Leviticus Chapter 5 explains the rules for giving a guilt offering. A guilt offering was rendered when a person had become unclean because of their sins and they had to repent.
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The Sin of Lying
Chapter 5 of Leviticus gives numerous examples of sins that were worthy of a guilt offering. One of the first things mentioned was the sin of not speaking the truth when called upon. It specifically discussed the idea of innocent people being found guilty for crimes that they did not commit.
The Sin of Empty Promises
Leviticus continues with examples of sins such as touching unclean animals and the uncleanness of people. In addition, Leviticus Chapter 5 states that when one took an oath or swore that they were going to do something without thinking about it, they had committed a sin. God said that making thoughtless promises was wrong and a guilt offering had to be given for atonement.
Instructions for Accidental Sin Offerings
If a person committed any of these accidental sins, they were to confess it as soon as they realized it. God told them to then bring a female lamb or female goat to the Meeting Tent as their offering.
God also provided rules for the person that could not afford to give a lamb or a goat as an offering. Leviticus Chapter 5 explained that two pigeons or doves could be given as a guilt offering instead.
One of the birds would be used as the guilt offering. The priest would twist the bird’s neck until it started bleeding. Some of the blood would then be drizzled along the side of the altar while the remainder of the blood was spilled at the base. The other bird would be used as a burnt offering for atonement.
Other Options for Guilt Offerings
Two liters of flour could be given as a guilt offering as well. However, a ram should be used as a guilt offering if an accidental sin is committed against the house of the Lord. The ram chosen was to be of fine quality with no imperfections. If this was done, atonement was made and the sin was forgiven.
Leviticus 5 (King James Version)
1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.
2 Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty.
3 Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty.
4 Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these.
5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing:
6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.
7 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.
8 And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off his head from his neck, but shall not divide it asunder:
9 And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be wrung out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering.
10 And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him.
11 But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering.
12 Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, even a memorial thereof, and burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: it is a sin offering.
13 And the priest shall make an atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and the remnant shall be the priest’s, as a meat offering.
14 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
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 unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering:
16 And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.
17 And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.
18 And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him.
19 It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.