There were two offerings that were not sweet savor offerings and they propose the work of Christ on the Cross for sin. Chapter 4 covers the sins of ignorance; sins of the priest; sins of the congregation; sins of the ruler and sins of the common people. This chapter is twice as long as the other 4 chapters on offerings and is the most important of all the offerings.


Leviticus 4:1 "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: 3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering. 4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before the LORD. 5 And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation: 6 And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the veil of the sanctuary. 7 And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation."

This offering is for the people who committed sin in ignorance, not for willful transgressors. Those who willfully transgressed the law of Moses died without mercy under two or three witnesses. Man is a sinner by nature and we sin in ignorance sometimes. But sin is a sin, regardless of why it was committed or who committed it and all sin requires a sacrifice for remission. That is what this sacrifice was provided for. We still need to offer up this sacrifice in the form of prayer today. Even if you think you have made it through a whole day without sin, remember, you are only human. When we pray, we need to ask God to forgive us of all our ignorant transgressions. When a man took a life by mistake in the Old Testament, God made provision for his deliverance by establishing the cities of refuge (Num. 35:11). He has a refuge for us, too. I John 2:1 tells us not to sin but, if we do, we have an advocate with the Father, which is Jesus Christ. He is our Refuge!

The sins of the priest are considered first. If the priest was wrong then the people were wrong. His sin was their sin! His offering, the bullock, was the most valuable animal. This was not because the priest's sins were greater than the sins of the people but because of his position and responsibility. A preacher, deacon or other leader in the church has greater responsibility because when they commit sin, they may lead others away from God, also. Their sin is not greater but their position is! God will hold them more responsible for their transgressions if they cause someone else to stumble along the way. Aren't you glad we have a High Priest who has never committed sin?

The priest was to sprinkle the blood before the veil of the sanctuary seven times. This was the entrance to the sanctuary and brought the transgressor into the presence of God. Then the blood was to be put on the horns of the altar. The altar was the place of worship and restored the offender to fellowship with God. The remainder of the blood was poured out at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering at the door of the tabernacle. All the blood was used! It wasn't enough to just kill an animal and burn it's flesh on an altar. It had to be done exactly as set forth here. When Jesus died for us, His precious side was pierced because without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin!

Leviticus 4:8 "And he shall take off from it all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 9 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away, 10 As it was taken off from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering. 11 And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung, 12 Even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt."

The fat and certain organs only were to be burnt on the altar. The rest of the bullock was to be carried out of the camp and burned up in the place where the ashes were poured out, just as Christ was crucified outside the city in the place of a skull where the ashes of dead men were poured out. This sin offering was not to be eaten by the priests. It was to be completely destroyed. Just as the sacrifice offered for sin was to be destroyed, so must we abolish our sins today. If we want God to pardon us, we must completely do away with sin as soon as it is discovered!

The rest of this chapter tells of the different offerings that were to be brought by those other than the priests but the manner of sacrifice remained the same.
1. If the whole congregation sinned, the animal to be sacrificed is the same as for the priest. The high priest represented the whole congregation, so it stands to reason that the sacrifice would be the same. Notice here that we are responsible as a group before God and judged as a group by Him as well as individually! And even if some in the congregation are innocent of wrongdoing, they will still be judged with the group. So, beware of the groups you are linked with! (I guess this is just one instance when we need to pray for forgiveness of sin in ignorance!)
2. The ruler (and this is a civil ruler) was to bring a male kid of the goats without blemish.
3. A common person (or a private citizen) was to bring a female kid of the goats without blemish. This was less valuable than a male, also, a lamb could be substituted for a goat.

There is some confusion as to which part of the sin offering is to be eaten and which part is to be burned up. In this chapter it would seem all of the sin offerings were to be completely burned, but in chapter 6 we are told all the males of the priest should eat it because it was holy. I think the difference can be found in 6:30 which states, "And no sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire." The sins of the priest and that of the whole congregation were of such gravity part of the blood had to be carried inside the tabernacle and put on the horns of the altar. The bible does not state this in the cases of transgressions on the part of the rulers and the common people. In my opinion, this made the difference in the sacrifices that could and could not be eaten. I would be glad to hear your thoughts on this subject!


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