Leviticus 5-6

Thursday Evening Bible Study

September 24, 2009


Leviticus is an instruction manual for the Levite priests.

The main theme is “Holiness”

(Lev 19:2 NKJV) "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

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 and your family

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

5:1-4 Reasons for Guilt Offering

We’re going to see different variations of the sin offering. The Hebrew name for this next offering is based on the word for “guilt” found in verses 2,3,4, and 5 (asham).  Some call this a “trespass” offering.  I haven’t found out the differences yet between words like “sin” and “trespass”.

:1 'If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter; if he does not tell it, he bears guilt.

:1 is a witness - The idea here is this – there is an unsolved criminal case, the police detective gathers people together and asks for help in solving the crime. As the detective begins to explain the situation, you realize that you actually saw something that was important.

The “utterance of an oath” is the officer admonishing everyone to tell what they’ve seen or heard.

If you do not tell what you’ve seen, then you are guilty of a “trespass”.

God wants His people involved in justice. God wants His people involved as witnesses.

If you know someone who wants to know about God, do you have a testimony?

:2 'Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean livestock, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and he is unaware of it, he also shall be unclean and guilty.

:3 'Or if he touches human uncleanness; whatever uncleanness with which a man may be defiled, and he is unaware of it; when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty.

:3 uncleanness – was a state in which a person was not eligible for worship.

There were LOTS of ways a person or thing could become “unclean”.

The point is that 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 deal more with “uncleanness” in future chapters.

:4 'Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it; when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters.

:4 if a person swears

This has to do with making careless promises to someone.

Example – “I swear I'll come help you on Saturday...”

And then you go and forget your promise.

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.

Jesus said,

(Mat 5:33-37 NKJV) "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' {34} "But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; {35} "nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. {36} "Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. {37} "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Swearing an oath like saying, “May lightening strike me if I’m not telling the truth” is only a way of trying to convince someone that you’re going to keep your promise.
Jesus isn’t against us making promises. His point is that we ought to be men and women who can be counted on for telling the truth without having to go through elaborate “oaths” to convince someone of what we’re saying.

5:5-13 The Guilt Offering

:5 'And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing;

:6 'and he shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin.

confessyadah – to throw, shoot, cast

trespass offering‘asham – guilt, offense, sin, guiltiness

Forgiveness from God requires two things:

1. Confession.

(Psa 32:1-5 NKJV) Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. {2} Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. {3} When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. {4} For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah {5} I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
It wasn’t until David confessed his sin that he experienced forgiveness.

2. Sacrifice.

That’s the point here. A price must be paid for the sin. A sacrifice must be brought. This animal was paying the price for your sin. It was paying with it’s life.
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 with a time out, 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.
Two rabbinical students were caught by the Rabbi gambling and drinking in the company of undesirable characters before the sun set on the evening of the Sabbath. The Rabbi called them into his study the next day. Both confessed to having given in to weakness, and admitted that they deserved punishment. The Rabbi thought and then went into his kitchen and brought back two bags of dried peas. “Put these in your shoes,” he told them, “and walk on them for a week, to remind yourself how hard life can be when you turn away from your faith.” A few days later the two students met. One was limping terribly, had dark circles under his eyes, and looked very tired. The other seemed much as he had been the week before. “Hey,” said the first. “How is it that you are walking so freely? Didn’t you do as the Rabbi told us and put the peas in your shoes?” “Of course I did,” said the other. “How could I disobey the Rabbi?” He started to walk away, paused, and then said, “But I boiled them first.”

Some try and avoid the consequences of their sins.

We see these come together in the New Testament formula for forgiveness as well:

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

Forgiveness requires “confession”. We have to admit to God that we have sinned.
God is “just” to forgive us because the requirement for sacrifice has been met. The price has been paid. Jesus paid for our sins.

:7 'If he is not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring to the LORD, for his trespass which he has committed, two turtledoves or two young pigeons: one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering.

Forgiveness was not based upon whether or not you could afford to sacrifice a lamb. Turtledoves and pigeons were inexpensive. You didn’t have to be wealthy to be right with God.

:8 'And he shall bring them to the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off its head from its neck, but shall not divide it completely.

:9 'Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, and the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering.

:10 'And he shall offer the second as a burnt offering according to the prescribed manner. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

Notice the order: Sin offering first, then burnt offering.

Take care of your sin, then dedicate yourself to the Lord.

:11 'But if he is not able to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, then he who sinned shall bring for his offering one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it, nor shall he put frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering.

:11 fine flour – Maybe you are too poor to afford even a pair of turtledoves. It’s still possible to pay for your sins.

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

Normally, we see sins requiring “blood” to pay for the sins.

Last week we mentioned that this is why blood was to be used only in sacrifice. Blood was never to be eaten or drunk.

Here we see the one exception to the “blood-for-atonement” rule.

This is why the writer to the Hebrews says:

(Heb 9:22 NKJV) And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
The exception was if you were too poor, then you could offer flour for a sin offering.

:12 'Then he shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it as a memorial portion, and burn it on the altar according to the offerings made by fire to the LORD. It is a sin offering.

:13 'The priest shall make atonement for him, for his sin that he has committed in any of these matters; and it shall be forgiven him. The rest shall be the priest's as a grain offering.'"

The entire two quarts of flour wasn’t burned, only a handful. The rest would go to the priest as payment for “services rendered”.

5:14-19 Restitution towards God

:14 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:

:15 "If a person commits a trespass, and sins unintentionally in regard to the holy things of the LORD, then he shall bring to the LORD as his trespass offering a ram without blemish from the flocks, with your valuation in shekels of silver according to the shekel of the sanctuary, as a trespass offering.

:15 trespass offering‘asham – guilt, offense, sin, guiltiness

Same word as what was used in verse 6. Here the difference will be that these things will require more than just the trespass offering, these offenses will require that you make “restitution”, that you pay the offended party as well.

:15 holy thingsqodesh – apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness

When something was given to God, it became “holy”.

Certain parts of the sacrifices were supposed to be set aside and given to the priests for payment for their service. They were called “most holy” (Lev. 10:12).
For example:  The tithe, the tenth of a person’s income, was supposed to be given to the Lord. It was “holy” (Lev. 27:30).

:16 "And he shall make restitution for the harm that he has done in regard to the holy thing, and shall add one-fifth to it and give it to the priest. So the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.

:16 add one-fifth


The concept of restitution is that of paying back what you’ve stolen from another person. It’s making things right with another person.
It might seem strange to think that we could be guilty of stealing from God, but it’s possible:
(Mal 3:8 NKJV) "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
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%. ($12)

:17 "If a person sins, and commits any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD, though he does not know it, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity.

:17 though he does not know it – The point here is that you were guilty, whether it was intentional or not.

If I am driving just a bit too fast down Chapman Avenue, and I’m pulled over by a policeman for driving too fast, he doesn’t care whether or not I know that the speeding limit on Chapman is 40 mph. I’m guilty even if I didn’t know it.

:18 "And he shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish from the flock, with your valuation, as a trespass offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him regarding his ignorance in which he erred and did not know it, and it shall be forgiven him.

:19 "It is a trespass offering; he has certainly trespassed against the LORD."

These particular trespass offerings were dealing with when we’ve sinned against God. Now we look at trespass offerings where we’ve sinned against another person.

Leviticus 6

6:1-7 Restitution towards others

:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:

:2 "If a person sins and commits a trespass against the LORD by lying to his neighbor about what was delivered to him for safekeeping,

:2 safekeeping – 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.

:2 or about a pledge, or about a robbery, or if he has extorted from his neighbor,

:3 "or if he has found what was lost and lies concerning it, and swears falsely; in any one of these things that a man may do in which he sins:

:3  swears falsely – I don’t know if this qualifies …


Ice Cream in Bed

A pastor and his wife are watching TV, and an old western is on. The wife says to her husband, “I bet you an ice cream sundae that the covered wagon hits a rock and the driver falls out dead,” “You’re on,” returned her husband. They watch the western and sure enough the wagon hits a rock in the dirt road and the driver falls out of the wagon ... dead. The husband gets up and returns shortly with the sundae. After eating, the wife says, “I have to admit that I saw this movie before.” He in turn confesses, “I saw the movie before too. But I didn’t think he was stupid enough to ride over the same rock twice....”

:4 "then it shall be, because he has sinned and is guilty, that he shall restore what he has stolen, or the thing which he has extorted, or what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or the lost thing which he found,

:5 "or all that about which he has sworn falsely. He shall restore its full value, add one-fifth more to it, and give it to whomever it belongs, on the day of his trespass offering.


Sin offends God

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.
When David confessed his sin to God about Bathsheba, he said,
(Psa 51:4 NKJV) Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight; That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.

That’s not to diminish the sin against Bathsheba’s husband Uriah, or even against Bathsheba herself, but to simply acknowledge that all sin is an offense to God.



God wants you to make it right with whatever person you’ve hurt.
Jesus said:
(Mat 5:23-24 NKJV) "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, {24} "leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

When you’re in church, and you know that you have hurt or offended another person, you really ought to stop where you are and make things right with that other person.

Some people have the mistaken idea that if they come to God for forgiveness, then they don’t have to deal with the problem with the other person.

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! I might leave my car unlocked more often.
Restitution is a part of true repentance:
Zacchaeus was a tax collector. Roman law required him to get a minimum amount from each person. Roman law also allowed him to take as much above the minimum as he could. He made his wealth by cheating others.
When Zacchaeus met Jesus, something inside him changed.

(Luke 19:8-10 NKJV) Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." {9} And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; {10} "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

:6 "And he shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD, a ram without blemish from the flock, with your valuation, as a trespass offering, to the priest.

:7 "So the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any one of these things that he may have done in which he trespasses."

6:8-13 More on Burnt Offerings

:8 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

:9 "Command Aaron and his sons, saying, 'This is the law of the burnt offering: The burnt offering shall be on the hearth upon the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it.

:10 'And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen trousers he shall put on his body, and take up the ashes of the burnt offering which the fire has consumed on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.

:11 'Then he shall take off his garments, put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place.

The priest would have one set of clothes for performing the sacrifices and another set of clothes for taking the ashes out to the dump.

:12 'And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings.

:13 'A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.

The work of the altar went on twenty-four hours a day, even if the priests were in bed.

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

The burnt offering is a picture of complete dedication to God. The animal stayed on the altar until it was completely consumed.

The fire was the process that consumed the sacrifice.

I imagine it doesn’t feel too good to be burned on an altar.
We might not like some of the things in our lives that happen as a result of giving our lives to Christ, but perhaps some of those difficulties might be God’s way of burning you, helping you to surrender to Him.

Walking with the Lord is not something that takes place on Sunday mornings and Thursday nights.

It is to take place 24 hours a day.  It requires staying on the altar.


Keep it burning

There are some interesting pictures here about maintaining a life of consecration, a life dedicated to God.
1.  The fire can continue to burn
It doesn’t have to go out.  Your passion for God does not have to die out.  It’s a priest’s responsibility to keep the fire burning.
2.  Clean out the ashes
You can’t keep a fire burning without cleaning out the ashes every once in awhile.  A consumed life leads a residue of ash.  Something is burned.  The rest is removed.
3.  Change clothes
The priest wore a different outfit outside the tabernacle than he did when inside.  I don’t think this means we need to be acting differently when we’re in the world, or somehow act like we’re not believers.  I think the emphasis is on the fact that there is a difference when we come into God’s presence.  We need to grasp a sense of the “holy”.  We ought to be amazed and in awe when we’re in God’s presence.
4.  Add fuel to the fire
Fire requires fuel.  What keeps the fire going in your life?  Perhaps spending time in God’s Word.  Prayer.  Fellowship.
5. Consecration and Communion
The purpose of the fire is to consume the burnt offering.  God’s fire ought to be working to consume us and make us more dedicated to God.  We ought to be following the burnt offering with the peace offering – communion with God, burning the fat, a sweet aroma.
The early church seems to reflect this:
(Acts 2:46 NKJV) So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

The believers in the early church learned to walk with the Lord every day, and not just once a week.

6:14-23 More on the Grain Offering

:14 'This is the law of the grain offering: The sons of Aaron shall offer it on the altar before the LORD.

:15 'He shall take from it his handful of the fine flour of the grain offering, with its oil, and all the frankincense which is on the grain offering, and shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma, as a memorial to the LORD.

:16 'And the remainder of it Aaron and his sons shall eat; with unleavened bread it shall be eaten in a holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of meeting they shall eat it.

:16 the remainder – With the Grain Offering, only a portion was actually burnt and consumed on the altar, the rest went to the priest. This was part of their “salary”. It’s how they earned their living.

You may not be aware of this, but I make my living as a pastor. A portion of what folks put into the Agape Box goes to pay my salary.

I’ve heard some of the folks during announcements talk about how money given to the church is used for various things like Children’s Ministry, Outreach, and Missions (which it is), but I also draw a salary as the only full time pastor.  We also provide part time support to Dave, Dan, and Joy.  We provide a very small monthly thank you gift to Daniel Grant, Victor, and my wife.  In all, about half of our church’s finances go towards paying salaries.  In addition, we send another 12% or so towards the various missions that we support.

:17 'It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it as their portion of My offerings made by fire; it is most holy, like the sin offering and the trespass offering.

:18 'All the males among the children of Aaron may eat it. It shall be a statute forever in your generations concerning the offerings made by fire to the LORD. Everyone who touches them must be holy.'"

Any person who ate something from the meal offerings were to be holy.

:19 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

:20 "This is the offering of Aaron and his sons, which they shall offer to the LORD, beginning on the day when he is anointed: one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a daily grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it at night.

:21 "It shall be made in a pan with oil. When it is mixed, you shall bring it in. The baked pieces of the grain offering you shall offer for a sweet aroma to the LORD.

:22 "The priest from among his sons, who is anointed in his place, shall offer it. It is a statute forever to the LORD. It shall be wholly burned.

:23 "For every grain offering for the priest shall be wholly burned. It shall not be eaten."


Don’t spend it on yourself

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.
Perhaps this might be applied like this:
A man in ministry isn’t exempt from the grain offering. He can’t say, “I work in the ministry, I don’t need to tithe”.  Wrong.
A man in ministry can’t take his tithe and spend it on himself, saying, “I’m giving it to the ministry, me.”  Wrong.
Some people will take their tithe and spend it on themselves, I’m not sure if this is proper.

6:24-30 More on Sin Offerings

:24 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

:25 "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed, the sin offering shall be killed before the LORD. It is most holy.

:26 'The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. In a holy place it shall be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of meeting.

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.

:27 'Everyone who touches its flesh must be holy. And when its blood is sprinkled on any garment, you shall wash that on which it was sprinkled, in a holy place.

:28 'But the earthen vessel in which it is boiled shall be broken. And if it is boiled in a bronze pot, it shall be both scoured and rinsed in water.

:29 'All the males among the priests may eat it. It is most holy.

:30 'But no sin offering from which any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of meeting, to make atonement in the holy place, shall be eaten. It shall be burned in the fire.

:30 brought into the tabernacle – The sin offering itself 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.

These sin offerings were supposed to be completely burnt at a place outside the camp.
The writer of Hebrews connects this to Jesus:
(Heb 13:11-12 NKJV) For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. {12} Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

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

Jesus died “outside the camp”, or outside the city.

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

With these, the priest was to eat his portion of the offering.

We’ll see some of these rules come into play when the first worship service gets started (Lev. 9) and things get done improperly (Lev. 10:17).