Lev 4:28 if his sin which he has committed is made known to him, then he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without defect, for his sin which he has committed

Is there a principle here regarding using a male animal vs a female?

Obviously Jesus is male, so there is a type there. I was surprised to see that females were allowed also.

  • Males of almost any species are usually physically stronger, the idea being that lesser sins require lesser sacrifices.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 12:33
  • thx, but expecting some solid references from the learned crowd here
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 12:54

2 Answers 2


Leviticus 4

22“ ‘When a leader sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the commands of the Lord his God, when he realizes his guilt 23and the sin he has committed becomes known, he must bring as his offering a male goat without defect.

27“ ‘If any member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, when they realize their guilt 28and the sin they have committed becomes known, they must bring as their offering for the sin they committed a female goat without defect.

For unintentional sins, the gender of the sacrificial animal depends on the kind of person who committed the sin. For persons who are in the higher echelon, they sacrifice a male. For the common people, they sacrifice a female.

Leviticus 27:1 The Lord said to Moses, 2“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the Lord by giving the equivalent value, 3set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels a of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel; 4for a female, set her value at thirty shekels.

Males are valued more than females but both are acceptable as dedicated to the Lord.

  • thx, interesting! Can we put that as anecdotal evidence so far?
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 13:16
  • I have added some.
    – user35953
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 13:27

further to Tony's useful answer,

The burnt offering is to be a male (Leviticus 3:1,5 ) The burnt offering symbolising the complete sacrifice - as per Jesus

While a peace offering can be either male or female - or if you cannot afford an animal (even two birds) then a flour offering is acceptable) It seems only part of the animal is used for sacrifice while the rest is for the priests.

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