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Leviticus 5:1-19 (The Trespass Offering)

May 14, 2017   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Leviticus, Leviticus (written), Old Testament, Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Leviticus 5:1-19
The Trespass Offering

Have you ever been pulled over for speeding and had no idea you were 10 miles an hour over the posted speed limit? Since you had gotten onto the road, there was no speed limit sign. And it just happens that the last sign was posted one road BEFORE you turned onto it. How can it be your fault when something like that happens? Well it is. Ignorance of the law is _________?

The same is true with going to another state and finding out that something you are doing is against the law, whereas you do it in your state every day, and twice on Sunday. Too bad; so sad. Pay the fine, and dontchew whine.

This is the idea behind the passage today. There are things which caused the people to become guilty, even if they didn’t realize it. There are a variety of ways this could come about, but the fact that they did come about is all that matters. When the person discovered their transgression, they were considered guilty.

From there, they were to confess their guilt and then make an offering for atonement, or covering over, what they had done. This is what was expected of them. During times when people actually cared about their wrongs, the stream of blood from the sacrifices must have gone on and on.

I can look back on my life and think of countless times that I did something I later realized was not legal. Add in the times that I knew I was doing wrong, and the list would go on pretty much continuously. You do realize that the speed limit from here to my house has been set too low, and so it’s not really my fault that I go 60 instead of 40 most of the way.

Text Verse: Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19

God has a standard, and that standard is the law. The law has expectations and demands which must be met, and it is the truly foolish person that would think, even for a moment, that they believed they perfectly met all of those requirements. And yet, there’s a guy in Sarasota, even right down the road from where we are now, that has the folks in his synagogue believing the he has done exactly that. A friend of mine attends there and he told me once that his rabbi perfectly meets all 613 of the law’s commands.

Well, I could probably show him at least a hundred that it is impossible for him to meet because there is no temple and there are no sacrifices, and so what he claims cannot be true. But even apart from that, nobody will ever tell me that they have never coveted. If they were to do so, I’d say then that they were also a liar… oops, there’s two. We could go on, but there is no point. We are told in Leviticus that the man who does the things of the law will live.

The unstated, but obvious implication is that the man who does not do the things of the law will die. One final command in the law which is kind of the death knell for this rabbi concerns that of the Prophet. The Lord told Moses, who then told the people that He would raise up a prophet like Moses who would speak the word of the Lord to people. He then said that whoever would not hear His words which He spoke in the Lord’s name, well it would be required of Him. That prophet is Yeshua, and this guy ain’t listening to the Lord through Yeshua. I would pray that he realizes the err of his ways before that great Day of judgment comes.

But for those of us who know Him, Yeshua, or “Jesus,” our debt is paid, our transgressions are covered over, and we have peace with God once again. Instead of many sacrifices for many infractions, we have one for all of them. Thank God for Jesus Christ who is the fulfillment of everything pictured here in Leviticus. It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. The Hidden Thing that Becomes Known (verses 1-13)

If a person sins

The last chapter dealt with the sin-offerings to be presented for various groups. There was one for the high-priest, being the spiritual head of the people. There was one for the whole congregation. There was one for a ruler of the people. And finally, there was one for the individual members of the congregation.

Now, specific instances of sins which are committed are identified. They are of a type which is of less magnitude than those mentioned in chapter 4. In the committing of these sins, there must be an offering for atonement to come about. In the Hebrew, the word nephesh, or soul, is used for “person” here. “If a soul sins…” It indicates that there is a will and a desire which drives the person, and it is that part of the person which is being highlighted. In all, three particular types of sin will be mentioned.

1 (con’t)  in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter

The word here for “oath” is alah. It indicates a curse, cursing, an oath, swearing, etc. For this reason, some tie the offense being described in with a curse against another person, as in a verbal attack. However, this is not the intent of what is being said.

Rather, the main idea is that of a person being asked by the civil authorities to answer on oath, but subsequently refusing to tell what is known concerning the matter being looked into. The word is used in Psalm 10, where it is translated as “cursing.” But if the context is looked at, it is a cursing which is not a verbal attack on another, but rather one which is tied into deceit and oppression –

His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression;
Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.” Psalm 10:7

If one were to use the word “oath” instead of “cursing” there, the sense of the offense is better understood. “His mouth is full of oaths and deceit and oppression…” In other words, it is speaking of the kind of person who voluntarily makes oaths which are deceitful and harmful to others. “Mark’s money was stolen, did you know anything about this John?” “No, I swear I didn’t know a thing about it!”

As Israel is a society of people which forms a whole, it was an individual’s duty and responsibility to provide whatever the authorities needed to maintain the integrity of proper functioning of the society which was ultimately guided by God’s divine law.

There are times where a matter was being looked into, and an answer to the offense could not be found. In such an instance, it may be that the authorities would ask an entire congregation of people to make a vow, stating that they did not know anything about the offense which occurred. In this, if one of the people was aware of what occurred, but did not speak up, he was guilty.

The law of the unsolved murder of Deuteronomy 21:1-9 might be such an instance. If anyone aware of the offense did not come forward to speak during that rite, he was actually considered in the Lord’s eyes to have participated in what occurred. This had to be remedied. Until the matter was cleared up, it was an offense which carried its own burden…

1 (con’t)  if he does not tell it, he bears guilt.

The weight of the guilt was laid upon him. It is a matter of his conscience. He has committed a crime, and he is conscious of the sin he bore. This is evident because if he wasn’t conscious, there would otherwise be no reason to bring a sacrifice as will be prescribed in the coming verses. This is a willful concealing of a matter which affects some other part of the Lord’s overall control of the people through His law. Of this type of oath which is demanded of another, an example is found in the New Testament, at the trial of Jesus.

And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?”

They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”

67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?” Matthew 26:62-68

Jesus was placed under oath by the high priest. Because of the position of the high priest, He was bound by the Law of Moses, which He gave to Israel, to tell the truth. He did, and therefore He remained without guilt in the matter. There is an irony that runs through the Bible that is astonishing when properly considered.

‘Or if a person touches any unclean thing,

The second type of trespass is for that of defilement due to touching something unclean. Here the noun tame, or unclean, is used for the first time. It comes from the verb tame which is the act of defilement, such as when Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, was defiled by Hamor the son of Shechem in Genesis 34. It is a word which will become common in the Hebrew society from this point on. If a person came into contact with something defiled, they took on that state of defilement until it was dealt with. There are a host of things which would make one unclean in this way, such as…

2 (con’t) whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean livestock, or the carcass of unclean creeping things,

The word nebelah, or carcass, is introduced here. It indicates what is left after death; a corpse. In touching a corpse, defilement was transferred to the person who touched it. Three categories are given to show what corpse was included. The carcass of an unclean beast would be something like a pig. The carcass of unclean livestock might be a donkey, and the carcass of unclean creeping things would be something like a reptile. The general categories are given to signify all unclean animals in regards to dietary laws.

2 (con’t) and he is unaware of it,

There are four likely reasons why a person would be unaware of his defilement. The first would be because he simply didn’t know he had touched something dead. The second would be because he was unaware of the requirement of the law which told him of his defilement. The third would be that he forgot he had touched something dead. And the fourth would be that he willingly ignored the offense. An example of someone doing this is given in Judges –

So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnah.

Now to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him. 6 And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.

7 Then he went down and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. 8 After some time, when he returned to get her, he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion. And behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the carcass of the lion. 9 He took some of it in his hands and went along, eating. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they also ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion. Judges 14:5-9

Samson was certainly aware of having touched the defiled animal, but he may have been unaware of the law, which is unlikely, or he may have simply ignored the command of the law. The parents became guilty through the act of eating the honey as well, but they were at this time unaware of the defilement. In all three cases, they were required to follow the procedures of the law given here when the trespass became known.

The matter extending to that which is unknown is important in that it shows that those who are even unaware of their defilement are still guilty. It is an exhortation then to be aware of one’s surroundings, and to not simply assume that passing through life is an excuse for one to not pay heed to what is going on around him. This is made explicit with the following words…

2 (con’t) he also shall be unclean and guilty.

This, by default, is a ceremonial, not a moral guilt. The conscience is not naturally defiled by touching a carcass. However, because this is a part of the ceremonial law, a person is considered defiled ceremonially, and thus they bear guilt until they take the necessary action to have the guilt removed.

Or if he touches human uncleanness—

This is another new word, tum’ah. It is uncleanness which comes from being unclean. In other words, a human that is unclean because of defilement is in a state of defilement. A woman in the time of her period is in this state. A person who has a discharge is in this state. And so on. If any person touches such uncleanness, they too become defiled. This word is used in the instructions to Samson’s mother for the rule and conduct of his life –

So the woman came and told her husband, saying, “A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name. 7 And He said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’” Judges 13:6, 7

3 (con’t) whatever uncleanness with which a man may be defiled, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty.

As with defilement of the previous verse, so it is here. The person is considered defiled whether they realize it or not. Once realized, they were to consider themselves guilty because they were guilty.

‘Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips

Now a third way of becoming guilty is introduced. It is through the act of speaking in a certain manner. The word “swears” here is not meant in the way we use it today, such as in using a bad word. Rather it is swearing as in an oath or a vow. When a person so swears through speaking thoughtlessly, then guilt may come about. The words “speaking thoughtlessly” are a single word in the Hebrew, bata. It is a rare word, found only four times in the Bible. It means “to babble.” From that comes the idea of speaking rashly or unadvisedly. It is used in the psalms when speaking of Moses –

They angered Him also at the waters of strife,
So that it went ill with Moses on account of them;
33 Because they rebelled against His Spirit,
So that he spoke rashly with his lips. Psalm 106:32, 33

So what we have in this verse is a person who speaks an oath in a rash manner to do something, but they don’t consider the oath afterwards, forgetting it when the trouble has subsided. A perfect example of this is found in 1 Samuel 25 –

Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good. 22 May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light.” 1 Samuel 25:21, 22

David made the vow to kill all of the males of Nabal’s household, but Nabal’s wife, Abigail, came to pacify David over the rude treatment he had received. David was, in fact, pacified. He never followed through with his vow, but he was now guilty because of it. If it was brought to his memory, he needed to rectify the matter.

Another such vow is found in Acts 23 where a group of Jews made a vow not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. It was less rash, than pre-planned, but it was still a vow which was not fulfilled. Unfortunately for them, Christ had died in fulfillment of the law. Thus, any sacrifice they made would have been unsuccessful in removing their guilt. Only in coming to Christ could they hope for their guilt to be removed.

4 (con’t) to do evil or to do good,

This is an idiom which is all-encompassing concerning matters which fall under the extremes of good and evil, and thus it represents all human actions. If a vow is made from one extreme to the other, or anywhere in the middle, it is to be performed. If it is not, or if it was a rash vow that should not be performed, one is still guilty for the vow which had been made.

4 (con’t)  whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters.

Again, as before, once the matter was brought to the attention of the offender, the person was guilty before the law. In being guilty, he would then need to seek pardon through the required sacrifices which are to be prescribed.

‘And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing;

This covers all of the offenses noted so far – 1) remaining silent in hearing the utterance of an oath; 2) touching something unclean which brings about defilement; and 3) making a rash oath. In any such instances, when the matter is brought to mind, the person becomes guilty through the offense. When that happens, then the matter needs to be confessed as sin, because he has, in fact, sinned.

The necessity to confess shows that the offering itself is not sufficient without the confession. This is an advanced taste of the gospel itself. Jesus Christ is our sin-offering, and yet, without confession of one’s need for Jesus, the offering is not accepted on his behalf. In other words, there is no such thing as universal salvation. Atonement is unlimited in its potential scope, but it is limited in actuality. This is built upon by Paul in Romans 10 –

The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10.8-10

Confession, whether of sin or for salvation, is necessary for things to happen.

and he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord 

The verb asham, which speaks of being guilty, was seen in chapter 4, and in verse 2 of this chapter, is now changed to the noun form, asham, which indicates the offering for that guilt. Here it is called a trespass offering. This is what is required for the committed sin which is now realized. It is, in essence, a fine which has become due for one who is guilty. Without the payment of the fine, the guilt remains. It is an anticipatory look to Christ, who is said to be our asham, or sin-offering in Isaiah 53 –

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin, (asham)
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. Isaiah 53:10

As each offering unfolds and is explained, we continue to find hints of Christ to come, who alone could fulfill these countless types and pictures which were given to Israel until His incarnation.

6 (con’t) for his sin which he has committed,

The words in Hebrew say, “for his sin which he has sinned.” To understand why I mention this now, stay tuned for verse 7.

6 (con’t) a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats as a sin offering.

In chapter 4, the required offering for the sin of one of the common people was to be a female hairy goat, or a male lamb. Here, the same two are required. The only difference is that both, either lamb or goat, were to be females of the flock. The lesser valued of the species was specified most likely because these are sins of ignorance which have come to mind. Therefore, the Lord is granting an allowance for their now-realized transgressions.

6 (con’t) So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin.

Through confession and offering, the atonement would then be handled by the attending priest, and the sin would be covered. It is, as with all such things, looking to the final work of Christ who is both our offering, and the One who offers the offering. The entire process of our atonement is of, by, and from Him. We simply need to confess and to receive what He has already done. It is not a difficult thing in one way, and yet it is something which is immensely difficult in another, because it requires faith.

7 ‘If he is not able to bring a lamb,

The Hebrew here forms a metonymy which says, “And if his hand is not able to reach what is sufficient for a lamb.” In other words, the hand is used to describe what the hand acquires. It would be like saying, “Sam’s head is not able to attain what is necessary for a degree.” The head is being used to signify the knowledge required for the degree. Here, the words are intended to mean that the person is too poor to be able to afford one of these two animals. In such a case, provision was made for him…

7 (con’t) then he shall bring to the Lord, for his trespass which he has committed,

The words here say, “for his trespass which he has sinned.” Verse 6 said, “for his sin which he has sinned.” Different words from verse 6 are used to describe the same offense. Thus, the words “trespass” and “sin” must be considered synonymous in this context.

7 (con’t) two turtledoves or two young pigeons:

These are the same offerings allowed for the poor which were seen in Leviticus 1:14. The Lord is granting allowances for the poor so that none are excluded from His mercy. Despite their lowly state in the society, they were of no-less value in the eyes of the Lord.

7 (con’t) one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering.

Here, there is a difference between the birds and the other animals. One was to be for sin, the other was to be a burnt offering. It may seem curious at first, but it becomes obvious when considering the size of the birds. Because the fat parts of the bird could not be separated from the bird as with the other animals, and it was the fat part that was to be burned on the altar, and further because burning the bird completely on the altar would then destroy the nature of the trespass offering by making it a whole burnt-offering, two separate birds were used. The first would represent the Lord’s portion which would be burnt on the altar, while the second one would become the priest’s portion of the offering.

8 And he shall bring them to the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off its head from its neck, but shall not divide it completely.

This is similar to the procedures of Leviticus 1:15. Between those two verses are found the only uses of the word malaq in the Bible. It is a word which appears to mean “wringing the neck.” The head is wrung off, but it is not to be completely divided from the body.

9 Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, and the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar.

The wringing of the bird’s neck, and the sprinkling and pouring out of the blood give us the same picture as for the other animals. Christ’s death was violent, but it was offered for the sins of the richest even to the poorest. Each sacrifice has its own typical fulfillment in the work of the Lord.

9 (con’t) It is a sin offering.

This is called a sin-offering, but nothing has been instructed about the blood being applied to the horns of the altar as was mandated in chapter 4. This and several other variations in the details show that the priest was to be attentive to the specifics of each offering, carefully ensuring that they were minutely fulfilled.

10 And he shall offer the second as a burnt offering according to the prescribed manner. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

The words, “according to the prescribed manner” are given to direct the priest’s attention back to the original instructions for the burnt-offerings which are detailed in chapter 1. In following those already-set guidelines, the priest would make atonement for the offender, and the sin would be considered forgiven.

11 ‘But if he is not able to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, then he who sinned shall bring for his offering one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a sin offering.

For the very poorest of the land, an even more merciful hand was extended. They were allowed to bring one tenth of an ephah, or less than one half a gallon, of fine flour. This was to be considered their acceptable sin-offering.

11 (con’t) He shall put no oil on it, nor shall he put frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering.

As was seen in the grain offering, the flour pictured Christ, oil symbolizes the presence of the Spirit, and frankincense pictures works. All of these were offered in the grain offering, but only the flour is offered here. This is a sin-offering, intended for atonement. It demonstrates to us that God finds sin offensive and detestable. When sin is present, the Spirit is quenched and our works are unacceptable. Only in the offering of Christ can the sins be removed and atonement result.

12 Then he shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it as a memorial portion, and burn it on the altar according to the offerings made by fire to the Lord. It is a sin offering.

The procedure is similar to Leviticus 2:2, only that there was to be no oil or frankincense in the handful. Rather, the fine flour alone would be burnt as a memorial portion of the whole as an offering for sin. Though it is an offering without blood, it is still considered as a blood offering on behalf of the poor sinner. The burning of the flour still gives the needed picture of the sufferings of Christ.

13 The priest shall make atonement for him, for his sin that he has committed in any of these matters; and it shall be forgiven him. The rest shall be the priest’s as a grain offering.’”

In any of these matters” is speaking of one of the three types of offenses mentioned in verses 1-4. This non-blood grain offering has been accepted as a blood offering. Christ is our Bread of life, and He gave His body for us. Despite there being no death in reality at the altar, there is death in picture for us to consider and be thankful for. Even the poorest of all sinners has a suitable, merciful offering to God in Christ Jesus.

It is the law of the Lord
The standard by which our judgment will come
And any single infraction of the word
Will mean the sounding of the condemnation drum

How can I ever meet these commands?
Many speak of things I didn’t even know I’d done
The bar is too high, I cannot attain to His demands
I’ve transgresses so many, and all it takes is one

But now I understand what I had before not understood
I can be deemed as if justified in every precept, as if not failing one
What I thought was against me was for my good
Because every detail has been fulfilled in His Son

Through a simple act of faith, I am restored and whole
Now there is no condemnation; I am entered on heaven’s roll

II. The Holy Things of the Lord (verses 14-19)

14 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

These are the exact same words, letter by letter, as were last seen in Leviticus 4:1. A new thought is now being introduced to consider.

15 “If a person commits a trespass,

A new type of offense is now introduced. It is the word maal which comes from a primitive root, and it essentially means, “to cover up.” It is used in a figurative sense as in acting covertly, and thus treacherously.

15 (con’t) and sins unintentionally in regard to the holy things of the Lord,

The holy things of the Lord”” is generally considered to mean things like neglecting to redeem the first-born, not observing the law of the tithe, failing to offer the firstfruits, and the like. It is a defrauding in spiritual matters. The intent of the words “sins unintentionally” is the same as before. When the matter is brought to the offender’s attention, it was to be rectified. Withholding such holy things was considered stealing from God and was an offense to Him. This is recorded in Malachi 3 –

Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say,
‘In what way have we robbed You?’
In tithes and offerings. Malachi 3:8

15 (con’t) then he shall bring to the Lord as his trespass offering a ram without blemish from the flocks, with your valuation in shekels of silver according to the shekel of the sanctuary, as a trespass offering.

The Hebrew is obscure enough here where it can mean one of two things. It might mean the ram is to be valued and then a fifth is added to its price, or the value of the holy thing which he defrauded was to be set. Then a fifth was to be added to its price to make the total fine, and then a ram was to be added in for the satisfaction of the offering. The ram being worth a set price according to the shekel of the sanctuary. The latter makes more sense. It wouldn’t seem reasonable to have to only pay a ram when the tithe may have included rams, goats, oxen, and grain… or even more. This appears to be borne out by the next verse.

The ram is a symbol of strength. It is a defender of the flock as it can butt with its horns. The symbolism here fits Christ, in that these holy things of the Lord were to be provided for those who had no inheritance of their own, or who were living in poverty. This is true with priests in that they had no inheritance of land and were dependent on the people’s offerings for their livelihood. As far as the poor, this was especially true with the tithes. These things were there to provide for them –

At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates. 29 And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.” Deuteronomy 14:18, 29

Like the ram who defends the flock, the Lord is said in the 68th Psalm to be a Father of the fatherless and a defender of widows. The symbolism is seen in the ram offering.

16 And he shall make restitution for the harm that he has done in regard to the holy thing, and shall add one-fifth to it and give it to the priest.

This seems to lean to the thought that it is not the ram to which a fifth is added, but to the original amount defrauded. As I said, it would otherwise not make sense. The amount defrauded could be enormous in comparison to a mere ram. Once that was taken care of, then the ram would be presented.

16 (con’t) So the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.

The procedures for the ram of the trespass offering are found in Leviticus 7, and they closely match those of the sin-offerings with a few exceptions.

17 “If a person sins, and commits any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord, though he does not know it, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity.

In verses 17-19, we have a partial repeat of what was just seen in verses 14-16. The difference is that those in 14-16 were a matter of certainty. The offense was known, the amount could be set, and restitution had to be made. Here, however, there is a doubt in the matter. A person may have forgotten the details of his error, or he may feel that he has erred without really even knowing why. In such a case, even though he is unsure of his guilt, he is still guilty. I would call this, the state of constant stomach problems. It is as if the person is getting ulcers from the nagging guilt on his mind and he needs to have it taken away.

18 And he shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish from the flock, with your valuation, as a trespass offering.

When the person who feels he is guilty comes to the priest, he is to bring a ram without blemish, just as with the one of certain guilt. The valuation was to be set by the priest, just as before, but nothing is said of the one-fifth addition. The person has come forward over a matter he is not even sure of, and is not being penalized for his acknowledgment. Instead, the ram itself will be the only addition, and which is meant for atonement…

18 (con’t) So the priest shall make atonement for him regarding his ignorance in which he erred and did not know it, and it shall be forgiven him.

The life of the ram is sufficient for the sin of ignorance where the person erred and didn’t even know it. He stands forgiven because of the substitute. The picture of Christ’s work for us is marvelous. We have certainly offended God in ten million ways that we have forgotten about. And yet, the debt is paid and we stand justified before the Lord despite those sins known but to Him.

*19 It is a trespass offering; he has certainly trespassed against the Lord.”

asham hu ashom asham l’Yehovah – “Trespass offering it (is); trespassing, he has trespassed against Yehovah.” The intent here is that despite not having the fifth part added in, it is still considered a trespass-offering. In ignorance of the law, or whatever reason existed that brought the matter to mind now, there was no excuse for an infraction against the Lord. The sacrifice was necessary, and it was accepted as such by the Lord.

The special significance tied to this trespass-offering, is that there is a need for the satisfaction of such offenses against the Lord, and that these types and shadows lead to the Antitype which is found in Christ. He is the final, fully-sufficient, perfect, and complete, satisfaction for the sins of the world. Nothing needs to be added in, and all debts are paid in Christ Jesus.

And speaking of debts, a friend who watches theses sermons asked about the sin offering requirements of last week. In them, the least valuable offering authorized for a layman is a female lamb. He asked, “What about a poor person? If they could not afford a sin offering, wouldn’t that be a detriment for them as there was no other way, at that time, to make themselves right with God?”

I told him that the trespass-offerings we would look at this week would do just that. The severity of the sin offering though required a lamb. If a poor person couldn’t afford one, they could have someone else pay for their offering, something seen in the book of Acts concerning the paying of a vow for another. There was also the Day of Atonement which was given to cover their sins.

And also, this is what the tithing system was set up to do. It was there for the poor of the land to use, as prescribed in Deuteronomy. And finally, if they had no access to help by a friend, or from the collection of tithes to pay their sin-offering, they could always sell themselves for the money in order to pay the offering.

A Hebrew slave was to be given exceptional treatment during his time of servitude, and he was to be given provision when that time of slavery ended, which was at set intervals prescribed by the Lord. The question is, “Would a person be willing to sell himself into slavery in order to be obedient to the law of the sin offering?”

If so, then it showed his priorities were on the Lord and not on himself. In the end, we are all slaves to something. If we are a slave to sin, we cannot be a slave of the Lord. And if we are a slave of the Lord, then we are free from the condemnation which arises from sin.

The law was exceptionally gracious in its treatment of the people, and in the end, it is merely a reflection of the even more exceptional treatment which is found in Jesus Christ.

Closing Verse: “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1 John 2:1, 2

Next Week: Leviticus 6:1-30 This will hopefully be a load of fun… (The Mediator’s Duties, Part I) (8th Leviticus Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

The Trespass Offering

If a person sins in hearing the utterance
Of an oath, and is a witness; yes, the truth is spilt
Whether he has seen or known of the matter
If he does not tell it, he bears guilt

Or if a person touches any unclean thing
Whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast
Or the carcass of unclean livestock
Or the carcass of unclean creeping things, from greatest to least

And unaware of it is he
He also shall be unclean and guilty 

Or if he touches human uncleanness
Whatever uncleanness with which a man may be defiled
And he is unaware of it
When he realizes it, then he shall be guilty
——— needing to be reconciled

Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly
With his lips to do evil or to do good
Whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath
And he is unaware of it; it was not understood

When he realizes it, so shall it be
Then in any of these matters guilty shall be he

And it shall be, when he is guilty
In any of these matters at hand
That he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing
That he does not understand 

And he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord
For his sin which he has committed in this thing
A female from the flock
A lamb or a kid of the goats as a sin offering

So the priest shall make atonement for him
So shall it be concerning his sin

If he is not able to bring a lamb
Then he shall bring to the Lord
For his trespass which he has committed
Two turtledoves or two young pigeons, according to this word

One as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering
Such shall be his proffering

And he shall bring them to the priest
Who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, you see
And wring off its head from its neck
But shall not divide it completely 

Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood
Of the sin offering on the side of the altar, he shall do this thing
And the rest of the blood shall be drained out
At the base of the altar. It is a sin offering 

And he shall offer the second as a burnt offering
According to the prescribed manner; a task somewhat grim
So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf
For his sin which he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him

But if he is not able to bring two turtledoves
Or two young pigeons, he cannot bring
Then he who sinned shall bring for his offering
One-tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a sin offering

He shall put no oil on it
Nor shall he put frankincense on it
For it is a sin offering
This to you I now submit

Then he shall bring it to the priest
And the priest shall take his handful of it, according to this word
As a memorial portion, and burn it on the altar
According to the offerings made by fire to the Lord

It is a sin offering
Such is to be this proffering

The priest shall make atonement for him
For his sin that he has committed in any of these matters
——- any such thing
And it shall be forgiven him
The rest shall be the priest’s as a grain offering

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying
These are the words he was then relaying

If a person commits a trespass
And sins unintentionally in regard to the holy things of the Lord
Then he shall bring to the Lord as his trespass offering
A ram without blemish from the flocks, according to this word

With your valuation in shekels of silver he shall bring
According to the shekel of the sanctuary
As a trespass offering 

And he shall make restitution
For the harm that he has done in regard to the holy thing
And shall add one-fifth to it
And give it to the priest; so shall be his offering

So the priest shall make atonement for him
With the ram of the trespass offering
And it shall be forgiven him
The Lord shall forgive his trespass in this thing

If a person sins, and commits any of these things
Which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord
Though he does not know it
Yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity; so stands the word

And he shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish from the flock
With your valuation, as a trespass offering
So the priest shall make atonement for him
In which he erred, his ignorance this thing regarding

And did not know it
And it shall be forgiven him as I to you submit

It is a trespass offering; so understand the word
He has certainly trespassed against the Lord

Lord, how many countless times have we offended You
In things we have done, and those things left undone as well
We have hidden our hands from what is right
And have earned a one-way path to hell

And yet through one marvelous offering
The sins of all the world are taken away
If we but come to Jesus
If we to Him call out and pray

Marvelous are You O God for what You have done for us
You have come in human flesh; You have come O Lord Jesus
Thank You for being our Substitute; now hear our praise
Thank You O God Almighty; we sing to You now and for eternal days

Hallelujah and Amen…

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