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Leviticus 4:2

Context
4:2 “Tell the Israelites, ‘When a person sins by straying unintentionally 1  from any of the Lord’s commandments which must not be violated, and violates any 2  one of them 3 

Leviticus 4:13

Context
For the Whole Congregation

4:13 “‘If the whole congregation of Israel strays unintentionally 4  and the matter is not noticed by 5  the assembly, and they violate one of the Lord’s commandments, which must not be violated, 6  so they become guilty,

Leviticus 4:22

Context
For the Leader

4:22 “‘Whenever 7  a leader, by straying unintentionally, 8  sins and violates one of the commandments of the Lord his God which must not be violated, 9  and he pleads guilty,

Leviticus 4:27

Context
For the Common Person

4:27 “‘If an ordinary individual 10  sins by straying unintentionally 11  when he violates one of the Lord’s commandments which must not be violated, 12  and he pleads guilty

1 tn Heb “And a person, when he sins in straying.” The English translation of “by straying” (בִּשְׁגָגָה [bishgagah] literally, “in going astray; in making an error”) varies greatly, but almost all suggest that this term refers to sins that were committed by mistake or done not knowing that the particular act was sinful (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:228-29). See, e.g., LXX “involuntarily”; Tg. Onq. “by neglect”; KJV “through ignorance”; ASV, RSV, NJPS “unwittingly”; NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “unintentionally”; NAB, NEB “inadvertently”; NCV “by accident.” However, we know from Num 15:27-31 that committing a sin “by straying” is the opposite of committing a sin “defiantly” (i.e., בְּיַד רָמָה [bÿyad ramah] “with a raised hand,” v. 30). In the latter case the person, as it were, raises his fist in presumptuous defiance against the Lord. Thus, he “blasphemes” the Lord and has “despised” his word, for which he should be “cut off from among his people” (Num 15:30-31). One could not bring an offering for such a sin. The expression here in Lev 4:2 combines “by straying” with the preposition “from” which fits naturally with “straying” (i.e., “straying from” the Lord’s commandments). For sins committed “by straying” from the commandments (Lev 4 throughout) or other types of transgressions (Lev 5:1-6) there was indeed forgiveness available through the sin offering. See R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:94-95.

2 tn This is an emphatic use of the preposition מִן (min; see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 56-57, §325).

3 tn The “when” clause (כִּי, ki) breaks off here before its resolution, thus creating an open-ended introduction to the following subsections, which are introduced by “if” (אִם [’im] vv. 3, 13, 27, 32). Also, the last part of the verse reads literally, “which must not be done and does from one from them.”

4 tn Heb “strays”; KJV “sin through ignorance.” The verb “strays” here is the verbal form of the noun in the expression “by straying” (see the note on Lev 4:2 above).

5 tn Heb “is concealed from the eyes of”; NASB, NRSV, NLT “escapes the notice of.”

6 tn Heb “and they do one from all the commandments of the Lord which must not be done” (cf. v. 2).

7 tn This section begins with the relative pronoun אֲשֶׁר (’asher) which usually means “who” or “which,” but here means “whenever.”

8 tn See the Lev 4:2 note on “straying.”

9 tn Heb “and does one from all the commandments of the Lord his God which must not be done”; cf. NRSV “ought not to be done”; NIV “does what is forbidden in any of the commands.”

10 tn Heb “an individual from the people of the land”; cf. NASB “anyone of the common people” (KJV, ASV both similar); NAB “a private person.”

11 tn Heb “If one person sins by straying, from the people of the land.” See Lev 4:2 for a note on “straying.”

12 tn Heb “by doing it, one from the commandments of the Lord which must not be done.”



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