Leviticus
Chapter 4

+     Text Size    

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:

3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering.

4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before the LORD.

5 And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation:

6 And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary.

7 And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

8 And he shall take off from it all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,

9 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away,

10 As it was taken off from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering.

11 And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung,

12 Even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt.

13 And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty;

14 When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation.

15 And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the LORD: and the bullock shall be killed before the LORD.

16 And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock's blood to the tabernacle of the congregation:

17 And the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD, even before the vail.

18 And he shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before the LORD, that is in the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

19 And he shall take all his fat from him, and burn it upon the altar.

20 And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.

21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it is a sin offering for the congregation.

22 When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty;

23 Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:

24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it is a sin offering.

25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering.

26 And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.

27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty;

28 Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.

29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.

30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar.

31 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the LORD; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.

32 And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish.

33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering.

34 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar:

35 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

Commentary for Leviticus 4

The sin-offering of ignorance for the priest. (1-12) For the whole congregation. (13-21) For a ruler. (22-26) For any of the people. (27-35)1-12 Burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and peace-offerings, had been offered before the giving of the law upon mount Sinai; and in these the patriarchs had respect to sin, to make atonement for it. But the Jews were now put into a way of making atonement for sin, more particularly by sacrifice, as a shadow of good things to come; yet the substance is Christ, and that one offering of himself, by which he put away sin. The sins for which the sin-offerings were appointed are supposed to be open acts. They are supposed to be sins of commission, things which ought not to have been done. Omissions are sins, and must come into judgment: yet what had been omitted at one time, might be done at another; but a sin committed was past recall. They are supposed to be sins committed through ignorance. The law begins with the case of the anointed priest. It is evident that God never had any infallible priest in his church upon earth, when even the high priest was liable to fall into sins of ignorance. All pretensions to act without error are sure marks of Antichrist. The beast was to be carried without the camp, and there burned to ashes. This was a sign of the duty of repentance, which is the putting away sin as a detestable thing, which our soul hates. The sin-offering is called sin. What they did to that, we must do to our sins; the body of sin must be destroyed, #Ro 6:6|. The apostle applies the carrying this sacrifice without the camp to Christ, #Heb 13:11-13|.

13-21 If the leaders of the people, through mistake, caused them to err, an offering must be brought, that wrath might not come upon the whole congregation. When sacrifices were offered, the persons, on whose behalf they were devoted, were to lay their hands on the heads of the victims, and to confess their sins. The elders were to do so, when the sacrifices were offered for the whole congregation. The load of sin was supposed then to be borne by the guiltless animal. When the offering is completed, it is said, atonement is made, and the sin shall be forgiven. The saving of churches and kingdoms from ruin, is owing to the satisfaction and mediation of Christ.

22-26 Those who have power to call others to account, are themselves accountable to the Ruler of rulers. The sin of the ruler, committed through ignorance, must come to his knowledge, either by the check of his own conscience, or by the reproof of his friends; both which even the best and greatest, not only should submit to, but be thankful for. That which I see not, teach thou me, and, Show me wherein I have erred, are prayers we should put up to God every day; that if, through ignorance, we fall into sin, we may not through ignorance abide in it.

27-35 Here is the law of the sin-offering for a common person. To be able to plead, when charged with sin, that we did it ignorantly, and through the surprise of temptation, will not bring us off, if we have no interest in that great plea, Christ hath died. The sins of ignorance committed by a common person, needed a sacrifice; the greatest are not above, the meanest are not below Divine justice. None, if offenders, were overlooked. Here rich and poor meet together; they are alike sinners, and welcome to Christ. From all these laws concerning the sin-offerings, we may learn to hate sin, and to watch against it; and to value Christ, the great and true Sin-offering, whose blood cleanses from all sin, which it was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away. For us to err, with the Bible in our hands, is the effect of pride, sloth, and carelessness. We need to use frequent self-examination, with serious study of the Scriptures, and earnest prayer for the convincing influences of God the Holy Spirit; that we may detect our sins of ignorance, repent, and obtain forgiveness through the blood of Christ.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Leviticus 4

  • Melyssa
    Makes you think, how much blood had to be spilled before Jesus died on the cross for us.
  • BSP
    Verses 2-4~The people were to give a sacrifice if they sinned because of ignorance. We are sinners and we should pray to Jehovah God for forgiveness and help when we sin.
  • Steve morrow
    TITUS 2:11 for the grace of GOD that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men --2:12-- teaching us that --- denying ungodliness and worldly lusts --- we should live --soberly--righteously--and godly in this present world
  • Stephen
    I'm so thankful to God for the death and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. How wonderful to be under Grace than the burden of the Law!
  • Lila Evans
    thank God for the love. that he has for us.for if God didn't love us the way that he do our sin would have taking us straight to hell.thank you Lord for giving the world another chance.
  • Irene123
    To Tony on Lev, 4 - all the O.T. was a 'schoolteacher' to bring us to Christ. It's all a 'shadow' of the N.T. Jesus' sacrifice was the fulfillment of the O.T. The shedding of blood in the Old was foretelling of Jesus shed blood. That' why the old had to be repeted many times - because it was not PERFECT; Jesus was PERFECT.
  • Rebecca
    Animal sacrifices provided a means via which the Israelites could be forgiven of sins, because Christ had not yet died. The animals were sacrificed as a substitute for the sinner (because the wages of sin is death), in much the same way that Jesus was sacrificed in order that our sins can be forgiven. So Jesus fulfilled the sin offering by dying in our place, allowing us access to eternal life.
  • Robert W.
    Tony, this chapter deals with instructions to the children of isreal on how to atone to sins through ignorance. This only applies to Hebrews.
    Read the first verse.

View All Comments for Leviticus Chapter 4...

What Do You Think of Leviticus 4?

Share your own thoughts or commentary here...
Remaining characters: 400

Bible Trivia

If a common person at the time of Moses sinned in ignorance, what animal were they required to sacrifice for forgiveness?
  • Cow
  • Goat
  • Ox
  • Dove