Leviticus 5

“My mother blames me for things I don’t do!”

“That sounds terrible!”

“I don’t do the dishes!  I don’t take out the garbage!  I don’t tidy my room!”

Leviticus 5 focuses on the sin taht someone commits by just standing by.  james tells us that the one who knows what he should do and does not do it sins” (James 4:17).  We sometimes think that we can stand idly by when others suffer.  However, when something goes wrong we must act if we can.  At this time Haiti is in dire need.  They just had an aftershock that registered as a 6 on the scale.  My wife and I have made ourselves available to care for orphans.  What can you do?

Leviticus 5

 1 ” ‘If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible.

 2 ” ‘Or if a person touches anything ceremonially unclean—whether the carcasses of unclean wild animals or of unclean livestock or of unclean creatures that move along the ground—even though he is unaware of it, he has become unclean and is guilty.

 3 ” ‘Or if he touches human uncleanness—anything that would make him unclean—even though he is unaware of it, when he learns of it he will be guilty.

 4 ” ‘Or if a person thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil—in any matter one might carelessly swear about—even though he is unaware of it, in any case when he learns of it he will be guilty.

 5 ” ‘When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned 6 and, as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the LORD a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.

 7 ” ‘If he cannot afford a lamb, he is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the LORD as a penalty for his sin—one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 8 He is to bring them to the priest, who shall first offer the one for the sin offering. He is to wring its head from its neck, not severing it completely, 9 and is to sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering against the side of the altar; the rest of the blood must be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering. 10 The priest shall then offer the other as a burnt offering in the prescribed way and make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven.

 11 ” ‘If, however, he cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, he is to bring as an offering for his sin a tenth of an ephah [c] of fine flour for a sin offering. He must not put oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering. 12 He is to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar on top of the offerings made to the LORD by fire. It is a sin offering. 13 In this way the priest will make atonement for him for any of these sins he has committed, and he will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.’ “


  1. What does the person omit to do in verse 1?
  2. What might a person have touched in verse three?
  3. How do the sacrifices descend in price?
  4. How do people become aware of faults they have not noticed before?
  5. How have you made amends for wrong that you committed without knowing?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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