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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 7444 sin offering
7444 sin offering

7444 sin offering

Offerings to make atonement for both moral and ritual offences. The NT sees them as foreshadowing the death of Jesus Christ as an offering for human sin.

Occasions when a sin offering was required

Unintentional sins against God’s laws: Lev 4:2; Heb 9:7
Lev 5:1-4; Lev 4:20 The consequence of the offering is atonement and forgiveness. Purification after childbirth: Lev 12:6-8; Lk 2:24 Cleansing from infectious diseases: Lev 14:13-31; Mk 1:44 Cleansing from a bodily discharge: Lev 15:15,30

The form the sin offering took depended on who committed the sin

Lev 4:3 a priest who sins; Lev 4:14 the sin of the community as a whole; Lev 4:22-23 a leader who sins unintentionally An individual who sins: Lev 4:27-35; Lev 5:5-6

The ceremony when presenting an animal as a sin offering

The guilty identify themselves with the offering before killing it Lev 4:4,15,24

Confession Lev 5:5

Blood, representing the victim’s lifeblood, is put on the altar Lev 4:25,30,34

The best parts, being burned on the altar, are offered to God Lev 4:8-10,26,35

Male members of priestly families may eat what remains Lev 6:26,29; Lev 10:16-20

Special procedures for the offerings of the poor Lev 5:7-13

The special ceremony for priests and the community presenting a sin offering

Blood is taken into the sanctuary and placed on the altar Lev 4:5-7,16-18

The rest of the animal is incinerated, not eaten Lev 4:11-12,21 emphasising the identity between the victim and the sin of the community

Significant occasions when sin offerings were made

Lev 8:14-17 at the ordination of Aaron and his sons; Lev 16:1-34 on the Day of Atonement; 2Ki 12:16 during Josiah’s reformation; 2Ch 29:21-24 at the beginning of Hezekiah’s reign; Ezr 6:17 at the dedication of the second temple; Ezr 8:35 when the exiles returned As part of Ezekiel’s vision of restored worship: Eze 40:39; Eze 42:13; Eze 43:19,21

The NT perspective on the sin offering

Jesus Christ was the supreme sin offering Ro 8:3; 2Co 5:21 NIV footnote.

Animal sacrifices had limited value See also Heb 9:7-10

The death of Jesus Christ brings full cleansing and forgiveness Heb 9:11-14 See also 1Pe 1:18-19

Unlike earthly priests, Jesus Christ needed no sin offering Heb 7:27 See also Heb 5:1-3

See also

2306Christ, high priest
2530Christ, death of
7435sacrifice, in OT
7768priests, OT function

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