Leviticus 6

 

 

                                    THE TRESPASS OFFERING (con’t – vs. 1-7)

 

The next seven verses, which in the Hebrew arrangement form the conclusion of the

previous chapter, enumerate cases of fraud and wrong, for which a trespass offering is

required. They are moral, not ceremonial offenses. Reparation and the payment of a

fine are demanded before the offering is made.

 

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass

against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbor in that which was delivered him to

keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived

his neighbor” – Compare the injunction in ch. 19:11: “Ye shall not steal, neither deal

falsely, neither lie one to another.”  Exodus 22:7-13 contains earlier legislation on the

subject of things taken in trust.  3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth

concerning it, and sweareth falsely” - By previous legislation it had been appointed

that, in case of a doubt arising as to what had become of property delivered to another

to keep, there should be “an oath of the Lord between them both, that” the latter

“hath not put his hand unto his neighbor’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept

 thereof, and he shall not make it good” (Exodus 22:11). This opened the way to

false swearing where men were dishonest – “ in any of all these that a man doeth,

sinning therein:” - Wrong to man is sin against God in every ease, but a special sin

 against God is committed when an appeal has been made to Him by oath, and the

oath has been false.  4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that

he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath

deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing

which he found” - As before, the profit gained by fraud or violence is to be given

up, and with it a fine is to be paid, amounting to one-fifth of the value of the thing

appropriated - 5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even

restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and

give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.”

The reparation is to take place, and immediately afterwards the offering is accepted.

6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish

out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:

7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall

be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.”

 

 

                                                Swearing Falsely

 

Swearing falsely I s in an especial manner a sin against God, because in an oath an

appeal is directly made to God, and if the thing sworn to is false, God is called to

witness to a thing as true which the swearer knows to be false. It is also in an

especial manner a sin against society, as mutual truth-telling is the very bond of

 social trust. When the moral and religious tone of a nation stands high, “an oath

for confirmation is the end of all strife” (Hebrews 6:16), and on the other hand,

when either a disbelief in God’s providence or a casuistical theology saps the

confidence placed in promises confirmed by oaths, society is perilously near its

 DISSOLUTION. The sanctity of an oath is guarded by a special commandment

in the Decalogue.

 

 

                        Repentance, Confession, Satisfaction, Absolution,

 

These follow each other in order. Without repentance confession is vain; without

confession satisfaction is impracticable; without satisfaction there is no absolution.

In the present case, the sense of absolution was conveyed to the soul of the sinner by

the acceptance of his offering for trespass, after which he ceased to be, what he was

before, virtually excommunicate from God’s people. The greater moral offenses

were punished either by death (murder - Exodus 21:12-17; Deuteronomy 19:11;

 Sabbath breaking - 31:15; idolatry - 32:27; cursing of father and mother, adultery,

incest, homosexuality, bestiality, - ch. 20:9-16; - cursing God – 24:23; participation

in whoredom – Numbers 25:5; leading people astray to serve other gods –

Deuteronomy 13:9;  sinning a sin, such as Achan, which affected a nation –

Joshua 7:25), or by formal excommunication, when the offenders were cut off from

the people of the Lord, though their lives were spared (ch. 7:20-21; Genesis 17:14).

But there was, and there is, an excommunication, not formally pronounced, when a

man feels that his sin has separated between him and his God. In these cases

the sin offering or the trespass offering restored to communion, but they might not be

offered, that is, absolution might not be effected by them, unless preceded by repentance

and confession, and, where the nature of the case admitted of it, by satisfaction for the

wrong done.

 

 

                        THE PRIEST’S RITUAL - (vs. 8 to ch. 7:38)

 

The following section from v.:8 to ch. 7:38, is a supplement to chapters 1 to 6:7,

containing the regulations addressed to the priests relating to the ritual of the

several sacrifices. Vs. 8-13 contain the further ritual of the burnt sacrifice; vs. 14-23,

that of the meat offering; vs. 24-30, that of the sin offerings; vs. 1-6 of chapter 7,

that of the trespass offering; vs. 11-36, that of the peace offering; vs. 7-10 declare

the portion of the priests in all the offerings; verses 37-38 conclude the section

 

8 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  9 Command Aaron and his sons,

saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of

the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar

shall be burning in it.  10 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his

linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire

hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside

the altar.  11 And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and

carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place.  12 And the fire upon

the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn

wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he

shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.  13 The fire shall ever be

burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” - The altar fire was never to go out,

because the daily sacrifices constantly burning on the altar symbolized the unceasing

worship of God by Israel, and the gracious acceptance of Israel by God. The

ever-burning sacrifice was the token of the people being in communion with God.

 14 And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before

the LORD, before the altar.  15 And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of

the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon

the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor, even the

memorial of it, unto the LORD.  16 And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and

his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court

of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it.  17 It shall not be baken

with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire;

it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.  18 All the males

among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statute for ever in your

generations concerning the offerings of the LORD made by fire: every one that

toucheth them shall be holy.  19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

20 This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the

LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for

a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.

21 In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in:

and the baken pieces of the meat offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savor unto

the LORD.  22 And the priest of his sons that is anointed in his stead shall offer it:

it is a statute for ever unto the LORD; it shall be wholly burnt.  23 For every meat

offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten.  24 And the

LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  25 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying,

This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed

shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy.  26 The priest

that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court

of the tabernacle of the congregation.  27 Whatsoever shall touch the flesh

thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any

garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place.  28 But the

earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen

pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water.  29 All the males among the

priests shall eat thereof: it is most holy.  30 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.” (without the camp) - 

The holiness of the offering is manifested:

 

  • By the command that no drop of the blood which might have been

            accidentally spilt upon the offerer’s dress should be taken out of the

            tabernacle court.

  • By the order to break or scour the pot in which it was boiled for the

            priests’ eating.

 

 

                                                The Priest’s Ritual

 

Hitherto the command had been, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them”

(chps. 1:2; 4:2);  Now in v. 9 it is “Command Aaron and his sons;” the reason being that

the injunctions which follow are specially addressed to the future priesthood.

 

  • PRECISION OF THE POSITIVE RULES AND REGULATIONS GIVEN TO

      THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD. Nothing is left to the individual’s origination, all

      is ruled for him — every act that he performs, and each word that he speaks; and

      any failure in the ritual vitiates the whole ceremony.

 

  • CONTRAST IN THIS RESPECT WITH THE RITUAL OF THE CHRISTIAN

      CHURCH. In the New Testament there are no such minute ritual regulations as

      in the Book of Leviticus. Search through the Gospels, and we find the principles            

      of worship established. Search the Epistles, and we find order and uniformity in

      religious ministrations commanded, but no such specifications of manual acts as

      those given in the earlier dispensation.

 

  • THE REASON OF THE DIFFERENCE. It is a higher and a nobler

            state to be allowed freely to apply a principle than to be bound down to a

            certain course by a definite and unchanging rule. The former is the

            conditions of sons, the latter of servants. “The servant knoweth not what

            his lord doeth.” (John 15:15) - The Jew was in this position. He did not know            

            what it was that he was representing and rehearsing in type. He must, therefore,            

            be hedged about with rules, lest, in his darkness and ignorance, he should go

            astray and mar the lesson that he had unwittingly to teach. But “henceforth,”   

            says our Lord, “I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what

            his lord doeth, but I have called you friends.”  (ibid.)  Accordingly, just as

            in matters of morals the principles contained in the Sermon on the Mount are     

            given to Christians instead of bare negative or positive rules of conduct; so in    

            matters of worship, certain principles are laid down as to the nature of true        

            worship and how it is to be offered – “God is a Spirit: and they that worship           

            Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”  (John 4:21-24), and a few   

            general rules commending uniformity and order in public worship (I Corinthians

            4:17; 11:16; 14:33, 40), and declaring its ends to be the edification of the people          

            (ibid. 14:26); and then the work of composing its Liturgy and common prayers is

            delivered to the Church without any other restraint than that of embodying

            in them settled forms of administration of the two sacraments of Baptism

            (Matthew 28:19-20) and of the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22;  

                        Luke 22:19; I Corinthians 11:26), using the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2), and

            of “asking” in the name of Jesus Christ (John 16:24). Therefore, “it is not      

            necessary “in the Christian Church, as it was in the Jewish Church, that            

            “ceremonies be in all places one, and utterly like: for at all times they have

            been divers, and may be changed according to the diversities of countries,

             times, and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s Word         

            Every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and            

            abolish, ceremonies or rites of the Church ordained only by man’s authority,

             so that all things be done to edifying” (Art. 34).

 

  • A PRECOMPOSED LITURGY IS NOT DISPLEASING TO GOD.

            However much the liberty of the Christian Church may in this respect be

            superior to Jewish bondage, yet it is evident from the Levitical laws and

            regulations that a prearranged and formal method of approaching God is in

            accordance with His will, as recorded in his Holy Word.

 

 

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