1 “If anyone sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify, and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity; 2 or if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean wild animal or a carcass of unclean livestock or a carcass of unclean swarming things, and it is hidden from him and he has become unclean, and he realizes his guilt; 3 or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort the uncleanness may be with which one becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and realizes his guilt; 4 or if anyone utters with his lips a rash oath to do evil or to do good, any sort of rash oath that people swear, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and he realizes his guilt in any of these; 5 when he realizes his guilt in any of these and confesses the sin he has committed, 6 he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation for the sin that he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat, for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.
-A female of the flock is selected with the same requirement as for a common person because the issue is that we disobeyed God. We did not fulfill our feminine side of the relationship by being obedient because we knew what to do but chose against it. A lamb is chosen at least as the first choice because sheep represent humility.
7 “But if he cannot afford a lamb, then he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation for the sin that he has committed two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 8 He shall bring them to the priest, who shall offer first the one for the sin offering. He shall wring its head from its neck but shall not sever it completely, 9 and he shall sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, while the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar; it is a sin offering. 10 Then he shall offer the second for a burnt offering according to the rule. And the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven.
-Instead of only a sin offering, a person can do a smaller sin offering to cover the sin and a smaller burnt offering for re-dedication. Doing both these offerings still serves the purpose and make up for the fact that a full lamb is not being sacrificed. Even in this, God is being fair to the poor.
11 “But if he cannot afford two turtledoves or two pigeons, then he shall bring as his offering for the sin that he has committed a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it and shall put no frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. 12 And he shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take a handful of it as its memorial portion and burn this on the altar, on the Lord’s food offerings; it is a sin offering. 13 Thus the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one of these things, and he shall be forgiven. And the remainder shall be for the priest, as in the grain offering.”
-God even allows a grain offering in place of a sin offering if a person cannot afford anything else. The difference as it explains is no oil or frankincense is put on it because it is not a “good work” offering from surplus but a payment for sin. This is proof that no sins are actually being covered through the death of these animals but it is all symbolic to what takes place spiritually. No blood is shed from a grain offering, how is this poor person’s sin covered? It is covered like everyone else’s is, through faith in God. They did not know anything about Jesus or a savior, but if they had faith that God loves them and takes away their sin then their sins would be covered and they would be saved just like you and I who put our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
Laws for Guilt Offerings
14 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 15 “If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the Lord, he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. 16 He shall also make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing and shall add a fifth to it and give it to the priest. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and he shall be forgiven.
-by the wording “holy things of the Lord” this seems to be a specific sin offering relating to profaning something Holy. One example of this is in 1 Samuel 6 when the Philistines realize they need to bring back the Ark of the Covenant because the Israel God is cursing them and they are told to bring it back with a guilt offering. The reason being removing the Ark of the Covenant from Israel profane something Holy, it wasn’t just a sin. So if someone profanes something Holy, he must follow the instructions for a guilt offering because they are guilty before God.
17 “If anyone sins, doing any of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, though he did not know it, then realizes his guilt, he shall bear his iniquity. 18 He shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent for a guilt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for him for the mistake that he made unintentionally, and he shall be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering; he has indeed incurred guilt before the Lord.”
-This appears to be the same thing as last chapter about “unintentional sins” but there is a difference. An unintentional sin would be if you were walking along and found money on the road and decide to keep it. Minutes later someone comes by looking for the money they dropped and can’t find it. This is an unintentional sin because you simply picked up money you found in public although since it did not belong to you, you stole it from the person who dropped it. You did not intend to rob from someone, you just assumed you found free money. But you understand the concept of theft. This guilt offering is for an “unknown sin”. If you grew up with saying “G dang it” or shouting “Jesus Christ” on a regular basis and had no idea it was disrespectful, that would be an example of an unknown sin. Anyone who has literally never heard the gospel and had no idea they were a sinner would have been committing unknown sins. Someone who is a Christian who never knew it was bad to gossip might one day learn this and realize they were sinning unknowingly. This is when this offering comes into play.