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Directions concerning trespass - offerings. Both this and the
sin - offering were intended to make atonement for sin, but the former
was more general: The latter was to be offered only in some particular
cases. If a man sinned,
By hearing and concealing blasphemy, ver. 1.
By touching an unclean thing, ver. 2, 3.
By swearing, ver. 4.
He was to offer a lamb or kid, ver. 5. 6.
Or two young pigeons, ver. 7 - 10.
Or fine flour, ver. 11 - 13.
Or a ram, if he had embezzled holy things, ver. 14 - 19.
1: And hear - And for that is, as that particle is often
used. For this declares in particular what the sin was. Or, namely, that
of cursing, or blasphemy, or execration, as the word commonly signifies,
and that either against one's neighbour, or against God. This may seem to
be principally intended here, because the crime spoken of is of so high a
nature, that he who heard it, was obliged to reveal it, and prosecute the
guilty. He hath seen - Been present when it was said. Or known - By
sufficient information from others. His iniquity - That is, the
punishment of it; so that word is oft used, as (Ge 19:15,Nu 18:1).
2: If it be hidden from him - If he do it unawares, yet that would
not excuse him, because he should have been more circumspect to avoid all
unclean things. Hereby God designed to awaken men to watchfulness against,
and repentance for, their unknown, or unobserved sins. He shall be
clean - Not morally, for the conscience was not directly polluted by
these things, but ceremonially.
3: When he knoweth - As soon as he knoweth it, he must not delay to
make his peace with God. Otherwise he shall be guilty - For his violation
and contempt of God's authority and command.
4: If a soul swear - Rashly, without consideration either of God's
law, or his own power or right, as David did, (1Sa 25:22).
To do evil - To himself, to punish himself either in his body, or estate,
or something else which is dear to him. Or rather to his neighbour.
And it be hid from him - That is, he did not know, or not consider, that
what he swore to do, was or would be impossible, or unlawful: When he
discovers it to be so, either by his own consideration, or by information
from others, whether it was good or evil which he swore to do.
5: In one of these things - In one of the three forementioned cases,
either by sinful silence, or by an unclean touch, or by rash swearing.
He shall confess - Before the Lord in the place of public worship. And
this confession is not to be restrained to the present case, but by a parity
of reason, and comparing of other scriptures, to be extended to other
sacrifices for sin, to which this was a constant companion.
6: His trespass - offering - But how comes confession and a sacrifice
to be necessary for him that touched an unclean thing, when such persons
were cleansed with simple washing, as appears from(Le 11:25,28,32,40,43,Nu 19:7,8,10,19)?
This place speaks of him that being so unclean did come into the tabernacle,
as may be gathered by comparing this place with (Nu 19:13), which if
any man did, knowing himself to be unclean, which was the case there, he was
to be cut off for it; and if he did it ignorantly, which is the case
here, he was upon discovery of it to offer this sacrifice.
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 loath, and leave our particular sins, without which
God will not accept our other religious services.
9: It is a sin - offering - This is added as the reason why its blood
was so sprinkled and spilt.
10: According to the manner - Or order appointed by God.
The priest shall make an atonement - Either declaratively, he shall
pronounce him to be pardoned; or typically, with respect to Christ.
11: The tenth part of an ephah - About six pints. He shall put
no oil, neither frankincense - Either to distinguish these from the
meal - offerings, (Le 2:1), or as a fit expression of their sorrow for
their sins, in the sense whereof they were to abstain from things pleasant;
or to signify that by his sins he deserved to be utterly deprived both of
the oil of gladness, the gifts, graces and comforts of the Holy Ghost;
and of God's gracious acceptance of his prayers and sacrifices, which is
signified by incense, (Ps 141:2).
13: As a meal offering - As it was in the meal - offering, where all,
except one handful, fell to the share of the priests. And this is the
rather mentioned here, because in the foregoing sacrifices, (Le 4:3,13), &c.
the priest had no part reserved for him.
15: A trespass - Against the Lord and his priests. Through
ignorance - For if a man did it knowingly, he was to be cut off,(Nu 15:30).
In the holy things - In things consecrated to God, and to holy uses; such
as tithes and first - fruits, or any things due, or devoted to God, which
possibly a man might either with - hold, 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 shalt esteem or
rate it, thou, O priest; 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 with - held or abused, so many shekels of silver as the priest should
esteem proportionable to it.
17: The former law concerns the alienation of holy things from sacred
to common use; this may concern other miscarriages about holy things, and
holy duties, as may be gathered from (Le 5:19), where this is said to
be a trespass against the Lord, not in a general sense, for so every sin
was; but in a proper and peculiar sense.