Leviticus 4:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Say to the Israelites: 'When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands--

New Living Translation
"Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. This is how you are to deal with those who sin unintentionally by doing anything that violates one of the LORD's commands.

English Standard Version
“Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If anyone sins unintentionally in any of the LORD’s commandments about things not to be done, and does any one of them,

New American Standard Bible
"Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'If a person sins unintentionally in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them,

King James Bible
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:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Tell the Israelites: When someone sins unintentionally against any of the LORD's commands and does anything prohibited by them--"

International Standard Version
"Speak to the Israelis and tell them that if a person inadvertently sins with respect to any of the LORD's commands that should not be violated, but nevertheless he disobeys one of them,

NET Bible
"Tell the Israelites, 'When a person sins by straying unintentionally from any of the Lord's commandments which must not be violated, and violates any one of them--

New Heart English Bible
"Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'If anyone sins unintentionally, in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and does any one of them:

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Tell the Israelites: If a person unintentionally does something wrong-even one thing that is forbidden by any of the LORD's commands-this is what he must do.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: If any one shall sin through error, in any of the things which the LORD hath commanded not to be done, and shall do any one of them:

New American Standard 1977
“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If a person sins unintentionally in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them,

Jubilee Bible 2000
Speak unto the sons 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 any of them,

King James 2000 Bible
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 act against any one of them:

American King James Version
Speak to 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:

American Standard Version
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any one shall sin unwittingly, in any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and shall do any one of them:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Say to the children of Israel: The soul that sinneth through ignorance, and doth any thing concerning any of the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded not to be done:

Darby Bible Translation
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through inadvertence against any of the commandments of Jehovah [in things] that ought not to be done, and do any of them;

English Revised Version
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any one shall sin unwittingly, in any of the things which the LORD hath commanded not to be done, and shall do any one of them:

Webster's Bible Translation
Speak to 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 violate any of them:

World English Bible
"Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'If anyone sins unintentionally, in any of the things which Yahweh has commanded not to be done, and does any one of them:

Young's Literal Translation
Speak unto the sons of Israel, saying, When a person doth sin through ignorance against any of the commands of Jehovah regarding things which are not to be done, and hath done something against one of these --
Study Bible
Laws for Sin Offerings
1Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2"Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'If a person sins unintentionally in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them, 3if the anointed priest sins so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer to the LORD a bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed.…
Cross References
Leviticus 4:1
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Leviticus 4:13
'Now if the whole congregation of Israel commits error and the matter escapes the notice of the assembly, and they commit any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and they become guilty;

Leviticus 4:22
'When a leader sins and unintentionally does any one of all the things which the LORD his God has commanded not to be done, and he becomes guilty,

Leviticus 4:27
'Now if anyone of the common people sins unintentionally in doing any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and becomes guilty,

Leviticus 5:15
"If a person acts unfaithfully and sins unintentionally against the LORD'S holy things, then he shall bring his guilt offering to the LORD: a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation in silver by shekels, in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering.

Leviticus 5:17
"Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment.

Leviticus 22:14
But if a man eats a holy gift unintentionally, then he shall add to it a fifth of it and shall give the holy gift to the priest.

Numbers 15:22
'But when you unwittingly fail and do not observe all these commandments, which the LORD has spoken to Moses,

Numbers 15:24
then it shall be, if it is done unintentionally, without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one bull for a burnt offering, as a soothing aroma to the LORD, with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering.

Numbers 35:11
then you shall select for yourselves cities to be your cities of refuge, that the manslayer who has killed any person unintentionally may flee there.
Treasury of Scripture

Speak to 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:

through

Leviticus 5:15,17 If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy …

Numbers 15:22-29 And if you have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which …

Deuteronomy 19:4 And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that …

1 Samuel 14:27 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the …

Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse you me from secret faults.

1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but …

Hebrews 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out …

Hebrews 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not …

which ought

Leviticus 4:27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance…

Genesis 20:9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, What have you done …

James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, …

IV.

(2) If a soul shall sin.--It will be seen that whilst the three previous kinds of offerings, viz., the burnt offering (Leviticus 1:1-17), the meat offering (Leviticus 2:1-16), and the peace offering (Leviticus 3:1-17), are spoken of as familiarly known and practised among the Israelites before the giving of the Law, the sin offering and the trespass offering are here introduced as a new injunction. We have here no more the voluntary formula, "If any man of you bring," &c. (Leviticus 1:2; Leviticus 2:1; Leviticus 3:1), as you are in the habit of bringing; but "if a soul shall sin . . . let him bring for his sin offering a young bullock," &c.

Through ignorance.--He did it inadvertently, and at the time of its committal did not know that it was a transgression; but recognised it as a sin after he did it. (Comp. Leviticus 4:13; Leviticus 4:22; Leviticus 4:27; Leviticus 5:18; Leviticus 22:14.) According to the practice which obtained during the second Temple, the sin here spoken of, for which the sin offering was brought, was (1) a sin committed through ignorance, or involuntarily, as opposed to a sin committed with a set purpose (comp. Numbers 15:30); (2) a sin against a negative command; (3) a sin consisted in acts, not in words or thoughts, as is deduced from the expression "and shall do against any of them;" and (4) of acts of such a nature, that if committed intentionally they would subject the sinner to the awful punishment of excision. (See Numbers 15:29-30.)

Verse 2. - If a soul shall sin. The conditions to be fulfilled in presenting a sin offering differed according to the position held by the offerer in the state. If it were the high priest, he had

(1) to offer a young bull in the court of the tabernacle;

(2) to place his hand upon it;

(3) to kill it;

(4) to take the blood into the holy place of the tabernacle, and there sprinkle some of it seven times in the direction of the vail that divided off the holy of holies within which the ark was placed, and to smear some of it on the horns of the golden altar of incense;

(5) to pour out the rest of the blood at the foot of the altar of burnt offering in the court of the tabernacle;

(6) to burn all the internal fat upon the altar of burnt offering;

(7) to carry the whole of the remainder of the animal outside the camp, and there to burn it. If it were the congregation that made the offering, the same conditions had to be fulfilled, except that the elders of the congregation had to lay their hands on the animal. If it were a ruler, the animal offered was to be a male kid, and the priest, instead of taking the blood into the sanctuary, was to smear it on the horns of the altar of burnt sacrifice in the court. If it were an ordinary member of the congregation, the animal was to be a female kid, or ewe lamb, which was to be dealt with in the same manner; or in some cases two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a sin offering (whose blood was all sprinkled round the inner side of the altar), the other for a burnt offering (which was to be treated according to the ritual of the burnt offering), or even the tenth part of an ephah of flour (without oil or frankincense), a handful of which was to be burnt, and the remainder delivered to the priest for his consumption. The moral lesson taught to the Jew by the sin offering was of the terrible nature of sin, and of the necessity for an expiation for it in addition to penitence. Mystically he might see that, as the blood of bulls and goats could not of its own virtue take away sin, there must be an offering, foreshadowed by the sacrifice of the animals, which should be effectual as these were symbolical The type is fulfilled by the atonement wrought by Christ's blood shed on the cross (see Hebrews 10:1-21). Further, the ceremonial cleansing of the sinful Israelite by the sin offering in the old dispensation foreshadows the effect of baptism in the new dispensation, for, as Calvin has noted in his Commentary, "As sins are now sacramentally washed away by baptism, so under the Law also sacrifices were expiations, although in a different way." If a soul shall sin through ignorance. The expression, "through ignorance" (bishgagah), is intended to cover all sins except those committed "with a high hand," or defiantly, whether the agent was ignorant that they were sins or was led into them by inconsiderateness or infirmity (cf. Psalm 19:12, 13, "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins"). A better translation of bishgagah would be by want of consideration, or by inadvertence. Our Lord could say, even of those who crucified him, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do;" and therefore even for them a sin offering might be made and be accepted. But for deliberate and determined sin the Law has no atonement, no remedy. The words, shall do against any of them, i.e., against the commandments, would be better rendered shall do any of them, i.e., the things which ought not to be done. There is no exact apodosis to this verse; it is a general heading to the chapter. Speak unto the children of Israel, saying,.... For this law concerning the sin offering, as the rest, only belonged to them, and such as were proselyted to them:

if a soul should sin through ignorance; sin is from the soul, though committed by the body; it is the soul that sins, Ezekiel 18:4 it includes, as Aben Ezra observes, both Israelites and proselytes; who sinned through ignorance either of the law, that such things were forbidden, or of having committed them, they being done unobserved, and through inadvertency; or were forgotten that they were done, or were done through error and mistake; these sins are what the apostle calls the errors of the people, their strayings out of the way through ignorance and inadvertency, Hebrews 5:2 such sins as a man is overtaken with unawares, and is drawn into at once through temptation and the prevalence of corruption; these are the errors and secret faults which David distinguishes from presumptuous sins, Psalm 19:12,

against any of the commandments of the Lord (concerning things which ought not to be done.) The Jewish writers (m) distinguish the commandments of the Lord into affirmative and negative, and make their number to be six hundred and thirteen; two hundred and forty eight are affirmative, according to the number of bones in a man's body, and three hundred sixty five are negative ones, according to the number of the days of the year; and they observe (n), it is only the transgression of negative precepts that is here meant, and for which a sin offering was to be brought:

and shall do against any of them; it must be something done, and not merely said: hence the Jews (o) say, that as the neglect of circumcision, and of the passover, does not come under this law, because they are affirmative precepts; so neither blasphemy, because there is nothing done, only something said: of these sins of ignorance, they give instances as follows; if any man eats the fat that is about the kidneys, thinking it is the fat that is about the heart; or that lies with a woman forbidden by the law, thinking her to be his wife; or that commits idolatry, by bowing to the idol, thinking that the law forbids sacrifice, incense, and libation, but not bowing; or that profanes the sabbath, thinking it is a common day (p).

(m) T. Bab. Maccot, fol. 23. 2.((n) Maimon. in Misn. Horayot, c. 2. sect. 3. Bartenora in Misn. Ceritot, c. 1. sect. 1. Gersom in loc. (o) Misn. Ceritot, c. 1. sect. 2. & Bartenora in ib. Maimon. Hilchot Shegagot, c. 1. sect. 2.((p) Maimon & Bartenora in Misn. Ceritot, ib. 2. If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord—a soul—an individual. All sins may be considered, in a certain sense, as committed "through ignorance," error, or misapprehension of one's true interests. The sins, however, referred to in this law were unintentional violations of the ceremonial laws,—breaches made through haste, or inadvertency of some negative precepts, which, if done knowingly and wilfully, would have involved a capital punishment.

do against any of them—To bring out the meaning, it is necessary to supply, "he shall bring a sin offering."4:1-12 Burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and peace-offerings, had been offered before the giving of the law upon mount Sinai; and in these the patriarchs had respect to sin, to make atonement for it. But the Jews were now put into a way of making atonement for sin, more particularly by sacrifice, as a shadow of good things to come; yet the substance is Christ, and that one offering of himself, by which he put away sin. The sins for which the sin-offerings were appointed are supposed to be open acts. They are supposed to be sins of commission, things which ought not to have been done. Omissions are sins, and must come into judgment: yet what had been omitted at one time, might be done at another; but a sin committed was past recall. They are supposed to be sins committed through ignorance. The law begins with the case of the anointed priest. It is evident that God never had any infallible priest in his church upon earth, when even the high priest was liable to fall into sins of ignorance. All pretensions to act without error are sure marks of Antichrist. The beast was to be carried without the camp, and there burned to ashes. This was a sign of the duty of repentance, which is the putting away sin as a detestable thing, which our soul hates. The sin-offering is called sin. What they did to that, we must do to our sins; the body of sin must be destroyed, Ro 6:6. The apostle applies the carrying this sacrifice without the camp to Christ, Heb 13:11-13.
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