Leviticus 5:11 MEANING

Leviticus 5:11
(11) But if he be not able.--The benign consideration for the poor, and the desire not to mulct them too heavily for their frailties, are here still more evinced in the statute before us. If anyone is so impoverished that the offering of two birds would press too heavily upon him, he might bring the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour, a little less than half a gallon.

For it is a sin offering.--That is, because it is a sin offering, and not a Minchah or meat offering (see Leviticus 2:1), therefore it shall have no oil or frankincense, otherwise its distinguishing features as such would be destroyed.

5:1-13 The offences here noticed are, 1. A man's concealing the truth, when he was sworn as a witness to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If, in such a case, for fear of offending one that has been his friend, or may be his enemy, a man refuses to give evidence, or gives it but in part, he shall bear his iniquity. And that is a heavy burden, which, if some course be not taken to get it removed, will sink a man to hell. Let all that are called at any time to be witnesses, think of this law, and be free and open in their evidence, and take heed of prevaricating. An oath of the Lord is a sacred thing, not to be trifled with. 2. A man's touching any thing that was ceremonially unclean. Though his touching the unclean thing only made him ceremonially defiled, yet neglecting to wash himself according to the law, was either carelessness or contempt, and contracted moral guilt. As soon as God, by his Spirit, convinces our consciences of any sin or duty, we must follow the conviction, as not ashamed to own our former mistake. 3. Rash swearing, that a man will do or not do such a thing. As if the performance of his oath afterward prove unlawful, or what cannot be done. Wisdom and watchfulness beforehand would prevent these difficulties. In these cases the offender must confess his sin, and bring his offering; but the offering was not accepted, unless accompanied with confession and humble prayer for pardon. The confession must be particular; that he hath sinned in that thing. Deceit lies in generals; many will own they have sinned, for that all must own; but their sins in any one particular they are unwilling to allow. The way to be assured of pardon, and armed against sin for the future, is to confess the exact truth. If any were very poor, they might bring some flour, and that should be accepted. Thus the expense of the sin-offering was brought lower than any other, to teach that no man's poverty shall ever bar the way of his pardon. If the sinner brought two doves, one was to be offered for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering. We must first see that our peace be made with God, and then we may expect that our services for his glory will be accepted by him. To show the loathsomeness of sin, the flour, when offered, must not be made grateful to the taste by oil, or to the smell by frankincense. God, by these sacrifices, spoke comfort to those who had offended, that they might not despair, nor pine away in their sins. Likewise caution not to offend any more, remembering how expensive and troublesome it was to make atonement.But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons,.... Which is supposing a man to be in the poorest circumstances he can well be; and such is the grace and goodness of God, that he has provided for the atonement and forgiveness of the poorest, as well as of the rich:

then he that hath sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; which is an omer, Exodus 16:36 and is as much as a man can eat in one day, as Aben Ezra remarks:

he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon; to distinguish it from the common meat offering, which had both, Leviticus 3:1 and to make it as easy, and as little chargeable to the poor as possible, both oil and frankincense being things of value; and some think that these were prohibited, to show that atonement and forgiveness, and even the salvation of men, are not owing to grace in them, comparable to oil, or to their prayers, signified by frankincense, and so to any or all of their duties, but to Christ alone, and his atoning sacrifice: or these were forbidden, because emblems of joy and gladness, and therefore not so proper at a confession of sin, and humiliation for it: or rather to show how disagreeable and offensive sin was to the Lord, being contrary to grace, of which oil was an emblem, and far from being acceptable to him, which frankincense might signify; and therefore being prohibited, might denote how unacceptable, yea nauseous, sin is to him; which agrees with the reason given:

for it is a sin offering, and therefore must not be honoured, as Jarchi, or must have everything removed from it that is beautiful and amiable, as Ben Gersom, such as oil and frankincense.

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