Leviticus 5:15
If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass to the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with your estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) If a soul commit a trespass.—The word used here for trespass is not the same which is so rendered in Leviticus 5:19, and from which the noun rendered in this very chapter by trespass offering (Leviticus 5:6-7; Leviticus 5:15-16; Leviticus 5:19), is derived. It literally denotes to cover, then to act covertly, to be faithless, especially in matters of a sacred covenant made either with God (Leviticus 26:40; Numbers 31:16; Deuteronomy 32:51, &c.), or between husband and wife (Numbers 5:12; Numbers 5:27).

And sin through ignorance.—If at the time of its committal he did not know that it was a transgression. (See Leviticus 4:2.)

In the holy things of the Lord.—That is, inadvertently keeping back the things which belong to the sanctuary, and to the service of the Lord, as, for instance, the tithes, the firstfruits, or not consecrating or redeeming his firstborn (Exodus 28:38; Numbers 5:6-8).

A ram without blemish.—For committing any of these transgressions presumptuously, the transgressor incurred the punishment of excision (Numbers 15:30; Hebrews 10:28); but when they were done unawares, he was to bring a ram as a sacrifice. According to the rules which obtained during the second Temple, it must be over thirty-one days in the second year of its age. It was of greater value than the female sheep. The sacrifice for a trespass in holy things, though ignorantly committed, was therefore more costly than for the sin of ignorance mentioned in Leviticus 5:6.

With thy estimation by shekels of silver.—That is, according to the valuation of Moses, to whom this was primarily addressed, the ram is to be so grown up as to be worth several, or at least two shekels. The act of valuing was transferred by Moses to the officiating priests. (See Leviticus 27:8; Leviticus 27:12; Numbers 18:16.) For the shekels of the sanctuary see Exodus 30:13.

Leviticus 5:15. A trespass — Against the Lord and his priests. Through ignorance — For if a man did it knowingly, he was to be cut off, Numbers 15:30. In the holy things — In things consecrated to God, and to holy uses; these were many, and by various ways a man might be guilty, even unwittingly, with respect to them; such as tithes and first-fruits, or any thing due or devoted to God, which possibly a man might either withhold, or employ to some common use. A ram — A more chargeable sacrifice than the former, as the sin of sacrilege was greater. With thy estimation — As thou, O priest, shalt esteem or rate it; and at present, thou, O Moses, for he as yet performed the priest’s part. And this was an additional charge and punishment to him; besides the ram, he was to pay for the holy thing which he had withheld or abused, so many shekels of silver as the priests should esteem proportionable to it.5:14-19 Here are offerings to atone for trespasses against a neighbour. If a man put to his own use unwittingly, any thing dedicated to God, he was to bring this sacrifice. We are to be jealous over ourselves, to ask pardon for the sin, and make satisfaction for the wrong, which we do but suspect ourselves guilty of. The law of God is so very broad, the occasions of sin in this guilty of. The law of God is so very broad, the occasions of sin in this world are so numerous, and we are so prone to evil, that we need to fear always, and to pray always, that we may be kept from sin. Also we should look before us at every step. The true Christian daily pleads guilty before God, and seeks forgiveness through the blood of Christ. And the gospel salvation is so free, that the poorest is not shut out; and so full, that the most burdened conscience may find relief from it. Yet the evil of sin is so displayed as to cause every pardoned sinner to abhor and dread it.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.

15, 16. sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the Lord, &c.—This is a case of sacrilege committed ignorantly, either in not paying the full due of tithes, first-fruits, and similar tribute in eating of meats, which belonged to the priests alone—or he was required, along with the restitution in money, the amount of which was to be determined by the priest, to offer a ram for a trespass offering, as soon as he came to the knowledge of his involuntary fraud. If a soul commit a trespass against the Lord and his priests.

And sin through ignorance; for if a man did it knowingly, he was to be cut off, Numbers 15:30.

In the holy things of the Lord; in things consecrated to God, and to holy uses; of which see Leviticus 22:2; such as tithes and first-fruits, or any things due, or devoted, or offered to God, which possibly a man might either withhold, or employ to some common use. See Exodus 34:26 Deu 12:17,18 15:19 Jeremiah 2:3.

A ram was a more chargeable sacrifice than the former, as the sin of sacrilege was greater. With thy estimation; as thou shalt esteem or rate it, thou, O priest, as appears from Leviticus 5:16,18 6:6 22:14 27:2,3; and at present, thou, O Moses, Leviticus 27:3, for he as yet performed the priest’s part. And this either,

1. May be referred to the ram, which was to be of such a price and worth as the priest should appoint. Or rather,

2. Is an additional charge and punishment to him, which, besides the ram, he was to pay for the holy thing which he had withheld or abused, so many shekels of silver ms the priest should esteem proportionable to it; which was, as it were, another part or branch of his trespass-offering.

The shekel of the sanctuary; of which see Poole "Genesis 23:15". If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance in the holy things of the Lord,.... In the payment of tithes, or offering first fruits as he ought, by withholding them, or any part of them, or through eating of sacred things he ought not:

then shall he bring for his trespass unto the Lord; for it being a trespass in holy things, it might be properly called a trespass to or against the Lord; unless this is rather to be understood of the offering brought to the Lord for his trespass as follows:

a ram without blemish out of the flocks; out of the sheep and not the goats, as Ben Gersom observes; and this being for sacrifice, or for a trespass in holy things though ignorantly done, an offering of more value is required than for sins of ignorance in other cases, Leviticus 5:6 a type of Christ, who for his strength may be compared to a ram, and to one without blemish, for his purity and holiness, and to a choice one, selected out of the flock, for his being chosen out from among the people:

with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering; that is, either an estimation was to be taken of the damage done in the holy things, an account of which was to be brought along with the ram, and the cost paid; or else the ram brought was to be of the value of, or worth shekels of silver; and the least of many being two, as Aben Ezra and Ben Gersom observe, the sense is, that the ram brought for the trespass offering should be at least worth two shekels of silver; so Jarchi and Ben Gersom.

If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, {g} 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, {h} with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering:

(g) Concerning the first fruits or tithes, due to the priests and Levites.

(h) By the estimation of the priest, Le 27:12.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Chs. Leviticus 5:14 to Leviticus 6:7. The Guilt-Offering

Three cases where a Guilt-Offering should be brought are here specified:

(a) 15, 16; if part of what is due to the Lord has been withheld.

15. commit a trespass] The Heb. word (mâ‘al) here and in Leviticus 6:2 is different from that which is rendered ‘be guilty,’ ‘bring guilt,’ and ‘guilt offering’ (trespass offering A.V.) in Leviticus 4:3 to Leviticus 5:7 (’âshâm). It means ‘to deal deceitfully.’

in the holy things of the Lord] i.e. by keeping back what is His due (e.g. tithes or firstfruits). The offender shall make restitution of what he has kept back unwittingly, adding a fifth part, and shall also bring as a Guilt-Offering a ram of sufficient value estimated after the shekel of the sanctuary. According to tradition this shekel was double the value of the ordinary shekel, but see A. R. S. Kennedy’s Art. Money, in HDB. iii. 422, or Lev. (Cent. Bible) p. 58, where he makes it to be ‘the so-called Phœnician silver shekel of 224 grains, and its value about 2 Samuel 9 d.’ It thus would weigh but little more than the Jewish shekels now extant.

according to thy estimation] also in Leviticus 5:18 and Leviticus 6:6.

in silver by shekels] i.e. the ram must be worth at the least two shekels. According to Tal. Bab. (Zebâḥîm 90 b) it must be two years old.Verses 15, 16 refer to sins of omission, offenses in the holy things of the Lord; that is, withholding tithes and offerings. The non-payment of tithes and offerings was looked upon as robbing Jehovah (Malachi 3:8), and therefore it is that a trespass offering, involving compensation, and not only a sin offering, is required to atone for the offense. The ram that is to be offered is to be of a value fixed by the priest (with thy estimation, i.e., according to the estimation of the priest), and the priest is to estimate it by shekels of silver; implying that its value must amount at least to shekels (in the plural), meaning two shekels (see Ezekiel 47:13, where "portions" means "more than one portion," i.e., "two portions"). The shekel is considered to be equal to 2s. 7d. The shekel of the sanctuary means the shekel according to its exact weight and value, while still unworn by traffic and daily use. Beside offering the rain, he is to make amends for the harm (or rather sin) that he hath clone in the holy thing, and.. . add the fifth part. The fifth part is probably appointed as being the same as two-tenths of the principal sum. Full satisfaction is the marked feature of the trespass offering. In Luke 19:8, "Zacchaeus stood, and said,... Behold, Lord,... if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore fourfold." He went far beyond his legal obligation in respect to compensation. (Cf. 2 Samuel 12:6, "He shall restore the lamb fourfold.") "But if his hand does not reach what is sufficient for a sheep," i.e., if he could not afford enough to sacrifice a sheep ("his hand" is put for what his hand acquires), he was to bring two turtle-doves or two young pigeons, one for the sin-offering, the other for the burnt-offering. The pigeon intended for the sin, i.e., for the sin-offering, he was to bring first of all to the priest, who was to offer it in the following manner. The head was to be pinched off from opposite to its neck, i.e., in the nape just below the head, though without entirely severing it, that is to say, it was to be pinched off sufficiently to kill the bird and allow the blood to flow out. He was then to sprinkle of the blood upon the wall of the altar, which could be effected by swinging the bleeding pigeon, and to squeeze out the rest of the blood against the wall of the altar, because it was a sin-offering; for in the burnt-offering he let all the blood flow out against the wall of the altar (Leviticus 1:15). What more was done with the pigeon is not stated. Hence it cannot be decided with certainty, whether, after the crop and its contents were removed and thrown upon the ash-heap, the whole of the bird was burned upon the altar, or whether it fell to the priest, as the Mishnah affirms (Seb. vi. 4), so that none of it was placed upon the altar. One circumstance which seems to favour the statement in the Talmud is the fact, that in the sin-offering of pigeons, a second pigeon was to be offered as a burnt-offering, and, according to Leviticus 5:10, for the purpose of making an atonement; probably for no other purpose than to burn it upon the altar, as the dove of the sin-offering was not burned, and the sacrifice was incomplete without some offering upon the altar. In the case of sin-offerings of quadrupeds, the fat portions were laid upon the altar, and the flesh could be eaten by the priest by virtue of his office; but in that of pigeons, it was not possible to separate fat portions from the flesh for the purpose of burning upon the altar by themselves, and it would not do to divide the bird in half, and let one half be burned and the other eaten by the priest, as this would have associated the idea of halfness or incompleteness with the sacrifice. A second pigeon was therefore to be sacrificed as a burnt-offering, כּמּשׂפּט, according to the right laid down in Leviticus 1:14., that the priest might make atonement for the offerer on account of his sin, whereas in the sin-offering of a quadruped one sacrificial animal was sufficient to complete the expiation.

(Note: From the instructions to offer two pigeons in order to obtain expiation, it is perfectly evident that the eating of the flesh of the sin-offering on the part of the priest formed an essential part of the act of expiation, and was not merely a kind of honourable tribute, which God awarded to His servants who officiated at the sacrifice.)

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