As far as I know the offerings are usually male animals. This seems to be an exception. What is the reason for this?

3 Answers 3


I would say it would be a greater sacrifice on the part of the giver to give a female without blemish. This is for two reasons:

  1. The female could produce offspring. Most people involved in animal husbandry prefer to have multiple females, and fewer males, for this very reason. A single male can service a small flock of females, and males of many species tend to fight and injure each other anyhow, so giving a male would be much less of a sacrifice. And a female "without blemish" would have been the more highly prized for being of good genetic stock.

  2. The first male offspring was already required as a sacrifice. It is not clear if this sacrifice could also have served as a sin offering. But if this first "male" sacrifice was already required, and the sin offering was specified as a "female," this effectively draws the line such that the sin offering and the firstborn offering could not be the same offering.

That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD's. (Exodus 13:12, KJV)

For at least these two reasons, specifying a "female" would serve as a more effective reminder as to the gravity of sin.


It depended on the status of the subject to determine the object used in sin offering. The principle is the affordability.

  • priest or the Israelite community - a young bull

3 “‘If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the Lord a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed. (Lev 4:3 NIV)

13 “‘If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, when they realize their guilt

14 and 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. (Lev 4:13-14 NIV)

  • Leader of Israelite - a male goat

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

23 and the sin he has committed becomes known, he must bring as his offering a male goat without defect. (Lev 4:22-23 NIV)

  • any member of the community - a female goat or female lamb

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

28 and the sin they have committed becomes known, they must bring as their offering for the sin they committed a female goat without defect. (Lev 4:27-28 NIV)

32 “‘If someone brings a lamb as their sin offering, they are to bring a female without defect. (Lev 4:32 NIV)

  • Poor member of the Israelite community - two doves or two young pigeons

7 “‘Anyone who cannot afford a lamb is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the Lord as a penalty for their sin—one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. (Lev 5:7 NIV)

  • Extremely poor member of the Israelite community - a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour

11 “‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering. (Lev 5:11 NIV)

  • Good answer. +1.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 22:08

A sin to be ignorant , if the tide comes in and you are not aware of the time of the tide and fall asleep you will get wet unless a friend awakes you. Don't be ignorant of the coming tide

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