If the leaders of the people, through mistake, caused them to err, an offering must be brought, that wrath might not come upon the whole congregation. When sacrifices were offered, the persons, on whose behalf they were devoted, were to lay their hands on the heads of the victims, and to confess their sins. The elders were to do so, when the sacrifices were offered for the whole congregation. The load of sin was supposed then to be borne by the guiltless animal. When the offering is completed, it is said, atonement is made, and the sin shall be forgiven. The saving of churches and kingdoms from ruin, is owing to the satisfaction and mediation of Christ.
Was this helpful?
SDA Bible Commentary (limited)
14. When the sin. This presupposes ignorance that what had been done was sin (see on v.2). Under such circumstances the “whole congregation” was to bring the same offering as that required of the high priest when he sinned. The bullock was provided by the congregation, inasmuch as all were counted guilty. The elders, selected from among the various tribes, brought the bullock to the place of sacrifice, laid their hands on it, and killed it. Nothing is here said of confession, but this is implied in the laying on of hands. Without confession the presentation of an offering would be unavailing, for there would be no transfer of sin from the sinner to the sacrifice. Furthermore, it is not the form of confession, but the fact, that is acceptable with God.