Leviticus 5-6

Sunday Evening Bible Study

 July 13, 1997


Leviticus is an instruction manual for the priests.

We’ve already seen some instructions concerning some of the various sacrifices:

The Burnt offering – a picture of total consecration.

The Meal offering – giving to God from my substance.

The Peace offering – having fellowship with God.

The Sin offering – to pay for unintentional sins.

Apparently there was no offering for intentional sins, if you did something out of rebellion, on purpose.

We now see a few more examples of unintentional sins.

Leviticus 5

:1 if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing

The picture is that of a person who witnesses a crime, and when the call goes out for people to come forward and testify if they saw anything, the person doesn’t forward.

It would be as if you actually saw the person who killed Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman, but you didn’t come forward to testify.

God wants His people involved in justice.

:2-3 if a soul touch any unclean thing

Uncleanness was a state in which a person was not eligible for worship.

You could become unclean by eating the wrong food, by touching a dead body, even a woman in her menstrual cycle.

There appears to be many reasons for the laws on uncleanness, we'll deal more with uncleanness as we come across it.

The point is, you could become unclean without even knowing it.


Sometimes a person may be carrying an infectious disease and not even know it.

They shake hands with you, and you catch the disease, before either of you know anything about it.

Just because you’re ignorant about the disease doesn’t keep you from getting it.

We’ll spend more time on the issue of being "unclean" as we hit the chapters that deal specifically with it.

:4 if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips

The idea here is when you make a thoughtless "oath" or promise to someone.

Example –

"I swear I'll come help you on Saturday..."

And then you go and forget your promise.

I’m constantly doing this!

This is one reason why I get reluctant to make promises to do things for people, because I so often forget!

God wants you to be a person of your word.

The whole reason for taking "oaths" is to get a person to believe that you're telling the truth, that you can be trusted.

MAT 5:33-37 "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, '\You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord\.' 34 "But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is \the city of the great King\. 36 "Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' {or} 'No, no'; and anything beyond these is of evil.

Jesus doesn't want you getting into oaths, trying to convince people you're telling the truth. It's better to be known as a person who always tells the truth, who always keeps their word, rather than trying to convince people all the time.

:5 he shall confess

It’s interesting to see that nothing’s really all that different in the New Testament.

Forgiveness comes when we confess our sins.

(1 John 1:9 KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

"Confession" is literally "agreeing with" God over your sin.

You have to admit that you’ve done something wrong.

You have to admit that Jesus paid the price for your sin.

David wrote:

(Psa 32:1-5 KJV) A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. {2} Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. {3} When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. {4} For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. {5} I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

:6 he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD

The other aspect involved with obtaining cleansing and forgiveness is the issue of paying for your sins.

There is something in the human conscience that understands this truth.

When you were a kid, and you did something really bad, there was a sense of relief after you had been spanked or punished, as if the sin had been dealt with and paid for.

Many people suffer neuroses because they are trying to find ways of punishing themselves over their past sins.

Though there may be ways in which we personally may have to pay for our sins (natural consequences to sin, chastisement), we need to come to the point where we recognize that God has paid our debt.

HEB 9:13-14 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

:7 two turtledoves

If you were too poor to afford a lamb, you could pay for your sin with two little doves.


Religion isn’t just for the wealthy.

You don’t have to be wealthy to be right with God.

Aren’t you glad?

:11 the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering

If you were so poor that you couldn’t even afford a couple of pigeons (that’s really, really poor!), it still was possible to pay for your sins.

You could bring a couple of quarts of flour instead (even cheaper!).

This is the one exception to the "blood-for-atonement" rule.

This is why the writer to the Hebrews says:

(Heb 9:22 KJV) And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

(Heb 9:22 NIV) In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The exception was if you were too poor, then you could offer flour for a sin offering.

:15 commit a trespass …

We now enter a new type of offering, similar to the sin offering, called the "trespass offering".

Whereas the sin offering emphasized the guilt of an individual, even though it was an unintentional sin, the trespass offering adds the idea of "restitution" to the offering.

The trespass offering seems to have the idea of emphasizing the damage done to another through our sin, and making it right.

:15 in the holy things of the LORD

This involved things like neglecting to pay a tithe, eating parts of the sacrifice that belonged to the priests, failing to redeem the firstborn.

:16 add the fifth part thereto


Not only were you to make your guilt offering, but you were to pay for what you had originally promised, plus 20% for restitution.

For example, if you had promised God to give Him $10, then when you finally get around to it, you were supposed to pay an additional 20%.

:17 though he wist it not …

The point here is that you were guilty, whether it was intentional or not.

Leviticus 6

We now look at trespass offerings (guilt offerings with added restitution) where the sin is against another person (not against the "holy things" as in chapter 5).

:2 against the Lord

Sin, ultimately, whether it is against another person or not, is against the Lord. That is why there had to be a sacrifice, and not just restitution.

Restitution makes things right on the human level, sacrifice makes things right on God's level.

(Psa 51:1-4 KJV) To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. {2} Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. {3} For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. {4} Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Even though David’s sin involved adultery with Bathsheba, and even murder against Uriah, there’s a sense in which his sin was offensive most of all against God.

:2 lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep …

The idea is that your friend asked you to look after something, and you didn’t do a good job, and your neighbor lost something in the process.

:5 shall add the fifth part more



God wants you to make it right with whatever person you’ve hurt.

Jesus said:

(Mat 5:23-24 KJV) Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; {24} Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

When you're in church, and you know that somebody has been hurt by you, you really ought to stop worshiping and make it right with that person, then come and worship.

If our relationship with God is right, we will naturally want to make our relationships with others right also.

Not just paying back what you stole, but adding 20% to it.

Think what would happen if all car thieves had to pay back 20% interest on the cars they stole!

Restitution is a part of true repentance:

Look at how Zach went way overboard –

(Luke 19:8-10 KJV) And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. {9} And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. {10} For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

:9 the law of the burnt offering

We’re going to get more now on burnt offerings.

:13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar

The Altar was open for business twenty-four hours a day.

Kind of like the ATM machine, open for business all the time, not just banker's hours.

God wants our lives like that, an attitude of willing to be on the altar continually, not letting the fire go out, the fire that consumes the sacrifices.

We read this morning about the early church:

(Acts 2:46 KJV) And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

The new believers in the early church learned to walk with the Lord EVERY DAY, and not just once a week.

:14 the law of the meat offering

More now on the "meal" offering (or, "grain offering")

:16 the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat

The priests got to eat part of everyone else's grain offerings.

This was part of their "salary" from the Lord.

:18 every one that toucheth them shall be holy

The idea is that no one should be touching these meal offerings except people who have cleansed themselves, and are holy.

:23 every meat offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt

With other peoples’ grain offerings, the priests got to eat part of it as their "wages".

But when a priests offered up a grain offering, he wasn’t to keep part of it aside to eat, but was to burn the whole thing.

One application:

A man in ministry can't take his tithe and spend it on himself, saying, "I'm giving it to the ministry, me."

Some people will take their tithe and spend it on themselves, I’m not sure if this is proper.

:25 the law of the sin offering

More on the Sin Offering

:26 The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it

The priest that did all the work in presenting the offering was given a portion of the sin offering, and he was allowed to eat it.

:30 whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle

The sin offering would be slain in the courtyard of the tabernacle.

With some of the sin offerings (day of atonement, sin of a priest, sin of the congregation), the blood was actually taken into the tabernacle and sprinkled inside.

With others, the blood was simply sprinkled on the altar of burnt offering (sin of a ruler, sin of a common person)

If the animal was of a sacrifice where the blood was taken into the tabernacle, then the flesh of the animal was not allowed to be eaten, but had to be burnt outside the camp.

The writer to Hebrews pulls an interesting lesson out of this for us:

(Heb 13:11-13 KJV) For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. {12} Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. {13} Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

There’s a sense in which this passage was prophetic, foretelling that Jesus would die outside the "camp", or outside the city.

His blood was taken into the heavenly tabernacle, to cover our sins.