In Leviticus 4 we learned about the sin offering. Leviticus 5 is titled the guilt offering but begins with the end of the sin offering discussed in the previous chapter.
“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; 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; 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—when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned. As a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for them for their sin.” – Leviticus 5:2-6
I’ve copied these verses not to show the ridiculous method in which one atones for the sin, but to point out the ridiculousness of the actual sins. Touching anything ceremonially unclean? Touching human uncleanness? This is what God is worried about? Nothing on theft, rape, or murder. God is most worried about touching things He claims are dirty.
“Anyone who cannot afford a lamb is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the Lord as a penalty for their sin—one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.” – Leviticus 5:7
If I’ve ever said God NEVER helps the poor, I apologize. God allows the poor to bring in two doves to be slaughtered instead of a lamb or goat. 🙂
“They are to bring them to the priest, who shall first offer the one for the sin offering. He is to wring its head from its neck, not dividing it completely, and is to splash some of the blood of the sin offering against the side of the altar; the rest of the blood must be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering.” – Leviticus 5:8-9
Church would be so much more interesting today if priests still did this. LOL!
“The Lord said to Moses: ‘When anyone is unfaithful to the Lord by sinning unintentionally in regard to any of the Lord’s holy things, they are to bring to the Lord as a penalty a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value in silver, according to the sanctuary shekel. It is a guilt offering. They must make restitution for what they have failed to do in regard to the holy things, pay an additional penalty of a fifth of its value and give it all to the priest. The priest will make atonement for them with the ram as a guilt offering, and they will be forgiven.” – Leviticus 5:14-16
Very similar to the sin offering except the guilty must now pay the priest! Amazing! The priests have certainly conned the people, that’s for sure!
That concludes Leviticus 5. The guilt offering is very similar to the sin offering, with the exception that one must pay the priest a penalty in addition to the animal sacrifice. I’m guessing many people were conned into doing the guilt offering to cleanse themselves before the Lord. I give the priests credit for conning the people into giving them money. Biblical morality at its finest!
Coming Soon: Leviticus – Chapter 6: The Burnt Offering