New International Reader's Version

Leviticus 5

1“ ‘Suppose someone has been called as a witness to something they have seen or learned about. Then if they do not tell what they know, they have sinned. And they will be held responsible for it.

“ ‘Or suppose someone touches something not “clean.” It could be the dead bodies of wild animals or of livestock. Or it could be the dead bodies of creatures that move along the ground. Even though those people are not aware that they touched them, they have become “unclean.” And they are guilty. Or suppose they touch something “unclean” that comes from a human being. It could be anything that would make them “unclean.” Suppose they are not aware that they touched it. When they find out about it, they will be guilty. Or suppose someone makes a promise to do something without thinking it through. It does not matter what they promised. It does not matter whether they made the promise without thinking about it carefully. And suppose they are not aware that they did not think it through. When they find out about it, they will be guilty. When someone is guilty in any of those ways, they must admit they have sinned. They must bring a sin offering to pay for the sin they have committed. They must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock. The priest will sacrifice the animal. That will pay for the person’s sin.

“ ‘Suppose they can’t afford a lamb. Then they must get two doves or two young pigeons. They must bring them to the Lord to pay for their sin. One of them is for a sin offering. The other is for a burnt offering. They must bring them to the priest. The priest will offer the one for the sin offering first. He must twist its head. But he must not twist it off completely. Then he must splash some of the blood of the sin offering against the side of the altar. He must empty out the rest of the blood at the bottom of the altar. It is a sin offering. 10 Then the priest will offer the other bird as a burnt offering. He must do it in the way the law requires. That will pay for the sin they have committed. And they will be forgiven.

11 “ ‘But suppose they can’t afford two doves or two young pigeons. Then they must bring three and a half pounds of the finest flour as an offering for their sin. It is a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it. That is because it is a sin offering. 12 They must bring it to the priest. The priest must take a handful of it. He must burn that part on the altar. It will be a reminder that all good things come from the Lord. The priest must burn it on top of the food offerings presented to the Lord. It is a sin offering. 13 In that way the priest will pay for any of the sins they have committed. And they will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest. It is the same as in the case of the grain offering.’ ”

Rules for Guilt Offerings

14 The Lord spoke to Moses. He said, 15 “Suppose someone is unfaithful to me and sins. And they do it without meaning to. Here is how they sin against me or my priests. They refuse to give the priests one of the holy things set apart for them. Then they must bring me a ram from the flock. It must not have any flaws. It must be worth the required amount of silver. The silver must be weighed out in keeping with the standard weights that are used in the sacred tent. The ram is a guilt offering. It will pay for their sin. 16 They must also pay for the holy thing they refused to give. They must add a fifth of its value to it. They must give all of it to the priest. The priest will pay for their sin with the ram. It is a guilt offering. And they will be forgiven.

17 “Suppose someone sins by doing something I command them not to do. Even though they do not know it, they are guilty. They will be held responsible for it. 18 They must bring to the priest a ram from the flock as a guilt offering. It must not have any flaws. And it must be worth the required amount of money. The priest will sacrifice the animal. That will pay for what they have done wrong without meaning to. And they will be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering. They have been guilty of doing wrong against me.”