Leviticus Chapter 5 Continued
In the previous lesson, we have been studying the sin offering for being eyewitness to a sin and not reporting it, the sin of swearing, and the sin of being in contact with an unclean thing. We know that the offering varied according to the ability of the sinner to pay. We will now see that this lesson deals with the very poor who can hardly pay anything. These offerings were all blood offerings.
Leviticus 5:11 “But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put [any] frankincense thereon: for it [is] a sin offering.”
Which is supposing a man to be in the poorest circumstances he can well be. And such is the grace and goodness of God, that he has provided for the atonement and forgiveness of the poorest, as well as of the rich.
“Then he that hath sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering”: Which is an omer (Exodus 16:36), and is as much as a man can eat in one day, as Aben Ezra remarks. “Ephah”: About 6 gallons.
“He shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon”: To distinguish it from the common meat offering, which had both (Lev. 3:1). And to make it as easy, and as little chargeable to the poor as possible, both oil and frankincense being things of value. And some think that these were prohibited, to show that atonement and forgiveness. And even the salvation of men, are not owing to grace in them. Comparable to oil, or to their prayers, signified by frankincense, and so to any or all of their duties, but to Christ alone, and his atoning sacrifice. Or these were forbidden, because emblems of joy and gladness, and therefore not so proper at a confession of sin, and humiliation for it. Or rather to show how disagreeable and offensive sin was to the Lord, being contrary to grace, of which oil was an emblem, and far from being acceptable to him, which frankincense might signify. And therefore being prohibited, might denote how unacceptable, yea nauseous, sin is to him; which agrees with the reason given. “Put no oil … frankincense”: Contrast the grain offering (2:2).
“For it is a sin offering”: And therefore must not be honored, as Jarchi. Or must have everything removed from it that is beautiful and amiable, as Ben Gersom, such as oil and frankincense.
Even though there is no blood evident in this offering of bread, it does not eliminate the fact that there is no remission of sin except by the shedding of blood. We discussed in a previous lesson, that this is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ (The Bread). The shadow has no blood, but the person it shadows does. Jesus is the Bread of life. His body was spoken of as bread. Jesus was our sin offering when He was crucified on the cross. This is unleavened bread, which is the only kind that can symbolize the sinless body of Christ. Jesus shed His blood for us.
Leviticus 5:12 “Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, [even] a memorial thereof, and burn [it] on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: it [is] a sin offering.”
The flour just as it was, not kneaded and made into a cake, as appears by what follows.
“And the priest shall take his handful of it”: As much of the flour as he could hold in one hand.
“Even a memorial thereof”: To bring to mind his sin, and the goodness of God in admitting of an offering for it, and forgiving it upon that.
“And burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the Lord”: In the same manner as other burnt offerings were made.
“It is a sin offering”: Or an expiatory sacrifice for sin.
Leviticus 5:13 “And the priest shall make an atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and [the remnant] shall be the priest’s, as a meat offering.”
By burning the handful of flour brought by him, as an emblem of the painful sufferings of Christ, whereby he made atonement for the sins of his people.
“As touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these”: For whatsoever sin he had committed in any of the above cases (Lev. 5:1).
“And it shall be forgiven him”: Upon the foot of the atonement made (see notes on Lev. 5:10).
“And the remnant shall be the priest’s as a meat offering”: The whole tenth part of an ephah of fine flour was the priest’s, excepting the handful he took and burnt. Just as in the case of a common meat offering (Lev. 2:3).
We see clearly here, that the minister of the church is supposed to live of the offerings brought to the church. Notice also that the priest (preacher), is to help the sinner that comes to the church, and that is without exception. When the sinner comes with a repentant heart, the preacher prays for him or her, and then praise God, his sins are forgiven. This memorial of this that is burned on the altar is very pleasing to God. It shows the sincerity of the repentance.
Verses 5:14 – 6:7 (see 7:1-10), for the priests’ instructions. The trespass or guilt offering symbolized an atonement for sin unknowingly committed where restitution was possible. Like the sin offering (4:1 – 5:13), this one was compulsory. For sins against the Lord’s property, restitution was made to the priest (5:14-19), while restitution was made to the person who suffered loss in other instances (6:1-7).
Leviticus 5:14 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,”
Out of the tabernacle of the congregation (Lev. 1:1), he continued to speak to him.
“Saying”: As follows in the next verse.
I believe this sudden break here back to who is giving these directions, and to whom they are given, is to show us this is not something Moses just came up with but are God’s wishes. These laws are many times called the law of Moses, when in fact, they are the law of God.
Leviticus 5:15 “If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering:”
In the sacrificial system in general, different animals were designated for different offerings according to their relative value. A bull was considered the costliest offering because the Hebrew people raised them for meat. Rams were needed for servicing ewes, so they too were a significant offering.
“Shekel of the sanctuary”: This amounted to 20 gerahs (Exodus 30:13; Lev. 27:25; Num. 3:47), or 2 bekas (Exodus 38:26), which is the equivalent of four-tenths of one ounce. God fixed the value of a shekel.
The trespass offering and the sin offering, I do not believe to be the same. This trespass offering seemed to be a sin of omission of the duties toward God. In the sin offering, it seemed the offering was for a specific sin; and in the trespass offering, it seemed they were sacrificing for cleansing of their attitude toward God. This would be like a backslider praying to be forgiven for backsliding.
Silver means redemption, as we have said in so many of these lessons. This sacrifice should be of sufficient value, so as to compensate for the neglect of the person’s duties to God. The trespass offering carried a penalty of 20% for failing to pay on time. It seemed that this could be owed to the temple, or to other believers. In this, the person had to make restitution for what he had neglected to do previously. When a person did not pay their tithes and offerings, it was as if they planned to rob God. If people today were fined 20% above their tithes and offerings that they had not brought to the temple, there would be enough ready cash to evangelize the whole world.
Leviticus 5:16 “And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.”
“Add a fifth part”: The offender was required to make a 120 percent restitution, which was considerably lower than that prescribed elsewhere in the Mosaic law, e.g. (Exodus 22:7, 9). Perhaps this is accounted for by a voluntary confession in contrast to an adjudicated and forced conviction.
Notice that after the person makes amends for the wrong he or she has done, God forgives them. This should be good news for all the backsliders, God will take you back if you truly repent and try to make amends for the harm you have done.
Leviticus 5:17 “And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist [it] not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.”
Respecting holy things: though he wist it not. Or did not know that he had transgressed a negative command.
“Yet he is guilty, and shall bear the iniquity”: Be chargeable with guilt, and is liable to punishment, and must make an atonement and satisfaction for it (see Luke 12:48).
We see in this that ignorance is no excuse. Here in the United States, that is probably more so than any other place on the globe. Bibles are readily available at all book stores. A person has no excuse for not knowing the will of God in their lives. Read your Bible and find the will of God for yourself. In some countries of the world, it is not possible to buy a Bible, even if you had the money to buy it. It is up to us, who are so blessed to see that these people have the privilege of owning a Bible. We must send Bibles to those places at all cost. We are our brother’s keeper.
Leviticus 5:18 “And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist [it] not, and it shall be forgiven him.”
(See notes on Leviticus 5:15).
“With thy estimation for a trespass offering to the priest”: Along with the offering was to be brought an estimate of whatsoever damage had been done through the breach of any of the commands of God. Where damage could take place, that so recompense be made as before directed. Or else the ram brought was to be valued, and examined whether it was worth two shekels of silver, as before explained (see notes on Lev. 5:15). But no fifth was required as in the former cases.
“And the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred, and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him” (see notes on Leviticus 5:10). This is what the Jews call “Asham Talui”, or guilt-offering.
As we have said so many times in these lessons, this ram typifies Christ. It must be without blemish, as He was perfect in every way. God does not want second best, He wants you to be sold out to Him and bring Him the best you have.
Leviticus 5:19 “It [is] a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.”
An offering for a trespass committed.
“He hath certainly trespassed against the Lord”: Though committed ignorantly, and therefore an offering must be brought. For no sin of any kind must be overlooked, passed by, or forgiven, without a sacrifice, or without atonement made by sacrifice. Or, “he shall offer a trespass offering to the Lord”, or before the Lord, as Onkelos. Or before the Word of the Lord, as Jonathan. And Maimonides out of Siphri observes, that whereas it is said, a trespass or trespass offering to the Lord, it was not lawful for the priests to eat of it.
Trespass was translated from “asham” which means fault. It is our fault, if we do not do as God has instructed us to do. LORD in this is Jehovah, the self-existent One. Sins may be different in that they usually involve other people, but trespass is directly disobeying God. One more time, I believe trespass differs from sin in that trespass is overlooking the things of God that we are obligated to do. It is a trespass of omission rather than commission, which is sin. When we pray we ask God to forgive us of our trespasses and sins. You can easily see; they are not the same.
Leviticus Chapter 5 Continued Questions
1. What was the only reason the offering for sin could vary?
2. What was the offering that the very poor were to bring?
3. Why was this offering not to be covered with frankincense?
4. Who is the Bread that can be a sin offering?
5. The shadow has no ________ but the person it shadows has ______.
6. What type of offering was Jesus for us when He was crucified?
7. This handful that the priest burned was spoken of as what?
8. What should the minister of the church live on?
9. Who is the minister of the church to help?
10. What shows the sincerity of the repentance in verse 12?
11. Who was giving all of this information to Moses?
12. These laws are many times called the law of Moses, but whose laws are they really?
13. For a trespass against God or the sanctuary, what was the offering to be brought, if the person could afford it?
14. How did the trespass offering differ from the sin offering?
15. What does silver symbolize?
16. How could you relate the trespass offering to our day?
17. What kind of a penalty was to be paid on a neglected gift payment?
18. If everyone in our society today would pay up on their tithes and pay 20% interest, what would we be able to do?
19. In verse 16, what wonderful promise was given, if they did as God instructed them?
20. God will accept backsliders back, but what must they do first?
21. Is ignorance a legitimate excuse with God?
22. Why must the people in the United States send Bibles all over the world?
23. Who does the ram typify in this offering?
24. What does trespass in these verses mean?
25. LORD, in verse 19, is whom?
26. One more time, how does the trespass differ from the sin offering?