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Kill a young bull (According to Leviticus 4:13-21):

Kill a young bull and young goat (According to Numbers 15: 24-26)

How can these laws be reconciled?

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    Perhaps keep reading three more verses in Leviticus 4:22-24? Sep 10, 2021 at 19:55
  • The contrast between the types of offerings(sin offering bullock vs burnt offering bullock + sin offering goat) may imply two different situations, the second where an individual was involved(cf. Num 15:27-29).
    – user21676
    Sep 10, 2021 at 20:04

1 Answer 1

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Leviticus 4:13-21 and Numbers 15:24-26 describe two different situations.

A sin of omission is a sin committed because of neglecting to do what is right. They are good works left undone. While a sin of commission is typically observable and often more dramatic (e.g. adultery, stealing).

A burnt offering was both food for the god and a thanksgiving for the god's continued blessing. A sin offering was made to cover up the sin.

Leviticus 4:

13“ ‘If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands,

This was a sin of commission.

even though the community is unaware of the matter, when they realize their guilt 14and the sin they committed becomes known, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the tent of meeting.

This was a sin offering to cover up the sin of commission.

On the other hand, Numbers 15:

22“ ‘Now if you as a community unintentionally fail to keep any of these commands the Lord gave Moses—

Unlike the case in Leviticus, this was a sin of omission.

24 and if this is done unintentionally without the community being aware of it, then the whole community is to offer a young bull for a burnt offering

Unlike the case in Leviticus, the bull was for a burnt offering.

as an aroma pleasing to the Lord, along with its prescribed grain offering and drink offering, and a male goat for a sin offering.

Add a goat for a sin offering in this case of a sin of omission.

What should a congregation do if it unintentionally sins?

If it was a sin of commission, apply Leviticus 4:13.
If it was a sin of omission, apply Numbers 15:15.

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