Leviticus 5 Commentary

Leviticus 5 Commentary: More rules on unintentional sins.


This chapter gives us more standards. Withholding information that is useful in the process of justice is sinful. There is a procedure to clear oneself of guilty if a promise fails, including careless promises.

These are very high standards.

In this chapter, there is direct mention of an offering as a penalty for sin. This may seem to have the looks of a human system of punishment to deter one from sin. Yes and no. Yes, to the extent to which it shows us that the punishment is there. No, because the sinner walks away free without suffering loss. Alternatives were made available for the poorest sinner to pay for his sin. So really a punishment that one can easily afford….and that was designed to be afforded by everyone is hardly a punishment.

I would wish traffic offenses were this flexible! Everyone can afford the penalty fee! It points us to the cross where everyone is afforded a chance to clear themselves of guilty and start afresh.

The highlight is that whether intentional or not sin remains sin. It must be confessed. It points to the seriousness of sin and how the LORD hates sin, regardless of how it comes – intentional or unintentional. It is ironic that this seriousness is not rivaled by prescribed penalties. One who is completely poor is allowed to offer a kg of flour as a penalty. Isn’t the songwriter right in calling all to come as they are?  

The fact that all are encouraged to make clean their records points to the willingness of the LORD to clean His people of all unrighteousness. The LORD Himself is righteousness defined.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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