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Leviticus 6

Trespass by Deception and False Oath

6:1 (5:20) 1  Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 2  6:2 “When a person sins and commits a trespass 3  against the Lord by deceiving his fellow citizen 4  in regard to something held in trust, or a pledge, or something stolen, or by extorting something from his fellow citizen, 5  6:3 or has found something lost and denies it and swears falsely 6  concerning any one of the things that someone might do to sin 7 6:4 when it happens that he sins and he is found guilty, 8  then he must return whatever he had stolen, or whatever he had extorted, or the thing that he had held in trust, 9  or the lost thing that he had found, 6:5 or anything about which he swears falsely. 10  He must restore it in full 11  and add one fifth to it; he must give it to its owner when he is found guilty. 12  6:6 Then he must bring his guilt offering to the Lord, a flawless ram from the flock, convertible into silver shekels, 13  for a guilt offering to the priest. 6:7 So the priest will make atonement 14  on his behalf before the Lord and he will be forgiven 15  for whatever he has done to become guilty.” 16 

Sacrificial Instructions for the Priests: The Burnt Offering

6:8 (6:1) 17  Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 18  6:9 “Command Aaron and his sons, ‘This is the law of the burnt offering. The burnt offering is to remain on the hearth 19  on the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar must be kept burning on it. 20  6:10 Then the priest must put on his linen robe and must put linen leggings 21  over his bare flesh, and he must take up the fatty ashes of the burnt offering that the fire consumed on the altar, 22  and he must place them 23  beside the altar. 6:11 Then he must take off his clothes and put on other clothes, and he must bring the fatty ashes outside the camp to a ceremonially 24  clean place, 6:12 but the fire which is on the altar must be kept burning on it. 25  It must not be extinguished. So the priest must kindle wood on it morning by morning, and he must arrange the burnt offering on it and offer the fat of the peace offering up in smoke on it. 6:13 A continual fire must be kept burning on the altar. It must not be extinguished.

The Grain Offering of the Common Person

6:14 “‘This is the law of the grain offering. The sons of Aaron are to present it 26  before the Lord in front of the altar, 6:15 and the priest 27  must take up with his hand some of the choice wheat flour of the grain offering 28  and some of its olive oil, and all of the frankincense that is on the grain offering, and he must offer its memorial portion 29  up in smoke on the altar 30  as a soothing aroma to the Lord. 31  6:16 Aaron and his sons are to eat what is left over from it. It must be eaten unleavened in a holy place; they are to eat it in the courtyard of the Meeting Tent. 6:17 It must not be baked with yeast. 32  I have given it as their portion from my gifts. It is most holy, 33  like the sin offering and the guilt offering. 6:18 Every male among the sons of Aaron may eat it. It is a perpetual allotted portion 34  throughout your generations 35  from the gifts of the Lord. Anyone who touches these gifts 36  must be holy.’” 37 

The Grain Offering of the Priests

6:19 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 38  6:20 “This is the offering of Aaron and his sons which they must present to the Lord on the day when he is anointed: a tenth of an ephah 39  of choice wheat flour 40  as a continual grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening. 6:21 It must be made with olive oil on a griddle and you must bring it well soaked, 41  so you must present a grain offering of broken pieces 42  as a soothing aroma to the Lord. 6:22 The high priest who succeeds him 43  from among his sons must do it. It is a perpetual statute; it must be offered up in smoke as a whole offering to the Lord. 6:23 Every grain offering of a priest must be a whole offering; it must not be eaten.”

The Sin Offering

6:24 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 44  6:25 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is the law of the sin offering. In the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered the sin offering must be slaughtered before the Lord. It is most holy. 45  6:26 The priest who offers it for sin is to eat it. It must be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the Meeting Tent. 6:27 Anyone who touches its meat must be holy, and whoever spatters some of its blood on a garment, 46  you must wash 47  whatever he spatters it on in a holy place. 6:28 Any clay vessel it is boiled in must be broken, and if it was boiled in a bronze vessel, then that vessel 48  must be rubbed out and rinsed in water. 6:29 Any male among the priests may eat it. It is most holy. 49  6:30 But any sin offering from which some of its blood is brought into the Meeting Tent to make atonement in the sanctuary must not be eaten. It must be burned up in the fire. 50 

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1 sn Beginning with 6:1, the verse numbers through 6:30 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 6:1 ET = 5:20 HT, 6:2 ET = 5:21 HT, 6:8 ET = 6:1 HT, etc., through 6:30 ET = 6:23 HT. Beginning with 7:1 the verse numbers in the English text and Hebrew text are again the same.

2 sn This paragraph is Lev 6:1-7 in the English Bible but Lev 5:20-26 in the Hebrew text. The quotation introduced by v. 1 extends from Lev 6:2 (5:21 HT) through 6:7 (5:26 HT), encompassing the third main section of guilt offering regulations. Compare the notes on Lev 1:1; 4:1; and 5:14 above.

3 tn Heb “trespasses a trespass” (verb and direct object from the same Hebrew root מַעַל, maal). See the note on 5:15.

4 tn Or “neighbor” (ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NASB “companion”; TEV “a fellow-Israelite.”

5 tn Heb “has extorted his neighbor”; ASV “oppressed”; NRSV “defrauded.”

6 tn Heb “and swears on falsehood”; cf. CEV “deny something while under oath.”

7 tn Heb “on one from all which the man shall do to sin in them.”

8 tn Heb “and it shall happen, when he sins and becomes guilty,” which is both resumptive of the previous (vv. 2-3) and the conclusion to the protasis (cf. “then” introducing the next clause as the apodosis). In this case, “becomes guilty” (cf. NASB, NIV) probably refers to his legal status as one who has been convicted of a crime in court; thus the translation “he is found guilty.” See R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 1:559-61.

9 tn Heb “that had been held in trust with him.”

10 tn Heb “or from all which he swears on it to falsehood.”

11 tn Heb “in its head.” This refers “the full amount” in terms of the “principal,” the original item or amount obtained illegally (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:338; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 84).

12 tn Heb “to whom it is to him he shall give it in the day of his being guilty.” The present translation is based on the view that he has been found guilty through the legal process (see the note on v. 4 above; cf., e.g., TEV and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 33-34). Others translate the latter part as “in the day he offers his guilt [reparation] offering” (e.g., NIV and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 73, 84), or “in the day he realizes his guilt” (e.g., NRSV and J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:319, 338).

13 tn The words “into silver shekels” are supplied here. See the full expression in Lev 5:15, and compare 5:18. Cf. NRSV “or its equivalent”; NLT “or the animal’s equivalent value in silver.”

14 sn Regarding “make atonement” see the note on Lev 1:4.

15 tn Heb “there shall be forgiveness to him” or “it shall be forgiven to him” (KJV similar).

16 tn Heb “on one from all which he does to become guilty in it”; NAB “whatever guilt he may have incurred.”

17 sn Lev 6:8 in the English Bible = 6:1 in the Hebrew text. See also the note on 6:1.

18 sn The following paragraphs are Lev 6:8-30 in the English Bible but 6:1-23 in the Hebrew text. This initial verse makes the special priestly regulations for the people’s burnt and grain offerings into a single unit (i.e., Lev 6:8-18 [6:1-11 HT]; cf. Lev 1-2 above). Note also the separate introductions for various priestly regulations in Lev 6:19 [12 HT], 24 [17 HT], and for the common people in Lev 7:22, 28 below.

19 tn Heb “It is the burnt offering on the hearth.”

20 tn Heb “in it.” In this context “in it” apparently refers to the “hearth” which was on top of the altar.

21 tn The exact nature of this article of the priest’s clothing is difficult to determine. Cf. KJV, ASV “breeches”; NAB “drawers”; NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “undergarments”; NCV “underclothes”; CEV “underwear”; TEV “shorts.”

22 tn Heb “he shall lift up the fatty ashes which the fire shall consume the burnt offering on the altar.”

23 tn Heb “it,” referring the “fatty ashes” as a single unit.

24 tn The word “ceremonially” has been supplied in the translation to clarify that the uncleanness of the place involved is ritual or ceremonial in nature.

25 tn Heb “in it,” apparently referring to the “hearth” which was on top of the altar (cf. the note on v. 9).

26 tn Heb “offering it, the sons of Aaron.” The verb is a Hiphil infinitive absolute, which is used here in place of the finite verb as either a jussive (GKC 346 §, “let the sons of Aaron offer”) or more likely an injunctive in light of the verbs that follow (Joüon 2:430 §123.v, “the sons of Aaron shall/must offer”).

27 tn Heb “and he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. The “he” refers to the officiating priest. A similar shift between singular and plural occurs in Lev 1:7-9, but see the note on Lev 1:7 and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 89 for the possibility of textual corruption.

28 tn Heb “shall take up from it with his hand some of the choice wheat flour of the grain offering.”

29 sn See the note on Lev 2:2.

30 tc Smr reading, which includes the locative ה (hey, translated “on” the altar), is preferred here. This is the normal construction with the verb “offer up in smoke” in Lev 1-7 (see the note on Lev 1:9).

31 tn Heb “and he shall offer up in smoke [on] the altar a soothing aroma, its memorial portion, to the Lord.”

32 tn Heb “It must not be baked leavened” (cf. Lev 2:11). The noun “leaven” is traditional in English versions (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV), but “yeast” is more commonly used today.

33 tn Heb “holiness of holinesses [or holy of holies] it is”; cf. NAB “most sacred.”

34 tn Or “a perpetual regulation”; cf. NASB “a permanent ordinance”; NRSV “as their perpetual due.”

35 tn Heb “for your generations”; cf. NIV “for the generations to come.”

36 tn Heb “touches them”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. In this context “them” must refer to the “gifts” of the Lord.

37 tn Or “anyone/anything that touches them shall become holy” (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:443-56). The question is whether this refers to the contagious nature of holy objects (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) or whether it simply sets forth a demand that anyone who touches the holy gifts of the Lord must be a holy person (cf. CEV). See R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:900-902.

38 sn See the note on Lev 6:8 [6:1 HT] above.

39 sn A tenth of an ephah is about 2.3 liters, one day’s ration for a single person (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:306).

40 tn For the rendering “choice wheat flour” see the note on Lev 2:1.

41 tn The term rendered here “well soaked” (see, e.g., NRSV; the Hebrew term is מֻרְבֶּכֶת, murbbekhet) occurs only three times (here; 7:12, and 1 Chr 23:29), and is sometimes translated “well-mixed” (e.g., NIV, NCV, NLT; NASB “well stirred”; NAB “well kneaded”). The meaning is uncertain (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:399-400), but in Lev 7:12 it stands parallel to already prepared grain offerings either “mixed” (the Hebrew term is בְּלוּלֹת (bÿlulot), not מֻרְבֶּכֶת as in Lev 6:21 [6:14 HT]) or anointed with oil.

42 tn Heb “broken bits [?] of a grain offering of pieces,” but the meaning of the Hebrew term rendered here “broken bits” (תֻּפִינֵי, tufiney) is quite uncertain. Some take it from the Hebrew verb “to break up, to crumble” (פַּת [pat]; e.g., the Syriac, NAB, NIV, NLT “broken” pieces) and others from “to bake” (אָפַה, ’afah; e.g., NRSV “baked pieces”). For a good summary of other proposed options, see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 90. Compare Lev 2:5-6 for the general regulations regarding this manner of grain offering. Similar but less problematic terminology is used there.

43 tn Heb “And the anointed priest under him.”

44 sn See the note on Lev 6:8 [6:1 HT].

45 tn Heb “holiness of holinesses [or holy of holies] it is.” Cf. NAB “most sacred”; CEV “very sacred”; TEV “very holy.”

46 tn Heb “on the garment”; NCV “on any clothes”; CEV “on the clothes of the priest.”

47 tc The translation “you must wash” is based on the MT as it stands (cf. NASB, NIV). Smr, LXX, Syriac, Tg. Ps.-J., and the Vulgate have a third person masculine singular passive form (Pual), “[the garment] must be washed” (cf. NAB, NRSV, NLT). This could also be supported from the verbs in the following verse, and it requires only a repointing of the Hebrew text with no change in consonants. See the remarks in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 90 and J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:404.

48 tn Heb “it”; the words “that vessel” are supplied in the translation to clarify the referent.

49 tn Heb “holiness of holinesses [or holy of holies] it is” (also in 7:1).

50 tn Heb “burned with fire,” an expression which is sometimes redundant in English, but here means “burned up,” “burned up entirely.”

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