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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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.
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.