2

Here, I am not referring to offerings made in response to childbirth.

Say a woman was coerced into regular but proscribed sexual behavior by her husband, would she be capable of initiating a sin or guilt offering on her own?

This, for a fiction project. I've done a lot of background research, and you'd think this would be an easy question to answer, but I'm struggling. Hence, I turn to you!

5
  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! I'm afraid that your question could be closed for not being in line with the site guidelines. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I also recommend going through the Help Center's sections on both asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 22:28
  • Hi agarza. Even having read the guidelines, I'm not sure how my question would run afoul of them. Basically, I'm asking whether a Jewish woman in the Second Temple period could initiate a sin offering on her own, without collaboration on the part of her husband. Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 2:06
  • "Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is for anyone who wants to explore what a Biblical text means (exegesis) using techniques or rules of interpretation (hermeneutics)" - Your question has at its core biblical topics but is lacking in the scriptural reference that you want to have analyzed.
    – agarza
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 2:43
  • Thanks for the clarification, I'll go back to the drawing board! Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 3:04
  • Better suited for Judaism SE (miyodaya) for the Moses law rituals
    – Michael16
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 11:13

1 Answer 1

1

There are two things you will need to bear in mind with respect to this question.

  1. Sin offerings were not accepted except for sins of ignorance; and

  2. Anyone could bring such an offering.

Sins of Ignorance

2Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: 3If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering. (Leviticus 4:2-3, KJV)

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (Hebrews 10:26, KJV)

Anyone of the People

And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; (Leviticus 4:27, KJV)

The usage of the masculine pronoun here in English follows an English grammatical requirement which is not present in the Hebrew; that is to say, the word "he" has no basis in the original text, which uses "one/a" in its place. This is open to any gender.

Perhaps it should have been translated as:

And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while doing somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; (Leviticus 4:27)

Conclusion

Yes, a woman could bring an offering, but no offering was accepted for willful, intentional sins--the sin offerings were established for sins of ignorance which, upon realizing that one had sinned, one was obliged to offer.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.