Opening Prayer

Coming to read your Word, Lord, I ask that your Spirit draw me closer to you and convict me of anything that stands in the way of hearing what you have for me today.

Read LEVITICUS 5:14–6:23

The Guilt Offering

14 The Lord said to Moses: 15 “When anyone is unfaithful to the Lord by sinning unintentionally in regard to any of the Lord’s holy things, they are to bring to the Lord as a penalty a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value in silver, according to the sanctuary shekel.[a] It is a guilt offering. 16 They must make restitution for what they have failed to do in regard to the holy things, pay an additional penalty of a fifth of its value and give it all to the priest. The priest will make atonement for them with the ram as a guilt offering, and they will be forgiven.

17 “If anyone sins and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though they do not know it, they are guilty and will be held responsible. 18 They are to bring to the priest as a guilt offering a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for them for the wrong they have committed unintentionally, and they will be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering; they have been guilty of[b] wrongdoing against the Lord.”

[c]The Lord said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor, or if they find lost property and lie about it, or if they swear falsely about any such sin that people may commit— when they sin in any of these ways and realize their guilt, they must return what they have stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to them, or the lost property they found, or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering. And as a penalty they must bring to the priest, that is, to the Lord, their guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for them before the Lord, and they will be forgiven for any of the things they did that made them guilty.”

The Burnt Offering

The Lord said to Moses: “Give Aaron and his sons this command: ‘These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar. 10 The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar. 11 Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean. 12 The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. 13 The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.

The Grain Offering

14 “‘These are the regulations for the grain offering: Aaron’s sons are to bring it before the Lord, in front of the altar. 15 The priest is to take a handful of the finest flour and some olive oil, together with all the incense on the grain offering, and burn the memorial[d] portion on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 16 Aaron and his sons shall eat the rest of it, but it is to be eaten without yeast in the sanctuary area; they are to eat it in the courtyard of the tent of meeting. 17 It must not be baked with yeast; I have given it as their share of the food offerings presented to me. Like the sin offering[e] and the guilt offering, it is most holy. 18 Any male descendant of Aaron may eat it. For all generations to come it is his perpetual share of the food offerings presented to the Lord. Whatever touches them will become holy.[f]’”

19 The Lord also said to Moses, 20 “This is the offering Aaron and his sons are to bring to the Lord on the day he[g] is anointed: a tenth of an ephah[h] of the finest flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half in the evening. 21 It must be prepared with oil on a griddle; bring it well-mixed and present the grain offering broken[i] in pieces as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 22 The son who is to succeed him as anointed priest shall prepare it. It is the Lord’s perpetual share and is to be burned completely. 23 Every grain offering of a priest shall be burned completely; it must not be eaten.”


  1. Leviticus 5:15 That is, about 2/5 ounce or about 12 grams
  2. Leviticus 5:19 Or offering; atonement has been made for their
  3. Leviticus 6:1 In Hebrew texts 6:1-7 is numbered 5:20-26, and 6:8-30 is numbered 6:1-23.
  4. Leviticus 6:15 Or representative
  5. Leviticus 6:17 Or purification offering; also in verses 25 and 30
  6. Leviticus 6:18 Or Whoever touches them must be holy; similarly in verse 27
  7. Leviticus 6:20 Or each
  8. Leviticus 6:20 That is, probably about 3 1/2 pounds or about 1.6 kilograms
  9. Leviticus 6:21 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.’1

Think Further

The last one of these sacrifices in Leviticus, the guilt offering, is sometimes termed ‘the trespass offering’ or ‘the reparation offering.’ This is because it covers sins which involve a breach of faith regarding any of the Lord’s holy things (5:15). Evidently, this sort of sin calls for restitution; and the penalty rate is set at 20 percent of the value of the object concerned (v. 16). Someone who violates a neighbor’s trust is put in the same category (6:1–7). This is especially relevant when they take the Lord’s name in vain by lying on oath about their wrongdoing.

We see here that God also accepts something other than animal sacrifices. Our reading includes the grain offering (6:14–23) which, like the burnt offering, is a voluntary act of worship. The first person on record to make such an offering was Cain.2 Unfortunately, his offering was not acceptable to God. Here we have the proof that the reason was not because, unlike his brother Abel, he had brought a vegetable rather than an animal sacrifice involving the shedding of blood. As the prophets reminded Israel time and again, it is the disposition of the human heart which determines whether or not an offering is acceptable to God.3

For us today, Zacchaeus is an excellent example of making restitution.4 He acknowledged his sin, accepted the salvation which Jesus Christ offered him and, of his own volition, decided to right the many wrongs of his life and profession by making costly reparations. Whereas the sacrifices in Leviticus are described as ‘an aroma pleasing to the Lord’ (6:15, 21), it is people such as you and me who are described in such terms in the New Testament.5


Have you ever had a significant experience of making restitution? Can you think of anything calling for one at the moment? Make this an item of praise or prayer.

Closing prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to be quick to acknowledge my offenses committed against others and seek forgiveness—yours and theirs. Help me to be as willing to forgive others as you are to forgive me.

Last Updated on January 23, 2024 by kingstar

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