Leviticus 5 Additional Sin Offerings and Guilt Offerings

Mar 13, 2014  |  Leviticus, Old Testament  |  No Comments

Circumstances Requiring Repentance and Additional Sin Offerings

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This passage discusses other sins that require a sin offering:

  • If a call is made to testify to something, and you fail to do so when you are a witness.
  • If you touch something unclean, even if you don’t realize it, you become unclean and are guilty.
  • If you touch an unclean person, but don’t know they’re unclean, when you find out you are guilty.
  • If you swear an oath to do something, either evil or good, you are guilty.

This is another set of sins that make you think.  They seem so trivial and, in some cases, unintentional.  And yet, they are sin to God and require a sacrifice.

Sacrifices Required for the Additional Sins

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The preferred sacrifice for making recompense for one of these sins is a female lamb or goat.  If the sinner cannot afford it, two pigeons or turtledoves or even flour or a grain offering are allowed as substitutions.  It is interesting in the case of the birds that one is offered as a burnt offering and other as a sin offering.  Although the law provides a certain amount of leeway for affordability, it could still be a drain to make these offerings consistently.

Guilt Offering

Yet another unintentional sin requires a guilt offering, a breach of faith regarding the holy things of the LORD.

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It’s not clear to me exactly what this is, but it seems to be some mishandling of the temple items that results in their damage or loss?  Whatever it means, the offering is clear, a ram without blemish or the equivalent value in silver, plus the restoration of the holy thing and an additional 20%.   Is there an implication for Christians here?  Not clear, other than giving care to the holy things of God in all contexts.

The second type of sin requiring a guilt offering is an unintentional breaking of any of God’s commandments.  When the person realizes they have broken a commandment, a guilt offering is required.

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The offering is the same – a ram or the equivalent value given to the priest and the priest will make atonement and God will forgive him.  The final verse is something we should all contemplate:

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“he has indeed incurred guilt before the LORD”

If we ever think that we’re good people and acceptable before the LORD, we need to remember this verse.  This statement is about someone who broke ANY of God’s commandments UNINTENTIONALLY.  In the New Testament, Paul says it best:

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When you realize how guilty you are, even if you feel fairly innocent, be thankful that Jesus Christ took on our sin and offered us the free, undeserved gift of salvation.

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