Leviticus 4:3

Leviticus 4:3

If the priest that is anointed do sin
That is, the high priest, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, and the Septuagint version, render it; who in after times was only anointed, though at first Aaron's sons were anointed with him; so an high priest is described in ( Leviticus 21:10 ) and such an one was liable to sin, and often did; which shows not only that the greatest and best of men are not without sin, but proves what the apostle observes, that the law made men high priests which had infirmity, even sinful infirmities, who needed to offer for themselves as well as for the people; by which it appeared that perfection could not be had by the Levitical priesthood, and that it was proper it should cease, and another priesthood take place, ( Hebrews 7:11 Hebrews 7:12 Hebrews 7:18 Hebrews 7:19 Hebrews 7:27 Hebrews 7:28 ) :

according to the sin of the people;
committing the like sins of error and ignorance as the common people, to which he was liable as they; or "to make the people guilty"; as the margin reads; to which agrees the Septuagint version, "so that the people sin"; and the Vulgate Latin version, "making the people to sin"; either by his doctrine or example, and both through ignorance, heedlessness, and inadvertency: the Targum of Jonathan is,

``when he offers the offering of sin for the people, not according to its manner''

or rite; as if his sin lay in erring while he was offering; but be it in which way it may, whether by any unadvised inadvertent action of his own, or ignorant instruction of the people, so causing them to err, or any ignorance or mistake in offering the sacrifices of the people:

then let him bring for the sin which he has sinned;
in either way:

a young bullock;
not an ox which was three years old, nor a calf which was but of one year, but a bullock which was of two years; so Maimonides F17 observes, that wherever it is said a calf, that is a young one of the first year, but a bullock it is a young one of the second year: as are men's characters, so are the aggravations of their sins, and sacrifices were proportioned thereunto; the high priest was obliged to bring the same offering as the whole congregation did in a like case; see ( Leviticus 4:13 Leviticus 4:14 )

without blemish;
a type of the sacrifice of Christ offered up without spot to God, as it follows;

unto the Lord;
against whom sin is committed, and therefore sacrifice both in the type and antitype must be brought and offered up to him, by whom it is accepted, and to whom it is of a sweetsmelling savour, namely, the unblemished sacrifice of Christ:

for a sin offering;
or "for sin": the sin offering is called sin itself, and so is Christ the antitype of it, ( 2 Corinthians 5:21 ) Christ is most holy in himself, had no sin in him, nor knew any, nor were any committed by him; yet he appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh, took the place of sinners, and was their substitute, had all their sins laid upon him, and was by imputation made sin itself, and became an offering for it, and so fully answered the type of the sin offering.


F17 Maaseh Hakorbanot, c. 1. sect. 14.