual infractions and periods of leprosy and defilement took from God a commodity or service rightfully belonging to Him and required repayment plus restitution. Every violation of property rights required paying full reparation and the restitution price (אֲבַטִּיחַ, 20), percent) to the one violated as well as presenting the guilt offering to God as the Lord of all (i.e., as a feudal lord over all). If the offended party was dead, reparation and restitution were made to God (i.e. given to the priests; Num. 5:5-10). Usually the 'guilt offering' consisted of a ram (Lev. 5:15) or a male lamb. The offerer presented the victim, laying his hands on it. The priest sprinkled its blood around the altar, burned the choice parts on the altar, and received the rest as food (Lev. 7:2-7). When a cleansed leper made this offering, blood from the sacrifice was applied to the man's right ear, right thumb, and right big toe (Lev. 14:14).

Eugene Merrill on asam - The term is used for the guilt offering in Lev. 5; 6:10; 7; 14; 19:21, 22. Outside Leviticus it is a relatively rare term used for this particular offering only in the verses listed above. It is the term used by the Philistines for the restitution they sought to make for removing the ark from Israel (1Sa 6:3, 4, 8,17). In Lev. 14:12 this blood offering allowed the person to once again be part of the "kingdom of priests, a holy nation" (Ex 19:6) from which he had been "expelled" due to his contamination. A main purpose of the guilt offering was to make atonement for desecration of the LORD'S "holy things". It is associated here with the re-consecration of the LORD'S "holy people." The entire process employed here is reminiscent of the ritual enacted at the consecration of the Aaronic priests (Lev. 8:22-30).

Swanson - 1. guilt offering, i.e., an atoning sacrifice (Lev 5:15b); 2. guilt, i.e., liability to a standard, with some implication of punishing consequences (Ge 26:10); 3. penalty, i.e., a thing which must be forfeited in a judicial decision (Lev 5:6, 7, 15; 5:25); 4. damage, i.e., the result of a wrong that is committed against another (Nu 5:7, 8) (Semantic Domains)

Asam translated in NAS as guilt (2), guilt offering (38), guilt offerings (1), guilty deeds (1), sin (1), wrong (3).

Asam - 41v - Ge 26:10; Lev 5:6-7, 15-16, 18-19; 6:6, 17; 7:1-2, 5, 7, 37; 14:12-14, 17, 21, 24-25, 28; 19:21-22; Num 5:7-8; 6:12; 18:9; 1Sa 6:3-4, 8, 17; 2Kgs 12:16; Ps 68:21; Pr 14:9; Isa 53:10; Jer 51:5; Ezek 40:39; 42:13; 44:29; 46:20

Asam is used by Isaiah to describe the sacrifice of the Messiah

Isa 53:10 But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting [Him] to grief; If He would render Himself [as] a guilt offering (asam), He will see [His] offspring, He will prolong [His] days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

Eugene Merrill - This word (asam) is used in Isa. 53:10 where the suffering servant has the LORD "make his life a guilt offering." He became a "guilt offering" because he was estranged, desecrated, and removed from the nation. (Bible Knowledge Word Study)

According to your valuation in silver by shekels, in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering - Some see this as allowing one to present the guilt offering in terms of money rather than a rather. Others see the money as a reference to the value of the ram offered. For example Wiersbe explains that the "priest valued the ram to make sure of its worth, lest the offender try to atone for his or her sins by giving the Lord something cheap."

Shekel of the sanctuary - "The sanctuary shekel was about 10 grams (= ca. two fifths of an ounce." (NET Note)

Warren Wiersbe sums up the significance of the offerings - The trespass offering illustrates the solemn fact that it is a very costly thing for people to commit sin and for God to cleanse sin. Our sins hurt God and hurt others. True repentance will always bring with it a desire for restitution. We will want to make things right with God and with those whom we’ve sinned against. Forgiveness comes only because of the death of an innocent substitute. The passage in Isaiah 53:10 states clearly that when Jesus died on the cross, God made His Son “a guilt offering” (NIV). The penalty we should have paid, He paid for us! We haven’t been able to probe into the details of these offerings; but what we have studied should make us realize the awfulness of sin, the seriousness of confession and restitution, the graciousness of God in forgiving those who trust Jesus Christ, and the marvelous love of our Savior in His willingness to die for undeserving people like us. Jesus provides all that we need. He is our burnt offering, and we must yield ourselves wholly to Him. He is our meal offering, the seed crushed and put through the fire, that we might have the bread of life; and we must feed upon Him. He is our drink offering who poured Himself out in sacrifice and service, and we must pour ourselves out for Him and for others. He is our fellowship offering, making life a joyful feast instead of a painful famine. He is our sin offering and our guilt offering, for He bore our sins on His body (1Peter 2:24-note) and paid the full price for our sins (1Pe 1:18–19-note). The nation of Israel had to offer six different sacrifices in order to have a right relationship with God, but Jesus Christ “offered one sacrifice for sins forever” (Heb 10:12-note) and took care of our sin problem completely. Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for all your sins and paid your full debt? Can you say with Mary, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior”? (Luke 1:46–47NKJV) If not, then trust Him today; if you have trusted Him, share the good news with others.

TODAY IN THE WORD - Leviticus 5:14–6:7 Worship and the Definition of Sin - At the end of the second century, Jewish oral traditions were codified and written down in the Mishnah. Before this time, it was the task of the rabbis to interpret the traditions. As a result, there was a constant dueling over interpretations between rabbis and the schools of thought they represented. Jesus was often put in the middle of these theological squabbles. One teacher of the law came to Him to ask which of the commandments was most important. Jesus answered that there were two: love God and love your neighbor. These are the totality of what God requires of us. Notice that according to Jesus, and to our passage today from Leviticus, all sin is offense against God. To be sure, some sins are aimed more explicitly at God, such as the misuse of "the Lord's holy things" (5:15). This presumably means the sacrifices themselves. Both bringing blemished animals and neglecting to bring clean animals when they were required were obvious acts of sin for which payment must be made in the form of a guilt offering. But sin is not merely the overt things we do to defraud God or dishonor Him. It is also sin against God to mistreat one's neighbor and to neglect practices of honesty and justice in our relationships. In this way, sin eludes the kind of neat compartmentalization that we might like to use. Our behavior toward our neighbor is a just measure of our spiritual faithfulness, and deception and dishonesty are ways we fail to love God Himself. Righteousness is horizontal with our neighbor as much as it is vertical with God. Confession and restitution: these are practices still relevant and important today, grounding us in the reality that we are sinners and need to humbly seek to repair the damage our sin has caused. Apply the Word - Jesus taught that public worship was an invitation to make right our human relationships (cf. Matthew 6:12, 14-15-note). Before you next attend church, consider where your relationships have suffered. Where have you held grudges or cast judgments or clung to jealousies? Confess these to God and the person you've offended, seeking reconciliation.

TODAY IN THE WORD (Leviticus 5:14-6:7) - Alexander Pope was one of the leading essayists, poets, and satirical writers of eighteenth-century England. Though he suffered from a disease that affected his spine, hunched him over, and caused him much suffering, he wrote voluminously and did landmark translations into English of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. In his famous work, An Essay on Criticism, he penned a line that has become an everyday proverb: 'Good nature and good sense must ever join; To err is human, to forgive, divine.' Indeed, the fact that humans sin and God forgives seems to sum up the entire Old Testament sacrificial system! The guilt offering, the last of the five major types of sacrifices, was a mandatory sacrifice for specific sins, ones that might involve personal injury or loss. Sometimes called the trespass offering, it was also made when religious duties were disrespectfully neglected, or when 'holy things' were mishandled (Lev 5:15). As with other offerings, the guilt offering indicated a repentant heart and brought the worshiper forgiveness and renewed fellowship with God (Lev 6:7). The main distinctive of the guilt offering was the requirement to make restitution. When a person had, for example, stolen, cheated, or extorted goods or money, he had to return the money plus 20 percent. The sinner was to sacrifice a ram whose value reflected the seriousness of his crime. That same day, he was to make this restitution, thereby getting right with God and his fellow Israelite at the same time (cf. Matt. 5:23–24). If the sin was committed in the area of worship (for example, withholding tithes), restitution was also required, since this was regarded as robbing the Lord. There's a difference between the sin and guilt offerings: the guilt offering seemed to cover more grave or malicious offenses and more defiant or disobedient attitudes. Since the sin was more serious, repentance was also more serious and needed to be demonstrated through making reparations. TODAY ALONG THE WAY - Learning about the Old Testament's sin and guilt offerings has hopefully impressed on us the need to confess and repent whenever we do wrong. We cannot afford to take sin lightly.

Norman Geisler - Was the sacrifice to be brought to the priest or to the Lord? PROBLEM: Leviticus 5:15 instructs that one 'bring to the Lord an offering.' But a few verses later it says to 'bring it to the priest' (Lev 5:18). SOLUTION: It was brought to the priest to be offered to the Lord. In Israel, the priests were the representatives of the people to God, as prophets were God's representatives to the people. (When critics ask : a popular handbook on Bible difficulties)

Deffinbaugh - Guilt has two distinct aspects: legal and emotional. Legal guilt is the outcome of a legal or a moral violation. If a break the law or a moral code, I am “guilty” of breaking it. Put another way, the breaking of law or code imparts guilt to the law breaker. Emotional guilt is the outcome of the conscience that God has given us. It is the spiritual organ that causes us to feel pain when we do wrong. Rightly tuned, it is a good thing to have. As Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”

Legal and emotional guilt may be paired in any one of four ways:

1. No legal guilt with no guilt feelings. This, of course, is where we would like to be all the time. I have neither broken a law nor do have any sense of conviction.

2. No legal guilt with guilt feelings. This can come about by a misunderstanding of the intent of a law, or it can be a sign of an overly sensitive conscience. A girl, raised with the teaching that make-up is of the devil, who tries a little blush, may feel guilty.

3. Legal guilt with no guilt feelings. On the good side, this comes from convicting an innocent person. On the serious side, this comes from the reprobate who feels bad for being caught in his or her law breaking, but has no sense of wrongdoing. As Proverbs 30:20 says, “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’”

4. Legal guilt with guilt feelings. Not the best place to be but it certainly presents cause for hope. It’s the stuff from which repentance comes.

The story of Stephen in the Book of Acts gives us an example of wrong legal guilt for which the legally guilty person has no guilt feelings. Stephen was brought before the Sanhedrin, for being one of Jesus’ followers. They found him guilty of blasphemy and stoned him. Stephen was legally guilty as far as the Jewish criminal justice system was concerned. He had incurred a legal debt that demanded his death. From the standpoint of a higher truth, however, he was not guilty, and in fact, his conscience was not inflamed at all. The men who stoned Stephen took Stephen’s clothes and placed them at the feet of a man named Saul. Saul did not feel guilty either; in fact, Scripture says he approved of the stoning of Stephen. Saul was quite innocent before the Sanhedrin, yet he was morally guilty before a higher Truth. It’s clear that guilt is a complex subject that affects all of us. We are, of course, in the best of situations when code and conscience, at the level of highest truth, are in agreement. Note again Hebrews 5:14” But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” A proper functioning conscience is a mark of maturity.

Guilt is universal. We have all felt guilty and have been guilty. If we examine the philosophies of the world, we find that, whereas many of them do not recognize the biblical concept of sin, they will invariably recognize the concept of guilt and try to deal with it. This includes not only many religions but also the fields of psychology and psychiatry. This demonstrates the degree to which guilt and guilt feelings trouble the human race. Some religious groups stir up guilt as a means of control. They seek to expand the scope of guilt. Conversely, Humanistic philosophies try to narrow the scope of guilt. They do not affirm valid guilt except in regard to violating the space, privacy, or short-term welfare of another person. Psychiatry often takes the blame-shifting approach to guilt feelings. The comedian Anna Russell wrote a poem that pokes fun at this.

I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed
To find out why I killed the cat and blacked my husband’s eyes.
He laid me on a downy couch to see what he could find
And here’s what he dredged up from my subconscious mind.

When I was one my mommy hid my dolly in a trunk
And so it follows naturally that I am always drunk.
And when I was two I saw my father kiss the maid one day
And that is why I suffer now from kleptomaniae.

At three I had the feeling of ambivalence toward my brothers
And so it follows naturally I poison all my lovers.
But I am happy now I’ve learned a lesson this has taught
That everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault.

Although true Christianity offers a solution to guilt, there is a caricature of Christianity that portrays it as a producer of guilt feelings instead. This has led some to attack Christianity as being harmful to good mental health, as the following quote from The Humanist magazine demonstrates. The article it comes from is called “The Fundamentalist Anonymous Movement.” - "At long last, the best kept secret in America is being revealed to the public: the fundamentalist experience can be a serious mental health hazard to perhaps millions of people. … At this time, more than ten thousand people, hardly a significant number compared to the population from which it claims to come, have called or written us. Even though they come from all fifty states and constitute a cross-section of American society, there is a common list of complaints that we hear again and again: years of overwhelming guilt, fear, and anxiety after leaving the fundamentalist fold, loneliness, chronic depression, low self-esteem, years in therapy, and sometimes even attempts at suicide." They are saying that fundamentalists are really pouring on the guilt. Although there are some religious groups, Christian and otherwise, that use guilt to manipulate their members, we still have to realize that guilt feelings are God-given, just like our emotions of fear and anger. All emotions, however, have been warped by sin. Just as there are those who develop sinful anger patterns or are too fearful, there are those who have destructive guilt. Then again, there are others who do not feel guilty enough. What seems clear is that a proper balance must be the goal to which we strive for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Leviticus 5:16 "He shall make restitution for that which he has sinned against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it and give it to the priest. The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it will be forgiven him.

  • make: Lev 22:14 Ex 22:1,3,4 Ps 69:4 Lk 19:8 Ac 26:20
  • the fifth: Lev 6:4,5 27:13,15,27,31 Nu 5:7
  • and the priest: Lev 5:6,10,13 4:26 Heb 9:13,14 1Jn 2:1,2
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


See discussion of the fulfillment of this Old Testament shadow in the Messiah rendering Himself (literally "His soul") as a guilt offering in commentary notes on Isaiah 53:10. 

Criswell - Restitution for oversight regarding the "holy things of the Lord" (Lev 5:15; tithes, offerings, firstfruits, sacrifices, etc.) was reckoned according to the priest's estimate of the value of the trespass, plus one-fifth. The same principle of restitution applied regarding reparation for sins against one's neighbor (cf. Lev 6:2-7; Nu 5:7).

Guzik on shall make restitution - When holy things had been desecrated in some way, a mere sin offering was not enough. Restitution was also required, paying back what was lost plus 20% (he shall add one-fifth to it). 'If one has been unfaithful in the holy things of Jehovah it is not enough that one should confess and bring a sin-offering. Restitution must be made for the wrong done; it must be put right. There was something due to God that was not rendered in it's season, and things will not be right until it is rendered.' (Coates)

Holman Bible Dictionary on Restitution - The act of returning what has wrongfully been taken or replacing what has been lost or damaged and the Divine restoration of all things to their original order. Human Restitution The Law required “trespass offerings” to be made for sins against a neighbor (theft, deception, dishonesty, extortion, keeping lost property, or damaging property). Such crimes involved “unfaithfulness” towards God and disrupted fellowship and peace among the people. They were to be atoned for by a guilt offering to God, and “restitution” to the wronged neighbor. Atonement and forgiveness of the sin were received afterrestitution had been made to the victim. The sin offering to God always followed the act of restitution. Old Testament law established a principle of “punishment to fit the crime” (life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, wound for wound). Restitution was consistent with this concept of equity. The stolen property was to be returned, or “full” compensation was to be made. The guidelines for making complete restitution also included a provision for punitive damages (up to five times what had been lost), justice that moved beyond “an eye for an eye.” Provisions were made for complications in this process (Exodus 22:3 ). The act of making restitution to a victim was so closely identified with the atoning sacrifice made to God, that the two expressions could be seen as elements of the same command. Neither could stand alone. Specific examples of this law in operation are not found, but the principle in action is found (1 Kings 20:34; 2 Kings 8:6; Nehemiah 5:10-12 ). There is no legal or ritual application of this command in the New Testament; however, the principle of restitution is clearly pictured in the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10 ). Jesus implicitly validated the practice when he admonished followers to “be reconciled” to a brother before offering a gift to God (Matthew 5:23-24 ). Divine Restitution The New Testament word is found only once (Acts 3:21 ) and can be translated “restoration.” It describes the future work of God that will reestablish all “things” to their pristine order and purpose. The implication here is not the restoration of persons, but of the created order, that is, the universal renewal of the earth. This divine restoration will accompany the return and triumph of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:25-28 ). (See longer article on restitution in McClintock and in Hastings)

Dear NT believer, restitution is not just an OT concept, which begs the question "Is there any one in your life to whom you need to make restitution?" Maybe it is even as simple as having borrowed something from them but which has never been returned!

Make restitution (07999)(shalam) is a verb that means to be complete, to be safe, to be sound, to repay, to reward. The Lxx of Lev 5:16 is translated with apotino which was a legal term in ancient Greece which described damages to be paid. To make compensation or pay someone back is the idea. The first use of shalam in Scripture is found in Ge 44:4 and is used figuratively - "Why have you repaid (Septuagint - Lxx = antapodidomi) evil for good?" The next 14 uses are in Exodus 21-22 and all 4 uses in Leviticus (see below) deal with restitution and most are translated in the Septuagint with the verb apotino which means to repay (only NT use Philemon 1:9). In Isa 60:20 God says "your mourning will be over (shalam)" which refers to heaven when He will wipe away every tear (Rev 21:4).

In one of my favorite verses (specifically spoken to Israel, but applicable to saints in principle) God says " 'Then I will make up (Lxx = antapodidomi) to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you." (Joel 2:25)

In Dt 32:42 God says "I will repay (Lxx = antapodidomi) those who hate Me!" Even the pagan king Adoni-bezek said that "God has repaid me" for the evil he had perpetrated. (Jdg 1:7, cp prayer in 2Sa 3:39) In Ps 30:24 Jehovah "recompenses (Lxx = antapodidomi) the proud doer." In fact, several times God says in essence "I will repay evil" (Pr 20:22, Isa 59:18, Isa 66:6, Jer 16:18). When Nathan told David about the man who took another's lamb, David declared "He must make restitution (Lxx - apotino) for the lamb four-fold" not realizing that he (David) was the man! (2Sa 12:6) In Jeremiah we see a radical contrast where God "shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. The LORD of hosts is His name." (Jeremiah 32:18) And even Babylon, the instrument He used to discipline Judah, God would "repay (Lxx = antapodidomi) her according to her (evil) work." (Jer 50:29, 51:6, 51:24, 51:56)

Boaz prays for Ruth "May Yahweh reward (Lxx = apotino) your work." (Ru 2:12, cp similar prayer 1Sa 24:19) In 1Ki 7:51 shalam refers to the completion (Lxx - anapleroo - literally fill up, here making complete) of the LORD's Temple (cp 1Ki 9:25, 2Chr 5:1 "he finished the house.") In a similar use, "the wall was completed (Lxx - teleo - finished, brought to an end)" in Neh 6:15. Several passages refer to a man repaying his vows to God (Ps 22:25, 50:14, 61:8, Jonah 2:9, Nah 1:15) Ps 62:12 should get our attention, for there we learn God "will render (Lxx - apodidomi) to a man according to his work." (cp Pr 13:13, 21, 19:17, 25:22)

Restitution (English definition) - The act of returning or restoring to a person some thing or right of which he has been unjustly deprived; as the restitution of ancient rights to the crown. Spenser. Restitution is made by restoring a specific thing taken away or lost. 2. The act of making good, or of giving an equivalent for any loss, damage or injury; indemnification.

TWOT - The general meaning behind the root s-l-m is of completion and fulfillment--of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship.

Vine - The Hebrew root denotes perfection in the sense that a condition or action is 'complete.' This concept emerges when a concrete object is described. When sufficient building materials were at hand and workmen had enough time to apply them, 'the wall [of Jerusalem] was finished' at the time of Nehemiah (Neh. 6:15).

Baker - The primary meaning is to be safe or uninjured in mind or body (Job 8:6; 9:4). This word is normally used when God is keeping His people safe. In its simple form, this verb also means to be completed or to be finished. This could refer to something concrete such as a building (1Ki 7:51); or things more abstract, such as plans (Job 23:14). Other meanings of this verb include to be at peace with another person (Ps. 7:4); to make a treaty of peace (Josh. 11:19; Job 5:23); to pay, to give a reward (Ps. 62:12[13]); to restore, repay, or make retribution (Ex. 21:36; Ps. 37:21). (Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament)

Swanson - 1. (qal) be finished, be completed (1Ki 7:51; 2Chr 5:1; 8:16; Ne 6:15; Isa 60:20); (piel) fulfill, complete (1Ki 9:25); (pual) be fulfilled (Ps 65:1); (hif) cause to fulfill, finish, bring to an end (Job 23:14; Isa 38:12, 13; 44:26, 28), 2. (qal) remain sound, remain healthy, be unscathed, not be harmed (Job 9:4); 3. (piel) restore, i.e., bring to a previous, preferable state (Job 8:6); 4. (piel) repay, make restitution, i.e., receive compensation of money or goods for a loss (Ex 21:34); 5. (piel) give recompense, i.e., mete out a just penalty or reward (1Sa 24:19; Jer 32:18)

Shalam - 94v in the NAS - translated in NAS - completed(1), finished(3), fulfill(1), fully repay(1), make(2), make an end(2), make it good(2), make full restitution(1), make restitution(9), over(1), paid(1), pay(19), pay back(1), paying(1), pays(1), pays back(1), perform(2), performed(1), performing(1), performs(1), present(1), recompense(3), recompenses(1), render(2), rendering(2), repaid(3), repay(19), repays(3), restore(2), reward(3), rewarded(3), surely make restitution(2), surely pay(1), without harm(1).

Genesis 44:4 They had just gone out of the city, and were not far off, when Joseph said to his house steward, "Up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, 'Why have you repaid evil for good?

Exodus 21:34 the owner of the pit shall make restitution; he shall give money to its owner, and the dead animal shall become his.

36 "Or if it is known that the ox was previously in the habit of goring, yet its owner has not confined it, he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead animal shall become his.

Exodus 22:1 "If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

3 "But if the sun has risen on him, there will be bloodguiltiness on his account. He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

4 "If what he stole is actually found alive in his possession, whether an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double.

5 "If a man lets a field or vineyard be grazed bare and lets his animal loose so that it grazes in another man's field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.

6 "If a fire breaks out and spreads to thorn bushes, so that stacked grain or the standing grain or the field itself is consumed, he who started the fire shall surely make restitution.

7 "If a man gives his neighbor money or goods to keep for him and it is stolen from the man's house, if the thief is caught, he shall pay double.

9 "For every breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any lost thing about which one says, 'This is it,' the case of both parties shall come before the judges; he whom the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.

11 an oath before the LORD shall be made by the two of them that he has not laid hands on his neighbor's property; and its owner shall accept it, and he shall not make restitution.

12 "But if it is actually stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner.

13 "If it is all torn to pieces, let him bring it as evidence; he shall not make restitution for what has been torn to pieces.

14 "If a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it is injured or dies while its owner is not with it, he shall make full restitution.

15 "If its owner is with it, he shall not make restitution; if it is hired, it came for its hire.

Leviticus 5:16 "He shall make restitution for that which he has sinned against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it and give it to the priest. The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it will be forgiven him.

Leviticus 6:5 or anything about which he swore falsely; he shall make restitution for it in full and add to it one-fifth more. He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering.

Leviticus 24:18 'The one who takes the life of an animal shall make it good, life for life.

21 'Thus the one who kills an animal shall make it good, but the one who kills a man shall be put to death.

Deuteronomy 7:10 but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face.

Deuteronomy 23:21 "When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the LORD your God will surely require it of you.

Deuteronomy 32:41 If I sharpen My flashing sword, And My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, And I will repay those who hate Me.

Judges 1:7 Adoni-bezek said, "Seventy kings with their thumbs and their big toes cut off used to gather up scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has repaid me." So they brought him to Jerusalem and he died there.

Ruth 2:12 "May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge."

1 Samuel 24:19 "For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safely? May the LORD therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day.

2 Samuel 3:39 "I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too difficult for me. May the LORD repay the evildoer according to his evil."

2 Samuel 12:6 "He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion."

2 Samuel 15:7 Now it came about at the end of forty years that Absalom said to the king, "Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron.

1 Kings 7:51 Thus all the work that King Solomon performed in the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things dedicated by his father David, the silver and the gold and the utensils, and he put them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD.

1 Kings 9:25 Now three times in a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he built to the LORD, burning incense with them on the altar which was before the LORD. So he finished the house.

2 Kings 4:7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest."

2 Kings 9:26 'Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons,' says the LORD, 'and I will repay you in this property,' says the LORD. Now then, take and cast him into the property, according to the word of the LORD."

2 Chronicles 5:1 Thus all the work that Solomon performed for the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, even the silver and the gold and all the utensils, and put them in the treasuries of the house of God.

Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days.

Job 8:6 If you are pure and upright, Surely now He would rouse Himself for you And restore your righteous estate.

Job 9:4 "Wise in heart and mighty in strength, Who has defied Him without harm?

Job 21:19 "You say, 'God stores away a man's iniquity for his sons.' Let God repay him so that he may know it.

31 "Who will confront him with his actions, And who will repay him for what he has done?

Job 22:27 "You will pray to Him, and He will hear you; And you will pay your vows.

Job 23:14 "For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him.

Job 34:11 "For He pays a man according to his work, And makes him find it according to his way.

33 "Shall He recompense on your terms, because you have rejected it? For you must choose, and not I; Therefore declare what you know.

Job 41:11 "Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine.

Psalm 22:25 From You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.

Psalm 31:23 O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer.

Psalm 35:12 They repay me evil for good, To the bereavement of my soul.

Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.

Psalm 38:20 And those who repay evil for good, They oppose me, because I follow what is good.

Psalm 41:10 But You, O LORD, be gracious to me and raise me up, That I may repay them.

Psalm 50:14 "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;

Psalm 56:12 Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You.

Psalm 61:8 So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may pay my vows day by day.

Psalm 62:12 And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work.

Psalm 65:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David. A Song. There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God, And to You the vow will be performed.

Psalm 66:13 I shall come into Your house with burnt offerings; I shall pay You my vows,

Psalm 76:11 Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them; Let all who are around Him bring gifts to Him who is to be feared.

Psalm 116:14 I shall pay my vows to the LORD, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.

18 I shall pay my vows to the LORD, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,

Psalm 137:8 O daughter of Babylon, you devastated one, How blessed will be the one who repays you With the recompense with which you have repaid us.

Proverbs 6:31 But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; He must give all the substance of his house.

Proverbs 7:14 "I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows.

Proverbs 11:31 If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, How much more the wicked and the sinner!

Proverbs 13:13 The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.

21 Adversity pursues sinners, But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.

Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, "I will repay evil"; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.

Proverbs 22:27 If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take your bed from under you?

Proverbs 25:22 For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you.

Ecclesiastes 5:4 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow!

5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

Isaiah 19:21 Thus the LORD will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the LORD and perform it.

Isaiah 38:12 "Like a shepherd's tent my dwelling is pulled up and removed from me; As a weaver I rolled up my life. He cuts me off from the loom; From day until night You make an end of me.

13 "I composed my soul until morning. Like a lion-- so He breaks all my bones, From day until night You make an end of me.

Isaiah 44:26 Confirming the word of His servant And performing the purpose of His messengers. It is I who says of Jerusalem, 'She shall be inhabited!' And of the cities of Judah, 'They shall be built.' And I will raise up her ruins again.

28 "It is I who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.' And he declares of Jerusalem, 'She will be built,' And of the temple, 'Your foundation will be laid.'"

Isaiah 57:18 "I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners,

Isaiah 59:18 According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; To the coastlands He will make recompense.

Isaiah 60:20 "Your sun will no longer set, Nor will your moon wane; For you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, And the days of your mourning will be over.

Isaiah 65:6 "Behold, it is written before Me, I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will even repay into their bosom,

Isaiah 66:6 "A voice of uproar from the city, a voice from the temple, The voice of the LORD who is rendering recompense to His enemies.

Jeremiah 16:18 "I will first doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable idols and with their abominations."

Jeremiah 18:20 Should good be repaid with evil? For they have dug a pit for me. Remember how I stood before You To speak good on their behalf, So as to turn away Your wrath from them.

Jeremiah 25:14 '(For many nations and great kings will make slaves of them, even them; and I will recompense them according to their deeds and according to the work of their hands.)'"

Jeremiah 32:18 who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. The LORD of hosts is His name;

Jeremiah 50:29 "Summon many against Babylon, All those who bend the bow: Encamp against her on every side, Let there be no escape. Repay her according to her work; According to all that she has done, so do to her; For she has become arrogant against the LORD, Against the Holy One of Israel.

Jeremiah 51:6 Flee from the midst of Babylon, And each of you save his life! Do not be destroyed in her punishment, For this is the LORD'S time of vengeance; He is going to render recompense to her.

24 "But I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all their evil that they have done in Zion before your eyes," declares the LORD.

56 For the destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon, And her mighty men will be captured, Their bows are shattered; For the LORD is a God of recompense, He will fully repay.

Ezekiel 33:15 if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

Hosea 14:2 Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to Him, "Take away all iniquity And receive us graciously, That we may present the fruit of our lips.

Joel 2:25 "Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you.

Joel 3:4 "Moreover, what are you to Me, O Tyre, Sidon and all the regions of Philistia? Are you rendering Me a recompense? But if you do recompense Me, swiftly and speedily I will return your recompense on your head.

Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD."

Nahum 1:15 Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah; Pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one pass through you; He is cut off completely.

Make atonement (03722)(kapar - word study)

It will be forgiven- See Leviticus 4:20 Comment

Forgiven (05545)(salach or see another study) means to pardon and is translated in the Lxx with the verb aphiemi which means to send off or away, to let go and then to cancel or forgives debts or sin.

Forgiveness in Leviticus (10x in 10v) - Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35, 5:10, 13, 16, 18, 6:7, 19:22

Leviticus 5:17 Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment.

  • Lev 5:1 4:2-4,13,22,27
  • though: Lev 5:15 Ps 19:12 Lk 12:48 Ro 14:23
  • yet is he: Lev 5:1,2 4:2,13,27
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

NET "If a person sins and violates any of the Lord's commandments which must not be violated (although he did not know it at the time, but later realizes he is guilty), then he will bear his punishment for iniquity


Leviticus 5:17-19

See discussion of the fulfillment of this Old Testament shadow in the Messiah rendering Himself (literally "His soul") as a guilt offering in commentary notes on Isaiah 53:10. 

Deffinbaugh has the following summary of the guilt offering:

1. Leviticus 5:14-16 The Guilt Offering is required for violating the Lord’s holy things.

2. Leviticus 5:17-19 The Guilt Offering is required when one sins without knowing it.

3. Leviticus 6:1-7 The Guilt Offering is required for extortion or robbery.

4. Leviticus 7:1-6 The details of the Guilt Offering.

Guzik on unaware - If someone desecrated the holy things of the tabernacle, 'I didn't know' was not an acceptable excuse. They had to still make sacrifice to atone for their sin. Ignorance can be sin. It is no excuse; often it is sin and must be atoned for.

In the guilt offering described in Lev 5:15-16, the offense was known, but in Lev 5:17-19, the offender does not know he has done wrong.

Wenham explains "This then is an instance of a suspected trespass against sacred property, one of the most dreaded sins in antiquity. Someone suspects he has sinned, but does not know exactly how. In his uncertainty he fears the worst, and therefore a reparation offering must be brought, a ram or its equivalent (in money). The gravity of sin dealt with by the reparation offering is demonstrated by the fact that unlike the burnt and purification offerings less valuable animals than rams could not be brought instead. However, since the sin was only suspected, not known, there was no restitution of sacred property involved. This sacrifice served then to pacify oversensitive Israelite consciences. The last clause, He has made reparation to the Lord (v. 19), underlines the assurance of forgiveness already mentioned in the previous verse."

If a person - The Hebrew is nephesh meaning "soul" which is translated in the Lxx with psuche means soul or life.

Sins (02398)(chata') misses the mark, translated in Lxx with hamartano which also speaks of misses God's mark.

He was unaware - Uses the Hebrew verb yada (to know preceded by a negative) and so "has not known" is a more literal translation. The Lxx translates yada with ginosko which means to know by experience. This

NET Note - The translation offered here (See NET version above) suggests (as in many other English versions) that the offender did not originally know that he had violated the LORD's commandments, but then came to know it and dealt with it accordingly (cf. the corresponding sin offering section in Lev 5:1–4). Another possibility is that it refers to a situation where a person suspects that he violated something although he does not recollect it. Thus, he brings a guilt offering for his suspected violation

Shall bear his punishment - This is more literally "shall bear his iniquity (the word translated "punishment" is 'avon)." The NAS translates avon not as iniquity but as what is the consequence of iniquity, that is, punishment. The NET version has "then he will bear his punishment for iniquity."

Pastor Adrian Rogers alludes to the importance of restitution if we are to maintain a clear conscience - You Need to Confess and Forsake Every Known Sin

Now, if you, as a Christian, have allowed your conscience as a Christian to become defiled, then you need to confess and forsake every known sin. God's Word says, in Proverbs 28:13-note: "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13-note). You cover them, and God will uncover them. You uncover them, and God will cover them. Hallelujah! "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13-note). Get saved, and God—the Holy Spirit of God—will purge your conscience. If you stumble, and fall, and fail, immediately uncover that. Confess it to the Lord.

I was in my study yesterday, and I was working on a deadline to get a book to the publisher. I had to put it Air Express. And, I'm sitting there, and Joyce says, "Adrian, come in here, please. I want to ask you something." And, she brought me in there. I said, "Da da da da da," and I was huffy with her—"Da da da da da da da da da"—went back, and sat down, working on a Christian book. And, God said, "Adrian, go tell her you're sorry. Go tell her you were rude, and ask her to forgive you." And, I had to do that. But, friend, the juices started to flow again. The joy was there again.

You see, when you try to cover it, or smother it, all you do is just harden your heart. You've got to keep your heart tender toward the Lord. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). And, you need to ask forgiveness—to have a clean conscience—to any one that you've wronged—not only to God, but to others. Matthew 5:23, 24: "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;"—not if you have anything against him; if he's got anything against you—"leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift" (Matthew 5:23-24-note).

Or, if there's somebody, on the other hand, that you need to get forgiveness from, or somebody that you need to give forgiveness to, our Lord says, in Matthew 6:14, 15: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15-note).

And, if possible, you need to make restitution. If you've done somebody wrong, and it's in your hand to make restitution, you need to do it. Listen to Numbers 5:6, 7: "Speak unto the children of Israel, when a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the LORD, and that person be guilty; then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principle thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed" (Numbers 5:6-7). Make restitution. That's why Zacchaeus said, "Lord, if I've defrauded any man, I'll restore to him fourfold" (Luke 19:8). Make restitution.

When I was a little boy, we had a roomer living with us—a woman. She was a roomer who rented a room in our house. I was a little fellow. I don't even think I'd started school yet. But, I went into her room. And there, on her dresser, I saw some Indianhead pennies, and I took them. When I got to be a grown man, I got saved. God, by His grace, saved me. I was a teenage boy, when I was saved, really. But, one day, I was praying, and, the Lord said, "You're a thief." "Well, God, you forgave me." "I know, but have you ever written to Vera, and told her that you stole from her, and asked her to forgive you, and to make restitution?" I realized I hadn't. It was the hardest and yet the sweetest thing I'd done in a long time—just to sit down, and say, "I went into your room, took something that was yours, and I'm sorry. Here's some money. I hope it's enough to cover the value of those antique coins. But, I'm so sorry." That was, in a way, embarrassing, but so sweet, so sweet—to have a conscience devoid of offense toward God, toward man.
And, when that happens, they can say anything they want about you, but you say, "It's all right. There is nothing between my soul and the Savior, nothing between my soul and my mate." And, friend, that is a powerful way to live. What joy, what strength! And, if, today, that warning system is saying to you, "Pull up! Pull up! Pull up!" don't switch it off. Listen to it. If you don't, you may make shipwreck. (From his sermon "How to Have a Good Conscience" on 1 Timothy - see abstract here)

Leviticus 5:18 He is then to bring to the priest a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his error in which he sinned unintentionally and did not know it, and it will be forgiven him.

  • he: Lev 5:15,16
  • for a trespass: Lev 6:6 1Ti 2:5,6
  • priest: Lev 5:16 1:4 4:20 6:7
  • Leviticus 5 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

It will be forgiven- For main discussion see Leviticus 4:20 Comment

Forgiven (05545)(salach or see another study) means to pardon and is translated in the Lxx with the verb aphiemi which means to send off or away, to let go and then to cancel or forgives debts or sin.

Forgiveness in Leviticus (10x in 10v) - Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35, 5:10, 13, 16, 18, 6:7, 19:22

Norman Geisler - Was the sacrifice to be brought to the priest or to the Lord? PROBLEM: Leviticus 5:15 instructs that one 'bring to the Lord an offering.' But a few verses later it says to 'bring it to the priest' (v. 18). SOLUTION: It was brought to the priest to be offered to the Lord. In Israel, the priests were the representatives of the people to God, as prophets were God's representatives to the people. (When critics ask : a popular handbook on Bible difficulties)

Leviticus 5:19 "It is a guilt offering; he was certainly guilty before the LORD."

KJV - It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.

Henry Morris - This is the fifth type of offering described in Leviticus, the others being the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering and the sin offering, as described in chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The phrase in the KJV (against the LORD) emphasizes that a trespass against one's fellow man is also a trespass against the LORD! NLT = "guilty of an offense against the LORD."

Guilty (0816)(asam - word study)

Before the LORD (61x in 59v in Leviticus out of 259 total uses in OT) - Lev 1:3, 5, 11; 3:1, 7, 12; 4:4, 6f, 15, 17f, 24; 5:19; 6:7, 14, 25; 7:30; 8:26f, 29; 9:2, 4f, 21, 24; 10:1f, 15, 17, 19; 12:7; 14:11f, 16, 18, 23f, 27, 29, 31; 15:14f, 30; 16:7, 10, 12f, 18, 30; 19:22; 23:11, 20, 28, 40; 24:3f, 6, 8;

TODAY IN THE WORD - Steve and Mike Lane had a gospel songwriter for a mother and a minister for a stepfather. 'We were two kids who grew up in church,' Steve says. Yet the stepfather kept a collection of pornographic magazines, which Steve and Mike found. As adults, they produced publications defending pornography and were set to enter the lucrative business themselves. Thirty thousand pornographic magazines had been printed and were stacked in a warehouse awaiting distribution. Then they watched an evangelistic television program and trusted Christ as Savior. Their lives changed, and their magazine investment was lost. Says Steve: 'What we have now is worth a lot more than money.' Steve and Mike could not sell their pornography magazine once Christ had entered their hearts. True repentance changes the heart and thus the actions. This same idea underlies the Old Testament guilt offering, the fourth sacrifice to be considered in this month's study. As in the sacrifices we've already studied, the guilt offering included true confession, blood atonement, and God's promise of forgiveness. One new feature is that this offering required restitution, when appropriate (Lev 5:16; 6:5). To show true repentance, a worshiper was required to pay back and add 20 percent (a double tithe). One type of sin requiring a guilt offering (also called a trespass offering) was the unintentional breaking of special commands regarding religious duties (Lev 5:15, 17). Examples included neglecting to tithe or eating the priest's portion of a sacrifice. The point, as summed up in today's verse, is that such sins were 'wrongdoing against the Lord' in a distinct way. TODAY ALONG THE WAY - We need to see our sins in the same way that God does. What does this mean?

James Smith - THE TRESPASS-OFFERING. THE ADAPTATION OF CHRIST'S WORK TO THE SINNER'S NEED. Leviticus 5; 6:1-7.The voice of the trespass-offering to man is: "He hath certainly trespassed against the Lord" (Lev 5:19). In connection with this offering individual sins rather than persons are prominently dealt with. Let us look at—

I. The need. "All we like sheep have gone astray." So a trespass -offering is needed. The sins mentioned here are cardinal ones, and prove that all have sinned.

1. THE SIN OF SILENCE when we ought to speak (Lev 5:1). Every privilege of witnessing for the truth that is neglected brings guilt. Silence may be sometimes golden, but it may also be criminal. Silence gives consent. How often do we Christians indulge in this guilty silence for Christ because of the fear of man? "I say unto you, Fear God."

2. THE SIN OF DEFILEMENT through unclean associations. "If a soul touch any unclean thing," &c. (vs. 2, 3). The hands and the feet may touch things unclean without incurring moral pollution, but not so with the soul. It is our fellowship with the unclean that corrupts the life. Even the touch of sympathy and desire will bring defilement and condemnation.

3. THE SIN OF IGNORANCE, in breaking the commands of the Lord. "If a soul commit any of these things which are forbidden, though he wist it not, yet is he guilty" (Lev 5:17). Neither our reason nor our conscience determine what is sin, but the Word of God. Inadvertence or negligence on our part to the revealed will of God is in itself sinful. Although Paul says he was forgiven because he did it ignorantly (1 Tim. 1:13), yet forgiveness was needed all the same. To say I am not conscious of sin does not imply that I am free from guilt (Psa. 19:12).

4. THE SIN OF DEFRAUDING our fellowmen (Lev 6:1, 2). All sin is against God. He holds the man guilty who deceives in any way his neighbour. The apostle realised this when he said, "I am debtor both to the Jew and to the Greek," &c. Defraud no man. How much owest thou?

II. The provision. The variety of the offerings allowed, according to the poverty of the guilty offerers, reveals the adaptability and all-sufficiency of the sacrifice to the need of all. The expense of the offering was reduced to the "tenth part of an ephah of fine flour" (Lev 6:7-11). A handful of flour was within the reach of the poorest. The grace of God which bringeth salvation to all men hath appeared. No matter how poor the offerers may be, the full value and power of the sacrifice was imputed to them. Our faith may be weak, poor indeed, but it lays hold on a strong Redeemer, the mighty to save. We may have but a poor estimate of the worth of Christ as our trespass-offering, and yet be as perfectly forgiven as those who are rich in faith, giving glory to God. There are no degrees in our justification before Him. All these various offerings represent the one sacrifice for the trespasses of the people. Associated with it we have these thoughts—

1. SUBSTITUTION. In every case the offering was for the offerer. "Christ loved us, and gave Himself for us" (Eph. 5:2). He died for our sins.

2. RESTORATION (Lev 6:1, 2). Our Lord Jesus Christ, by the offering of Himself, has restored that which sin and unbelief had taken away. Surely if we are dependent upon the trespass-offering for our restoration unto God we shall willingly restore to our fellowmen what we have fraudulently taken away from them. Freely ye have received, freely give.

3. COMPENSATION. "He shall make amends, and add the fifth part" (Lev 5:16). We are to give compensation to our brother man for loss through our acts, because there is in this offering as a type of Christ, not only the payment of a debt, but in a deep, unfathomable sense, the full compensating of God for loss sustained through the ruin of man by sin. Hallelujah, what a Saviour! The death of Christ has made amends unto God for our guilt, and added the "fifth part" of a glorious Church to the eternal praise of His holy Name.

III. The condition. The provision made by the trespass-offering availed nothing where there was no—

1. CONFESSION. "He shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing" (Lev 5:5). That thing implies that the confession must come down to particular things. The trespass-offering deals with these, and may have special reference to the sins of the backslider, which must be confessed in detail before restoration can come. Then there must be—

2. ACCEPTANCE. He must be willing to accept God's only way of deliverance from guilt, and be obedient to His Word.

IV. The promise. "And it shall be forgiven him" (Lev 5:10). This verse contains a double promise, giving a double assurance.

1. ATONEMENT MADE FOR HIM. The priest shall make an atonement for him. This work is outside of the offerer. This Christ has done for us (Ro. 5:11).

2. FORGIVENESS EXTENDED TO HIM. Justified freely by His grace. "Through this Man (Christ) is offered unto you the forgiveness of sins" (Acts 13:38). (Handfuls on Purpose)