THE TRESPASS OFFERING

Scriptures: Leviticus 5:14-19; 6:1-7; Numbers 5:5-8, The Hebrew word – Asham – latterly means guilt or debt offering.

  1. The central theme of the trespass-offering was RESTITUTION and SATISFACTION as is seen in a series of aspects peculiar to this sacrifice.

    1. The selection of the sacrifice – “a ram without blemish of the flock” – Leviticus 5:15, 18; 6:6.

      1. The ram was not the most valuable sacrificial animal – that would be the bullock.

      2. It had to be appraised as to its value by the priest.

        1. “According to the shekel of the sanctuary” Leviticus 5:15; 6:6.

        2. This is the only sacrifice where the value of the animal is established according to tabernacle norms.

        3. The priest who represents God in the transaction must demand an established standard of animal.

        4. The plural form “by shekels” insists the ram be not worth less than two shekels – and they must be of full weight.

        5. For they are not the shekels of the market but of the sanctuary.

        6. The owner’s evaluation is not accepted.

    2. No variation allowed for the sacrificial animal – always, and invariably, it had to be a ram.

      1. Regardless of who committed the trespass – whether the high priest, regular priest, the ruler of the commoner.

      2. Neither station nor riches – not even poverty altered this rule.

    3. The sacrifice is “most holy” as to type – Leviticus 7:1.

      1. Thus classing it with the sin-offering as to level.

      2. It could never be thought of as a “sweet savor” sacrifice.

    4. To emphasize satisfaction and reparation for all offenses as prerequisite to forgiveness – the fine of 1/5th the value extorted must be added.

      1. First, restitution of the property is required – to the owner.

        1. “He must make restitution for his guilt IN FULL” Numbers 5:6.

        2. If the owner is dead and has no kinsmen to whom to make restitution – then the payment is given to God through the priest – and the priest gits to keep it – Numbers 5:8.

      2. for reparation, 1/5th the value lost to the owner is added.

        1. that is a double-tithe – or an additional 20%.

        2. Because the owner was deprived of use and enjoyment of that which was rightfully his.

        3. The guilty must not realize a profit from his wrongdoing.

      3. Even if it is done in ignorance of “unwittingly” – Leviticus 5:15.

      4. Or if it is done wittingly, deliberately planning the wrong – Leviticus 61-7.

        1. It is difficult to believe this man was ignorant of the wrong.

        2. “Deal falsely” verse 2; “of robbery” verse 2; “swear to a lie” verse 3; “sworn falsely’; verse 5 – looks all too deliberate, willing.

      5. But whether unwittingly or deliberately, when the goods are restored, the added fine is paid the owner, and the sacrifice is offered – “He shall be forgiven” Leviticus 5:16; 6:7.

    5. The trespass-offering seems to give the basis of the law of “an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” – (See Matthew 5:38-42; 1 Corinthians 6:7 for New Testament insights).

      1. Though the Pentateuch does not so clearly make the connection Jesus is quite definitely relating the trespass-offering and the laws of just restitution and payment.

      2. Matthew 5:23 – I obvious reference to the primary thrust of the trespass-offering, insists upon restitution and pacification of the brother’s complaint before the sacrifice itself is offered.

        1. He thus implies that God will not except the man before restitution is made.

        2. He cannot be at peace with God with his brother’s goods or property in his pocket.

      3. In verse 25 Jesus makes evident reference to the provision set up in the Law for disagreement between the accused and the plaintiff as to the value of the property in question.

        1. Deuteronomy 17:8-13 the litigation could be over “blood and blood, plea and plea stroke and stroke” read also Exodus 21:22-24.

          1) The matter is taken fist to the priests of Levi.
          2) Then to the judge “that shall be in those days.”
          3) Whatever damages they assess MUST BE PAID IN FULL – the penalty for refusal to meet the judges demands “according to the tenor of the las they shall teach” as DEATH.
          4) It is as though God had handed down the sentence.
        2. Therefore Jesus recommends that one “be agreeable with your opponent” – meet his demands, satisfy His claims – because if you don’t, the penalty will be greater.

          1) “Be agreeable with your opponent quickly, until which time you are with him on the road; lest the opponent should give you to the judge and the judge should give you to the attendant and you will be cast into prison.” Or on the way to the priests.
          2) For Jesus says, he could cast you into prison and would not come out until he had paid all – Matthew 5:26.
          3) Deuteronomy 25:1-3 even provides for the forty stripes as punishment imposed by the judge.
              a) The stripes were to be “according to his wickedness by number” – Deuteronomy 25:2.
              b) He cannot exceed the forty strips – for then the beaten man would, if he should exceed and beat him above these with many stripes, then your brother should seem debased to you.
              c) Thus, the Jews generally stopped with 39 stripes as Paul says, “Of the Jews I was beaten with forty stripes save one.” 2 Corinthians 11:24.
        3. Jesus also in Matthew 18:32-35 mentions the Jewish practice of turning a man over to the tormenters “until he pays all.”

  2. The central theme of the trespass-offering continued

    1. The trespass-offering seems to give the basis of continued

      1. Leviticus 24:17-23 demands just payment for all wrongs.

        1. Verse 19 – “And if a man causes a blemish in his neighbor, as he has done, so will it be done to him:”

        2. verse 20 states: “injury for injury, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, as he has caused a blemish in a man, so will it be rendered to him.”

        3. Verse 21, “And he who kills a beast will make it good.

        4. And he who kills a man will be put to death.”

      2. Deuteronomy 19:115-21 insists that a man must prove his claim with valid witnesses, “two or three.”

        1. If an unjust claim is made by a man against another with the intent to defraud him, then the unjust man must pay what he had hoped to obtain by his false claim.

        2. And here again, “injury for injury, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, as he has caused a blemish in a man, so will it be rendered to him.”

    2. The application of the blood of the ram.

      1. It is to be placed on the sides of the altar of burnt-offering according to Leviticus 7:1.

        1. This places the idea of atonement in a secondary position.

        2. On a par with the use of blood in the burnt and peace-offering.

      2. Such is demanded so that primary importance can be given to the major thrust of the trespass-offering, that of restitution.

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