And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he has committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, to the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And if he be not able to bring.—The only exception to this general rule was poverty. The poor man who was unable to bring a sheep or she-goat, might bring two turtle-doves, as these were plentiful and cheap in Palestine. (See Leviticus 1:14.) We have seen in the preceding verse that in the case of the trespass offering, as in that of the sin offering, the fat parts, or the choicest portion, had to be consumed on the altar, being “the bread of Jehovah,” and that the residue was the perquisite of the priests. As the fat parts of the dove, or the portion for the altar, could not be separated from the bird, and as the burning of it wholly would destroy the character of the trespass offering, and make it into a whole burnt offering, two doves were brought. One represented the portion for the Lord, and hence was burnt on the altar, whilst the flesh of the other became the perquisite of the officiating priest.Leviticus 5:7. Not able — Through poverty. And this exception was allowed also in other sin-offerings. For a sin-offering — Which was for that particular sin, and therefore offered first before the burnt-offering, which was for sins in general; to teach us not to rest in general confessions and repentance, but distinctly and particularly, as far as we can, to search out, and confess, and loathe, and leave our particular sins, without which God will not accept our other religious services.Leviticus 1:14-16; Leviticus 12:8. In the larger offerings of the ox and the sheep, the fat which was burned upon the altar represented, like the burnt-offering, the dedication of the worshipper; in this case, the same meaning was conveyed by one of the birds being treated as a distinct burnt-offering.
A lamb - One of the flock, either a sheep or a goat.If he be not able, through poverty, as Leviticus 4:11. And this exception was allowed also in other sin-offerings.
Two young pigeons, of which see Leviticus 1:14.
One for a sin-offering, which was for that particular sin, and therefore is offered first before the burnt-offering, which was for sins in general to teach us not to rest in general confessions and repentances for sin, as hypocrites commonly do, but distinctly and particularly, as far as we can, to search out, and confess, and loathe, and leave our particular sins, without which God will not accept our other religious services. Note that the burnt-offering was for the expiation of sin as well as the sin-offering, Leviticus 1:4, only that was for sin in general, and this for particular sins.
then he shall bring for his trespass which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the Lord; either the one or the other; these were common, and in great plenty in the land of Israel, as Maimonides (y) observes, which was the reason of their being ordered, since to be had cheap. The turtledoves were larger, as the Targum of Jonathan calls them, being older, and the pigeons lesser, being young; or the one were grown, and not little, and the other little, and not grown, as the Jewish writers (z) observe; and either of them were proper emblems of Christ in his purity, innocence, and meekness, by whom an atonement is made both for the rich and poor:
one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; one of the turtle doves or pigeons, whichsoever were brought, was offered up as a sin offering, and the other that remained was offered up as a burnt offering; so that the poor man had two sorts of offerings out of what he brought, when the rich had but one; and may denote the completeness of his sacrifice, and the full atonement made by it.And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. The similarity between this alternative offering for a poor man and that of Leviticus 1:14-17 is obvious.Verses 7-13. - If he be not able to bring a lamb. Sin offerings being not voluntary sacrifices but required of all that were guilty, and the four last-named cases being of common occurrence amongst the poor and ignorant, two concessions are made to poverty: two birds (one to be offered with the ritual of the sin offering, the other with that of the burnt offering), or even some flour (either three pints and a half or three quarts and a half, according as we adopt the larger or smaller estimate of the amount of the ephah), are allowed when the offerer cannot provide a lamb or a kid. There is thus typically set forth the freedom with which acceptance through the great propitiation is offered to all without respect of persons. The non-bloody substitute, being permitted only as an exception for the benefit of the very poor and only in the four cases above specified, does not invalidate the general rule that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.
CHAPTER 5:14-19 Leviticus 4:27.; in which, therefore, if the person for whom expiation was to be made was in needy circumstances, instead of a goat or ewe-sheep, a pair of doves could be received as a sacrificial gift, or, in cases of still greater poverty, the tenth of an ephah of fine flour. The following were the cases. The first (Leviticus 5:1), when any one had heard the voice of an oath (an oath spoken aloud) and was a witness, i.e., was in a condition to give evidence, whether he had seen what took place or had learned it, that is to say, had come to the knowledge of it in some other way. In this case, if he did not make it known, he was to bear his offence, i.e., to bear the guilt, which he had contracted by omitting to make it known, with all its consequences. אלה does not mean a curse in general, but an oath, as an imprecation upon one's self ( equals the "oath of cursing" in Numbers 5:21); and the sin referred to did not consist in the fact that a person heard a curse, imprecation, or blasphemy, and gave no evidence of it (for neither the expression "and is a witness," nor the words "hath seen or known of it," are in harmony with this), but in the fact that one who knew of another's crime, whether he had seen it, or had come to the certain knowledge of it in any other way, and was therefore qualified to appear in court as a witness for the conviction of the criminal, neglected to do so, and did not state what he had seen or learned, when he heard the solemn adjuration of the judge at the public investigation of the crime, by which all persons present, who knew anything of the matter, were urged to come forward as witnesses (vid., Oehler in Herzog's Cycl.). עון נשׁא, to bear the offence or sin, i.e., to take away and endure its consequences (see Genesis 4:13), whether they consisted in chastisements and judgments, by which God punished the sin (Leviticus 7:18; Leviticus 17:16; Leviticus 19:17), such as diseases or distress (Numbers 5:31; Numbers 14:33-34), childlessness (Leviticus 20:20), death (Leviticus 22:9), or extermination (Leviticus 19:8; Leviticus 20:17; Leviticus 9:13), or in punishment inflicted by men (Leviticus 24:15), or whether they could be expiated by sin-offerings (as in this passage and Leviticus 5:17) and other kinds of atonement. In this sense חמא נשׂא is also sometimes used (see at Leviticus 19:17).
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