Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Leviticus 4:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

If a soul shall sin through ignorance - That is, if any man shall do what God has forbidden, or leave undone what God has commanded, through ignorance of the law relative to these points; as soon as the transgression or omission comes to his knowledge, he shall offer the sacrifice here prescribed, and shall not suppose that his ignorance is an excuse for his sin. He who, when his iniquity comes to his knowledge, refuses to offer such a sacrifice, sins obstinately and wilfully, and to him there remains no other sacrifice for sin - no other mode by which he can be reconciled to God, but he has a certain fearful looking for of judgment - which shall devour such adversaries; and this seems the case to which the apostle alludes, Hebrews 10:26, etc., in the words above quoted. There have been a great number of subtle questions started on this subject, both by Jews and Christians, but the above I believe to be the sense and spirit of the law.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and peace-offerings, had been offered before the giving of the law upon mount Sinai; and in these the patriarchs had respect to sin, to make atonement for it. But the Jews were now put into a way of making atonement for sin, more particularly by sacrifice, as a shadow of good things to come; yet the substance is Christ, and that one offering of himself, by which he put away sin. The sins for which the sin-offerings were appointed are supposed to be open acts. They are supposed to be sins of commission, things which ought not to have been done. Omissions are sins, and must come into judgment: yet what had been omitted at one time, might be done at another; but a sin committed was past recall. They are supposed to be sins committed through ignorance. The law begins with the case of the anointed priest. It is evident that God never had any infallible priest in his church upon earth, when even the high priest was liable to fall into sins of ignorance. All pretensions to act without error are sure marks of Antichrist. The beast was to be carried without the camp, and there burned to ashes. This was a sign of the duty of repentance, which is the putting away sin as a detestable thing, which our soul hates. The sin-offering is called sin. What they did to that, we must do to our sins; the body of sin must be destroyed, Ro 6:6. The apostle applies the carrying this sacrifice without the camp to Christ, Heb 13:11-13.