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Leviticus 4 The Voice (VOICE)

The Eternal One then spoke to Moses.

Eternal One: Moses, go, talk with the Israelites, and tell them that if someone unwittingly commits a sin that violates any of the directives I have given, this is what you should do.

Sin is serious business; it destroys one’s relationship with God and can even endanger entire communities. So sin must be dealt with seriously. God provides a process whereby sin may be forgiven and guilt may be set aside. It begins with admitting you are wrong and then following the requisite sacrifices. But note: these sacrifices only atone for sins committed unwittingly. There is no sacrifice offered for sins committed deliberately.

Eternal One: If the person anointed as priest commits a sin, he brings guilt on the people and they suffer the consequences. So the priest must offer the most valuable animal—an unblemished, young bull—to Me as a purification offering for sin. He must bring the bull to the entrance of the congregation tent, place his hand on the bull’s head, and slaughter it in My presence. The anointed priest must then carry some of the bull’s blood inside the congregation tent. While in the tent, he is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it seven times before Me in front of the veil of the sanctuary. He must then approach the altar of fragrant incense and place some of the blood on its horns before Me. He must then pour the rest of the bull’s blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering located near the entrance of the congregation tent. The priest must remove all of the fat from the bull being offered as a purification offering for sin, the fat covering and surrounding the organs, the two kidneys and the fat on them near the loins, and the lobe of the liver (which must be removed with the kidneys). 10 He should remove these portions in the same manner that they are removed from the ox sacrificed as a peace offering. The priest should then offer them on the altar of burnt offering. 11 As for the bull’s skin and the rest of its meat, head, legs, intestines, and excrement— 12 basically, the rest of the bull’s body—the priest must move it to a ritually clean space where ashes are dumped outside the community, and he must burn it there on the wood-fire. It must be burned in the place where the ashes are dumped.

This procedure makes sure that the priest does not benefit from his own sins. Nothing is left over from the sacrifice for him to consume and enjoy.

13 If the entire community of Israel unintentionally commits a sin and, for a time at least, the sin goes unnoticed by the community, and they have violated any one of the directives I gave them, and they are guilty, 14 then later when the sin is realized, the community must offer a young bull as a purification offering for sin. They must bring the bull to the entrance of the congregation tent. 15 The community elders are to place their hands on the bull’s head and then slaughter the bull in My presence. 16 The one anointed as high priest must then carry some of the bull’s blood into the congregation tent, 17 where he is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it seven times in My presence in front of the veil of the sanctuary. 18 The priest must also approach the altar, which is before Me in the congregation tent, and place some of the blood on its horns. He is to pour the rest of the blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering located at the entrance to the congregation tent. 19 The priest must remove all the bull’s fat and offer it up in smoke on the altar. 20 He is to do the same thing with this bull that he did with the bull of the purification offering for sin. This is how the priest will cover the sin of the community of Israel, and the entire community will be forgiven. 21 Then the priest must carry the rest of the bull’s body outside the camp and burn it in the same manner that he burned the first purification-offering bull. This is the purification offering for sin when the entire community is involved.

22-23 The following are instructions for what to do when a leader unwittingly commits a sin by violating any of My directives: When he realizes his guilt or the sin he committed is brought to his attention, then he must bring an unblemished male goat as his offering.

24 He is to place his hand on the head of the goat and slaughter it in the same spot where the burnt offerings are slaughtered in My presence. The goat is to be presented as a purification offering for sin. 25 The officiating priest must dip his finger into the blood of the sin offering, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and then pour the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 26 The priest is to offer up all of its fat as smoke in the same way that the fat of the peace offering is offered up. This is how the priest will cover the leader’s sin, and the leader will be forgiven.

27-28 If a common person among you unwittingly commits a sin by violating any of My directives, once he realizes his guilt or the sin he committed is brought to his attention, then he should offer an unblemished female goat for his wrong. 29 He must place his hand on the head of the purification offering for sin and slaughter it in the same spot where the burnt offerings are slaughtered. 30 The priest will then dip his finger in some of its blood, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and then pour the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 31 The priest is then to remove its fat in the same manner that the fat is removed from the peace offerings. The priest must offer up the fat on the altar, and the smoke of the sacrifice will rise and be a pleasant aroma to Me. This is how the priest will cover the sins of common people and how they will be forgiven.

32 If a person presents a lamb for the purification offering for sin, then he must bring an unblemished female. 33 He is to place his hand on the lamb’s head and slaughter it as a purification offering for sin in the same spot where the burnt offerings are slaughtered. 34 The priest must then dip his finger into the blood of the purification offering for sin, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and then pour the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 35 The priest is to remove all of its fat in the same manner that the fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, and the priest will offer it up on the altar on top of the fire-offering to Me. This is how the priest will make atonement for the sin this person committed, and this is how he will be forgiven.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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