Leviticus Chapter 4 Second Continued
We have been looking at the sin offering in the last few lessons. We saw that the sin offering for the priest was the same offering as the offering for the whole church. In this lesson, we will look at the sin offering of a ruler, and the sin offering of the common people. We could relate this to our governors, mayors, senators, representatives, or even the president. We will find that their offering is different. Perhaps this is because the ruler affects the lives of all the people he represents. A good ruler will carry out the will of God, while he is in office. We find most politicians not seeking God’s will, but the will of those who put him in office. Little do they realize that the powers that be, are there because God put them there, not the people.
Verses 22-26: These are sacrifices for the sin of a ruler. The blood of the sacrifice was not sprinkled in the Holy Place, as for the priest or congregation (4:6, 17), but only on the altar of burnt offering.
Leviticus 4:22 “When a ruler hath sinned, and done [somewhat] through ignorance [against] any of the commandments of the LORD his God [concerning things] which should not be done, and is guilty;”
Or “prince”, the “nasi”. One that is lifted up above others in honor, power, and authority, or that bears the weight of government. The word comes from one which signifies to lift up, or to bear. It may be understood of a governor of a family, or of a tribe, as Aben Ezra observes. And so in the Talmud it is said, it means the prince of a tribe, such as Nachson the son of Amminadab, prince of the tribe of Judah. Maimonides says a king is designed, over whom none has power. And so Gersom on the place, who observes, that David the king is called a prince (Ezek. 34:24).
“And done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord his God”: The phrase, “his God”, is here added, and is not used neither of the anointed priest, nor of the congregation, nor of one of the common people. Only of the prince, to show, that though he is above others, God is above him, and he is accountable to him. He is his God, of whom he is, and by whom he rules. Wherefore if he breaks any of his commandments, though ignorantly, he must bring a sacrifice for it.
“Concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty”: Of transgressing negative precepts, which are as binding on him as others.
In this verse above, we see that this ruler believed in God; (the Lord his God). We must also see that this is not a deliberate sin, but a sin through ignorance. The third thing we must see is that he really did sin and he is guilty.
Leviticus 4:23 “Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:”
Or rather, “and if his sin”, etc. Either by means of others informing him of it, or of himself calling to mind what he has done, and considering it to be a transgression of the law.
“He shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish”: His offering was to be a “kid of the goats”. A fat and a large one; because, as Baal Hatturim observes, he ate fat things every day. And to distinguish it from the offering of one of the common people; and “without blemish”; as all sacrifices were, that they might be typical of the offering of Christ without spot.
When I see a goat, it reminds me of the separation of the sheep and goats in heaven. Perhaps the offering of this goat here tells us that the ruler is a ruler in worldly things, not so much the spiritual things. He is possibly not of the sheepfold. The sheep follow the great Shepherd Jesus Christ. This above is a male goat which has horns. The horns, of course denote strength. A goat’s horns would denote world power. We see that possibly, this is a sin against the world and not of the congregation.
Leviticus 4:24 “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it [is] a sin offering.”
His right hand, as the Targum of Jonathan (see notes on Lev. 1:4).
“And kill it”: Not the prince, but the priest after mentioned, or the butcher, as the same Targum. That is, the priest shall kill it; for it was not lawful for any out of that office to kill the beast.
“In the place where they kill the burnt offering before the Lord”: In the court on the north side of the altar (see Lev. 1:11).
“It is a sin offering”: An offering for his sin of ignorance, or “sin”. So Christ our offering is said to be (2 Cor. 5:21).
We see that the goat is to be killed just inside the tabernacle of the congregation at the bronze altar. This ruler, even though he rules in things of the world, is still answerable to God for the way he governs. There is no one on this earth, who does not have to answer to a higher power. The most powerful king in all the world has to answer to God for his actions. This sin offering then is possibly, for his sins in regard to the way he governs.
Leviticus 4:25 “And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering.”
With the finger of his right hand, as the Talmudists observe, and Gersom on the place. The priest first received the blood into a basin or ministering vessel, and then dipped the finger of his right hand into it.
“And put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering”: The four horns of it. In this there was a difference between the sacrifice of the anointed priest and of the congregation, and this of the ruler. The blood of the former was put upon the horns of the altar of incense, this upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering.
“And shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering”: The South bottom of it. The order of the priest’s proceeding in putting the blood was different from that used in putting it on the horns of the altar of incense. Here he first put the blood upon the southeast horn, then upon the northeast, next upon the northwest, and then upon the southwest. And upon the bottom of that horn where he finished, he poured the remainder of the blood, which was the southern bottom.
One of the most apparent differences in this offering is that the blood is not carried into the presence of God, as the other 2 were. I see in this, that this is a worldly matter, not a heavenly matter. We see in the other offerings that the blood was taken to the veil of separation and sprinkled 7 times before the Lord. This was to make mankind able to go into the presence of the Father. This is not done in this instance. The blood is applied to the horns where the burnt offering is made. This then, would indicate that this offering is for the outer court.
Blood on the horns indicates the power of this ruler, in dealing with the people, is ordained of God. This was not for man to go to heaven, but had to do with this earth. I cannot help but think that this has to do with the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. He will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords, here on the earth for 1000 years.
Revelation 17:14 “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.”
Revelation 19:16 And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written,” KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. We see the blood not only applied on the horns of the altar, but poured out at the base of the altar on the ground. We still see the substitute of the goat’s blood for the sin of the ruler. Jesus shed His blood for the whole earth. We see this in the blood being poured out at the foot of the altar and being absorbed in the earth. Horns denote strength, and we see by this that the strength here is from God.
Leviticus 4:26 “And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.”
Of burnt offering, that is, the priest shall do it.
“As the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings (see Lev. 3:3).
“And the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin”: In a typical way, directing to the great sacrifice of Christ, which is the only real atonement and propitiation for sin. The Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render, “the priest shall pray for him”: for the pardon of his sin.
“And it shall be forgiven him”: Not for the prayers of the priest, nor for the sacrifice offered up, but for the sake of Christ. The antitype of such sacrifices, and when faith was exercised on him. Or the meaning is, he shall not be punished for it.
This fat burned, is a sweet savor to God. We see that this offering is accepted by God. We know that this offering does not open the veil into the most Holy Place, as in the other offering. It appears that this offering is for blessings of this earth, since the blood was not sprinkled 7 times before the veil. God accepts this offering and the one who offered is forgiven. Blessings from God can be two-fold. The right hand blessing was always a spiritual blessing and was really a promise of eternal life in heaven. The left hand blessing was a blessing for the earth. The patriarchs blessed their children and grandchildren in this manner. Possibly, the two sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael, were the best example of this. Isaac was known as the son of the spirit and Ishmael was the son of the flesh. Both were blessed, but Isaac’s blessing was for all generations of believers in the Spirit. Ishmael’s blessings were just for the earth.
Leviticus 4:27 “And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth [somewhat against] any of the commandments of the LORD [concerning things] which ought not to be done, and be guilty;”
Or, “if one soul of the people of the earth”. That is, a single person, and so is distinguished from the congregation, one of the common sort of people. However, is neither a high priest, nor a prince, or king, but either a common priest, or Levite, or Israelite. No man is free from sin; all sorts of persons, of all ranks and degrees. High and low, rich and poor, men in office, civil or ecclesiastical, or in whatsoever state of life, are liable to sin. And do sin continually, either ignorantly or willingly. And Christ is a sacrifice for all sins and for all sorts of sinners.
“Whilst he doeth somewhat”: etc. (see notes on Lev. 4:2; 4:13; 4:22).
Common in the Scripture above means country, earth, grounds, world, or wilderness. This seems strange, but it gives meaning to this Scripture. The people mentioned in the Scripture above then would be earthly people. They are Israelites however, since these are Israel’s descendants who left Egypt headed for the Promised Land. We might think of these, in our day, of people who say they are Christians, but really are not interested in God’s purpose for life. They are caught up in the world so much that their belief in Christ is secondary to them. They would not find it necessary to study God’s Word, or to get personally involved in His work. It would be really easy for them to sin without knowing they were sinning, since they had not studied the Bible very much.
Leviticus 4:28 “Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.”
So that he is convinced that he has sinned.
“Then he shall bring his offering”: To the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to the priest there:
“A kid of the goats”: A young goat.
“A female without blemish”: And so inferior to the offering of the ruler or prince. For the characters of men are aggravations of their sins, and sacrifices were to be in some measure answerable to them, and suitable to their circumstances.
“For the sin which he hath sinned”: To atone for it in a typical way.
Notice in these sin offerings, how the priest was required to bring the most offering. Then notice the congregation, who knew the will of God was required to bring the next best offering. The ruler brought a lesser gift than the priest, and now the common people brought an even lesser offering. The ruler’s offering had to be more, because his sin affected more people than just the common people. A female animal had less strength than a male animal, and would therefore be correct to bring in this instance, since the ruler was stronger than the common people. Regardless of how poor a person was; he still must bring an offering to the Lord. The shedding of blood was required for a sin offering always. Even though this goat is a female, the shed blood of this animal cleansing from sin still shadowed the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not necessary for a shadow to be the exact same as the one it shadowed. It must just remind us of the one being shadowed. Notice also that even this lesser offering must be without blemish.
Leviticus 4:29 “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.”
His right hand, as the Targum of Jonathan. Not the priest that shall offer it, but the man that has sinned, that brings it, thereby confessing his sin, and transferring it to the sacrifice.
“And slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering”: That is, on the north side of the altar.
We see one more time, the transfer of the sin to the animal, by the laying of the hand upon its head. The shed blood is the price to be paid for the sin of the person.
Leviticus 4:30 “And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar.”
So that all the preceding actions, the bringing the offering, the putting the hand upon the head of it, and slaying it, were done by the man that sinned. Of this and what follows here and in the next verse (Leviticus 4:31; see notes on Lev. 4:25; 4:26).
This is the same as the offering for the ruler. The power is in the blood.
Leviticus 4:31 “And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn [it] upon the altar for a sweet savor unto the LORD; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.”
(See notes on Lev. 4:25-26).
This offering again, is the same as the offering for the ruler. God accepts this fat burned as a sweet savor to God.
Leviticus 4:32 “And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish.”
As he might if he would. The Jews observe, that in all places a lamb is put before a goat, as being more excellent in its kind. But here it is mentioned after, which shows, they say, that they are equally alike.
“He shall bring it a female without blemish”: Typical of Christ the Lamb of God, without spot and without blemish (1 Peter 1:19).
This again, is just showing that these common people were not required to bring as valuable a gift as was required for the ruler. We also can look and see that there were fewer restrictions on the common people, than on the ruler. To rule requires self-denial and a stricter way of life than for the common people.
Leviticus 4:33 “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering.”
On the head of the lamb, as on the head of the goat. Even his right hand, as the above Targum, as before.
“And slay it for a sin offering, in the place where they kill the burnt offering”: For if it was not slain for a sin offering, but for something else. Or on any other account, as for a burnt offering, it was not right.
Leviticus 4:34 “And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar:”
(See notes on Leviticus 4:25-26).
Leviticus 4:35 “And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him.”
(See notes on Leviticus 4:25-26).
In each of these verses about the offerings of the common people, the offering is the same, except a female goat or sheep could be offered, whereas for the ruler, it must be a male goat. We do not see instructions in this to take the animal outside of town to burn the meat, as we did in the case of the congregation’s and the priest’s offering.
Leviticus Chapter 4 Second Continued Questions
1. How did the sin offering for the priest differ from the sin offering for the congregation?
2. Describe a good ruler. Who in our society today could we relate the ruler to? Who do most politicians today try to please?
3. In verse 22, what tells us that this ruler believes in God?
4. His sin must not be a deliberate sin, but a sin of ______________.
5. He has not been falsely accused, he is __________.
6. What is the sin offering the ruler should bring?
7. What does the author believe shows that his rule is a worldly rule?
8. Horns denote what?
9. A goat’s horns then would denote what?
10. Are rulers in high authority exempt from worshipping God?
11. Where is the 2 places the priest put the blood of the animal?
12. What is one of the most apparent differences with this offering and the offering of the priest and the congregation?
13. Blood on the horns indicate that this ruler’s power comes from where?
14. How many years will Jesus reign on the earth?
15. What will be His title then, when He comes to reign?
16. Who are the blessed and holy in verse 6 of Revelation chapter 20?
17. Without the shedding of ________, there is no remission of sin.
18. What was to be burned on the altar of the sin offering of the ruler?
19. What kind of blessing was the right hand blessing?
20. What kind of blessing was the left hand blessing?
21. In the Old Testament, what 2 sons were a good example of the right and left hand blessing?
22. What does the word, common, mean in Leviticus chapter 4 verse 27?
23. How can we relate the common people here and the people of our day?
24. What was the offering the common people could bring?
25. How is it permissible for this female goat’s blood to shadow the blood of Jesus?
26. What is done by the person offering the goat that shows the transfer of the person’s sin to the goat?
27. Who was to put the blood of the animal on the horns of the altar?
28. For the common people, what type of lamb was permissible to bring?
29. What instructions had been omitted in the sin offering for the ruler and common people that had been included in the sin offering for the priest and the congregation?
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