Leviticus 4

1 And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying,
2 `Speak unto the sons of Israel, saying, When a person doth sin through ignorance against any of the commands of Jehovah [regarding things] which are not to be done, and hath done [something] against one of these --
3 `If the priest who is anointed doth sin according to the guilt of the people, then he hath brought near for his sin which he hath sinned a bullock, a son of the herd, a perfect one, to Jehovah, for a sin-offering,
4 and he hath brought in the bullock unto the opening of the tent of meeting before Jehovah, and hath laid his hand on the head of the bullock, and hath slaughtered the bullock before Jehovah.
5 `And the priest who is anointed hath taken of the blood of the bullock, and hath brought it in unto the tent of meeting,
6 and the priest hath dipped his finger in the blood, and sprinkled of the blood seven times before Jehovah, at the front of the vail of the sanctuary;
7 and the priest hath put of the blood on the horns of the altar of spice-perfume before Jehovah, which [is] in the tent of meeting, and all the blood of the bullock he doth pour out at the foundation of the altar of the burnt-offering, which [is] at the opening of the tent of meeting.
8 `And all the fat of the bullock of the sin-offering he doth lift up from it, the fat which is covering over the inwards, and all the fat which [is] on the inwards,
9 and the two kidneys, and the fat which [is] on them, which [is] on the flanks, and the redundance above the liver, (beside the kidneys he doth turn it aside),
10 as it is lifted up from the ox of the sacrifice of the peace-offerings; and the priest hath made them a perfume on the altar of the burnt-offering.
11 `And the skin of the bullock, and all its flesh, besides its head, and besides its legs, and its inwards, and its dung --
12 he hath even brought out the whole bullock unto the outside of the camp, unto a clean place, unto the place of the pouring out of the ashes, and he hath burnt it on the wood with fire; beside the place of the pouring out of the ashes it is burnt.
13 `And if the whole company of Israel err ignorantly, and the thing hath been hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done [something against] one of all the commands of Jehovah [concerning things] which are not to be done, and have been guilty;
14 when the sin which they have sinned concerning it hath been known, then have the assembly brought near a bullock, a son of the herd, for a sin-offering, and they have brought it in before the tent of meeting;
15 and the elders of the company have laid their hands on the head of the bullock, before Jehovah, and [one] hath slaughtered the bullock before Jehovah.
16 `And the priest who is anointed hath brought in of the blood of the bullock unto the tent of meeting,
17 and the priest hath dipped his finger in the blood, and hath sprinkled seven times before Jehovah at the front of the vail,
18 and [some] of the blood he doth put on the horns of the altar which [is] before Jehovah, which [is] in the tent of meeting; and all the blood he doth pour out at the foundation of the altar of the burnt-offering, which [is] at the opening of the tent of meeting;
19 and all its fat he doth lift up from it, and hath made perfume on the altar.
20 `And he hath done to the bullock as he hath done to the bullock of the sin-offering, so he doth to it; and the priest hath made atonement for them, and it hath been forgiven them;
21 and he hath brought out the bullock unto the outside of the camp, and hath burned it as he hath burned the first bullock; it [is] a sin-offering of the assembly.
22 `When a prince doth sin, and hath done [something against] one of all the commands of Jehovah his God [regarding things] which are not to be done, through ignorance, and hath been guilty --
23 or his sin wherein he hath sinned hath been made known unto him, then he hath brought in his offering, a kid of the goats, a male, a perfect one,
24 and he hath laid his hand on the head of the goat, and hath slaughtered it in the place where he doth slaughter the burnt-offering before Jehovah; it [is] a sin-offering.
25 `And the priest hath taken of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger, and hath put on the horns of the altar of the burnt-offering, and its blood he doth pour out at the foundation of the altar of the burnt-offering,
26 and with all its fat he doth make perfume on the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of the peace-offerings; and the priest hath made atonement for him because of his sin, and it hath been forgiven him.
27 `And if any person of the people of the land sin through ignorance, by his doing [something against] one of the commands of Jehovah [regarding things] which are not to be done, and hath been guilty --
28 or his sin which he hath sinned hath been made known unto him, then he hath brought in his offering, a kid of the goats, a perfect one, a female, for his sin which he hath sinned,
29 and he hath laid his hand on the head of the sin-offering, and hath slaughtered the sin-offering in the place of the burnt-offering.
30 `And the priest hath taken of its blood with his finger, and hath put on the horns of the altar of the burnt-offering, and all its blood he doth pour out at the foundation of the altar,
31 and all its fat he doth turn aside, as the fat hath been turned aside from off the sacrifice of the peace-offerings, and the priest hath made perfume on the altar, for sweet fragrance to Jehovah; and the priest hath made atonement for him, and it hath been forgiven him.
32 `And if he bring in a sheep [for] his offering, for a sin-offering, a female, a perfect one, he doth bring in,
33 and he hath laid his hand on the head of the sin-offering, and hath slaughtered it for a sin-offering in the place where he slaughtereth the burnt-offering.
34 `And the priest hath taken of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger, and hath put on the horns of the altar of the burnt-offering, and all its blood he poureth out at the foundation of the altar,
35 and all its fat he turneth aside, as the fat of the sheep is turned aside from the sacrifice of the peace-offerings, and the priest hath made them a perfume on the altar, according to the fire-offerings of Jehovah, and the priest hath made atonement for him, for his sin which he hath sinned, and it hath been forgiven him.

Leviticus 4 Commentary

Chapter 4

The sin-offering of ignorance for the priest. (1-12) For the whole congregation. (13-21) For a ruler. (22-26) For any of the people. (27-35)

Verses 1-12 Burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and peace-offerings, had been offered before the giving of the law upon mount Sinai; and in these the patriarchs had respect to sin, to make atonement for it. But the Jews were now put into a way of making atonement for sin, more particularly by sacrifice, as a shadow of good things to come; yet the substance is Christ, and that one offering of himself, by which he put away sin. The sins for which the sin-offerings were appointed are supposed to be open acts. They are supposed to be sins of commission, things which ought not to have been done. Omissions are sins, and must come into judgment: yet what had been omitted at one time, might be done at another; but a sin committed was past recall. They are supposed to be sins committed through ignorance. The law begins with the case of the anointed priest. It is evident that God never had any infallible priest in his church upon earth, when even the high priest was liable to fall into sins of ignorance. All pretensions to act without error are sure marks of Antichrist. The beast was to be carried without the camp, and there burned to ashes. This was a sign of the duty of repentance, which is the putting away sin as a detestable thing, which our soul hates. The sin-offering is called sin. What they did to that, we must do to our sins; the body of sin must be destroyed, ( Romans 6:6 ) . The apostle applies the carrying this sacrifice without the camp to Christ, ( Hebrews 13:11-13 ) .

Verses 13-21 If the leaders of the people, through mistake, caused them to err, an offering must be brought, that wrath might not come upon the whole congregation. When sacrifices were offered, the persons, on whose behalf they were devoted, were to lay their hands on the heads of the victims, and to confess their sins. The elders were to do so, when the sacrifices were offered for the whole congregation. The load of sin was supposed then to be borne by the guiltless animal. When the offering is completed, it is said, atonement is made, and the sin shall be forgiven. The saving of churches and kingdoms from ruin, is owing to the satisfaction and mediation of Christ.

Verses 22-26 Those who have power to call others to account, are themselves accountable to the Ruler of rulers. The sin of the ruler, committed through ignorance, must come to his knowledge, either by the check of his own conscience, or by the reproof of his friends; both which even the best and greatest, not only should submit to, but be thankful for. That which I see not, teach thou me, and, Show me wherein I have erred, are prayers we should put up to God every day; that if, through ignorance, we fall into sin, we may not through ignorance abide in it.

Verses 27-35 Here is the law of the sin-offering for a common person. To be able to plead, when charged with sin, that we did it ignorantly, and through the surprise of temptation, will not bring us off, if we have no interest in that great plea, Christ hath died. The sins of ignorance committed by a common person, needed a sacrifice; the greatest are not above, the meanest are not below Divine justice. None, if offenders, were overlooked. Here rich and poor meet together; they are alike sinners, and welcome to Christ. From all these laws concerning the sin-offerings, we may learn to hate sin, and to watch against it; and to value Christ, the great and true Sin-offering, whose blood cleanses from all sin, which it was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away. For us to err, with the Bible in our hands, is the effect of pride, sloth, and carelessness. We need to use frequent self-examination, with serious study of the Scriptures, and earnest prayer for the convincing influences of God the Holy Spirit; that we may detect our sins of ignorance, repent, and obtain forgiveness through the blood of Christ.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO LEVITICUS 4

This chapter contains the law of the sin offering, which was offered for sins committed through ignorance, error, and mistake, Le 4:1,2 and gives an account of the matter of them, and the rites belonging thereunto, which were different according to the persons for whom it was made, as for the anointed priest, Le 4:3-12 for the whole congregation, Le 4:13-21 and for the ruler, Le 4:22-26 and for any of the common people, Le 4:27-35.

Leviticus 4 Commentaries