Contemporary English Version
The Lord said:
5 If you refuse to testify in court about something you saw or know has happened, you have sinned and can be punished.
2 You are guilty and unfit to worship me, if you accidentally touch the dead body of any kind of unclean animal.
3 You are guilty if you find out that you have accidentally touched any waste that comes from a human body.
4 You are guilty the moment you realize that you have made a hasty promise to do something good or bad.
5 As soon as you discover that you have committed any of these sins, you must confess what you have done. 6 Then you must bring a female sheep or goat to me as the price for your sin. A priest will sacrifice the animal, and you will be forgiven.
7 If you are poor and cannot afford to bring an animal, you may bring two doves or two pigeons. One of these will be a sacrifice to ask my forgiveness, and the other will be a sacrifice to please me.
8 Give both birds to the priest, who will offer one as a sacrifice to ask my forgiveness. He will wring its neck without tearing off its head, 9 splatter some of its blood on one side of the bronze altar, and drain out the rest at the foot of the altar. 10 Then he will follow the proper rules for offering the other bird as a sacrifice to please me.
You will be forgiven when the priest offers these sacrifices as the price for your sin.
11 If you are so poor that you cannot afford doves or pigeons, you may bring two pounds of your finest flour. This is a sacrifice to ask my forgiveness, so don’t sprinkle olive oil or sweet-smelling incense on it. 12 Give the flour to a priest, who will scoop up a handful and send it up in smoke together with the other offerings. This is a reminder that all of the flour belongs to me. 13 By offering this sacrifice, the priest pays the price for any of these sins you may have committed. The priest gets the rest of the flour, just as he does with grain sacrifices.
Sacrifices To Make Things Right
14-15 The Lord told Moses what the people must do to make things right when they find out they have cheated the Lord without meaning to:
If this happens, you must either sacrifice a ram that has nothing wrong with it or else pay the price of a ram with the official money used by the priests. 16 In addition, you must pay what you owe plus a fine of twenty percent. Then the priest will offer the ram as a sacrifice to make things right, and you will be forgiven.
17-19 If you break any of my commands without meaning to, you are still guilty, and you can be punished. When you realize what you have done, you must either bring to the priest a ram that has nothing wrong with it or else pay him for one. The priest will then offer it as a sacrifice to make things right, and you will be forgiven.
Other Sins That Need Sacrifices or Payments
6 1-3 The Lord told Moses what the people must do when they commit other sins against the Lord:
You have sinned if you rob or cheat someone, if you keep back money or valuables left in your care, or if you find something and claim not to have it.
4 When this happens, you must return what doesn’t belong to you 5 and pay the owner a fine of twenty percent. 6-7 In addition, you must either bring to the priest a ram that has nothing wrong with it or else pay him for one. The priest will then offer it as a sacrifice to make things right, and you will be forgiven for what you did wrong.
8-9 The Lord told Moses to tell Aaron and his sons how to offer the daily sacrifices that are sent up in smoke to please the Lord:[a]
You must put the animal for the sacrifice on the altar in the evening and let it stay there all night. But make sure the fire keeps burning. 10 The next morning you will dress in your priestly clothes, including your linen underwear. Then clean away the ashes left by the sacrifices and pile them beside the altar. 11 Change into your everyday clothes, take the ashes outside the camp, and pile them in the special place.[b]
12 The fire must never go out, so put wood on it each morning. After this, you are to lay an animal on the altar next to the fat that you sacrifice to ask my blessing.[c] Then send it all up in smoke to me.
13 The altar fire must always be kept burning—it must never go out.
Sacrifices To Give Thanks to the Lord
The Lord said:
14 When someone offers a sacrifice to give thanks to me,[d] the priests from Aaron’s family must bring it to the front of the bronze altar, 15 where one of them will scoop up a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense on it. Then, to show that the whole offering belongs to me, he will lay all of this on the altar and send it up in smoke with a smell that pleases me. 16-17 The rest of it is to be baked without yeast and eaten by the priests in the sacred courtyard of the sacred tent. This bread is very holy, just like the sacrifices for sin or for making things right, and I have given this part to the priests from what is offered to me on the altar.
18 Only the men in Aaron’s family are allowed to eat this bread, and they must go through a ceremony to be made holy before touching it.[e] This law will never change.
When Priests Are Ordained
19 The Lord spoke to Moses 20 and told him what sacrifices the priests must offer on the morning and evening of the day they are ordained:
It is the same as the regular morning and evening sacrifices—a pound of flour 21 mixed with olive oil and cooked in a shallow pan. The bread must then be crumbled into small pieces[f] and sent up in smoke with a smell that pleases me. 22-23 Each of Aaron’s descendants who is ordained as a priest must perform this ceremony and make sure that the bread is completely burned on the altar. None of it may be eaten!
Sacrifices for Sin
24 The Lord told Moses 25 how the priests from Aaron’s family were to offer the sacrifice for sin:
This sacrifice is very sacred, and the animal must be killed in my presence at the north side of the bronze altar. 26 The priest who offers this sacrifice must eat it in the sacred courtyard of the sacred tent, 27 and anyone or anything that touches the meat will be holy.[g] If any of the animal’s blood is splattered on the clothes of the priest, they must be washed in a holy place. 28 If the meat was cooked in a clay pot, the pot must be destroyed,[h] but if it was cooked in a bronze pot, the pot must be scrubbed and rinsed with water.
29 This sacrifice is very holy, and only the priests may have any part of it. 30 None of the meat may be eaten from the sacrifices for sin that require blood to be brought into the sacred tent.[i] These sacrifices must be completely burned.
Sacrifices To Make Things Right
The Lord said:
7 The sacrifice to make things right is very sacred. 2 The animal must be killed in the same place where the sacrifice to please me[j] is killed, and the animal’s blood must be splattered against the four sides of the bronze altar. 3 Offer all of the animal’s fat, including the fat on its tail and on its insides, 4 as well as the lower part of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat. 5 One of the priests will lay these pieces on the altar and send them up in smoke to me. 6 This sacrifice for making things right is very holy. Only the priests may eat it, and they must eat it in a holy place.[k]
7 The ceremony for this sacrifice and the one for sin are just alike, and the meat may be eaten only by the priest who performs this ceremony of forgiveness.
8 In fact, the priest who offers a sacrifice to please me[l] may keep the skin of the animal, 9 just as he may eat the bread from a sacrifice to give thanks to me.[m] 10 All other grain sacrifices—with or without olive oil in them—are to be divided equally among the priests of Aaron’s family.
Sacrifices To Ask the Lord’s Blessing
The Lord said:
11 Here are the instructions for offering a sacrifice to ask my blessing:[n] 12 If you offer it to give thanks, you must offer some bread together with it. Use the finest flour to make three kinds of bread without yeast—two in the form of loaves mixed with olive oil and one in the form of thin wafers brushed with oil. 13 You must also make some bread with yeast. 14 Give me one loaf or wafer from each of these four kinds of bread, after which they will belong to the priest who splattered the blood against the bronze altar.
15 When you offer an animal to ask a blessing from me or to thank me, the meat belongs to you, but it must be eaten the same day. 16 It is different with the sacrifices you offer when you make me a promise or voluntarily give me something. The meat from those sacrifices may be kept and eaten the next day, 17-18 but any that is left must be destroyed. If you eat any after the second day, your sacrifice will be useless and unacceptable, and you will be both disgusting and guilty.
19 Don’t eat any of the meat that touches something unclean. Instead, burn it. The rest of the meat may be eaten by anyone who is clean and acceptable to me. 20-21 But don’t eat any of this meat if you have become unclean by touching something unclean from a human or an animal or from any other creature. If you do, you will no longer belong to the community of Israel.
22 The Lord told Moses 23 to say to the people:
Don’t eat the fat of cattle, sheep, or goats. 24 If one of your animals dies or is killed by some wild animal, you may do anything with its fat except eat it. 25 If you eat the fat of an animal that can be used as a sacrifice to me, you will no longer belong to the community of Israel. 26 And no matter where you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal, 27 or you will no longer belong to the community of Israel.
28 The Lord also told Moses 29-30 to say to the people of Israel:
If you want to offer a sacrifice to ask my blessing, you must bring the part to be burned and lay it on the bronze altar. But you must first lift up[o] the choice ribs with their fat to show that the offering is dedicated to me. 31 A priest from Aaron’s family will then send the fat up in smoke, but the ribs belong to the priests. 32-33 The upper joint of the right hind leg is for the priest who offers the blood and the fat of the animal. 34 I have decided that the people of Israel must always give the choice ribs and the upper joint of the right hind leg to Aaron’s descendants 35 who have been ordained as priests to serve me. 36 This law will never change. I am the Lord!
37 These are the ceremonies for sacrifices to please the Lord, to give him thanks, and to ask his blessing or his forgiveness, as well as the ceremonies for those sacrifices that demand a payment and for the sacrifices that are offered when priests are ordained. 38 While Moses and the people of Israel were in the desert at Mount Sinai, the Lord commanded them to start offering these sacrifices.
- 6.8,9 to please the Lord: See the note at 1.1-3.
- 6.11 ashes. . . in the special place: See the note at 1.16.
- 6.12 sacrifice to ask my blessing: See the note at 3.1.
- 6.14 a sacrifice to give thanks to me: See the note at 2.1.
- 6.18 and they. . . touching it: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 6.21 crumbled. . . pieces: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 6.27 that touches. . . holy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 6.28 clay pot. . . destroyed: Juice from the meat cannot be completely cleaned from a clay pot.
- 6.30 that require blood. . . tent: See 4.1-21.
- 7.2 sacrifice to please me: See the note at 1.1-3.
- 7.6 holy place: The courtyard of the sacred tent (see 6.16,17).
- 7.8 sacrifice to please me: See the note at 1.1-3.
- 7.9 sacrifice to give thanks to me: See the note at 2.1.
- 7.11 sacrifice to ask my blessing: See the note at 3.1.
- 7.29,30 lift up: Or “wave.”