Leviticus 5:1

1 “ ‘If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible.

Leviticus 5:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.
ESV
1 "If anyone sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify, and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity;
NLT
1 “If you are called to testify about something you have seen or that you know about, it is sinful to refuse to testify, and you will be punished for your sin.
MSG
1 "If you sin by not stepping up and offering yourself as a witness to something you've heard or seen in cases of wrongdoing, you'll be held responsible.
CSB
1 "When someone sins [in any of these ways]: [If] he has seen, heard, or known about something he has witnessed, and did not respond to a public call to testify, he is guilty.

Leviticus 5:1 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 5:1

And if a soul sin
The soul is put for the person, and is particularly mentioned, as Ben Melech says, because possessed of will and desire:

and hear the voice of swearing;
or cursing, or adjuration; not of profane swearing, and taking the name of God in vain, but either of false swearing, or perjury, as when a man hears another swear to a thing which he knows is false; or else of adjuration, either the voice of a magistrate or of a neighbour adjuring another, calling upon him with an oath to bear testimony in such a case; this is what the Jews


FOOTNOTES:

F18 call the oath of testimony or witness, and which they say F19 is binding in whatsoever language it is heard:

and is a witness;
is able to bear witness to the thing he is adjured about:

whether he hath seen or known of it;
what he has seen with his eyes, or knows by any means: of such a case, the Jews observe F20, that there may be seeing without knowing, or knowing without seeing, and in either case a man ought to bear witness:

if he do not utter it;
tell the truth, declare what he has seen or known:

then he shall bear his iniquity;
he shall be charged with sin, and be obliged to acknowledge his offence, and bring a trespass offering for it: it is said F21, that the witnesses are not guilty of the oath of the testimony, but in these ten cases; if they are required; if the testimony is concerning goods; if the goods are movable; if he that requires binds himself to pay for their testimony only, in case they bear witness; if they refuse after required; if they refuse in the sanhedrim; if the adjuration or oath is made there by the name of God, or his titles; if knowledge of the testimony goes before the oath; if he particularizes his witnesses in the time of the oath, or at the time of the requirement; and if the oath is in a language they understood.


F18 Misn. Sotah, c. 7. 1.
F19 Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 33. 1.
F20 T. Bab. Shebuot, fol. 33. 2. & 34. 1.
F21 Maimon. Hilchot, Shebuot, c. 9. sect. 3.

Leviticus 5:1 In-Context

1 “ ‘If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible.
2 “ ‘If anyone becomes aware that they are guilty—if they unwittingly touch anything ceremonially unclean (whether the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or of any unclean creature that moves along the ground) and they are unaware that they have become unclean, but then they come to realize their guilt;
3 or if they touch human uncleanness (anything that would make them unclean) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt;
4 or if anyone thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil (in any matter one might carelessly swear about) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt—
5 when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Proverbs 29:24; Matthew 26:63
  • 2. ver 17; S Exodus 28:38; Leviticus 7:18; Leviticus 17:16; Leviticus 19:8; Leviticus 20:17; Leviticus 24:15; Numbers 5:31; Numbers 9:13; Numbers 15:31; Numbers 19:20; Numbers 30:15