And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through
That is, all Israel, or the greatest part of them, as Gersom interprets it, through the ignorant teaching of the judges, who by their instruction cause the people to err, and commit sins of ignorance, as Baal Hatturim on the place observes, and Maimonides elsewhere F7; wherefore Jarchi, and some others, by the congregation of Israel understand the sanhedrim, or the bench of judges, consisting of seventy one. Ainsworth remarks on the words, that the church may err:
and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly;
congregation or church, so that they do not know that it is a sin which they have committed:
and they have done [somewhat against] any of the commandments of
the Lord, [concerning things] which should not be done;
transgressed negative precepts:
and are guilty;
of sin, though as yet they know it not.
F7 Hilchot Shegagot, c. 12. sect. 1.