“The cohen is to make atonement for the whole community of the people of Israel; and they will be forgiven; because it was a mistake; and they have brought their offering, an offering made by fire, to Adonai, and their sin offering before Adonai for their mistake. The whole community of the people of Israel will be forgiven, likewise the foreigner staying with them; because for all the people it was a mistake.”-Leviticus 15:25
Since my last post we have been discussing the concept of national or communal responsibility for inadvertent or unintentional sins.
We learned that not just Israel’s leadership, but also the common citizens would also be held responsible.
We are told that after the unintentional sin becomes apparent, a sacrifice of atonement must be offered up as follows:
-An OLAH (Burnt Offering)
-A MINCHAH (Grain offering)
-Libation Offering of Wine
-HATA-AT (A Purification Offering)
Just a quick side note here.
I’m well aware that as a functional translation, the HATA-AT is usually rendered as “Sin Offering” but I now consider the rendering of “Purification Offering” to be much more appropriate.
Because that’s what it does man.
The HATA-AT purifies one from the poisonous effects of sin.
Next, I want you to take a good look at some key words in verse 25 and burn them into your brain.
“The cohen is to make atonement
for the whole community of
the people of Israel;
and they will be forgiven”
Did you catch that?
That’s right folks.
Those words mean exactly what they say.
We’re not talking about some superficial or fake forgiveness but a true pardon of the sin that under the Principle of Vertical Retribution would have the punishment for this sin passed on to a later generation.
There’s another important point I need to point out.
Most English Bibles will render this part of verse 25 as “they WILL be forgiven” or as “they SHALL be forgiven“.
However, if we were to produce a truly accurate translation, it would be much better to say “that they MAY be forgiven“.
Here’s the thing and I said this before.
The Levitical sacrificial system was not an automatic forgiveness vending machine.
It wasn’t like pop a in a buck and have your unintentional sin forgiven.
No, offering up a sacrifice paved the way for the possibility to be forgiven ONLY IF YOU WERE SINCERELY REPENTANT.
One’s heart had to be in the right place or it didn’t matter how many sacrifices one offered up.
Finally, take a look at verse 26.
“The whole community of the
people of Israel will be forgiven,
likewise the foreigner staying with them;
because for all the people it was a mistake”
So the foreigner or GER via guilt by association will also be held responsible for the sins Israel as a nation commits.
There’s an important takeaway here.
Be careful about who you decide to associate with because God may view you as being a part of that group even if in your mind you don’t consider yourself a part of that group.
A caveat however.
Understand that I’m talking about this as a general principle here.
The most important thing any gentile could do in his or her lifetime is be grafted into the commonwealth of Israel through faith in the Messiah.