Chapter 5- A list of some sins one might commit unknowingly, and the offerings to make.
Something that really bothers me about this chapter is the repetition of the phrase “And he is unaware of it” in reference to a sin a person might commit. Things like touching an unclean animal without realizing it….It feels like God is setting people up to fail. No matter how hard you try to do right, you’re probably still unclean and need God’s forgiveness for something you don’t even remember doing. (Come to think of it, that sounds a whole lot like modern Christian teachings. I guess keeping people utterly dependent on God/priests was God’s plan all along.)
Verse 1 confuses me. “If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness whether he as seen or known of the matter- if he does not tell it, he bears guilt.” What does that even mean? My first thought was that we’re being asked to tattle if we hear our neighbor say a curse word. (Boy, my neighbors would be tattling on me a lot.) I looked up some other translations of this verse, and it seems to mean that you shouldn’t lie under oath. Could it be worded any more confusingly?
Chapter 6- More sins and what to do about them. Instructions for burnt offerings, grain offerings and sin offerings.
Verse 13- “A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.” Now I want to know where they get all the wood! It seems implausible to me that people wandering in the desert would have access to enough wood for 24/7 ritualistic fires, as well as all the personal cooking fires the thousands of people would need.
Also, seeing as how the original tabernacle no longer exists, I wonder what happened the first time they didn’t keep the fire going. It obviously went out at some point…
I found answers to some of my previous questions, which is nice. With grain offerings that they can eat, the priests are supposed to burn a handful of the grain and all of the frankincense, then eat the rest. So, that’s good news. No perfume in their bread.
Also, those animals that were for sin offerings where they only burned the fatty bits- the rest of those are for priest consumption as well. Now we know!
Chapter 7- Instructions for the trespass offering. More instructions on which part of the offerings the priests can eat. Penalties for eating things you aren’t supposed to.
Dude, what’s a trespass offering? How is a trespass different from a sin?
The penalty for eating sacrificial food while unclean, or for eating fat or for eating blood? Being cut off from the people! It seems like God’s solution to every sin is to throw people out of the house.