Should the priest eat or not eat the sin offering (Leviticus 6:26; Leviticus 6:30)?

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By BibleAsk Team


The Priest and Sin Offering

 In Leviticus 6:25-26, we read, “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed, the sin offering shall be killed before the Lord. It is most holy.  The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. In a holy place it shall be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of meeting.”

The sin offerings of both rulers and regular worshipers were to be eaten by the priests in the holy place, that is, the court. They were most holy. Anyone that touched them must be holy. Even the container holding them was holy. In some situations, the priest who offered a sacrifice had main right to the priest’s part. But not so with sin offerings. “All the males among the priests shall eat thereof” (verse 29).

In Leviticus 6:30, we read, “But no sin offering from which any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of meeting, to make atonement in [a]the holy place, shall be eaten. It shall be burned in the fire.”

This passage presents the laws that ruled the disposition of the bodies of the sacrifices for sin. When the blood of the sacrifice was brought within the sanctuary—as when the anointed priest or the whole congregation sinned—the body was taken outside the camp and burned with fire. When the blood was not taken into the sanctuary but placed on the horns of the altar of burnt offering—as when a ruler or one of the regular worshipers sinned—the meat was to be eaten by the priests. The reason for this is explained in the following passage:

“Then Moses made careful inquiry about the goat of the sin offering, and there it was—burned up. And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron who were left, saying, “Why have you not eaten the sin offering in a holy place, since it is most holy, and God has given it to you to bear the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord? See! Its blood was not brought inside [a]the holy place; indeed you should have eaten it in a holy place, as I commanded.”

“And Aaron said to Moses, “Look, this day they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, and such things have befallen me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, would it have been accepted in the sight of the Lord?” So when Moses heard that, he was content” (Exodus 10:16–20).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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These passages in Leviticus 6:26 and Leviticus 6:30 deal with the principles that ruled the nature of the bodies of sin offering. When the blood of the sacrifice was brought into the sanctuary—as when the anointed priest or the whole congregation sinned—the body was taken outside the camp and burned. The Lord instructed, “But no sin offering from which any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of meeting, to make atonement in the holy place, shall be eaten. It shall be burned in the fire” (Leviticus 6:30).

But when the blood was not taken into the sanctuary but placed on the horns of the altar of burnt offering—as when a ruler or one of the common people sinned—the flesh was to be eaten by the priests: “The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. In a holy place it shall be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of meeting” (Leviticus 6:26). By eating the flesh of the goat, Aaron bore the sins of the people and he was able make atonement for the sins he bears.

“Then Moses made careful inquiry about the goat of the sin offering, and there it was—burned up. And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron who were left, saying, “Why have you not eaten the sin offering in a holy place, since it is most holy, and God has given it to you to bear the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LordSee! Its blood was not brought inside the holy place; indeed you should have eaten it in a holy place, as I commanded.”

And Aaron said to Moses, “Look, this day they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, and such things have befallen me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, would it have been accepted in the sight of the Lord?” So when Moses heard that, he was content” (Leviticus 10:16-20).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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