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Leviticus 5:5-6

If We Confess

5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: 6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.


When a person found himself to be guilty of one of the aforementioned sins, i.e. failing to testify to the truth of a crime, coming into contact with an unclean thing, or swearing falsely, he was to confess his specific sin to God. These three specific sins are considered by many to be mere examples of the many sins of ignorance that a person might commit. Some scholars, on the other hand, believe that these are separate from the sins of ignorance and constitute the trespass offering, but in the sixth verse it is called both the trespass offering and the sin offering.

Nevertheless, the thing on which we should focus our attention is the confession of sin. Until now, the book of Leviticus has not specifically mentioned confession in connection with any offering, although it may be assumed that the laying of hands on the head of the sacrifice was an admission of sin. Previous offerings, however, were more general in nature, whereas here we have an offering being made for specific sins, and the confession should be specific.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on this passage points out that "Deceit lies in generals; many will own in general they have sinned, for that all must own, so that it is not any particular reproach to them; but that they have sinned in this thing they stand too much upon their honour to acknowledge: but the way to be well assured of pardon, and to be well armed against sin for the future, is to be particular in our penitent confessions." (Matthew Henry)

It is very easy to say, "Lord, I have sinned," because everyone is a sinner, and we lose no self-respect or honor by saying it. It is another thing to say, "Lord, I have committed adultery," because that sets us in a much smaller group of sinners and forces us to be humble before the Lord. Confession of sin is the decrease of the individual and the increase of God's honor and glory.

In the Hebrew language the word yâdâh in its various forms means, "to praise, laud, confess the name of God, confess sin, and to give thanks." Confession and worship are essentially the same thing, because in both instances the worshipper is humbled, and God is glorified, praised and honored. It was important, therefore for the sinner to be specific in his confession, and it is just as important for the Christian today.

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:8-10) If we confess our sins in general, we are doing exactly what Matthew Henry said; we are covering up the specific things that we have done wrong with a generalized statement. In effect, we are saying that we have no sin and are making God to be a liar. If we want forgiveness, we must be specific.

Along with his confession, the sinner was to bring an offering of a female lamb or kid goat to the priest, and the priest was to make an atonement for that specific sin. Now, if you sit down and think about all of the things that you have thought, said or done this past week and try to discover everything that might have been offensive to God, how many animals would you have been required to sacrifice? It is obvious that no one could have afforded to make an offering for every inadvertent sin that he or she had committed. There is, therefore, no salvation to be found in the law of God.

We can praise Him for sending His Son to be the one and only offering that would suffice for all of our sins. Now, we only need to confess, because the atonement has already been made.

Before The Throne:

Before you pray, write down a list of the specific things for which you need prayer and pray for each item individually. Each request honors God and makes you the beggar. Confess each and every sin individually and he will be faithful to forgive you. Take the time to praise His name and to thank Him for dying for your sins, the only sacrifice that you will ever need.

For Further Study:

(v.5) ** confess: Lev 16:21; 26:40; Num 5:7; Jos 7:19; Ezr 10:11-12; Job 33:27; Psa 32:5; Pro 28:13; Jer 3:13; Dan 9:4; Rom 10:10; 1Jo 1:8-10;

(v.6) ** trespass offering. Lev 4:28, 32; 6:6; 7:1-7; 14:12-13; 19:21-22; Num 6:12; Eze 40:39; 42:13; ** a female: Lev 4:28, 32; ** the priest: Lev 4:20;

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