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Why is a ram without blemish used for the guilt offering?

N.B: Unlike the bulls, goats and lambs used for sin offerings, the ram is not required to be young only that it be without blemish.

Lev 6:6 (KJV) And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:

Why not use a bull or goat to atone for the sin of trespass? Why is the ram required to the exclusion of other animals for this offering?

  • Young bulls are used to atone for sins, kids are used to atone for sins too. lambs could also be used. But why are rams specifically required to atone for trespasses – user20490 Aug 19 '17 at 22:52
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I'm not aware of any verse that says "I am prescribing a ram rather than a pigeon or ox because..." so my answer is speculative. However, it seems that the basic answer is that the apology/atonement is intended to reflect the severity of the offense.

First of all, it is important to realize what an atonement was intended to do. It was not a "payment" for sin nor was it a punishment. Neither did it effect forgiveness. It was an apology. Not a "defense" as in the greek apologia but rather an expression of remorse and an appeal for mercy.

Since the offense is a matter of property and deception it is significant enough to warrant an a larger animal rather than a couple of dove but not so much as to require a hundred bulls. If you forgot your wife's anniversary you might be expected to send flours but if you forgot to pick her up when she was leaving the hospital with your new baby you might need to kill a cow. Just sayin'.

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  • I appreciate your answer. But everything in the Bible has a reason. Peace offerings involve sacrificing lambs. The lamb is harmless and meek, so it is used for the peace offering. – user20490 Aug 19 '17 at 23:21
  • The goat is stiff-necked so it is used for the sin offering – user20490 Aug 19 '17 at 23:22
  • The bull is proud, stubborn and aggressive so it is used for sin offerings that affect the people. i.e. either when a priest sins, thus bringing guilt on the people or when the people sin. – user20490 Aug 19 '17 at 23:23
  • So why is the ram used for only guilt offerings. God's choice of the ram involves more than it's size. It must have a symbolic meaning to the tent dwelling peoples of those times. Else God could have simply allowed them to use any clean animal for these different sacrifices. But He was specific for a reason. That's what my question is about. – user20490 Aug 19 '17 at 23:25
  • @user20490, do the scriptures say that a goat is stiff-necked and so used for a sin offering? Or are you speculating? I do know that a lamb is not as valuable as a full grown sheep or goat and I think that has more to do with it than temperament. For example, if Jesus was a sin offering then what was his temperament? – Ruminator Aug 19 '17 at 23:28

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