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Barnes' Notes on the Bible
1And 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.
Special occasions are mentioned on which sin-offerings are to be made with a particular confession of the offence for which atonement is sought Leviticus 5:5.
Swearing - Adjuration. The case appears to be that of one who has been put upon his oath as a witness by a magistrate, and fails to utter all he has seen and heard (compare the marginal references. and Proverbs 29:24; Numbers 5:21).
2Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty.
Hid from him - Either through forgetfulness or indifference, so that purification had been neglected. In such a case there had been a guilty negligence, and a sin-offering was required. On the essential connection between impurity and the sin-offering, see Leviticus 12:1.
3Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty.
4Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these.
Pronouncing - Idly speaking Psalm 106:33. The reference is to an oath to do something uttered in recklessness or passion and forgotten as soon as uttered.
5And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing:
6And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.
His trespass offering - Rather, as his forfeit, that is, whatever is due for his offence. The term "trespass-offering" is out of place here, since it has become the current designation for a distinct kind of sin-offering mentioned in the next section (see Leviticus 5:14 note).
A lamb or a kid of the goats - A sheep Leviticus 4:32 or a shaggy she-goat Leviticus 4:23.
7And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.
See Leviticus 1:14-16; Leviticus 12:8. In the larger offerings of the ox and the sheep, the fat which was burned upon the altar represented, like the burnt-offering, the dedication of the worshipper; in this case, the same meaning was conveyed by one of the birds being treated as a distinct burnt-offering.
A lamb - One of the flock, either a sheep or a goat.
For his trespass, which he hath committed - As his forfeit for the sin he hath committed.
8And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off his head from his neck, but shall not divide it asunder:
9And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be wrung out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering.
10And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him.
11But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering.
tenth part of an ephah i. e. - "the tenth deal;" probably less than half a gallon. See Leviticus 19:36 note. This sin-offering of meal was distinguished from the ordinary מנחה mı̂nchāh Leviticus 2:1 by the absence of oil and frankincense.
12Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, even a memorial thereof, and burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: it is a sin offering.
13And the priest shall make an atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and the remnant shall be the priest's, as a meat offering.
14And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
(This comment exends through Leviticus 6:7). The trespass-offerings as they are described in this section and in Leviticus 7:1-7, are clearly distinguished from the ordinary sin-offerings in these particulars:
(1) They were offered on account of offences which involved an injury to some person (it might be the Lord Himself) in respect to property. See Leviticus 5:16; Leviticus 6:4-5.
(2) they were always accompanied by a pecuniary fine equal to the value of the injury done, with the addition of one-fifth. Compare Numbers 5:5-8.
(3) the treatment of the blood was more simple. Compare Leviticus 4:5.
(4) the victim was a ram, instead of a female sheep or goat.
(5) there was no such graduation of offerings to suit the rank or circumstances of the worshipper as is set forth in Leviticus 4:3, Leviticus 4:32, etc.
15If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering:
Commit a trespass - Rather, here and in Leviticus 6:2, perpetrate a wrong. The word is different from that rendered trespass elsewhere in these chapters.
Through ignorance - Through inadvertence. See Leviticus 4:2 note.
In the holy things of the Lord - The reference is to a failure in the payment of firstfruits, tithes or fees of any kind connected with the public service of religion by which the sanctuary suffered loss; compare Numbers 5:6-8.
Shekel of the sanctuary - See Exodus 38:24 note.
16And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.
17And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.
Though he wist it not - Ignorance of the Law, or even of the consequences of the act at the time that it was committed, was not to excuse him from the obligation to offer the sacrifice.
18And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him.
19It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.